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Outside Funding

NC State students can apply for many scholarships offered externally. Resources listed here are by no means exhaustive and new options become available every year. Students interested in external awards are highly encouraged to reach out to the Fellowship Advising Office on campus. They can help students to identify all appropriate external scholarships and will help guide you through the application process.

Gilman & Gilman-McCain Scholarships

Eligible students are strongly encouraged to apply for the Gilman or Gilman-McCain Scholarships to assist in funding their study or intern abroad programs. Learn more about these prestigious awards.

Other External Scholarship Options

Personal Fundraising

Though fundraising is a less traditional route for funding your study abroad, it can certainly make an impact. Hometown resources may also prove to be a valuable funding source – here are some steps for seeking aid.

  • Are there start-up costs for your fundraiser?
  • Am I going to set prices or ask for donations?
  • The sooner you start, the more money you might raise
  • Consider matching gifts; will your parents/grandparents match dollars raised?
  • Advertise your efforts broadly.
  • Be prepared with your talking points (see below)
  • Town Hall – local scholarships may be available
  • Chamber of Commerce – can serve as a springboard to locally-owned businesses
  • Local Newspaper – students have written articles or a series while abroad
  • Local Rotary
  • High School or Grade School – sometimes the guidance counselor can provide information
  • Religious Organizations
  • Family Employers – some companies offer aid to sons, daughters, or relatives of employees
  • Employer – occasionally, scholarships are available to employees
  • Meet face to face- students have a better greater chance of being considered if they can meet face-to-face with the appropriate representative
  • Give details
    • The location
    • Academics – courses to be studied
    • Integration into the student’s course of study at NC State and future career plan
  • Be specific:
    • Airfare
    • Additional program fees
    • Textbooks
    • Visa/passport fees
    • Required field trips
  • Consider ways to give back to the community
    • Give a comprehensive slide show of your experience
    • Share cultural insights, history, language, and/or current issues of the host country
    • Consider service work on-site in the host country as well


While scholarships and grants are gifts, loans must be repaid with interest, which often makes them a last resort. Consider your anticipated future annual income before taking out a loan. Your study abroad experience is an investment in your future, like your education here at NC State is an investment, but you need to make a solid funding plan. If you haven’t done so already, talk to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid about loan options and funding your study abroad experience.

  • Is the loan private or federal? If it is federal, is it subsidized or unsubsidized?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • What are the eligibility requirements?
  • Do I need a cosigner?
  • Are there any restrictions on the funds? Can I use them for things like airfare?
  • When do I start repaying my loans?
  • Is there anything I need to do to defer payment of past loans while I’m abroad?

Tips for searching for loans

  • Start your search early, at least six months in advance if possible.
  • Shop around to get the best rates.
  • While not all loans require a cosigner, it is a good idea to have one ready.

This information was adapted from Diversity Abroad where you can find additional information on study abroad.