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About Budgets

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Tip: The ISA is intended to cover a percentage of a program's set budget. It will not cover all expenses of a student's experience abroad. Even after careful planning and budgeting, please be aware that unexpected costs may arise. All students–even students with 100% need–should plan to contribute at least some of their own money toward program and related expenses.

TOC: About Budgets

What is covered?

The ISA includes stipends for the anticipated cost of both billed and unbilled expenses, and is disbursed as a single lump sum. Please refer to Program Budgets to see the exact budgeted totals for these categories for study abroad programs. ISA budgets can be broken down into the following categories:

Airfare

A standard regional rate based on averages of economy flights from multiple US departure sites and departure/return dates.

Tuition

Includes student fees, course fees, and deposits that are deducted from total tuition owned. Students not able to cover a deposit before ISA funds disburse should contact Nicole Rothfuss (nicole.rothfuss@yale.edu) to request a deferral of payment letter.  APPLICATION FEES ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT AND ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ISA. 

Books

If CIPE can identify course materials (including required text books but not including general supplies like notebooks) from available program materials, these will be included in the program budget. Students may petition CIPE for expenses found on their syllabi but not included in the program budget.

Room

For programs with available housing options, the budget accounts for the most expensive option, though students are not obligated to select this option for themselves. For programs with no set housing options, housing is calculated based on an average of available data for short-term rentals.

Board (food)

For programs with available meal options, the budget accounts for the most expensive option, though students are not obligated to select this option for themselves. For programs with no set meal options, or programs where only some meals are provided, food budgets are calculated based on the best available cost of living and per diem rate data. Students should plan to spend some money out of pocket on food, especially if they plan to eat out multiple times per week instead of cooking.

Local transportation

If course components require local transportation (such as train fare for required class trips), this transportation is factored into program budgets.

Miscellaneous 

This category includes (non-expedited) visa fees, certain health expenses, and $100 to defray incidental expenses. The health costs covered are required vaccinations (not just recommended) for "all" and "most travellers" by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as well as any health costs required by specific programs (e.g. a program in a tropical location which requires students to take anti-malarial pills to participate).

If your costs significantly exceed the budgeted amount, please contact isa@yale.edu with your program information and supporting documentation.

How are budgets created?

Budgets are set by the Center for International and Professional Experience working in collaboration with Yale Study Abroad. 

Point: The maximum ISA funding amount for the Summer 2021 cycle is capped at $14,935.00, even for programs with costs beyond the cap amount.

Airfare is determined based on averages from the best available flight information, using data from a variety of US departure cities and departure/return dates. Airfare budgets are set as an average and prices will rise as the program start date approaches, so students should be aware that their actual airfare expense may be more (or less) than the amount noted in their program budget. Except in extreme extenuating circumstances, these overages are the responsibility of the student.

Set expenses, such as tuition and room & board fees set by individual programs, are determined based on available information from those programs. In cases where there are multiple housing options for a given program, the budget accounts for the most expensive option (though students are not obligated to select that option for themselves). If a student is participating in a program with additional fees (such as costs associated with a mandatory field trip), it is the students' responsibility to provide that information and documentation to isa@yale.edu at the time of their application.

For programs where housing and/or meals are not provided in whole or in part (e.g. academic programs that only provide breakfast), budgets are determined based on the best available cost of living data gathered from the State Department and several housing resources. Food budgets are not meant to account for eating out at every meal; students are expected to eat at least some meals at home. 

Petitioning for budget adjustments

Students may petition for budget adjustments in extenuating circumstances such as extreme cost outliers for airfare or book expenses not incuded in their original budget.

Students wishing to petition for an adjustment to their budget should email ISA@yale.edu with the following information:

  • Program
  • Explanation of cost in excess of budget
  • Supporting documentation (e.g. screenshot of available airfares, syllabus and links to purchase required books)

Requests not containing all pertinent information will not be considered. Decisions regarding budget adjustments will be made on a case by case basis and students can expect a decision within 5 business days.

Please keep in mind that the ISA will not cover all expenses of a student's experience abroad. Even after careful planning and budgeting, please be aware that unexpected costs may arise. All students–even students with 100% need–should plan to contribute at least some of their own money toward program and related expenses.

Student​s Receiving Scholarships or Fellowships

Students cannot receive more than 100% of the total program budget as outlined in the Budgets Database. In situations where ISA and fellowship, and/or scholarship funding exceed 100% of the total program cost, the ISA amount will be reduced so that the student does not receive from all sources more than 100% of the program budget. If students elects to use any part of their ISA, even if their budget has been reduced due to scholarship or fellowship funding, they are not eligible to use an ISA stipend in a future summer.

Point: Example: A student is participating in a $10,000 ISA-eligible program and is on 70% aid, so their ISA funding is calculated to be $7,000. If this student receives a $5,000 fellowship to help fund their experience, their ISA will be reduced to $5,000 so that their total funding does not exceed the $10,000 budget. They will receive a $5,000 ISA and their $5,000 fellowship.

If a student is named the recipient of a fellowship or scholarship after they have submitted their application for ISA funding, it is the obligation of the student to inform the ISA Committee of this additional funding via email, even if the student does not believe that the amount of funding received will impact their final ISA amount.

If a student is receiving summer funding for an experience separate from their ISA-funded experience, it is in the student's best interest to inform the ISA Committee via email in order to prevent delays in the disbursal of ISA funds to the student.

Required Use of Funds

Students who receive an ISA are required to use the money for the purposes for which it was granted. Students who withdraw from funded programs and activities will be required to repay Yale the amount of their award. Likewise, federal funds received for summer programs may also have to be returned in accordance with federal regulations.

Students whose summer course or courses are funded entirely or in part by the International Study Award (ISA) may not elect to withhold or suppress from their Yale transcript either the credits or the grades earned from the course or courses abroad. ISA recipients who withhold or suppress the credit or grade from their Yale transcript will be asked to return their ISA funds and the case may be sent to ExComm.

Taxability

Under federal tax law, a scholarship or fellowship provided to a student in a degree granting program is generally taxable. If you are a candidate for a degree, however, you can exclude from taxable income that part of the award used to pay the costs of tuition, required fees, books, equipment and supplies (required fees, books, equipment and supplies are limited to those specifically required of all students in a course). You cannot exclude from taxable income any part of the grant used for other purposes, such as room and board. Please refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, Section 1, Scholarship, Fellowships, Grants and Tuition Reductions and the IRS tax guide for students, Taxable Income for Students. While CIPE cannot offer tax advice, the IRS Tax Office on Court Street does offer free tax advice to students.

Additional tax requirement for international students

Please note that you must complete certain forms at the International Tax Office before receiving the ISA. If you have not already done so, please make an appointment at Yale's International Tax Office.