University of California, Irvine

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Federal School Code 001314

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Independent Programs

The Independent Programs are the link between UCI students and ANY international experience abroad that is not a part of the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP). For more information, visit the UCI Study Abroad - Independent Programs website.

Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • The program must be based out of the U.S. as the point of contact for enrollment, financial aid and the payment of fees. Aid cannot be provided if you directly enroll at a foreign university.
  • The program's duration must be a minimum of 10 weeks of instruction for a quarter-length program (at one institution) or a minimum of 15 weeks of instruction for a semester-length program (at one institution).
  • The program's minimum number of units must be 12 quarter units on a quarter-long program or 12 semester units on a semester-long program. (Note: 12 semester units will translate to 18 quarter units at UCI).

Student Eligibility Requirements:

Financial Aid eligibility criteria, including minimum unit requirements, are the same when studying abroad or studying at UCI.

First-year students are not eligible to receive financial aid for participation in Independent Programs in their first term at UCI. Students must first matriculate to the university prior to being eligible to participate.

Aid Available:

The following types of aid can be applied toward eligible Independent Programs that are approved for transfer credit to UCI:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Cal Grants
  • Federal loans
  • Private loans

For more information about these types of aid, visit this page.

Participants are not eligible for the following types of aid:

  • UCI grants
  • UCI loans
  • Federal work-study
  • Fee waivers/exemptions

Important Information:

  • It is your responsibility to pay your fees to your program or host institution. UCI will not send funds directly to your program/institution. Outstanding debts owed to your program will prevent them from releasing your transcript and this could result in a bill for all funds disbursed to you for your participation in an Independent Program.
  • Your funds will be disbursed to you when the quarter begins here at UCI. Funds cannot be disbursed earlier to meet the start date of your program enrollment period.
  • PLUS loans are disbursed when the quarter begins here at UCI via a check that is mailed to your parent. They cannot be disbursed sooner than this date. They cannot be disbursed earlier to meet the start of your program enrollment period.
  • Your financial aid award will be adjusted based on the total cost of participation in the study abroad program you choose. There are differences in the way grants, scholarships, and loans are adjusted. Your aid eligibility will ultimately be determined based on the number of quarter-units you transfer and are reflected on your official UCI Transcript. If you complete fewer quarter-units than your financial aid package is based on, you may be billed for excess funds you receive. If you fail to transfer at least 6.0 quarter-units, you will be billed for all funds you received.
  • It is your (the student's) responsibility to make sure that all of terms of the contract or consortium agreement are met and that your grades are transferred back to UC Irvine and recorded on your official transcript in a timely manner. A delay in the reporting of your grades may result in you being billed for all funds you received and may prevent you from paying fees and enrolling in subsequent terms here at UCI.

How to Apply for Independent Program:

  1. It is recommended that all study abroad participants complete a FAFSA by the priority deadline to ensure that you are considered for all types of financial aid for which you might be eligible. For more details about applying for aid, visit this page.
  2. All study abroad participants are also encouraged to investigate non-UCI scholarship opportunities and scholarship opportunities available only to Independent Programs students.

  3. After reviewing the information on this webpage, meet with an Independent Program Financial Aid Counselor in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (Tom Ma or Maria Noblejas), for further instructions and to have your financial aid questions answered. Do this before submitting your Independent Program Credit Contract.
  4. Once you have met with Tom or Maria, complete the Study Abroad Pre-Application Form and turn it in to the Study Abroad Center. Further instructions will be provided after your Pre-Application Form is received.

(Reviewed 3/01/2019 - BS)


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The State of California requires that you be told the following:
Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.