Semester-Long Travel Financial Aid and Billing Policy

  • Foreign travel contact: Dr. Steven Mills
  • Washington D.C. semester: Dr. Brad Best

Students interested in a travel opportunity should make contact well in advance of the travel semester. Available funding is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The professor in charge of arrangements will notify the appropriate offices of your intent to travel. Students not traveling through an existing BVU agreement, should determine if an individual consortium agreement will be needed; please see below for additional information.

The following are some of the steps students should keep in mind as they plan a travel experience:

  • File for financial aid using the FAFSA, keeping the critical deadlines in mind: June 1 for SEOG and College Work-Study consideration and July 1 for Iowa Tuition Grant consideration (Iowa residents only).
  • If you will experience additional expenses, ask the contact above to itemize those costs (include things like airfare and lodging or meals not covered in charges). These expenses may be added to your normal expenses for the semester to reach a more accurate cost of attendance.
  • Notify the Office of Financial Assistance if you will receive a travel stipend, such as the Henry Olsen Scholarship or funds from another institution. Dr. Best will let us know if a student traveling to Washington, D.C. will receive Lamberti funds.
  • If your plans change and you do not travel, please notify the Office of Financial Assistance and the Business Office.
  • Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for answers to any financial aid questions and the Business Office for any billing questions.
  • Have a wonderful travel experience!

Financial Aid and Billing Guide

Buena Vista University offers opportunities for students to spend time away from campus in various learning opportunities. This should guide students and faculty/staff in the steps that should be taken to ensure a comfortable transition away from campus for the semester experience.

In most cases, a consortium agreement will be necessary in cases in which a student wishes to receive financial assistance for the travel experience. This is normally required because the student will not be considered degree-seeking at the host institution and cannot, therefore, receive federal aid at that school. Normally, it is the home institution that must provide financial assistance.

To date, we are aware of the following available opportunities:

  1. Travel abroad
    1. Approved through the BVU Travel Abroad Coordinator for travel under one of the existing umbrella consortium agreements
      1. Student meet the published deadline for application
      2. Student did not meet the published deadline for application
    2. Approved through the BVU Travel Abroad Coordinator for travel but not under one of the existing umbrella consortium agreements
    3. Not approved through the BVU Travel Abroad Coordinator
  2. Semester at Sea Program
  3. Second City-Columbia College Experience
  4. Washington Center Experience in Washington D.C.

Travel Abroad

The BVU Travel Abroad Coordinator will provide a list of those students that have been approved for a semester abroad to the Office of Financial Assistance and Business Office prior to the experience. He/she will indicate the program (school or other organization) under which the student will be traveling. He/she will also indicate if the student met the applicable deadline and will also indicate the amount of institutional aid that may be used for the travel expenses.

Students that are approved for travel abroad, have met the deadline, and will travel under an umbrella consortium agreement may be allowed to use some institutional aid (applicable gift and loan) for the experience and will be charged current BVU tuition and room and board charges. The host institution will bill BVU for the appropriate expenses, which will be paid from the BVU charges paid by the student. The student will remain responsible for any charges that remain. Students who will not travel under an existing consortium agreement may use institutional aid in the amount specified by the travel coordinator, but federal and state aid cannot be provided until the host school has returned the appropriate consortium agreement. In both situations where there is an approved experience, the student will remain enrolled as a BVU student. Once a transcript is received for the credit earned through the travel experience, that credit will replace BVU credit on a transcript.

Students that have been approved for travel, but have either failed to meet the application deadline for study abroad or will be participating in the Semester at Sea Program or the Columbia College Second City Program, will have the option of remaining a BVU student for the semester, in which case, the student will be billed for current BVU tuition (room and board will be charged for all travel abroad experiences but will not be charged for the Semester at Sea or Second City Program), or can chose to take a leave of absence and pay the host school’s tuition, and any applicable room and board. Those students that remain a BVU student will have credit earned through the host school/organization replace BVU credit once a transcript is received. If the student remains enrolled through BVU, we will pay the host school’s charges, as billed, from the payment made to BVU. The student will be responsible for any difference. The student will not be allowed to use institutional aid in any of these situations, but will be allowed to use federal aid, when applicable. If the student remains enrolled through BVU, they may also use state aid for the experience; state aid cannot be provided if the student doesn’t remain enrolled through BVU. If the student takes a leave of absence, he/she will not be enrolled at BVU. In all cases in which the student does not remain a BVU student, our Registrar’s Office will notify the National Student Loan Data System of the student’s exit. It is hoped that the host institution will provide a full time enrollment status to the Clearinghouse for the semester, but that is not guaranteed, especially if the school is not in the U.S.

It is assumed that even though a student may not physically be in attendance and BVU, we have nonetheless incurred expenses related to the travel experience, hence the decision to charge our rates for the semester, when applicable.

If a student decides to participate in a travel experience that has not been approved by an agent of BVU, he/she must withdraw from BVU to do so; a leave of absence would be suggested when the student wishes to return after the travel experience. It will be up to the discretion of the BVU Financial Assistance Director as to whether or not a consortium agreement is used to allow the student to receive federal aid for the travel semester. The student will not remain enrolled as a BVU student.

Washington Center Experience

Students participating in this experience will always remain enrolled with BVU. We will treat this experience much like an internship where the internship is occurring in Washington DC. The coordinating BVU official will notify the Office of Financial Assistance and the Business Office of the students who will travel. He/she will also indicate whether or not Lamberti funds will be used for the experience, along with any additional aid the student might receive from the Washington Center. These students will remain eligible for all aid, including all institutional. No consortium agreement is needed for these situations. Students will pay BVU tuition only, and will pay The Washington Center for room and board expenses. Any charges due to the Washington Center will pass through the student’s BVU account.