Pop Quiz - How Early Can Funds For Study Abroad Be Disbursed?


A school has a student participating in study abroad for course credit during its winter intersession in January. There is a consortium agreement in place. The study abroad program requires the student to pay the cost in full prior to the start of the program on January 1st.  The payment schedule requires a deposit in October and full remaining balance due in December.  Can the school disburse the Parent PLUS loan according to the payment schedule?


No. Even though the home school may calculate the student's Title IV awards based on the enrollment period beginning and ending dates of the home school's academic calendar, the school may choose to disburse Title IV funds based on either the host school's calendar or the home school's calendar, within the timeframes specified in the cash management regulations. ED stated that this flexibility is allowed to facilitate payment of educational costs, such as tuition, housing, and/or travel costs. Any restrictions on the earliest date that a disbursement can be made would be triggered by the actual first day of classes under the school calendar being used. See 34 CFR 668.164.

Assuming this is a credit-hour program offered in terms, the earliest the school could disburse the PLUS is ten days before the first day of the classes of the payment period, which depends on whether the home school or host school calendar is being used.


Publication Date: 10/31/2023

Perry D | 10/31/2023 10:31:02 AM

Did the 30-day exception study abroad courses go away. I had always read disbursement can be ten days before classes start, but there is a provision for study abroad that allows loans to be disbursed thirty days before classes begin. (I have not been at a school where this has been a problem for a few years, so I have not rad up on that much lately. We usually try to get the student to borrow extra for the preceding term in order to have the funds for the early trip payments.

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