Student Handbook

FINANCIAL AID

If you plan to have financial aid applied to your program differential, please check with the Financial Aid office at your home campus (i.e., the campus at which the student is matriculated and admitted to a degree program) to see if your financial aid can be applied to your program differential.  Often, financial aid will transfer directly to Oswego’s Office of International Education and Programs (OIEP), but sometimes the aid will be sent directly to the student. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to coordinate financial aid payments with their home campus. Students are required to complete the Financial Arrangements form and return it to Oswego's OIEP.  This form is provided to students upon their acceptance and is required to coordinate financial aid payments.  

*Please note that regardless of any payment deferral against the anticipated arrival of financial aid, the participant remains ultimately responsible for the payment of the entire cost of the program.*

 Students who are planning to finance all or part of their study abroad by financial aid should be aware that:

  1. The rules and regulations governing financial aid change frequently and the only accurate source of information about your financial aid package is the Financial Aid office at your home campus.

  2. A participant in a SUNY overseas academic program is usually eligible for the same aid package that they would be eligible were they attending their home SUNY campus with the exception of college work-study.

  3. The participant's home campus is the only school that can process that student's financial aid forms.  The student must check with his/her home campus Financial Aid office for further details.

  4. A student must be registered full-time to qualify for most financial aid.  Full-time enrollment is a minimum of 12 credits during the semester and a minimum of 6 credits during the summer. 

DEPOSITS

By accepting an offer of admission to one of Oswego OIEP’s overseas academic programs, you acknowledge that you are ultimately responsible for all payments paid by Oswego OIEP on your behalf, including but not limited to: any unrecoverable money deposits for the purchase of airline tickets, housing, tuition, fees, etc.

By accepting Oswego's offer of admission you also acknowledge that it is your responsibility to insure that your financial aid (if applicable) is forwarded to Oswego OIEP; OR if you do not receive financial aid, you acknowledge that it is your responsibility to make payment to Oswego OIEP directly.  Failure to establish payment arrangements by the payment deadline may result in your removal from your overseas program.

In general, you can anticipate the following costs:

Program acceptance deposit

All Oswego overseas academic programs require the payment of a NON-REFUNDABLE program deposit.  This is collected upon the acceptance of Oswego OIEP’s offer of admission, and its payment guarantees a place reserved for the student on the program.  Please note that ultimately, it is the host university that makes the final decision on a student’s acceptance into the program.

Since the program deposit is non-refundable, and you will be obligated to pay Oswego OIEP for any money paid on your behalf before the program begins, you should not confirm admission to an overseas program unless you are certain you will be participating.  The program deposit holds a place for you and is used, as stated above, for expenses relating to your participation that Oswego OIEP incurs before your departure.

Deposits can be made in the following forms:

  1. Money order or certified bank check payable to “Auxiliary Services”

  2. Cash (only accepted in person at Oswego OIEP office)  

  3. Credit card (paid online through the student’s study abroad account)  

Personal checks are not accepted.

After payment of the deposit, students will receive an invoice from Oswego OIEP uploaded to their study abroad account and mailed to their home address.

Instructional Fees

These payments cover the actual costs of the program, including tuition for the instruction that you will receive abroad.  Typically, the fees for instruction consist of: 

  1. The Oswego OIEP program differential - the cost of the program in which each student is participating that is charged over and above tuition to pay for the program overseas. It includes mandatory health insurance and repatriation insurance.

  2. The items that together make up the cost of the program of an Oswego OIEP administered overseas academic program are always inclusive and fixed; they are never offered on a "pick and choose" or "mix and match" basis.  The use of, or participation in, some of the items that are included in the program differential, such as field trips or excursions, library memberships, lecture series, etc., may be optional for the participants, but full payment of the program differential is mandatory.  For information on what is included in the program differential, please reference the program budget sheet. Students are responsible for all other associated program costs.

  3. Transportation costs - The cost of transportation is dependent upon departure city, arrival city, and the time of the year.  Transportation costs listed on the program budget sheets are estimates.

  4. Lodging costs (room and board) - Frequently, lodging costs are paid while abroad, either monthly or in the form of a single payment at the start of the semester.  A few Oswego OIEP overseas programs have housing included in their program differential, but most do not. An estimate of the housing and food costs for each program is given in the basic program brochure for that program.  In some cases, students will be required to pay a housing deposit to the overseas host institution prior to arrival in the host country. This deposit may be either a portion of the total cost of housing for the semester(s)/term(s) abroad, or the total cost of housing itself.  This may include a damage deposit that is refundable and/or administrative fee that is not refundable. In any case, students are responsible for making this directly to the overseas institution and for reading all materials thoroughly to determine what forms of payment (i.e., a bank draft in the currency of the host country) are acceptable.

  5. Miscellaneous expenses, including additional food costs and personal spending while abroad, are the hardest expenses to anticipate.  There is no upper limit on what students can spend abroad, but it is possible to live frugally and still have a wonderful experience.  You should expect your style of living to change while you are overseas, but you should also plan to model your living on the student lifestyle at the host site.  Students participating in programs located in larger European cities should plan to spend more on food and housing expenses than they would at home.

