Financial Administration

Study Abroad Programs (F45)

Revised: October 2001


  1. Definition

    Study abroad programs are all educational programs that take place outside the geographical boundaries of the United States. This includes both credit and noncredit programs.

  2. Background

    Study abroad programs have historically been funded through a variety of mechanisms. There is a need to standardize the financial policy and procedures for study abroad programs in the UW System.

  3. Policy

    In order to increase student access to UW study abroad programs and minimize the cost of student participation, study abroad programs will be financed on a cost recovery basis. Students studying abroad will be exempt from paying the Board of Regents' approved academic fees. Instead they will be assessed a fee which will recover the actual, reasonable, and necessary costs of the program which are not covered by GPO. Such fees will be deposited to Fund 128.

    Costs which are appropriately funded from the institution's GPO budget may continue to be funded from the GPO budget. This determination will be made on an annual basis at the institutional level.

    One-for-one exchange students will continue to pay regular Regents' approved academic fees on behalf of the incoming exchange visitors who carry UW courses.

    Each institution will estimate its annual funding requirement in the Annual Operating Budget. This will allow for the transfer of unneeded program revenue budget authority among the institutions so that requests to the state for increased expenditure authority would be made only when total System income exceeds budget estimates.

    Students enrolled in credit study abroad programs shall be reported for CDR purposes but will not be counted toward the institution's enrollment management target.

  4. Procedures

    1. The financing for all study abroad programs must be handled through Fund 128. Fees shall be deposited in Fund 128 within seven (7) days of receipt.

    2. Every student participating in a study abroad program shall be assessed a comprehensive fee that recovers costs associated with the program, as listed in Section V below ("Calculation of Comprehensive Study Abroad Program Fee").

    3. For credit programs, an institution shall develop the fee in a manner that differentiates between Wisconsin resident and nonresident status, reflecting the level of GPO-supported and in-kind services provided to the program. That differential shall be no greater than the difference between resident and nonresident fees at the institution. The minimum fee charged, exclusive of student personal costs, for any participant in a credit program shall be no less than the resident fee rate at that institution.

    4. For noncredit programs, the fee shall be the same for all participants, regardless of residency.

    5. In consortial programs between two or more UW institutions, the fee structure shall be the same.

    6. All funds, including interest income, generated by study abroad programs will be retained by the institution to be used exclusively for study abroad programming activities and their development.

    7. Any cash balances remaining at the end of the fiscal year will be carried forward to the next fiscal year by the individual institutions, to be used for study abroad programming. A reasonable reserve may be maintained by each institution to offset negative balances and to cover contingencies and emergencies of study abroad programs.

    8. Institutions shall establish refund policies, subject to review by System Administration. Students shall be notified of refund policies, and other conditions related to program participation, prior to acceptance.

    9. Students enrolled in credit study abroad programs shall be reported for CDR purposes but will not be counted toward the institution's enrollment management target.

  5. Calculation of the Comprehensive Study Abroad Program Fee

    1. At a minimum, the comprehensive fee shall include, but not be limited to, the following, as applicable to the operating costs of each study abroad program:

      1. Tuition and costs charged by foreign institutions;

      2. Salaries and fringe benefit costs, and local taxes where applicable, for direct instruction (instructors, co-instructors, assistants, etc., or the cost of purchased services if appropriate);

      3. Salaries and fringe benefits for program resident directors and faculty, including replacement costs, to the extent that such funds are not provided by university departments to support the program;

      4. Appropriate expenses of program personnel, including instructors and resident directors, but not their accompanying family members;

      5. Instructional program-related supplies and expenses (guest lectures, honoraria, equipment/facilities rental, program assessment and other direct administrative expenses);

      6. Fees for mandatory health, accident, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance;

      7. Student personal costs (if not handled directly by the student); examples include carfare, housing, food, international travel, local travel, excursions, and other personal expenses.

    2. The degree to which other costs associated with the administration of study abroad programs are included in the comprehensive fee is determined by institutional budget policy. If GPO funding is provided or if extramural funds are garnered to cover a part or all of these other costs, they would not be included in the comprehensive fee. Any or all of the above costs may also be met by the use of gift and grant funds raised for the program, in which case the comprehensive fee would be reduced accordingly.

  6. Exceptions

    Exceptions to any aspect of this policy may be made only by the Chancellor or delegated designee. Designation of the delegated designee should be in writing and maintained in the proper office. Documentation justifying exceptions shall be maintained at the institution.