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Alternative Funding Options

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Yale offers resources to help students fund study, work, research, and other porjects both domestically and abroad. However, not all experiences may be funded fully. Students should therefore prepare to supplement their expenses with other sources of fudning, including self-funding.

It is important to consider all expenses related to a project or program you would like to pursue. This may be helpful in directing your fellowship search, as well as budgeting for any expenses that may not be covered by fellowships or other sources of funding.

Things to consider when planning a fellowship project or experience:

  • Research the cost of living in the location of your experience, as well as costs in other locations that could serve as alternatives.
  • Use a budget sheet to compare costs when considering multiple options.
  • Look for programs that provide living stipends or lodging with host families.

Part-time Employment

Students may be able to raise a significant amount of money to cover their expenses by working part-time.

For help in finding work opportunities, see:

As most summer experiences through CIPE are 8-10 weeks long, the opportunity for part-time work (at Yale or elsewhere) before and/or after these experiences is a definite possibility with enough planning and commitment. Students might be particularly interested in earning money by working for Commencement and Yale College Reunions in May and June.


With any type of fundraising, it is important to be specific about: 

  1. How you intend to spend the funds (including airfare, program fees, tuition, personal travel, housing, food, and any other costs), and
  2. What outcomes you expect should you be able to undertake the experience.

Consider reaching out to your family and closest friends. Think about them as potential investors in your future. As such, they should be given the benefit of a formal presentation of your budget and the expected educational benefits of your proposed activity. Preparing and delivering this presentation will provide valuable experience.

Tip: Some ideas:

  • Suggest that instead of any upcoming holiday and birthday gifts, you are requesting financial gifts or loans for a specific experience with specific goals.
  • Ask for a donation of frequent flyer miles, which could help you manage travel costs. Most airlines allow frequent flyer members to share their miles, but check airlines' policies to confirm.

External fundraising

Beyond asking family and friends to invest financially in an experience, students should also consider fundraising more broadly. Some ideas:

  • A fundraising event / Crowdfunding
  • An event where you (and possibly some friends) provide instruction for a few hours (yoga, knitting, karate, dance, computer skills, etc.) and solicit donations for this instruction

Student Loans

There are a number of loan options available to students. Information on available loans, including a Yale student loan option, is available on the Financial Aid website.

If you decide to take out a loan, remember to talk to your family in advance. Some loans require a co-signer, most often a parent or guardian. In addition, a family member may be able and willing to lend funds toward your experience.

For all loans, keep in mind the terms, including interest rates, fees, and repayment information. Loans from family members can have more favorable terms, but be sure to write up your loan agreement to avoid misunderstandings. Treat such loans with the same seriousness and commitment to repayment that you would for any other formal loan.

Note: If you have additional loan questions about a loan you are considering, please contact Student Financial Services at (203) 432-2700.

Self-funding Success

Quote: The key to self-funding your study abroad experience is planning ahead. Although some programs do not return acceptance decisions until April, lining up funding should begin as soon as you submit your application.

From a Yale student who self-funded her int'l experience