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FSA Costs and Funding

Seminar Costs

There are three types of costs associated with First-year Seminars Abroad/Away:

1. TUITION: All students will pay for four (4) credits of UGS 102/105 billed at their normal MSU rate and counted in the fall semester.  Credit will count toward their GPA and graduation requirements. The money paid in tuition supports field experiences and books.

2. PROGRAM FEE:  The program fee will vary for each seminar and typically includes the following:

  • pre-and post-departure orientation meetings, food, and housing
  • books and academic resources;
  • airfare and transportation from MSU to the departure airport (some programs include transportation back to the MSU campus);
  • accommodation on-site;
  • admissions and transportation to all field experiences;
  • at least one meal per day (check seminar webpage for more details); and
  • accident and sickness insurance

Detailed cost information can be found on the individual seminar webpages.

3. ADDITIONAL COSTS: These are costs that are not included in the program fee, such as the cost of a passport/ visa (if needed), as well as spending money for souvenirs and additional meals. How much spending money you should budget for depends on you and the location of the program. Surveys of past participants suggest that most students spend $500–$1,000 during the program. Since this is quite a range, you should talk with your program faculty about any special considerations for your destination.

The MSU Student Accounts Office will bill for the program fee and tuition as part of the fall tuition bill. The tuition rates are set by the University and will reflect the same rate you pay for on-campus credits during the fall semester.

All MSU bills are handled electronically, and MSU will send an email about these and other fees. To view your financial information, please visit MSU's Student Information System (StuInfo).


Depending on funding, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (APUE), Office of Financial Aid, Honors College, and the Office for Education Abroad offer a limited number of scholarships specifically for eligible First-Year Seminar participants (see below).

In all cases, to be eligible for the award you must be (1) admitted to MSU with your deposit paid, (2) have submitted your application to a First-Year Seminar Abroad/Away, and (3) have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at the MSU Office of Financial Aid.

Scholarship applications are submitted as part of the online application process.

  1. Awards funded through the APUE and Office of Financial Aid are designated for Pell-grant-eligible students who have demonstrated high financial need based on their FAFSA. Award amounts depend on funding and range from $500 to the full cost of the seminar in very limited cases. The deadline for the APUE award is June 5, 2024. Awards are made on a rolling basis until funding runs out (i.e., we will continue to review students' needs past the deadline as long as funding exists).
  2. Awards funded through the Office for Education Abroad (EA) are for $250 and require you to have both high academic merit and demonstrate financial need. The deadline for EA awards is June 5, 2024.
  3. The MSU Honors College offers a limited number of awards for First-Year Seminar participants who are also Honors College students. Scholarships will be awarded by the Honors College to the first eligible students who register for each program, so apply early! Scholarships vary in the amount and number awarded based on funding. Awards are made on a rolling basis until funding runs out.

It may take several weeks after the deadline to select the recipients of these awards.

Other financial assistance may be available you make appropriate arrangements with MSU's offices of Education Abroad and Financial Aid. If you need assistance, contact fsabroad(at) to discuss options for financing the programs.


Financial aid is typically disbursed 10 days prior to the beginning of each semester. Even though seminars take place during the summer, they are considered fall semester programs and federal financial aid will not be disbursed until 10 days prior to the beginning of fall semester. Monies obtained from aid and scholarships are credited against your account, with any surpluses refunded to you.