Messiah University is committed to making off-campus and study abroad opportunities available to students without adding significant financial burden.
The comprehensive fee for each program is listed on their individual web page.
In addition to tuition, students will pay travel-related fees between $3,200 - $5,000.
The financial aid office will be a valuable resource as you explore your off-campus program. You will want to talk with them about any additional fees that are associated with your program to determine if you are eligible for additional aid. You can reach them at: FINAID@messiah.edu.
Messiah University students are permitted to use up to one semester of institutional financial aid at a set of approved off-campus programs. A list of these programs is available from the Intercultural Office.
Each of the semester-long program pages, lists a breakdown of what Messiah charges for students to participate. But students will want to remember that there may be additional expenses that will occur including, but not limited to:
- Course fees (for field trips, art supplies, etc)
- Food in some programs
- International flight
- Transportation around the host country
- Some optional excursions
- Spending money
Please read the policy for taking May Term Courses While Participating in Semester-Long Programs if you are considering taking a class in May during a semester that you are participating in a semester-long program. Note: there are additional fees involved.
FAQs about Off-Campus Finances
We recognize that sending your child to a semester off-campus can be a bit daunting, especially when it comes to preparing financially. Below are some of the most asked questions we've recieved from parents.
Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: Yes! All state and federal grans and loans as well as Messiah institutional aid will apply when students study with Messiah-approved off-campus study programs. Moreover, there are some additional scholarships available for students who are off-campus. The deadlines are early and the paperwork can be a bit lengthy, so students are encouraged to start early. Follow this link to a listing of some scholarships for which some Messiah students have applied.
Q: Who receives the bill for my child's semester off-campus?
A: Messiah University will receive and pay the bill from our program partner for your student's semester off-campus. When your student reigsters for their off-campus program of choice, their Messiah account will automatically be billed the amount listed in the "Costs" section of our webpage for that program. (You can find a list of the programs here. Click on the name of your student's program and then on the "Costs" drop-down box on that page for detailed information on program costs that our students are billed.) Please remember that the off-campus semester bill should be paid in full BEFORE they student leaves for their off-campus experience. If you happen to receive a statement from the program partner directly, please contact our office as you should not be getting these.
Q: Why do we get charged Messiah's tuition, room, and board when my student won't step foot on campus for an entire semester?
A: In our attempt to keep these off-campus experiences accessible to as many students as possible, we've worked on a formula to allow all of the student's financial aid package to follow them while they're off-campus for a semester at an approved program. While we don't have access to your specific financial package information, we do know the average financial aid discount at Messiah is nearly 50%. Therefore, by allowing students to take their entire financial aid package with them when they study off-campus, Messiah University is actually subsidizing the cost of this experience for the majority of our students. We always encourage students to talk directly with the Financial Aid Office about their unique package and how going off-campus might impact that.
Q: Won't it be cheaper for my child to apply through the program partner directly rather than through Messiah?
A: Not knowing the details of a student's individal's financial package, this is all dependent on individual circumstances. If you find it to be cheaper to apply directly to a program (not through Messiah), your child will need to withdraw from Messiah University. When a student does that, they no longer have access to their institutional financial aid and their academic credits for that semester transfer in (instead of being autmatically considered Messiah credits). When they withdraw from Messiah University, students also lose all student support services available to them while off-campus. You can find what that entails in the question below. Lastly, it's important to research program specifics if you choose to go this route. It's not uncommon for off-campus programs to require a student to be a full-time student at a sending institution to participate, so off-campus options may then be limited if you withdraw. In short, the decision is ultimately up to you and you'd need to communicate that to us ASAP.
Q: What are student service fees?
A: The Student Services Fee is assessed to students each semester, both on and off campus, to support the various campus services available to them. These include internet access, the Learning & Writing Centers, Career Services, Disability Services, Library, the Dept. of Safety, and other campus offices. Students studying off-campus continue to have access to these support services. In addition, students have significant support services available through the Intercultural Office and through the online information system, Terra Dotta, as well as the on-going international risk and crisis management that we provide for students studying off-campus.
Q: What's the difference between "fees" and "costs"?
A: The cost is the accumulation of all the fees: housing fee, course fee, tuition fee, student service fee, etc.
Q: What is the off-campus study fee and why is it added if we're already paying for the program?
A: The off-campus study fee helps offset the financial aid that Messiah University loses when it allows students to take their financial aid off-campus. I promise you that we're not making a profit from your child's off-campus experience!
Q: Do we get reimbursed for the deposit we pay the program partner directly?
A: Yes! We deduct the program deposit from the final cost that is billed to your student semester bill since you already paid for it on your own.
Q: What does that costs include for my child?
A: The basic breakdown of the program costs are as follows:
Messiah Tuition + Messiah Room + Messiah Board + Student Services Fee + Off-Campus Study Fee* = Total charged to student's Messiah account for that semester
*Note: Not all programs have an Off-Campus Study Fee
Q: What additional finances should I be aware of when planning for my child's semester off-campus?
A: Each program is a little different, but here are some common items not included in your final bill that's charged to your student account: visa, passport, medications/vaccinations, travel, entertainment, etc.
Q: I need an itemized bill. Who do I contact?
A: For further information regarding student bills, please contact the Director of Student Financial Services, Cathy Poiesz at her email: Cpoiesz@messiah.edu