Financial aid & Payment

Financing study abroad is a major concern for many students. The good news is that there are various sources of aid available for study abroad, including KEI grants and interest-free payment plans, federal aid, state aid, institutional scholarships and grants, and foundation aid. Payment of the program fee may be deferred until financial aid is disbursed, even if the program is already in session.

Federal aid

Federal aid refers to financial assistance provided by the federal government including Pell grants, Direct loans, Parent Plus loans, Perkins loans and GI Bill. Federal law states that students can use federal financial aid to cover reasonable costs associated with education abroad if they are eligible for such aid and their home institution approves the program for credit transfer. Click on each item below for more information.

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Generally, Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelors or professional degree. In some cases, you may receive a Pell Grant for attending a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program. For many students, Pell Grants provide a foundation of financial aid to which other aid may be added.

Federal Direct Loan

Direct Loans are the major source of federal self-help aid, and are awarded directly by the federal government through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.

Direct Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized.

  • A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment.
  • An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.

Federal Perkins Loan

A Federal Perkins loan is a need-based loan used to supplement what a Stafford loan cannot cover. The program is in conjunction with the federal government and home institution, and available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Federal Parent PLUS Loan

PLUS Loans are a federal source of funding that enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the education expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time. PLUS Loans are available through the Direct Loan program.

Veterans Educational Benefits

Students who served in the military can use the GI Bill for study abroad. The first step is to contact your regional Veterans Affairs office and speak with the Foreign Schools Representative. Have the following information ready: your name, address in the US, social security number, program of study and course details. Visit the VA website at for more information.

State aid

State aid refers to any form of financial aid sponsored by the state. Some states offer scholarships, such as the Georgia’s Hope Scholarship and West Virginia’s Promise Scholarship. Some states also offer 529 Plans, which are college savings accounts based on stock portfolios. Rules governing scholarships and 529 plans depend on individual states. Since each state has its own policies, students should speak with the study abroad advisor and financial aid office at their home institution.

University aid

Do you receive a scholarship from your university? Some universities/colleges allow students to use their institutional scholarships for study abroad, while other universities/colleges do not. Speak with your academic advisor, financial aid office and/or scholarship administrator. Note that work-study cannot be used for study abroad.

Foundation aid

There are a number of foundations and companies that offer scholarships, grants and loans for education abroad. Each foundation has its own application requirements and deadlines. Links to the most notable foundations and companies are provided below.

KEI aid

KEI offers grants, payment plans and an early enrollment option. Click on each item below for more information about KEI aid.

KEI Affiliate Grant ($1,000)

Students who attend a KEI-affiliated university or college receive a $1,000 grant for any semester, trimester and quarter program offered during the academic year. The Affiliate Grant may be combined with other KEI grants, promotions and payment plans. KEI has affiliations with more than 100 universities and colleges. Visit KEI Sending Institutions page to view a list of KEI-affiliated universities and colleges. If your institution is currently not affiliated, we will work with you to facilitate an affiliation so that you can take advantage of this grant.

KEI Travel Grant

KEI offers grant awards of $500 to $1,000 US. Awards are based on merit and need. To be considered a candidate, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate leadership potential, be involved in extracurricular activities and show financial need. In choosing scholars, preference will be given to those who apply early and those applying for two or more semesters of study abroad. The decision of the selection committee is final and is not subject to appeal. The deadline for grant applications is the same as the deadline for program applications.

To apply for a KEI Travel Grant, students must submit the following supporting documents with the KEI Application Form:

  • Copy of your FAFSA or equivalent financial need documentation.
  • A 500 word essay outlining how the KEI Travel Grant will make a decisive difference in your study abroad plans. The essay should also include a description of your academic and extracurricular achievements, and rationale for financial assistance.
  • If awarded a grant, students must agree to participate in a mini-internship with KEI and successfully complete the requirements toward the grant. Contact KEI for more information.

KEI-Turkish Coalition Grant

The Turkish Coalition of America makes available ten $2,000 grants per semester for KEI program participants in Istanbul, Turkey. Grants of $1,000 for a 2-month program and $500 for a 1-month program are also available. Eligible students must submit a grant application with their KEI Application documents. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American or Armenian American.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status (Permanent Residents MUST include a copy of their green card with their application)
  • Applicants must be in good standing at an accredited university or college in the USA.
  • Must be willing to share their experience abroad with future KEI students.

KEI Consecutive Term Grant

A $500 grant is automatically awarded to students participating in consecutive summer, semester, quarter and/or trimester programs (ex: Spring and Summer, Summer and Fall, etc.). This grant can be used for programs in the same or different locations. The grant will be applied to the last term of study. Students can participate in program excursions during their first or consecutive term of study, but not both. The $500 grant has already been factored into the fee for academic year programs.

KEI Go Again Grant

KEI program alum who study abroad again with KEI will receive a $500 grant for semester and academic year programs, and a $250 grant for summer programs. The Go Again Grant is applied towards the program fee and cannot be combined with the Consecutive Term Grant.

KEI Early Enrollment Discount

It’s simple. Apply and enroll in a KEI program before the application deadline and the application fee of $100 will be deducted from the program fee. Enrolling early also locks in the program fee on the date your application is completed as long as this date does not exceed six months prior to the program start date and you meet all program deadlines.

The rules are simple.

  • Complete the application and enrollment process, including payment of the $500 enrollment-confirmation deposit, prior to the application deadline.
  • Submit the $100 application fee with your application. If you meet the early enrollment requirements, the $100 will be applied towards the program price.
  • Make all program payments before the appropriate deadlines.
  • If applying close to the application deadline, you should submit the $500 enrollment-confirmation deposit and enrollment documents with your application. Enrollment documents can be obtained by contacting a KEI Program Manager.
  • KEI employees and KEI employee family members are eligible to participate in the Early Enrollment promotion.
  • KEI reserves the right to cancel this promotion at any time.

KEI Payment Plans

KEI offers interest-free payment plans to qualified students. Qualification requirements are decided by KEI on an individual basis. The maximum allowed amount for the KEI Payment Plan is $2,000 per term of study (up to $3000 under certain circumstances). In general, payment is divided into monthly installments of $500, but other options may be possible depending on individual circumstances. We will work out a plan that meets your financial situation. For more information about payment plans, please contact a KEI Program Manager.


To pay with a check or money order, make checks and money orders payable to the order of “KEI” and send to the KEI office at 48 Broadway, Suite 2, Haverstraw, NY 10927. Make sure to include your name on the check/money order.

To use billpay, log in to your online bank account and add KEI to the Payee List. Where prompted, enter the KEI mailing address (48 Broadway, Suite 2, Haverstraw, NY 10927). Your bank will then generate a bank check and mail it to KEI. If KEI agreed to a payment plan, you can even set up recurring payments to KEI. Simple and convenient!


Did you know that KEI offers high-quality programs at a lower cost than most programs offered by universities and third-party providers? We achieve savings through fiscal management and utilizing our resources in the USA and abroad. In addition, KEI does not advertise which saves a lot of money. Ninety-nine percent of our program participants learn about KEI through referrals by alum, study abroad advisors and professors. The savings are passed on to students in the form of lower fees.

Don’t take our word. We encourage you to compare programs. If you find a less expensive semester, quarter or academic year program at the same host institution and location with the same inclusions offered by KEI, we will match the price and deduct an additional $500. You will not find a guarantee like this anywhere else.