Financial Aid - There is a Lot
There are many opportunities to find financial aid to go on a study abroad. We regularly have students who get extra scholarships and grants which, in some cases have been very significant and have paid for the majority of their costs.
So, is you are thinking of doing a study abroad (any program), you should consider a number of things. Here is a list of things to consider. Note that some of these require you to have already filled out a FAFSA to apply.
When you formally apply for a study abroad, the application form will have a check box where you say you want to be considered. If you click that they will then prompt you for the information they need.
Any scholarship you get for spring summer can be applied to your program. BYU spring/summer tuition scholarships are a lot easier to get than the fall/winter scholarships. The application for BYU scholarships (I think) opens in January and is due within a few weeks of that. Check with the scholrships office. Many students who don't qualify for a fall/winter scholarship are able to get one for spring, which they can then use to pay for part of their study abroad.
The Kennedy center maintains a list of other scholarships here: https://kennedy.byu.edu/isp/financial-aid
. Also on that page should be the contact info for James Mayo. He's an advisor in the Kennedy Center and I have been told that can help students like you find ways to pay for your study abroad. For example, he is the BYU contact for a number of external scholarship programs. So, look him up and contact him and ask for his help.
There are lots of external scholarships out there funded by the US Government or foundations. Their goal is to increase the number of students being exposed to other countries. They are often strategic about who they fund. So, for example, if you were visiting an important country in their eyes (China is a great example of this), you would have a better chance than if you were going to a country where everyone wants to go. Here are some examples of those:
The Gilman Scholarship is from the US department of education. You have to qualify to receive Pell Grants (the free money you get from FAFSA) in order to qualify for this scholarship, but how much doesn't matter. Even if you only get like $5 from Pell Grants then you qualify. For that scholarship, you have higher odds of getting it if you go to a country most people don't go for a study abroad. Here's the link to their website: https://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program
. You need to write a couple papers for it, but they give out $2000+ per scholarship so it is very worthwhile. James Mayo is the BYU contact for this and he can coach you through it.
The Freeman Asia scholarship is from a foundation that funds students going to foreign countries. We have had students get this one as well. Their website is: https://www.iie.org/freeman-ASIA
. They give out scholarships which would likely fund your entire trip.
If you have read this far you are probably interested and/or serious.
One last thing: time is of the essence - the deadlines for many
of these scholarships are during fall semester. If you are interested you should
jump on the websites immediately…