How Off-Campus Study Works

Please note:
The following policies and procedures ONLY apply to semester and full-year off-campus study. Summer off-campus study (without transfer of financial aid) and "Wooster TREK " programs have separate policies.

How does the application process work?

The application process is a two-part process.

  1. You must submit an application for your specific program to the OCS office at The College of Wooster. It is an online process accessible via the OCS website.
  2. If your College of Wooster application is approved by the OCS office, you must then apply to your specific program. This is usually an online process via the provider’s or university's website.

What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to study off-campus you must:

  • Meet with a member of the Global Envoy team
  • Meet with Jamie Adler prior to submitting your application
  • Meet with your academic advisor prior to submitting your application
  • Have sophomore or junior standing while participating in the program
  • Be enrolled at The College of Wooster the semester preceding off-campus study
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (some programs require a higher GPA) (Note: students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.75 or who are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester prior to their off-campus study will not be allowed to participate on the program)
  • Maintain good standing under The College of Wooster’s Codes of Academic Integrity and Social Responsibility
  • Submit all Off-Campus study application forms by February 1st
  • Attend the mandatory pre-departure orientation
  • Create an e-portfolio: upload essays and resume prior to OCS, revise essays and resume after OCS
  • Complete an OCS Program Evaluation, to be submitted electronically to OCS within three weeks of return to campus. Failure to do so will result in a hold placed on registration for the following semester.

Should I study off-campus in the fall or the spring?

The OCS Office and Advisory Committee strive to accommodate all qualified applications. However, in order to plan for and utilize on-campus resources in an effective manner, the off-campus study participation between fall and spring semesters will be split 55%/45%. You will be informed if your preferred term of off-campus study has been accepted. 
It is also important to talk to your academic advisor about which semester is best for you to study off-campus. Does your major require a junior IS? This may influence which semester you can go off-campus.

Will I still receive financial aid?

The College of Wooster will apply all financial aid to an approved application for one endorsed off-campus program (semester or year-long) subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must be enrolled at Wooster the semester following off-campus study. [Note: If a student applies institutional financial aid to an off-campus program and does not return to The College of Wooster after the program, the student will be billed for the amount of aid distributed.]
  • When the number of applications exceeds the projected off-campus study budget for any given year, OCS will rank proposals to distribute institutional financial aid based on the quality of the proposal (see “The College of Wooster Off-Campus Study Proposal”  for criteria).  If a student’s proposal is not granted institutional financial aid, the student may still study off-campus, but institutional financial aid will not be available.

How does the billing process work?

The amount of tuition that will be billed by The College of Wooster for an approved application will be equal to the tuition portion of Wooster's comprehensive fee, or the program's actual tuition charge, whichever is higher. Other fees billed by The College of Wooster will be based on the off-campus study program's non-tuition fees (e.g., room, board, health insurance). All financial aid will be applied to approved applications for endorsed programs. Note: Certain program elements (housing options, extracurricular activities, courses in specific departments) incur additional charges that will either be billed through the Wooster invoice or directly by the program. Exception: Students enrolling in Global Student Teaching will pay all GST fees plus the Wooster Off-Campus Study administrative fee. GST students are not eligible for Wooster financial aid.

Can I withdraw from Wooster to save money on my off-campus program?

Certain students may find that it would be cheaper to withdraw from Wooster to spend a semester studying off-campus. However, withdrawing from the college would mean that you lose all of the benefits that go with being an OCS student at Wooster.

If you withdraw from The College of Wooster to study off-campus for one semester:

  • You will have to reapply to Wooster for the following semester, with no guarantee that you will be readmitted. This includes paying the $400 application fee. 
  • You will lose your current Wooster financial aid package, and will have to reapply with no guarantee that your aid will stay the same
  • You may not be able to transfer your credit earned abroad back to Wooster
  • You will not receive help registering for classes for the following semester
  • You cannot enroll in courses at the same time as the rest of your class for the following semester
  • You will not have a spot in the housing lottery for the following semester
  • You cannot receive help/advice from OCS staff while abroad

Maintaining your enrollment as a College of Wooster student during your time abroad ensures these benefits:

  • You will not have to reapply to be a College of Wooster student, your enrollment will be current even while taking courses at another institution
  • Your financial aid package will be applied to your off-campus program
  • Your credit is guaranteed to transfer back to Wooster (as long as you earn a grade C or above)
  • You can reach out to your academic advisor at Wooster while abroad for help and for permission to register for courses
  • You will receive a time to enroll for courses during the same time period as the rest of your classmates
  • You will be included in the housing lottery for the following semester
  • You will be able to reach out to Wooster faculty and staff while abroad for assistance
  • You will be invited to participate in re-entry activities once you are back on campus

What is the administrative fee?

An OCS administrative fee equal to 1% of the Wooster comprehensive fee will be assessed to defray the cost of arranging Wooster's participation in the program, granting course credit for the program, maintaining the student's registration records, coordinating the billing and payment of fees, and carrying out other administrative tasks related to the program.

What if I need to leave my program?

If a student leaves an off-campus program for any reason, he/she will not be allowed to return to The College of Wooster for the duration of the approved off-campus program. Depending on the program, students who cancel their participation for any reason are responsible for all expenses incurred by the program on their behalf and will be required to reimburse funds according to the cancellation penalties.

What if I participate on a program without Wooster approval?

If a student does not receive approval from The College of Wooster to attend an off-campus program via the OCS Application or petition process, but still chooses to attend the program, the student must officially WITHDRAW from The College of Wooster (processed through the Dean of Students Office). To return to the College, students must reapply for admission.  If readmitted, credits earned off-campus are subject to review by the Office of the Registrar and by Department Chairs, and may not be accepted by The College.

What is the petition process for a non-endorsed program?

Petitions for any exceptions to the above requirements, and for permission to transfer financial aid to a non-endorsed off-campus program, must be submitted in writing to the Director of OCS no later than February 1. Petitions for special one-time endorsement of non-endorsed programs must contain compelling academic reasons in order to be granted. Consult the OCS petition process for more information.

What about safety and security concerns?

The College of Wooster reserves the right to revoke approval of a program based on safety and security issues in the country or location of study, as determined through consultation of reputable news and governmental sources. If the decision is made to revoke approval, the OCS office will work with the student to find an appropriate alternative program.