Financial FAQs | API Study Abroad

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Interview with Joan Solaún.

API Institutional Relations team member, Emily Nagle had the opportunity to interview API’s Director of Caribbean and Latin American Programming, Joan Solaún. Joan was recently honored with the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field in honor of Marita Houlihan.  “Given Joan Solaún’s warm, vibrant character, it is no surprise that her passion for [...]

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API Financial FAQs

Why Are All Payments Due Before Program Start? Are There Any Exceptions?

API makes all arrangements for students well before your arrival onsite.

These arrangements can include securing your quality housing, submitting tuition deposits and fees at your host university, and arranging transport and lodging for orientation and excursions.

As a result, API must collect all fees prior to the start of the semester.

The only exception to this API standard is if you are using financial aid to pay for all or a portion of your final payment amount due. You must first show proof of financial aid by completing and returning API’s FAVF form. Then the amount of financial aid on your API account will be given a new due date, usually two weeks after your financial aid disbursement date.

Does API Offer Payment Plans?

No, but API does offer a final payment extension plan called the Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA), which will extend your final payment deadline to 30 days before your program start date.

Please note that the APA is not considered a payment plan as API makes all arrangements on the student’s behalf prior to the program start, and, as such, cannot grant extended payment plans past the program start date.

The APA is an optional service which can extend the final payment due date until 30 days prior to the program start date.

Step 1. Complete and return the APA form to API before or on the student’s final payment date.

Step 2. Make payment for the $1000 down payment which is put toward the final balance and the $150 APA fee.

Step 3. Make sure the $400 confirmation payment and $275 security deposit also have been paid.

Step 4. Once the APA form and these payments have been applied to the student account, look for an updated billing statement showing that your final payment deadline date has been adjusted to 30 days prior to program start.

Who might need or want the APA?

Many students who are unable to pay their program balance or provide a finalized financial aid verification form by their final payment deadline choose to sign up for the APA plan.

Please contact an API Financial Services Advisor with any questions.

Does API Charge Late Fees?

If your payment to API is not received by the due date, it is possible that your account will be charged a late fee of $180. Students will receive billing statements warning that the payment is past due. API will then inform the student that a late fee will be charged if payment is not submitted. Please always stay in contact with your Financial Services Advisor in the case that your API account is past due.A one-time late fee of $30 could be charged for each post-acceptance form that is not received by the due date.

How Do Program Payments Work?

API advises students to carefully review the following payment policies. In certain instances, a student’s home university may assume some or all of the program fees, including the application deposit and/or the confirmation payment. API urges all students to discuss the following payment policies with their home university before applying to study abroad.Note: API reserves the right to accelerate the payment schedule below or require full payment with the application depending upon the date of application and the program start date.

Application Deposit

A non-refundable $150 deposit must accompany an application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and no application is processed without the deposit. The deposit is applied to the program cost and is not an additional fee. The application deposit is non-refundable unless the student is not admitted into the API program or the API program is canceled. Failure to complete the application does not warrant a refund of the application deposit.

Confirmation Payment and Intent to Enroll Form – STUDY ABROAD

Upon acceptance into an API program, students have 1 to 2 weeks to confirm their participation in the program by submitting an Intent to Enroll (ITE) form and a non-refundable $400 confirmation payment. (Late applicant payment schedule and timelines may vary.)API cannot make any accommodations or on-site reservations on behalf of a student until the ITE form and confirmation payment have been received. The confirmation payment is applied to the program cost and is not an additional fee.Students attending universities that cover the confirmation payment are advised that only the ITE is required to confirm participation.

Once the ITE and Confirmation Payment are received, a student is confirmed for the program and is held responsible to API’s withdrawal policy. Read more about API’s withdrawal policy here.

Please note that students are not responsible for any program fees beyond the initial application deposit if they do not confirm their participation in the API program. Please contact your API program coordinator in the event a withdrawal is needed from the program.

Confirmation Payment and Intent to Enroll Form – INTERN ABROAD

After completing the API pre-placement interview, applicants have 48 hours to confirm their participation in the program by submitting an Intent to Enroll (ITE) form and a US $400 confirmation payment. The confirmation payment is applied to the program cost and is not an additional fee.

Applicants are not responsible for any program fees beyond the initial application deposit if they do not confirm their participation in the API program.

API cannot begin the internship placement search, make any accommodations or on-site reservations on behalf of a student until the ITE form and confirmation payment have been received.  Once the ITE form and the confirmation payment are received, the application will be forwarded to API’s overseas office for internship placement. The placement process typically lasts 4-8 weeks, but can take longer in some circumstances. In rare situations, if API cannot place the applicant into a suitable internship, the confirmation deposit of US $400 will be refunded.

Applicants will be provided with information regarding the internship placement found on their behalf. Once a placement has been offered, the applicant will have 48 hours to review and accept the internship placement offer. A payment of $1,000 is also due within 48 hours from the time an internship placement is extended. This timeframe may need to be shortened based on when the internship placement is confirmed.

Final Payment

The remaining balance of the program cost is due by the Final Payment deadline listed on your API account payment schedule for study abroad programs, or a minimum of 30 days prior to the program start date for intern abroad programs. Please refer to your API billing statement and online API account payment schedule for exact due dates. Any student who does not meet this deadline may incur a $180 late penalty.

