Students may submit a study abroad petition for one of three reasons:

  1. To waive the University's 3.0 GPA requirement for study abroad

  2. To study abroad with a non-affiliated program

  3. To receive a second semester of IWU financial aid for study abroad

Petitions to Waive the GPA Requirement

A student who does not feel that their cumulative GPA is an accurate reflection of ability to successfully study abroad or who has a compelling academic need to study abroad despite a lower GPA may petition to have the requirement waived. For more information, please visit

If the petition is granted, you may then proceed with the application process, but you are still bound by the program’s own requirements.  If the petition is not granted, you will not receive University approval to study abroad and may not participate in the program for IWU credit.

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Petitions to Study Abroad With a Non-affiliated Program

Given the breadth of our offerings, IWU policy generally requires that students study through a pre-approved program (see the list of Programs).  If, however, a student has a compelling academic reason to wish to study through a non-affiliated program, she/he/they may submit a petition to do so. For more information, please visit

If the petition is granted, you may then proceed with the application process and credit will be granted for academic work done abroad.  If the petition is not granted, you may not participate in the program for IWU credit.  You would, however, have the option of applying to another, approved study abroad program.

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Petitions to Apply IWU Financial Aid to a Second Semester Abroad

Students with a compelling academic reason may petition to have their IWU Financial Aid applied to a second semester of study abroad. 

The petition consists of the following:

  • Petition Form
  • A Personal Statement

    This statement should outline the following: (a) the academic reasons for participation in an additional study abroad experience or a second semester of study in a single location; (b) how participation in the program aids, or at least does not impede, timely progress toward graduation; and (c) the proposed coursework.
  • A Statement of Support from your academic advisor

    This letter should address the following: (a) discuss the academic need for an additional semester abroad; (b) verify that participation does not interfere with the student’s timely progress to graduation; and (c) give approval for the student’s proposed coursework.  This statement may be submitted by the student in a sealed envelope or sent directly from the Chair to the Director of the International Office by campus mail or email.

The petition must be submitted to the Director of the International Office, who will forward it to the Director of the Financial Aid office and meet with the Financial Aid Committee to determine eligibility.

Once it has been determined that a student is filing an appeal for an additional experience, any University grant or scholarship money the student is receiving will be suspended for the semester in question until a decision is made regarding the appeal.  If the appeal is approved, the grant money will be restored for that semester; if the appeal is denied, no change will then need to be made.  If your appeal is denied and you decide not to study abroad, the grant or scholarship money will be restored.

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