Many universities allow students to take institutional financial aid off campus. Check with the Financial Aid office at your school to see what aid you can apply to your IFR field school. Explore your eligibility for additional funds – including loans – through your home school before applying to an IFR field school. The Study Abroad office at your home institution may be of help and can be a good source of information. Because the credit units you earn for your IFR field school will likely be accepted at your home institution and applied towards your degree, your school should be able to process a Stafford Loan or other federal/state sources of support to assist your IFR participation.
Most IFR field schools run during the summer. Your annual financial aid package may be augmented (through additional allocation of funds) to cover the costs of tuition, estimated airfare and spending money. The summer is usually considered the first term of the academic year but policies may be different at your home institution. Please consult with your home institution about availability, eligibility and home campus deadlines for Financial Aid requests.
If you do plan to use Financial Aid to pay any portion of your field school costs, please follow these four steps:
1. Consult with a Financial Aid officer at your home institution regarding eligibility, availability and type of financial package. Complete all relevant paperwork.
2. Apply to an IFR field school. Once accepted, you will be sent an enrollment packet. Complete and send with your nonrefundable $500 Deposit Fee to secure a spot in the program.
3. Download the IFR Financial Aid Agreement Carefully read and make sure you understand the legal obligations you are taking upon yourself. Sign, date, scan and send as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once received, the form will be reviewed and IFR representative will sign on our behalf. A copy will be sent to you, usually within 36 hours.
4. Once Financial Aid funds are dispersed to you, forward balance of payment to the IFR. You will not be allowed to attend the field school if we do not receive your full field school payment five days prior to the beginning of your program.
All IFR field schools are accredited through our academic partner – Connecticut College. Therefore, all expenses associated with the field school –including tuition, air travel and miscellaneous expenses – are legitimate educational expenses and covered by 529 IRS rules. Students will get a letter grade on official transcripts at the end of the field school. Copy of the transcripts may be provided to the IRS as proof that the student attended a credit barring academic program.
The IFR may not accept Federal Financial Aid on your behalf, including funds from your GI Bill. If you are eligible for such funds, ask your school to accept those on your behalf and disperse to you or to the IFR. If you are not presently matriculating in an Institution of Higher Education (IHE), ask your VA administrator to disperse funds directly to you, if they are willing.
The IFR may not accept Federal Financial Aid on your behalf, including funds from the Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship. If you are a recipient of a Gilman Scholarship, ask your school to accept the funds on your behalf and disperse to you or to the IFR. Many schools, but not all, will agree to do so on your behalf.