A Fletcher education is a significant investment, and it is essential that you formulate a plan to finance your education. A variety of financial aid resources are available, including scholarship aid, work-study and on-campus employment, and loans guaranteed by the U.S. federal government or other lenders. The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is committed to assisting you explore and understand your options for financing your graduate education. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.
Fletcher Scholarships are awarded based on a combination of merit and need to both U.S. citizens/permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens. Scholarship recipients are notified at the time of admission. Scholarships are renewable in the second year for those students who maintain full-time status and remain in good academic standing. In the event that a student’s tuition charges are reduced, the Fletcher Scholarship will be pro-rated accordingly.
Federal Loan Programs
U.S. citizens/permanent residents are eligible to borrow through a variety of federal loan programs. Program and application information follows. Eligibility for all federal loan programs is determined by Tufts Student Financial Services. In addition to reading the information below, please be sure to visit the Tufts Student Financial Services website at uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/ for complete program details and procedures.
Direct Stafford Loan
• Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year
• Interest accrues from the time of disbursement
• Standard repayment is ten years
• 5.41% fixed interest rate for the life of the loan
• Lenders will charge up to a 1.051% origination fee. This fee will be subtracted from the amount borrowed
• Repayment begins six months after graduation or when students withdraw or drop to less than half-time status
• Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid
• Students are required to apply for the maximum Direct Stafford Loan first
• 6.4% fixed interest rate set by the federal government
• Interest accrues from the time of disbursement
• Lenders will charge up to a 4.288% origination fee. This fee will be subtracted from the amount borrowed
• Standard repayment is 10 years
• Repayment begins six months after graduation, or when students withdraw or drop to less than half-time status
Federal Work Study (FWS)
• Federally subsidized employment program
• Wages are paid through a combination of federal and employer funds
• Students may work on-campus or off-campus in community service jobs approved by the Tufts Student Employment Office (uss.tufts.edu/stuemp/)
• Students secure their own employment
How to Apply for Federal Loan Programs
Step One: Complete the Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA)
• FAFSA: In order to receive U.S. Federal Aid (for U.S. citizens or permanent residents), a Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted electronically at the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.ed.gov). FAFSA applications for the 2014- 2015 academic year became available on January 1, 2014 and should be submitted as early as possible or before April 15, 2014 if you wish to be considered for work study funds. You will need a PIN number to complete a FAFSA application online. You may apply for a PIN by logging on to www.pin.ed.gov. Tufts FAFSA Department of Education code is 002219.
• Within 5 to 7 business days a copy of your FAFSA report will be sent to the email address provided in your FAFSA application. Check your Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy and make any necessary corrections on the FAFSA website. You should receive a corrected copy. Tufts will receive an updated copy as well if the Tufts code was entered on your form.
• If you are selected for Verification by the Federal government (this information can be found on your paper or electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) which you receive after submitting your FAFSA), you will need to log into your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT ). You can only do this if your taxes have been submitted to the IRS at least 2 weeks prior. If you cannot use the IRS DRT , you will need to request an IRS Tax Transcript (www.irs.gov/Individuals/Order-a-Transcript) from the IRS and have it sent to Tufts. You must also submit an Independent Student Verification form. Any aid awarded is tentative, and no loans can be disbursed until the Verification process is completed.
Step Two: After Admission
• After submitting your FAFSA, you will receive an electronic Financial Aid Award Notification from Tufts Student Financial Services. This award notification will inform you of your federal loan and work study eligibility. If you have not completed and submitted a FAFSA, or if your FAFSA information is incomplete, Tufts Student Financial Services will be unable to provide you with Federal Aid award information.
• GradPlus Loans and Alternative Loans: If you need to borrow in addition to the loans shown on your award letter, go to uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/GradPlus.asp, for details about terms, rates, and application procedures for GradPLUS loans and alternative loans. Most students will find that the federal GradPlus loan is their best option.
Step Three: Accepting your Loans
• Direct Loans: Even if you are a prior borrower of a Direct Loan, a new Master Promissory Note will be needed. You may go to the NSLDS site to review your loan history at www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/. Students who have never had a Direct Loan will need to sign a new Master Promissory Note. To complete this required process please follow the instructions found at uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/DirectLoan.asp.
All entering graduate students, as well as first time borrowers at Tufts, must also complete an Entrance Loan Counseling interview online. This link can be found at uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/DirectLoan.asp.
Step Four: After Enrollment
• All loans are disbursed directly to your student account in two installments, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester.
• Refunds: If a credit appears on your account, you may apply for a refund online via Webcenter at webcenter.studentservices.tufts.edu. If you are seeking a refund made payable to a third-party, you must submit a signed Refund Request Form to the Student Services Desk in Dowling Hall. More specific refund instructions can be found at uss.tufts.edu/bursar/refunds/.
Refunds will be processed only when an actual credit appears on your account. If the amount of your credit consists of an expected source of funding, such as an expected Direct Loan, your refund will not be processed until those funds are received or finalized. You may receive a partial refund of funds actually received. (Be sure to submit another refund request for the balance of your credit.)
What if I have applied for federal loans already?
Students with a complete and submitted FAFSA will receive information about federal loan program eligibility via email from Tufts Student Financial Services in the coming weeks.
Alternative Private Loans
Several private lenders offer educational loans for financing graduate school education. Most private lenders require a U.S. co-signer for international students. Detailed information on Alternative Private Loans can be found on the Tufts University Student Financial Services website at uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/altloans.asp.
In addition to teaching and research assistantships, various part-time jobs are available at The Fletcher School and Tufts University under regular student employment budgets and for those who qualify through the Federal Work Study (FWS) Program. Students with jobs typically work between 10-12 hours a week. International students with an F-1 visa may work up to 20 hours a week on campus. More information on student employment can be found on the Tufts Student Employment Office website at uss.tufts.edu/stuemp/.
Teaching and Research Assistantships
Fletcher students may serve as teaching assistants at Tufts University in the undergraduate departments of Political Science, Economics, History, International Relations, and Modern Languages. These assistantships are normally awarded to second-year students, though occasionally first-year students are selected. Students interested in teaching assistantships should make inquiries directly to the individual departments at Tufts University as early as possible for full consideration. At Fletcher, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to second-year and doctoral students. Professors choose their own assistants. Teaching and research assistantships are treated as student employment at The Fletcher School. Assistantships do not reduce tuition fees.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program
The Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is designed to assist Fletcher graduates employed in the public and non-profit sectors to repay educational loans incurred while studying at Fletcher. Available to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, LRAP grants vary in size but may cover up to the full amount of each year’s student loan payment for debt incurred while at Fletcher. The LRAP committee will consider each applicant’s income, level of indebtedness, and overall need in determining award amounts. Fletcher graduates may apply for LRAP funds on an annual basis as long as the criteria of the program are met. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program for graduates of The Fletcher School has been made possible through a generous donation from the estate of George B. and Helen J. Hargens and interest generated by the Omidyar Tufts Microfinance Fund. More information can be found at lrap.tufts.edu.