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Costs and Billing

Billable & Out of Pocket Expenses

Expenses for study away will fall into one of two categories: items billed by Macalester and those that you should be prepared to pay for out of pocket. We have listed the expenses you can anticipate being related to study away below.

Some costs will need to be paid directly to the program sponsor and/or a vendor, and these costs may be due before your financial aid is disbursed. This situation may cause cash flow concerns in cases where your financial aid is covering the majority of the program costs. Discuss this with the Financial Aid Office and your study away advisor. You will likely need to purchase airfare and pay visa costs well in advance and will need to have access to funds other than your financial aid.


You will be billed Macalester tuition for the semester you are studying away. Macalester will then pay your program or host university for educational expenses. If your program tuition is greater than Macalester tuition you will be billed the higher tuition cost.

Macalester Home School Tuition Policy

Macalester charges regular tuition to students who are studying away for academic credit towards their degree regardless of the cost of the individual program’s tuition. There are a number of factors that have led to us pursuing this policy.

Students studying away remain enrolled at Macalester for the duration of their study away program. This allows them access to all Macalester resources, such as on­line research resources available through the library, access to faculty and staff mentors, support from campus offices, use of Macalester e­mail, and the ability to apply for scholarships, grants, and other Macalester­-sponsored activities open to students on­-campus for following semesters and summer. They are also able to participate in pre­-registration for the semester they return and secure on-­campus housing should they wish to do so.

Macalester invests a number of resources in maintaining its study away program offerings. The Center for Study Away reviews potential study away programs to ensure that programs meet expectations for student learning and adhere to safety standards. We provide advising and pre-departure support to all students studying away. This includes individual advising as well as comprehensive orientation programming covering health, safety, and intercultural adaptation. While registered Macalester students are overseas, we monitor international security developments and provide emergency response and crisis support, if needed.

These costs of operation are included in the college’s general budget and are covered by the tuition that all students pay. In addition, our home school tuition policy allows us to transfer full financial aid for students who are studying away.

Macalester tuition does not differentiate the costs of a theater vs. chemistry vs. anthropology major. Similarly, we do not differentiate the costs of the quality-­endorsed, Macalester­-supported study away programs. Ultimately students studying away receive Macalester credit which applies to the completion of their Macalester degree.

Room & Board

Whether a particular program provides room and board, just room, or some partial room and/or board varies greatly. In many cases, the room and/or board charges are billed through Macalester. There are programs where students will need to pay for these costs directly to the overseas institutions, this is true of most of our direct­-enroll and exchange programs.

See the program-­specific budget sheets on the individual program pages for the most recent billed and out­-of­-pocket cost estimates to determine if room and board is billed by Macalester or paid directly to your host institution.

Application Fees & Deposits

All application fees or refundable deposits (housing damage, etc) will be your responsibility to pay. However, any program/tuition/enrollment deposit or acceptance/confirmation fee should be paid by Macalester on your behalf.


You will need to plan to pay for airfare in advance of your program departure. Some programs arrange airfare and will bill you for it separately, others will expect you to arrange your own airfare. Either way, this is an out-of-pocket expense for you. If paying for your ticket in advance is a concern, the Center for Study Away can provide advice on ways to defer the expense of purchasing an airline ticket until you receive your financial aid disbursement.

Visa, Passport, and Other Fees

You are responsible for paying out-of-pocket expenses associated with acquiring appropriate travel documentation such as your passport, visa, residency permits, etc. These expenses are personal, and you should budget accordingly.

Miscellaneous On­site Expenses

You will want to plan ahead for additional expenses that you may encounter while studying away. These might include local transportation, meals, books, security deposits, personal travel, optional program activities, and personal purchases. Most programs provide estimates of such expenses on their websites to help you plan your budget effectively.