TUITION, LATE PAYMENT, REFUNDS

Tuition

SUNY students should anticipate that they will be billed for tuition and college fees to be paid to their home campus Bursar's office. Please note: the program differential is charged by Oswego OIEP and students need to pay this bill or make financial arrangements by the payment due date.  

Non-SUNY students should anticipate that they will be billed for BOTH tuition and college fees AND the program differential by Oswego OIEP and need to pay this bill or make financial arrangements by the payment due date.  

Late Payment and Unpaid Bills

Failure to pay your bill by the deadline will result in a late fee.  Additional late fees will be added for every month your bill remains unpaid. Oswego OIEP reserves the right to expel students prior to the start of the program for failure to pay the program charges or failure to have approved financial aid arrangements in place. Unpaid bills will result in the following:

  1. late fees

  2. withholding of grades

  3. hold placed on future registration

  4. referral to New York State Attorney General for collection

Refunds

The following payments are ALWAYS NON-REFUNDABLE (except in the event of the cancellation of the program by Oswego):

  1. the program acceptance deposit

  2. the housing deposit (when billed as a separate item)

Participants are advised that Oswego OIEP refund policies may be different from their home campus's policies on refunds and withdrawals.  For example, a withdrawal from an overseas academic program for an illness or other health related matter does not automatically result in a refund as it might in a home campus-based program.  Each case is treated individually at the discretion of the Director of Oswego OIEP.

WITHDRAWALS & OTHER PAYMENTS

Before withdrawing from your program, you should check your liability by contacting Oswego OIEP. The amount of any refund depends upon the date of the written notification of a participant's withdrawal from the program, the reason for withdrawal, and the ability of Oswego OIEP to recover the payments it has already made on the student's behalf.

A. Withdrawal from a program

  1. If a student withdraws from an Oswego OIEP overseas academic program before the program starts, they are liable to Oswego OIEP for any unrecoverable payments paid by Oswego OIEP on their behalf, even if the student has not paid any portion of the program fee.

  2. If a student considers withdrawing after the program has begun, the student should contact Oswego OIEP for guidance. 

B.  Expulsion from a program

Oswego OIEP, in consultation with program directors and other college officials, reserves the right to terminate a student's participation in an overseas program for the following reasons:

  1. the student is found to be in violation of SUNY Oswego's Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct prior to departure.

  2. the student is found to have an academic, financial, or judicial hold on his/her records.

  3. the student engages in action that put themselves and others at risk. 

  4. the student's actions or conduct are considered to be detrimental to, or incompatible with, the best interests and welfare of the program.

  5. the student participates in any travel that has not been arranged by the overseas host university that hinders the student’s class attendance/program participation

  6. the student's registration falls below full-time (12 credits - semester, 6 credits - summer).

  7. failure to pay in full or have approved payment arrangements prior to program departure.

C. Cancellation of a program before it has begun

Oswego OIEP reserves the right to cancel a program before it has begun or at any time for the following reasons:

  1. Insufficient enrollment

  2. Advice from the US Dept. of State that it is unsafe for US citizens and nationals of other countries to be at the host site, or that US citizens and nationals are not advised to travel or reside in the host site; and

  3. The inability of the host institution to provide or support the program adequately.

If the program is cancelled before it has begun, all payments that have been made to Oswego OIEP by the participant will be refunded. IF it is cancelled after it has begun, any refunds will be handled on a case by case basis. 

Other payment options/direct billing by your home (non-SUNY) campus

Some institutions insist that their students participating in Oswego OIEP overseas academic programs pay tuition and program fees directly to them. These colleges request that Oswego OIEP bill them directly for the full "cost of the program." Check with your campus international office to see if arrangements are in place (or can be made) to have your home campus cover your payments to Oswego OIEP.

REGISTRATION

All SUNY students who participate in overseas academic programs must register and pay tuition  at their home SUNY campus for the semester(s)/terms(s) during which they will be abroad. You should register for study abroad before departing for your program. Your home campus study abroad office will contact you with information on how to register. Failure to register can impact your financial aid and status as a student.

SUNY Oswego students will receive an email from Oswego OIEP with registration instructions, including a CRN code. Non-Oswego students should contact their home campus for registration instructions. 

In addition, you should make certain that all your institutional financial obligations at your home campus are settled before departure for overseas. A hold on a student account may impact your ability to participate in the program. 

Registration and payment of tuition at home SUNY campus

SUNY policies require that SUNY students participating in SUNY overseas academic programs register and pay their tuition at their home SUNY campus for the entire period they will be abroad.  All overseas academic program participants are also required to pay a program differential to the administering campus. Oswego OIEP has the right to immediately cancel a student’s enrollment if the student fails to register and/or pay tuition or the program differential, or have a payment arrangement form on file prior to departure. Tuition owed to the overseas host institution at which the program is located is always paid by Oswego on behalf of each participant. Tuition payments to the host institution are never paid directly by the participants. 

Non-SUNY students who participate in an Oswego overseas program will be considered visiting students at Oswego, and will be registered and pay tuition to Oswego. Such students will sometimes take a formal academic leave of absence from their home campus and should ask their program coordinator for more information. Non-SUNY students must arrange such leave on their own with their home campus.

