529 savings plans can be used towards study abroad programs through CIS Abroad. It is important to note though, the disbursement process can vary significantly based on the administrator of the plan and/or the state associated with the 529 plan. Some 529 plans will issue payments directly to third party providers and will send the funds directly to CIS Abroad on your behalf, and some require the funds to be released to your home institution, who would then in-turn relay those funds to CIS Abroad. CIS Abroad recommends that you reach out to the administrator of the 529 plan to get specific details regarding your plan. If the 529 plan will pay CIS Abroad directly, please request that the financial institution include your name when making payment on your behalf. If the 529 plan will only disburse funds to an educational institution, we’d recommend connecting with your home university financial aid office to see if they’d be willing to receive 529 funds and disburse them to you like other forms of financial aid.
Here are some additional points to know regarding 529 plans:
- 529 savings plans can be used to pay for credit-bearing international experiences, but don't cover day-to-day expenses or travel costs.
- Your home university must be approved under Title IV and its federal student aid programs to use 529 funds to pay for it.
- Most 529 savings plans allow students to use them for schools outside of their home state.