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Tuition and Financial Aid

The School for Field Studies (SFS) awards over $350,000 in need-based scholarships and grants each year, and about 90% of students who apply for SFS aid receive it. Study abroad would not be possible for most of these students without financial assistance. SFS greatly appreciates the support of our alumni and other generous donors who make this possible through their contributions to the SFS general grant fund and endowed scholarships.

SFS also offers a zero-interest and low-interest loan program. Many applicants receive aid through their home schools or other outside sources. You may qualify for SFS assistance even if you are not receiving aid from your home school.

SFS aid is subject to the availability of funds. The quality of the information provided by the student is critical to the proper assessment and subsequent award of any aid. Students should apply for aid as soon as possible. Complete financial aid applications are reviewed once students are accepted to an SFS program. Incomplete applications are not considered. Please call the SFS Admissions Hotline at 800.989.4418 if you have any questions about the application process.

A growing number of schools allow students to take institutional financial aid off-campus. Check with your financial aid office to see what aid you can apply to your SFS program. We encourage you to investigate applying for federal financial aid funds, including loans through your home school. Because the credits you earn for your SFS participation will, in all likelihood, be applied toward your degree, your school should be able to process a Stafford Loan to assist your SFS participation. If you encounter difficulty in arranging to use federal financial aid funds for your SFS program, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.


I would like to thank The School for Field Studies for its generous support, without which I would not have been able to participate in this amazing program.        


Application Instructions

The complete aid application is due at least 60 days before the program begins for semester applicants, and at least 30 days before the program begins for summer applicants. You may only apply for financial aid after being accepted to an SFS program.

Click here to download the SFS Financial Aid Application

PART I: To be completed and signed by the student.

PART II: To be completed by the home school financial aid office.

  • Meet with a financial aid office representative at your home institution to discuss your intent to study with SFS.
  • You must have a FAFSA on file with your home institution in order to be considered for SFS financial aid. Please contact your SFS Admissions Counselor for further instructions if you are an international student or not currently enrolled in a college/university.
  • Only your home institution office can tell you what types of aid may be applied to an SFS program and what you need to do in order to apply them.
  • Be sure to ask your study abroad office or financial aid office what additional 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.



General Grants
All students are eligible to apply for these need-based awards. SFS will work with you and your home school to understand and meet your financial need.

Trailblazer Grants
These grants, currently available for students enrolling in the semester programs in Cambodia/Vietnam, Peru, and Bhutan for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, will be awarded on the basis of need and may supplement other awards of SFS need-based scholarships, travel grants, and zero- or low-interest loans. Students will be automatically considered for Trailblazer Grants once they are accepted to the Cambodia/Vietnam, Peru, or Bhutan program and after submitting an application for SFS financial aid.

The Andreas Family Fund
Through the generosity of the Andreas family, we offer scholarships through the Andreas Family Scholarship Fund which focuses on providing financial aid to students in US 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 Award
SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for all SFS semester programs to students who use their Pell Grant to help pay the cost of their SFS 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 seeks to broaden and strengthen the participation of traditionally underrepresented minority students in all of its programs. Creating an inclusive and diverse student body is of utmost importance. The SFS Diversity Scholarship is one of the ways we broaden the participation of underrepresented groups of students in study abroad. For SFS, underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, students who identify with a certain race, sex, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran status. Underrepresented groups also include first generation college students and students from low income families.  In order to be considered for the need-based Diversity Scholarship, please attach a personal statement to your SFS Financial Aid Application to explain how your participation in an SFS program would broaden the diversity of the program.

Heritage Scholarship
This need-based 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. In order to be considered for our need-based Heritage Scholarship, please attach a personal statement to your SFS Financial Aid Application indicating how you qualify for this award.

Travel Grants
SFS offers a limited number of travel grants to qualified students to help offset the personal cost of travel to SFS programs. If a student is awarded an SFS travel grant, travel arrangements must be made through SFS’ recommended travel agency (Advantage Travel).

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).

Heather Jo Leibowitz Memorial Scholarship
Honoring the memory of Heather Jo (KY ’04), this scholarship is awarded on the basis of need to applicants of the East Africa program.  Preference is given to those who have a commitment, as Heather Jo did, to making a difference in the lives of resource-dependent communities in East Africa.

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 to a financially deserving student.

Tozer Scholarship
This endowed scholarship was made possible through the generosity of former Trustee W. James Tozer Jr. and his wife, Elizabeth. The Tozer Scholarship is awarded on the basis of need.

Fountain Scholarship
The Fountain Scholarship was established by the film director of The Fountain, 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 US 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. It is awarded on the basis of need.

Loans (optional)

Semester students offered aid may choose one of the loans below. The zero-interest loan is the only loan offered to summer students.

Zero-Interest Loans
Zero-interest loans are made possible through the generosity of the Merck Family Fund. Semester loans of up to $2,400 must be repaid within two years and summer loans of up to $1,200 must be repaid within one year of program completion.

Low-Interest Loans
This low-interest loan program is designed to assist semester students in bridging the gap between current financial resources and total program cost. This loan of up to $5,000 must be repaid within four years.


I can honestly say that traveling abroad would not have been an option without the scholarship that I was offered. From the very beginning I knew that my time studying with The School for Field Studies would be a once in a lifetime experience, and something that you simply cannot have inside a lecture hall at home.        

Tuition Deposit Refund Information

All tuition payments are non-refundable except in cases where SFS financial aid is sought and the subsequent award is inadequate. In order to qualify for refund status, you must:

  • Submit tuition deposit within 10 business days of your date of acceptance;
  • Complete and return the financial aid application at least 60 days before your program begins (30 days for summer applicants);
  • Decline your offer of SFS financial aid within 10 business days of the financial aid award date.

SFS financial aid resources are subject to the availability of funds.