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Scholarships & Grants

SFS works closely with your college to help you fund a program. Even if you don’t receive aid on your home campus, you may be eligible for SFS financial aid! Our financial aid committee compares the total cost that you pay to attend your college with the total cost of studying abroad with SFS. If there is a gap between these costs, SFS tries to meet your need. When you submit your SFS Financial Aid Application, you’re automatically considered for more than 12 scholarships, grants, and loans.


SFS Scholarships

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, Peru, and Bhutan for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, 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, 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 Scholarship
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 Grant
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 Tanzania program.  Preference is given to those who have an interest, as Heather Jo did, in learning about and contributing to the local communities in Tanzania.

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.

SFS Loans (optional)

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

Low-Interest Loan
This low-interest loan program is designed to assist summer and semester students in bridging the gap between current financial resources and total program cost. This is a loan of up to $3,000 for summer programs, up to $5,000 for summer combined and Bhutan summer, 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 that 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 that 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.

Fund for Education Abroad 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.

The Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow's global challenges by offering both funding and comprehensive leadership and intercultural development training to award recipients selected from students enrolled in one of 13 select universities and colleges across Pennsylvania. Applicants should have no previous international experience, and STEM students are strongly encouraged to apply. Three women from each participating institution are admitted into the program.

Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation Scholarship to Study Abroad supports the study abroad experience of an undergraduate student who is the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver or Gold Award.  Students of any major are eligible and must have been accepted to an accredited study abroad program.

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.

Golden Key International Honour Society offers $1 million in scholarships, including awards specifically for study abroad. Applicants must be members of the society and scholarships are posted throughout the year, each with individual deadlines and application requirements. Students of any major may apply and all SFS locations are eligible for consideration.

Foundation for Global Scholars (FGS) scholarships are awarded to U.S. citizens enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university. Of FGS’s total annual funding, 60% is allocated for students deemed underrepresented in education abroad programs. The foundation’s mission—supporting the work of students whose study abroad experience contributes to their efforts to address a global challenge—is particularly applicable to SFS students’ work with environmental problems and sustainable solutions.

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

UNESCO Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship is intended for American college/university students who express an interest in international collaboration but have no previous international experience. The fellowship is for experiences between 4 and 6 weeks and has previously been awarded only to students studying in non-traditional locations.

Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) support 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.


Other Funding Opportunities

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.

Institute of International Education provides a directory featuring detailed descriptions of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals. Search by Field of Study, Region/Country, a particular scholarship by name, or any keyword.

Diversity Abroad provides resources, including a list of scholarships and grants, available to Asian, Black, Latino and other racially diverse students, as well as first-generation, economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities.

GoAbroad scholarship advice and search tool provides a traditional search option for scholarships by country and subject.