Security Deposit

A $275 security deposit is due by the final payment deadline for all programs.A fee of $95 will be retained from all security deposits to cover standard cleaning fees and general maintenance fees, including minor repairs and standard touch-up painting.The remaining $180 is refundable provided that: 1) no additional fees are assessed on-site for incidentals, damages or excessive utility usage; and 2) the API program fee has been paid in full.

How Do I Know if API Has Received My Payment?

Once API receives payment, it can take up to 3 business days for the payment to be processed and then applied to your API account.All payments receive a notification email confirmed that the payment has been submitted to API.Remember that your bank account or credit card statement will be the very first place where your payment is reflected.

Please note that you can always log into your @api account to see your payment schedule and balance details. You will be able to confirm there that your payments have been applied to your account.

How Can I Get a Copy of My Billing Statement?

Billing statements are emailed to your billing contact email and student email once a month and after any API account updates or adjustments.Please note that you can always log into your  @api account to see your payment schedule and balance details. You will also be able to confirm that your payments have been applied to your account.You can also request additional or updated billing statements by contacting your API Financial Services Advisor.

Is My $150 Application Fee Refundable for Any Reason?

The $150 application deposit is only refundable if you’re not accepted into an API program, or if your program is canceled for any reason.It is NOT refundable if you don’t complete the application process or upon acceptance, decide not to follow through with your program.

Will I Receive a Price Deduction if I Opt Out of Certain Parts of My Program?

It is possible to opt out of certain portions of your program, and it’s possible that you will receive a deduction if you choose to do so. However, API never recommends opting out of any part of your program, at risk of not being able to get the most out of your experience abroad.If you wish to opt out of some part of your program, you will need to discuss it with your program manager as soon as possible.

Can I Use My Financial Aid to Pay for My Program?

Yes, API accepts all forms of financial aid according to approval from the home university or organization. However, API does not issue or offer financial aid.Once proof of financial aid is provided in the submission of a completed FAVF form, API then adjusts a student’s payment schedule based on disbursement dates of financial aid awards. This FAVF form acts as a deferral for any final payment amount covered by the financial aid. This form must be submitted by the date of the original final payment deadline.Please note that all deposits are not allowed to be covered by financial aid and those payments must be submitted at their respective due dates. This includes the $150 application deposit, $400 confirmation payment, and $275 security deposit in addition to any additional fees on the API account.

Please refer to the Financial Aid tab for a more comprehensive explanation of using your financial aid with your API program.

Does API Offer Scholarships?

API awards more than $500,000 in scholarships every year. To apply for an API scholarship, you must submit a scholarship application (found on this website), essays, and a letter of recommendation in addition to the one you submitted with your original API application.You must already be accepted into an API program in order to apply for one of our scholarships.API can also recommend external scholarships. A list of these opportunities can be found on the scholarship tab.

What if I Withdraw From My Program? Can I Safeguard My Program Payments?

If you need to withdraw from your program, you will need to alert your program manager, in writing, as soon as possible.It is possible that program arrangements have already been confirmed on your behalf, and you will still be responsible for making payments to API for these arrangements.Please refer to the Withdrawal Policy tab of this website for more detailed information.
Yes, API does offer a way for you to safeguard the majority of your program payments.

API offers Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS) for its participants as an optional service.

The PWS is designed to safeguard program participants’ financial investment in their study abroad experience in case of program withdrawal for any reason.

Please refer to the PWS section on the Withdrawal Policy tab for more details.

Is Any Discount Available for Participation in Another API Program?

Students who elect to complete a second (or third or fourth!) session with API, will receive a 5% discount on the subsequent session’s program cost.API also offers a sibling discount of $100 for siblings who study abroad at the same time with API or during separate sessions.

Does API Issue 1098T Forms for Tax Purposes?

Because API is not a Title IV institution, we do not issue 1098T forms. However, when requested, we will provide you with a billing statement showing the payments you’ve made to API, as well as a price breakdown of your program. You should take these documents to a tax professional to find out what portion of your API program cost is tax deductible.

Can My Family Use a 529 Plan to Pay API?

These are prepaid tuition plans and they go by a few different names, mostly depending on which state the funds are located (VPEP is Virginia, Texas Tomorrow is Texas, etc).

API does accept payments made from 529 plans but please be aware that complications can arise.

The student/parent will need to contact the 529 organization and find out their requirements for making payments to a 3rd party provider of study abroad programs like API. Many times the 529 plan/organization will release the funds directly to API or directly to the student/parent and then the student/parent is able to submit payment to API.

Sometimes, a 529 plan will NOT release the funds directly to API or student/parent. Many times this happens because API isn’t a Title IV institution like universities are. In this case, the student/parent will need to talk to the home university about agreeing to be the go-between.

Here are the questions a student/parent should ask:
Of the 529 organization:

  • Are my 529 funds eligible for use for a study abroad program through a 3rd party provider?
  • Do the funds need to be certified by a Title IV institution before I can use them?
  • Where will the funds be sent: to me, the school, or API, and when will this happen?

Are there any additional steps I will need to take to make this happen that I haven’t already asked about?
Of the home university school, if need be:

  • Will you accept the funds from the 529 on behalf of API? And agree to set up a special direct bill agreement with API in order to submit payment to API?

Am I Able to Use the GI Bill or VA Benefits with API?

We recommend that you first speak with the financial aid office at your home institution, and consult the following link – http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/factsheets/Post_911_study_abroad_fact_sheet.pdf