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Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid
Financial Aid is available for students accepted on a USM study abroad program. Students are encouraged to begin applying for financial aid well in advance of their program deadline. NOTE: Before applying for financial aid, students must have completed the FAFSA, available on the Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid website.

Forms of Financial Aid:
  • Alternative loans or "outside loans" are available for all students. These are signature loans through certain lending institutions and are handled in the same way as an unsubsidized loan.  If a student does not meet income or credit rating qualifications, a co-signer, anyone having an appropriate credit rating, may be required.  
  • Faculty/staff/dependent tuition waivers may be used following the regulations set by the university.  Contact an OSA staff member to see if your tuition waiver may apply.
  • Graduate assistantships may be used to help cover portions of the tuition costs of your USM study abroad program following the regulations set by your department.  Contact an OSA staff member to see if your GA is applicable.
  • GI Bill benefits help qualifying Veterans and their family members pay for all or some of the costs for college, graduate school and training programs.  To find out if you qualify click here.
  • Parent PLUS loans are borrowed on behalf of the student by their parents.
  • Pell grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.  Need is determined by the student’s EFC calculated from the FAFSA.  To know if you are Pell Grant eligible, please consult your SOAR account.
  • Subsidized loans are awarded to those students with a lower family contribution or other financial circumstances.
  • Unsubsidized loans are available for any student that wishes to borrow regardless of family contribution. The amount that you may borrow depends on your classification at the time you attend the program.
The options above may be used in any combination to cover your program's costs and estimated expenses.

Financial aid should be applied for through your home institution. Financial aid agreements between USM and other universities are available upon request.  If more information is needed, contact the USM Office of Study Abroad at 601.266.4344 or

Students are encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as they are eligible for.  Scholarship opportunities are listed below:

  • All Abroad Suggestions for "general" study abroad, "diversity" study abroad and nontraditional country destinations.
  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is open to all U.S. citizen undergraduates, in good academic standing, who meet certain criteria. If you currently qualify for a Pell Grant, you are eligible to apply for the Gilman Scholarship. 
  • Each year BUTEX awards a number of scholarships to students studying abroad for either a semester or for a whole academic year within the U.K.
  • DAAD is a database for students studying abroad in Germany for either a semester or an academic year.
  • Diversity Abroad is a database for study abroad specific scholarships.
  • Fund for Education Abroad provides scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population.
  • Gilman-McCain Scholarship awards scholarships to child dependents of an active duty service member to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs.
  • GO System created by the USM Foundation for USM students.  Be sure to complete your application for fall, spring or summer to access USM study abroad scholarship opportunities.
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars are member-exclusive, merit-based awards.  Scholarship recipients are selected based on their commitment to academics, leadership, and service.
  • Phi Kappa Phi awards scholarships to eligible applicants.  Students do not need to be a member to apply.
  • Study Abroad Funding features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals.
  • World Languages website offers scholarship opportunities for USM Foreign Language majors.
Do you want assistance with your Nationally Competitive Scholarship applications? Book an appointment with Mary Beard, Director for Nationally Competitive Programs and Awards. Email Ms. Beard at or visit the Nationally Competitive Programs website.

For more information, visit NAFSA's Financial Aid for Study Abroad: An Undergraduate Student's Resource.