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Studying abroad can be affordable. Program costs vary greatly depending on the type and length of the program.  

Drake University offers various international program models for students, including Drake faculty-led programs, exchange programs, and affiliated programs. The type of program, as well as the length of time of the program, has an impact on the financial and billing model. Please read below about the three financial models:

Short-Term Drake Programs

Drake programs, which are typically faculty-led programs, are held during J-term and summer, and tend to be the lowest cost options in the study abroad portfolio. While they are the lowest cost options, they may also be considered an additional expense to the cost of attendance for the academic year. Drake J-term and summer international programs bill students directly for the cost of travel, but not for tuition, since the cost of tuition is included as part of Drake’s spring semester tuition (for students enrolled full-time for the spring term). Students pay the program deposits and program fees through their Drake Student Accounts (online or in-person at the Student Accounts office). Instructions are emailed to students when they are accepted into the program regarding payment amounts, methods, and deadlines.

Short-Term Affiliate and Exchange Programs

Affiliate and Exchange short-term programs typically bill students the cost of the program (tuition and non-tuition fees). Students should be aware that most Affiliate and Exchange programs do not include the cost of airfare or the cost of meals in the program (this can vary by program though). The Affiliate or Exchange program will bill you directly. Short-term affiliate international programs are assessed an Affiliate Education Abroad Fee of $300. 

Semester Programs

For semester programs, students are billed Drake University tuition, so the cost of tuition is the same whether the student is in Des Moines or abroad. Students are able to apply their financial aid packages to approved study abroad programs. While a student's tuition is the same when abroad, the non-tuition fees, like housing and international health insurance coverage, are billed at the rate of the university or program abroad. This means that depending on the city abroad, the housing can be more or less expensive than Des Moines. Students pay their billable program fees, Drake tuition and the host institution's non-tuition fees, through their Drake Student Accounts. The student's billable expenses are due the first day of Drake’s semester. Semester affiliate international programs are assessed an Affiliate Education Abroad Fee of $500. 

Additional Information

Financial Aid

Financial aid is generally available to Drake students joining approved international programs. The Student Financial Planning reviews each student's individual aid package to assess their eligibility and the amounts of aid available to them.

Drake University allows students to take 100% of their loans, grants, and scholarships on approved semester programs. The only exception is that "work study" cannot transfer to international programs.

Generally there is less financial aid available for short-term programs (like J-term and Summer), but you should speak with the Financial Aid Office if you are interested in aid for these terms. 


Students who participate in J-term or summer Drake-led programs are sent billing schedules and procedures in their acceptance message. Drake Program bills are paid through the usual method, through Drake’s Student Account Services office. Here is an explanation of payment methods:

To pay online, students can log into their, click on the "Student Account & Financial Aid" dropdown menu. From there, click on "Make a Payment," then "Deposits" near the top of the screen. Then "Select Term" and choose the term you are trying to pay for, like "J-term 2024." Then "Select Deposit Payment" and enter the amount you would like to pay (either a deposit amount or the cost of the full program). Your payment methods will be a saved payment method, e-check, debit (2.85% fee), or credit (2.85% fee).  You can also mail a check to Drake University. Please include the student's ID number in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to:

Drake University – ATTN: Cashier’s Office

2507 University Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50311

Students who apply to J-term or summer Affiliate or Exchange programs are billed by the Affiliate Partner. Students will pay the affiliate partner directly, and will need to follow their payment deadlines and methods. 

Students who participate in semester programs abroad are billed according to Drake’s typical billing cycle. Semester program bills are paid through the usual method, through Drake’s Student Account Services office. 

For Affiliate semester programs, the university abroad will let us know the cost of the non-tuition fees (like housing, international health insurance, and on-site programming fees). We will add this invoiced amount to the student’s Drake Account.

Students will pay their Affiliate application fee and/or program deposit directly to the Affiliate Partner (not to Drake). The student’s program deposit is applied toward the cost of the program and will be deducted from the student’s non-tuition fees (again, housing, health insurance coverage, and on-site programming fees).

Study Abroad Fee

Students who participate in an Affiliate program (such as AIFS, API, ASE, CIEE, IES, IFSA, ISA, SFS, SIT, and TEAN) are required to pay an education abroad fee when they "Commit" to the program in the application portal (this occurs after applying, and after being "Accepted" to the education abroad program).

For short-term Affiliate programs, such as J-term and summer, students will be billed a $300 education abroad fee when they commit. For academic year, quarter, and semester Affiliate programs, students will be billed a $500 education abroad fee when they commit. Drake University programs and Exchange programs are not impacted by the education abroad fee.

The Study Abroad Fee is in place because there is a lot of support that goes into providing Drake students with a positive study abroad experience. This includes advising on programming (from program selection to financial aid to course approvals, and more), technological services (including our application software that assists with risk management, as well as continued student access to Drake services while you are abroad, like the online library), assistance from the institution in the event of an emergency abroad, and re-entry support like processing the transcript after the student studies abroad. 

Financial Policies

Tuition Exchange or Tuition Rebate 

These programs cannot be applied toward study abroad. Students on the tuition exchange or rebate programs can typically receive Drake financial aid to assist with studying abroad. Please meet with the Financial Aid Office if you have questions. 

Study Abroad Travel Advisory Policy 

In some cases, Drake University financial aid cannot be used to support study in a country where the U.S. Department of State has issued a level 3 or level 4 advisory. Exceptions may be granted by the Provost after consultation with the Risk Assessment Committee.

Cost Structure

Learn more about the study abroad Program Guide Cost Structure.


Our office awards more than $100,000 a year in scholarships to Drake students for international experiences. Additionally, we encourage students can apply to study abroad scholarships from outside sources. Read more about scholarships options, and apply early!