Financial Aid

SFS Awards a Generous Amount of Need-Based Aid Each Year.

SFS works closely with your home school to help you fund your SFS program. Many applicants receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program. All students are welcome to apply for our need-based financial aid. Students who exhibit financial need for their program will be offered SFS financial aid.

  • SFS Semester scholarships range between $500-$7,500
  • SFS Summer scholarships range between $500-$5,000.

Applying for Financial Aid

Students can apply for SFS financial aid once they have been accepted to a program but are encouraged to work on their financial aid application prior to being accepted so that they will be ready to submit the necessary items as soon as possible upon acceptance.

Download the SFS Financial Aid Application

If you are an international student and/or unable to complete a FAFSA, please use this financial aid application here.

Things to Know Before Applying

  • All SFS financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loan options) is need-based. SFS does not offer any merit-based scholarships. SFS will use the information provided on this application to determine your level of financial need and will offer aid based on that assessment.
  • In order to complete the following application, you must have a FAFSA on file with your home institution. Please contact SFS Billing for further instructions if you are an international student or are not currently enrolled in a college/university.
  • Be sure to ask your study abroad office or financial aid office what financial aid resources might be available at your home institution to support study abroad. It is your responsibility to understand the requirements, deadlines, and additional offerings of your home institution regarding financial aid for study abroad.

A Complete Aid Application Includes

  • Proof of home school Financial Aid search fees
  • SFS Financial Aid Application

How to submit: Students can upload the financial aid application items to their portal via the checklist once accepted to a program.

Financial Aid Application Review Schedule

Applications for SFS financial aid are reviewed in batches twice per month, starting on the dates listed below (check which applies to your session). Early submissions are encouraged, as aid is subject to the availability of funds.

Summer Programs: Review begins in February

Fall Programs: Review begins in April

Spring Programs: Review begins in September

SCholarships & Loans

Students who submit an SFS Financial Aid application will automatically be considered for the following scholarships, grants, and loans. See instructions in individual scholarship drop-downs below.

SFS Scholarships

General Grant

All students are eligible to apply for this need-based award. SFS will work with you and your home school to understand and meet your financial need.

HBCU Scholarship

In pursuit of our mission to educate the next generation of environmental leaders, SFS automatically awards students from HBCUs $5,000 for semester programs, and $2000 per summer session. Students do not need to apply. HBCU Students are invited to apply for additional need-based aid.

Trailblazer Grant

The SFS Trailblazer Grant is available to students who are the first from their home institution to attend an SFS program.

The Andreas Family Scholarship Fund

The Andreas Family Scholarship Fund, made possible by the generosity of the Andreas family, focuses on providing financial aid to students in U.S. public schools who are academically eligible, but may not be able to afford our programs. The Fund’s goal is to reduce barriers and broaden the range of students who participate in SFS programs.

Pell Grant Match Scholarship

SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students using their Pell Grant to help pay for the cost of an SFS semester program. Students must complete the SFS Financial Aid Application in order to receive this award. The total award package is not limited to the amount of the Pell Grant; you will also be considered for additional scholarships, travel grants, and loans offered by SFS that could enhance this award.

Diversity Scholarship

SFS was founded with the belief that stewardship of our planet is the responsibility of people around the world and that addressing complex global issues requires the active inclusion of stakeholders with varying perspectives and identities.

We recognize that to successfully address threats to our planet, we must look beyond social constructs designed to divide us. Just as we value biodiversity in all its forms, we value diversity in perspective – both from people in the countries where we work and from students who join us in the field.

Climate change has a disproportionate impact on low-income communities, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations in the U.S. and around the world. In order to address some of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, SFS seeks to train and amplify the voices of students who represent those communities.

Students from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad are encouraged to apply for the SFS Diversity Scholarship. Eligibility includes but is not limited to those who identify as a racial or ethnic minority, members of the LGBTQ+ community, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, and students from all underrepresented groups or underserved communities.

Heritage Scholarship

This scholarship is available for students with a cultural and ancestral connection to the country in which they plan to study abroad with SFS. This scholarship will help students explore this heritage within the context of environmental research.

Travel Grant

SFS offers a limited number of travel grants to qualified students to help offset the personal cost of travel to SFS programs. Students are reimbursed for travel at or below the level of the grant once they arrive on program.

Endowed Scholarships

Jillian Wiener Memorial Scholarship Fund

Honors the exceptional life of Jillian “Jilly” Wiener, a member of the spring 2022 Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) program at SFS. Preference is given to the TCI program applicant who best exemplifies Jilly’s commitment to the marine environment, and her leadership, courage, and service to others.

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Stephen F. Lee Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of Stephen F. Lee, an SFS alumnus (FL ‘86), intern (HI ’87, ’88) and faculty member (HI ’89), this scholarship gives preference to applicants seeking a marine program (Turks & Caicos or Panama).