Registration and enrollment at your overseas academic university

All students must enroll in and remain enrolled in 12 or more credits (full time) per semester while overseas.  Failure to do this is a violation of student visa status in some countries, can affect Title IV funding for financial aid, and can be grounds for immediate expulsion from the program.  NOTE: Regardless of overseas university policy, students participating on SUNY overseas academic programs cannot drop or withdraw from classes after the ninth week of the semester unless they can document extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control to Oswego OIEP. Oswego OIEP has the final authority to approve or disapprove the documented course withdrawal.

Advanced registration from abroad for the following semester

Non-Oswego students should discuss the procedure to pre-register from abroad with their home campus study abroad or Registrar's office.

GRADES AND TRANSCRIPTS

Grading policies vary from program to program. In most instances, a program's grading policies are the same as the grading policies of the SUNY campus that administers the program. Overseas grades generally take between 6-12 weeks to process but can take longer.

Overseas programs operate on the calendar of the host institution abroad, which often does not match the SUNY Oswego academic calendar. Your grades must be mailed from overseas to Oswego OIEP and then a transcript supplement is created by Oswego OIEP. If you have an outstanding balance, Oswego OIEP will contact your home campus to place a hold on your account per SUNY policy.

The overseas university will send an overseas transcript to Oswego OIEP. This overseas transcript  will normally indicate the courses taken abroad, the number of credits earned for each course, and the grade for each course. These grades will appear in the format used by the overseas university. The grades will be converted by Oswego OIEP to the SUNY Oswego grading equivalents. Some overseas universities may provide students a copy of their grades directly. This student copy is not your official SUNY transcript. It also cannot be used by Oswego OIEP to produce your official transcript.

Transcripts and financial obligations

Oswego OIEP will not issue a transcript of grades for an overseas academic program it administers until all financial obligations incurred by the participant are met. This includes obligations incurred overseas (overdue rent, library fines, unpaid telephone bills) as well as financial obligations to Oswego OIEP.

Grade appeals

Oswego OIEP reports grades earned by students in the overseas programs that it administers by means of the SUNY Transcript Supplement. The transcript supplement is sent to the student’s home campus.

Grades reported by Oswego OIEP are those assigned by overseas program director or host institution.  Grade appeals are based on the regulations of the host institution.

In all instances of appeals of grades earned in overseas academic programs administered by the Oswego OIEP, the student bears the whole responsibility of substantiating the basis for a grade appeal. Participants are therefore advised to keep copies of all assignments and records to prove that these assignments were done, were turned in, and/or that exams were taken. 

A student who wishes to appeal a grade should begin the appeal process prior to departing from the host site abroad, if possible.  The normal appeal process (after all remedies at the host institution have been exhausted) moves to Oswego OIEP to be reviewed by the Associate Provost/Director of Oswego OIEP.

Termination and grades

Students expelled from participation after the start of the program will be addressed according to the grading policy as set forth in the SUNY Oswego undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

CREDITS

Transferability of credits

The credits earned by participants in Oswego OIEP overseas academic programs are awarded by the State University of New York at Oswego.  Oswego is a comprehensive college of the State University of New York system, accredited by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  The Middle States Association is the only one of the nine regional accrediting agencies of the US Commissions on Higher Education that evaluates overseas academic programs. The purpose of these Middle States evaluations is to ensure the maintenance of high academic standards.  Oswego OIEP overseas academic programs have been regularly evaluated by the Middle States Association and granted its highest rating.

Students are enrolled at a SUNY campus during the overseas program, so the credits they earn are SUNY credits. Oswego students participating in other SUNY programs will receive both credit and grades for their semester abroad. Other SUNY and Non-SUNY students on an Oswego program must check with their home campus to find out how the SUNY credits earned on an Oswego OIEP overseas academic program will transfer back to their campuses.

Applicability of credit

Participants should be aware that:

  1. The credits earned in a SUNY overseas academic program will always count toward the total number of credits needed to graduate from a SUNY college or university center.

  2. The credits earned in a SUNY overseas academic program will usually be counted as meeting the SUNY campus residency requirement (typically, students must earn 24 of the last 30 hours of their degrees at the campus that awards the degree).

If you intend to use specific courses taken abroad to fulfill any part of the requirements in your major, you must consult with your academic advisor or your major department and receive prior approval from that department.  Be sure to get such approval in writing following Oswego’s, or your home campus, academic process. 

Level of credits

Many of the credits earned in an Oswego OIEP overseas academic program are upper division credit. For SUNY Oswego students, course equivalencies are determined by academic advisors and/or department chairs using the course approval form. Non-Oswego and Non-SUNY students should contact their home campus study abroad office about the course approval process. 

Graduate credit

Oswego offers a few overseas academic programs specifically designed for graduate study, and individual courses in other overseas academic programs. If the department in which the graduate student is matriculated agrees to accept the credits earned in an Oswego OIEP overseas program toward the graduate degree, arrangements can be made to enroll the student in appropriate courses.  Usually, graduate programs allow no more than six graduate credits to be earned outside the department awarding the degree.