Policies and Procedures
Students receiving financial aid from Williams College can take advantage of studying away overseas as well as within the United States. Financial aid eligibility can be applied to your study away program, provided your plans receive approval by the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS), via the Dean’s Office. Click here, if you would like to download the study abroad policy and procedure information sheet.
Applying for Aid
Required forms and deadlines
The Financial Aid application process is the same as if you would be on campus. The same documents are required and the same deadlines apply. (See Applying for Financial Aid.) In addition, you will need to submit the Study Away Budget Proposal Form, supporting documentation, and your program acceptance notice by the deadlines below or as soon as your plan is approved and the costs are finalized. Please carefully read these instructions on how to complete your form.
|DEADLINES||Full-Year or Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|Study Away Budget Proposal Form||before you leave campus in May||December 1|
|Supporting documentation||before you leave campus in May||December 1|
|Program acceptance notice||before you leave campus in May||December 1|
Prepare your Study Away Budget Proposal with accurate cost projections (do not submit a tentative budget) and make sure that you account for all of your expenses (students often underestimate their budgets). Expenses include costs for which your program directly bills you (i.e., tuition, fees, on-campus housing, etc.) and costs for which you are not directly billed by your program (i.e., off-campus housing and food, commuter travel, required field trips, expenses associated with breaks and vacations, etc.).
Thoroughly research your expenses by using various resources. Most program websites offer accurate cost projections or you may try contacting a representative from your study away program for help. Former participants in your program can be a good source of information regarding “real” costs. The Dean’s Office has a record of student impressions from different programs available for your review.
If you have to make changes to your original budget, please send a letter with documentation of the additional costs to the Office of Financial Aid before leaving for your study away program or as early in the study away term as possible so that we may adjust your award accordingly.
Renewing outside scholarships while studying away
When filling out applications to renew outside scholarships (National Merit, Elks, etc.), indicate that you will be studying at Williams during your study away term. Since Williams grants academic credit for study away programs, you are technically enrolled at Williams.
Determination of aid eligibility
Your family contribution, including your student summer earnings expectation, remains the same as if you were attending Williams. A less expensive program of study does not affect the calculation of your expected family contribution.
Cost of attending
The Office of Financial Aid will use your study away budget, up to the cost of attending Williams, whichever is lower, to determine your need for Williams scholarship assistance. You will not receive more Williams scholarship if your study away program budget is higher than the cost of attending Williams. If that is the case, it may be possible to offset a higher study away cost by increasing the student loan component of your package.
Your award is based on your study away budget less your family contribution. Your total self-help expectation will be the same as if you were at Williams. Whenever possible, we will replace the normal job expectation with additional student loan. In cases where the study away budget is significantly lower than the Williams budget, the loan component will be reduced proportionately.
A Study Away Fee of $1,500 is charged to all students who study away for a semester or a full year. Financial aid students receive a Study Away Fee Grant of $1,500 in their financial aid packages to cover this charge.
Study away program scholarship assistance
If your study away program offers financial assistance, we strongly urge you to apply. In the event that you receive some scholarship assistance from your program, it will be used to reduce the student loan portion of your award.
If you have a student loan in your package and need to sign a new promissory note, the promissory note will be included with your financial aid award. Your signed promissory note must be returned before your departure. If you experience a shortfall in your summer earnings and need to make up the difference with additional student loan, you must immediately complete and return the Financial Aid Review Form that will be enclosed with your financial aid award.
Paying Your Program Bill and Other Costs
Study away bills
As soon as you receive a bill for your study away program, forward a copy of it to:
Bursar’s Office, Williams College
PO Box 406
Williamstown, MA 01267
As your financial aid is credited to your Williams account, the Bursar will forward this credit to your study away program. Any balance due to your study away program after all of your financial aid credit has been transferred is your responsibility.
Many programs require a deposit. If this creates a hardship for you and your family, contact the Office of Financial Aid. Usually a letter from the Financial Aid Office to the program will be sufficient to reduce or delay this deposit. We need a copy of your acceptance letter (or email) so that we know who to contact.
If you have a past-due balance on your Williams account, then your financial aid will satisfy this debt first and the remainder will be sent as payment to your study away program.
In some cases, the total financial aid credits will exceed the billed charges of the program resulting in a credit balance on the student’s Williams account. You may request a refund of your credit balance either by submitting a Student Account Refund Request Form or by emailing the Bursar at Bursar@williams.edu.