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Heather Jo Leibowitz Memorial Scholarship

Honoring the memory of Heather Jo (KY ’04), this scholarship is awarded to students hoping to attend a Tanzania or Kenya program. Preference is given to those who have an interest, as Heather Jo did, in learning about and contributing to local communities in Tanzania or Kenya.

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McKee Scholarship

This endowed scholarship was made possible by the generosity of Charles D. McKee, a member of the SFS Board of Trustees and father of two SFS alumnae. It is awarded on an annual basis.

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Tozer Scholarship

This endowed scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Trustee W. James Tozer Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth.

Fountain Scholarship

The Fountain Scholarship was established by the film director of The Fountain, The Whale, The Wrestler and Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky (KY ’85; AK ’86). It provides tuition assistance to those SFS applicants who (a) have spent most of their lives in an urban environment, whether in the U.S. or abroad; (b) demonstrate financial need; and (c) demonstrate a commitment to and concern for environmental issues.

Roy A. Hunt Foundation Scholarship

This endowed scholarship was made possible through the generosity of The Roy A. Hunt Foundation. Priority is given to 1st generation college students.

SFS General Scholarship Fund

Gifts that contribute to the SFS General Scholarship Fund provide the essential need-based financial aid for our talented students. We are grateful for your generosity in supporting the next generation of environmental leaders.

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SFS zero interest loans

Zero-interest loans are made possible through the generosity of the Merck Family Fund. Loans of up to $2,400 are available for semester and summer combined programs. These loans must be repaid within two years of program completion. Loans of up to $1,200 are available for single summer sessions and must be repaid within one year of program completion.

sfs low interest loans

This low-interest loan program is designed to assist summer and semester students to bridge the gap between current financial resources and total program cost. This is a loan of up to $3,000 for a single summer program, up to $5,000 for summer combined programs, and up to $7,500 for semester programs. This loan must be repaid within four years of program completion.

External Scholarship Opportunities

The funding opportunities below are non-SFS scholarship opportunities; they are not administered by SFS. Please apply directly to the organizations and contact them with any questions you may have. The list does not include awards that may be available through your home school, local foundations, and for-profit companies. The links below provide additional details, such as application requirements, specific award amounts, and advice for submitting a strong application.

As you consider these and other funding opportunities, please be cautious of online scholarship scams. Be suspicious of sites or services that charge a fee to locate scholarships or guarantee grants that seem too good to be true.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Offers grants of up to $5,000 for undergraduate international experiences, targeting students who have been traditionally underrepresented in education abroad and who already receive federal Pell Grants. The Gilman could be a particularly good fit for SFS students because it is designed for students who choose non-traditional study abroad locations, as well as students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering.

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Boren Awards for International Study

Boren Awards for International Study provide substantial financial support for American undergraduate students who wish to work in the national security arena. Particularly applicable to SFS students is Boren’s broad definition of national security, including the challenges of global society, such as sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. Award recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. All SFS semester programs are eligible except SFS Australia; SFS summer programs are ineligible.

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Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA)

Freeman-ASIA supports U.S. students with demonstrated financial need and limited prior experience in East and Southeast Asia. Students accepted to the SFS program in Cambodia may be eligible for this award. Awards range from $3,000 per student for summer study and $5,000 per semester. Students should consult the Freeman-ASIA website for eligibility requirements, full application instructions, and deadlines.

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Fund for Education Abroad

FEA provides grants and scholarships for students participating in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs.  FEA is an especially good opportunity for SFS students because of its focus on non-traditional destinations and underrepresented groups, including STEM majors.

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Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Program

Phi Kappa Phi awards 50 grants of $1,000 each to undergraduate student applicants. Recipients must be attending a U.S. university that has a Phi Kappa Phi chapter, but do not necessarily need to be members. Eligible students may be from any major but must meet a competitive GPA requirement.

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Other Funding Opportunities

International Student Loans

International Student Loans are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are planning to study abroad through a school-sanctioned study abroad program at either the undergraduate or graduate level, while still attending an approved school within the U.S.

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USA Study Abroad

USA Study Abroad Lists study abroad scholarships and general education scholarships that can be applied toward study abroad experiences.

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Fund for Education Abroad Award

Fund for Education Abroad Award FEA provides scholarships to students from underrepresented groups in study abroad. Awards reach $5,000 for semester programs and $3,500 for summer programs.

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Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador Program

The Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador Program offers the opportunity for you to document your study abroad experience through videos, photos, social media, and blog posts, for a stipend of $500.

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Diverse International Women of Color (DIWC) Scholarship

A Study Abroad Scholarship of $500 for women of color.

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