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Financial Aid & Scholarships



Cal Poly students may be eligible for financial aid if enrolled at least half time in a Cal Poly study abroad program. Even if you have never received financial aid, you may want to investigate the possibility of receiving financial aid when you study abroad.   
Start by reading the Fund Your Study Abroad Experience handout to see how financial aid can be applied to study abroad. 

Complete the FAFSA - To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 2 deadline.  Once your FAFSA is complete, you will be considered for the various types of financial aid offered at Cal Poly, including grants and loans.   

Get your Award Adjusted - Once your financial aid is awarded, verify which types of financial aid can be applied to your study abroad program.  Consult a Financial Aid Advisor to see if your aid can be increased in order to allocate for any additional costs associated with your study abroad program.  Remember to accept your award in your portal! 

Plan Ahead - Your Financial Aid Award will be disbursed on or around the first day of the quarter at Cal Poly, regardless of the actual start date of your study abroad program. Plan ahead to cover your plane ticket and other pre-departure or arrival costs, which you may need to pay for before your Award is disbursed.   

Summer Financial Aid - Financial aid is limited in the summer.  Awards typically consist of any unused loan amounts from the previous academic year.  Consult a Financial Aid counselor for details.

Watch this video to learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships for Study Abroad: 


You are encouraged to research and apply for merit- and need-based scholarships to help fund your study abroad experience.  Below are several categories of scholarships and fundraising tools.


CATEGORY 1: Cal Poly Study Abroad Scholarships

CATEGORY 2: Cal Poly Global Program Scholarships

CATEGORY 3: CSU-IP Scholarships

CATEGORY 4: Partner Program Discounts & Scholarships

  • CEA Matthew Yount Memorial Scholarship - For Cal Poly students participating in CEA programs.  $1,500.
  • CEA Scholarships & Discounts- For students participating in Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) programs.  $100-$3,000.
  • CIEE Scholarships - For students participating in CIEE programs.  $1,500-$2,500.
  • DIS Scholarships & Discounts - For students participating in DIS programs in Scandinavia.  Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reductions ($4,000 per semester / $300-$700 per summer).  Additional scholarships available.  $250-$10,000.
  • FIE Scholarships & Program Discounts  For students participating in FIE programs (with the exception of the Cal Poly Global Summer London and Stories in Ireland programs), there is an automatic $500-$2,000 discount depending on the program. Additionally, FIE offers summer, quarter and semester scholarships ranging from $1,000-$5,000.
  • SIT Study Abroad Scholarships - For students participating in SIT programs.  $500-$5,000.
  • TEAN Scholarships & Discounts - Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reduction of $500 for semester/year long programs. For students participating in The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) programs.  $500-$2,500.
  • Semester at Sea Scholarships - For students participating in Semester at Sea.  Over $5 Million in scholarships and grants is available directly from Semester at Sea.  $250-$10,000.
  • Cal Poly Semester at Sea Scholarships - For Cal Poly students participating in Semester at Sea.  These scholarships from Semester at Sea are dedicated specifically to Cal Poly SLO students.  $500-$2,500.
  • USAC Scholarships & Discounts - Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reduction of $125.

CATEGORY 5: National Study Abroad Scholarships

  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship - For students in science, math, and engineering fields who study abroad.  $7,500.
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship - For U.S. students who with high financial need who study abroad.  Aims to diversify the types of students who go abroad and the countries where they go.  $1,500-$8,000.
  • Boren Awards for International Study - For U.S. students who study abroad to learn less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.  $8,000-$20,000.
  • Critical Language Scholarship Program - Fully-funded overseas language and cultural program for U.S. students. $Varies.
  • Fund for Education Abroad - For students who study abroad in non-traditional destinations.  Awards for student athletes and LGBTI students are also available.  $1,250-$10,000.
  • Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants  -  The Institute for International Education will will offer 100 grants of $2,000 per student. The program will provide a resource for Generation Study Abroad Commitment Partners from U.S. colleges and universities who complete their annual progress report as an opportunity to encourage supplementary funds to their students.
  • Gilman-McCain Scholarship - Provides awards for child dependents of active duty service members to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs.  $5,000.
  • Go Overseas Study & Intern Abroad Scholarship - For U.S. students who study and/or intern abroad.  $500.
  • Golden Key Scholarships - Various awards for Golden Key members who study abroad.  $Varies.
  • Rotary Scholarships - Various awards for international study; contact your local Rotary Club.  $Varies.
LGBTI Scholarship Resources:

