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Admission & Aid

Pell Match Program

Semester at Sea is pleased to offer aid match for Pell Grant recipients wishing to sail around the world on a Fall or Spring semester voyage.

We are passionate about making this once-in-a-lifetime experience more accessible and more affordable for students of all backgrounds, including low-income students who may not otherwise pursue a term abroad. The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to post-secondary education.

Semester at Sea will match one semester of your Pell grant. Eligibility is restricted to confirmed students currently receiving a Pell grant at their home school. To apply for the Pell Grant Match, please create an account on our scholarships portal once you have been admitted and deposited to the voyage of your choice.  You will be asked to submit your home school award letter for the year you intend to sail as proof of Pell Grant eligibility.

Monthly Payment Plan

An interest-free installment payment plan from Cashnet can be made for 5 – 10 payments depending on when a student enrolls in the plan. There is a $55 fee to enroll in the Payment Plan. The earlier a student reserves a cabin and enrolls in the Payment Plan, the lower each payment will be.To learn more about the Payment Plan, visit, or call a Cashnet consultant at (877) 821-0625 Monday through Friday from 8am to 9pm ET.

When you enroll in the Payment Plan as a New User, please choose Institute for Shipboard Education from the school name drop down menu. On the next screen, please select 5 PAY JANUARY SAIL PAYMENT PLAN (spring voyagers) or 5 PAY SEPTEMBER SAIL PAYMENT PLAN (fall voyagers) depending on your specific voyage.

Please note that if you attend a direct bill school (the school pays Semester at Sea) or if you are a Gap Year or Post Grad student you are not eligible to enroll in the monthly payment plan. 

If you have any questions about setting up your plan please email


Federal Financial Aid

Any student who is a U.S. citizen is eligible to apply for federal Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans. Funds from these sources can possibly be used for study abroad programs.

Many home institutions will process federal financial aid on behalf of their students and forward the funds to our program based on an understanding called a “consortium agreement.” Inquire with your home school about federal aid before applying through Semester at Sea.

Complete the Application

Students applying for federal financial aid are required to complete the online application form. Please click the link below to get started.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

If the home school is unable to process the federal aid, occasionally the aid is able to be processed by Colorado State University (if your school and Colorado State University have signed a consortium agreement).  The FAFSA code for Colorado State University is 001350. Contact the Semester at Sea Financial Aid Office for more information.

Federal Loan Options

Semester at Sea offers an experience that promises to profoundly benefit participants on many levels. Just like with other items and experiences of value, loans can be useful in helping to assemble the funding necessary to make Semester at Sea a reality. Swipe below to explore some of the loans that may or may not be part of your financial aid award at your home school.

We encourage students to be active self-advocates with their school officials, meeting with their school’s study abroad office and financial aid office. We are also happy to help provide information and direction on matters of financial aid, so please contact us by email or at 1-800-854-0195.

Outside Funding Resources

There are a myriad of outside funding options available to Semester at Sea students.  With a little research and some diligence you may find your voyage to be extremely affordable.

The information in the Outside Funding Options Guide details scholarships and creative ways to fund your voyage.

Download the Outside Funding Resources Guide