We encourage you to sign up to have any credit balance on your Williams account directly deposited into your bank account. Complete instructions are available on the Office of the Controller’s website. Please note that direct deposit set up by the Controller is different than direct deposit of your biweekly paycheck, which is set up by Payroll.
If you have questions regarding past-due balances, credit balances, or direct deposit, please contact the Bursar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 597-4396.
Disbursement of aid
Award notification date
Financial aid awards are normally completed in July if your financial aid application is completed by our published deadlines. We are not able to provide your award earlier, even if your program starts before July.
Billing and payment procedures
Oxford and Kyoto Programs: If you enroll in the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University or the Associated Kyoto Program, you will receive a bill directly from Williams and normal procedures for payment apply.
Other study away programs: If you enroll in any other program, you will not receive a bill from Williams College. Your program will bill you directly and you are required to send a copy of your study away program bill to the Bursar in order to assure timely payment. You should keep the original bill, as you and your parents may also be required to pay a portion of the billed expenses.
- Upon receipt of a copy of the bill from your study away program, the Bursar will send a check directly to your program.
- Payments are sent in mid-August for the fall portion of your Williams Scholarship.
- Federal and state grants will be forwarded once they can be applied to your student account according to federal and state regulation.
- If you are away for the entire academic year or for second semester, a check for your spring financial aid will be sent directly to your study away program in mid-December.
- Any outside scholarship(s), student loan and parent loan proceeds must be received by the Bursar before payment can be forwarded to your study away program. When these funds are received by Williams, the Bursar will send payment to the study away program.
Currency and Banking while Overseas
Determine the amount of travel money you need and the best way of taking it if your study away program is overseas. Have a plan in place for receiving money overseas. Check with major banks in your home area to see if they have a branch overseas with ATM facilities. Add a parent name (signature) to your savings/checking account so that deposits and withdrawals can be made in your absence.
Plan ahead regarding where and when you will exchange your U.S. dollars for foreign currency. Many exchange houses charge a commission and it is possible to lose money in the transaction.
Keep track of the exchange rate before you depart and when you arrive. If the U.S. dollar value drops significantly, please notify the Office of Financial Aid at once.
Your health insurance should provide you with coverage for costs associated with any medical care you require while studying abroad, such as physician office visits, emergency services, hospital inpatient and outpatient services, diagnostic testing services, and prescription drugs. In addition, you should consider purchasing a special policy that provides coverage for medical assistance and evacuation.
- Become familiar with your policy so you know which medical services are covered and which are excluded.
- Check to see if your policy has any territorial limits that will prevent it from covering services beyond the continental U.S. (The Williams College student health insurance plan has no territorial limits, so it will cover medical services received outside of the U.S.)
- Be sure you have a current I.D. card from your insurance company.
- Get some claim forms, if applicable, and understand the procedures you need to follow to submit bills for reimbursement to your insurance company. Most plans, including the College’s, will require that you translate the bills and receipts into English and U.S. dollars before submitting them for reimbursement. If your coverage is through an HMO, you may need to follow specific procedures for getting approval in advance of receiving care. Contact your insurer for more information.
Check to see if you will be covered under your parents’ health insurance policy while you are out of the country. If you will be covered, determine how claims should be handled if you require hospitalization, a doctor’s care or medication. If you will not be covered under your parents’ policy, you can subscribe to the health insurance offered by Williams College. The College will not automatically enroll students on leave for this coverage, you have to complete the online enrollment process on the Gallagher Koster website, available after May 1. If you already signed up for the Williams College student health insurance plan at the beginning of the school year, coverage will continue while you are studying away.
In either case, thoroughly investigate your coverage as well as the insurance offered by your specific study away program. There may be additional benefits offered by the study away program’s insurance that are not normally included in your parents’ policy or the Williams health insurance plan. Be sure to check them out completely and ask questions if you do not understand your options. A program may request that you purchase ‘evacuation’ insurance in case an emergency departure is required (for health reasons or political unrest). If you have questions, please call the Williams College Health Center (413) 597-2206.
Passport and Identification
If you do not currently have a passport, apply for one immediately. The Dean’s Office also requests that you purchase the ISID (International Student Identification) card available through CIEE. Contact the Dean’s Office for details.
Make two copies of all important identification papers (passport, driver’s license, Williams College ID card, Youth Hostel card, etc.). Carry the originals on your person. Leave one set of copies at home with your parents and place the other set in your room or luggage. If the originals are lost or stolen at least you will have copies available until new identification can be obtained.