CATEGORY 6: Country/Region-specific Scholarships

CATEGORY 7: Other Scholarship Resources & Fundraising Tools

CATEGORY 8: Post-graduation and Graduate Studies Awards

  • American-Scandinavian Foundation - Fellowships for individuals to pursue research, study, or creative arts practice in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden.  Up to $23,000.
  • Anna Sobol Levy Foundation – Provides funding to undertake a Masters or Doctoral program in Australia.  Includes travel and establishment allowances, monthly living stipend, tuition and fees, and health insurance.  Up to $16,000.
  • Boren Fellowships - Funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.  Up to $24,000 per year.
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellows Program – One year of funding available for recent graduates to work as research assistants in Washington, D.C. Contact Cal Poly rep Laura Hunkler at 805-756-5971.
  • Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals - Yearlong awards for 75 Americans to study, intern, and experience cultural immersion in Germany.  Candidates must have a strong interest in German and international affairs; candidates in business, vocational, scientific, engineering, and agricultural fields are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Cultural Vistas - Various academic and internship programs outside the United States for young professionals.
  • DAAD Awards for Germany - Funding for a wide variety of graduate study and other post-graduate activities in Germany, including research, language study, full degree programs, internships, and more.  One specific program, RISE Professional, gives students in the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, and physics the chance to spent 2-6 months working in German companies.
  • Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities (Oxford) – Ten scholarships are available for one- to two-year full-time master’s degrees and for three-year doctoral degrees.  The award covers 100% of university and college fees, plus a grant for living costs.
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Award – Yearlong grants are available for research, graduate study, and English teaching assistantships in a variety of countries around the world.  Specialized awards are available in some fields and countries (e.g., Fulbright-NatGeo awards for digital storytelling, Fulbright-MtvU awards, Fulbright-Clinton awards for public policy, and more).  Contact Cari Moore, Director of the Cal Poly International Center to discuss the campus application process (email:, phone 805-756-2945).
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship – Highly prestigious scholarships awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue full-time graduate degrees at the University of Cambridge.
  • JET Programme – Highly selective placement for recent graduates in paid English-teaching positions in Japan.  $Varies.
  • Marshall Scholarship – Highly competitive merit-based grant that provides full funding for outstanding U.S. citizens to study for one or two years at the graduate level in the United Kingdom.
  • Mitchell Scholarship (Ireland) – Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars are selected annually for one academic year of graduate level study in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The award is designed to connect generations of future American leaders to Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.
  • New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) – Awards cover full tuition fees in PhD programs at any of New Zealand’s eight universities, and a living stipend for up to 36 months.
  • Oxford Perishing Square Graduate Scholarship – Up to five scholarships for one year of study in MBA programs at Oxford University are awarded annually to support extraordinary individuals in developing their potential as future global leaders.
  • Peace Corps Offers unique opportunities to pair graduate studies at one of more than 90 U.S. academic institutions with Volunteer service abroad.
  • Pickering Fellowships – Awards for outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State.  Funding covers two years of a master’s level program in public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages.
  • Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program – Thirty awards are provided annually to recent graduates pursuing careers in the Foreign Service.  The award supports two years of graduate study, professional development activities, and entry into the Foreign Service.  Fields of study include international affairs, economics, history, political science, public administration, communications, public policy, business administration, and foreign languages.  Members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service are prioritized.
  • Rhodes Scholarship – Provides full funding for outstanding U.S. applicants to complete a graduate degree at Oxford University in the UK.  For advising, contact Emeritus Professor Michael Wenzl at
  • Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship – Transatlantic initiative that offers 15 accomplished U.S. students the opportunity to complete a comprehensive professional development program in Germany.
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship – Up to 100 individuals from around the world are selected annually to receive fully funded academic fellowships at one of Rotary’s peace centers in Australia, England, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, and the U.S.  Awards include tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.  Applicants should have a strong background in volunteering and community service.
  • Swedish Scholarship Awards – Up to three awards are provided annually for full funding for two years in a master’s degree program in Sweden.

Boren Awards for Study Abroad
Scholarship Tips
  • Dedicate several hours to browsing scholarships.
  • Set a goal to identify 3-5 scholarships or grants to which you will apply.
  • Set aside several days to work on your scholarship applications.
  • Apply for scholarships around the same time you are applying to study abroad.  
  • Remember: focus on quality in your study abroad scholarship applications!
Scholarship & Financial Aid Advising 
Financial Aid Office