Other Resources

529 Plans

529 plans, legally known as "qualified tuition plans", are tax-advantaged savings programs created to help families save money for college. Different plan advantages, options, restrictions and fees apply in every state.

Currently, 529 plans are operated by state governments and cover college tuition based on an enrollment-weighted average of in-state public college tuition rates.

The rules determining plan use and fund withdrawal capabilities vary from state to state. You will need to consult your 529 plan requirements to learn what your funds can be used for. Generally, only accredited degree granting institutions or Title IV institutions accept 529 plan funds. This means that if a student is not registered at their home institution and/or that institution will not disperse a student's financial aid to CEA, then a student cannot use their 529 plan to pay for their study abroad experience. However, the parent/529 contributor can withdraw funds from the 529 plan at any time, for any reason. Tax penalties may apply in this case.

Please speak with your 529 provider and home institution about whether you can apply your 529 plan funds to study abroad.

Private Loans

If you still need funding after completing your FAFSA and applying for scholarships, you may consider applying for educational loans through private lenders, like banks or credit unions. Discuss the pros and cons with your family first, and be sure you understand how federal and private student loans differ:

  • Interest rates: Private loan interest rates are usually higher than federal student loans and may vary based on market interest rates; that means your monthly payment can change.
  • Loan fees: Private lenders may charge origination fees, monthly service charges, and/or late fees
  • Eligibility: Private loans generally have stricter eligibility requirements and are subject to credit approval; lenders may require a good credit score and a co-signer.
  • Repayment plans: Private lenders may not offer flexible repayment options like those offered for federal student loans, such as income-based or extended payment plans.

Think Outside The FAFSA

What if financial aid and scholarships just aren’t enough? It's time to get creative! Consider alternate funding sources and methods, such as:

  • Crowd-funding
  • Fundraising on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Local business, religious, and civic groups, like Rotary, Lion’s Club, or Kiwanis
  • High school alumni organizations
  • Local and national chapters of sororities and fraternities

Other Resources


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WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY

Completely Convenient
The ease of the program and knowledge of the entire organization is top notch. The experience they provided for me was incredible. …CEA makes living in a foreign country completely convenient.

Gerardo Reyes
New Mexico State University,
Fall 2013, Viña del Mar, Chile

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