Graduate Financial Aid FAQs


  • You can find information about Awarding dates for new and returning graduate students on our site.

  • Graduate students should complete a FAFSA each year they want to be considered for federal loans. Students are awarded federal aid on a rolling basis beginning in March for admitted students and May for returning students. 

  • Graduate scholarships and teaching or research assistantships are determined at the time of admission by a student’s department or school. Questions regarding scholarships can be directed to GSAS and SoE Admissions or Fletcher Admissions

  • To initiate a scholarship appeal, please contact GSAS and SoE Admissions or Fletcher Admissions.

  • Graduate students can decline their loan on SIS. Click the Bills and Balances tab, click Award and Documents, then click Accept or Decline loans page from menu. 

  • Yes, a graduate student can email at any point during the semester to reinstate all or a portion of their loan eligibility. 

  • The established cost of attendance for each program sets a limit on the total combined funding that a student may receive for educational expenses. A student cannot borrow more than the cost of attendance minus all other aid. 

  • A graduate student can appeal their living expenses allowance by requesting a cost of attendance appeal form and submitting required documentation to

  • Graduate award letters assume enrollment in nine credits for full-time students and three credits for part-time students. Students can follow the instructions on their award letter to receive a revised award based on anticipated credits.

  • Students can search for jobs via Handshake. Students apply for a work study position and are paid an hourly wage when hired. The wages are paid directly to the student and are not deducted from the tuition bill. 


  • Federal loans borrowed for another degree program (undergraduate or graduate) are placed in automatic in-school forbearance while you are enrolled at least half-time. Schools use the National Clearinghouse to notify lenders of a student’s enrollment status at the beginning of each semester. If your lender is requiring additional documents for deferment purposes, you can forward the request to the Registrar’s Office at

  • Students must be enrolled at least half-time each semester to be eligible to borrow federal loans. Half-time in GSAS and SoE is generally 5 or more credits; half-time in most Fletcher programs is 6 credits, half-time in Fletcher GBA and GMAP is 4.5 credits. There are some private lenders that will allow for less than half time borrowing. 

  • Students can sign into their Federal Student Aid account with a FSA ID to view their servicer and other loan details. 

  • You must accept or decline your federal loans. Log into SIS then click the Financial Aid tab, click Award and Documents, then click Accept or Decline loans page from menu. 

  • Please email if you would like to reduce your loan. We will make the reduction, then you can log into SIS, click the Financial Aid tab, click Award and Documents, then click Accept or Decline loans page from menu to accept the new loan amount. 

  • Please email if you accidentally accepted or declined your loan, if you changed your mind, or if you would like to reduce your loan.


  • Graduate students can find tuition information on their respective websites. GSAS and SoE students are charged per credit. Most Fletcher students are charged a flat-rate fee, but GBA is charged per credit. All PhDs are charged flat-rate. Cost of attendance information is on our site.

  • To calculate your estimated tuition for a semester, you need to multiply the per-credit cost of your program by the number of credits you plan to take in each semester.

  • Graduate students enrolled in an in-person program at a half-time or more enrollment status are charged the Health and Wellness fee and are charged for student health insurance. The health insurance can be waived on SIS if a student has comparable coverage such as MassHealth or private health insurance. A Graduate Student Activity Fee is assessed to all GSAS and SoE students. 

  • Students with an accepted loan or payment plan contract will have that amount deferred from the tuition balance as “Anticipated Aid” prior to the beginning of the semester.  

  • Students who want to drop a class should refer to the tuition refund tables. A refund percentage will be based on course length and when the course is dropped. 

    If you are borrowing federal student loans, dropping some or all of your courses may affect your eligibility for loan funding. Please email before you drop a course or withdraw from the semester if you are borrowing federal loans.

  • Tufts does not grant extensions on a payment for a past due balance.  Students with a past due balance are subject to: 

    • Late Payment Fee (1.5% of the balance, compounded monthly)
    • A registration hold
    • Transfer of balance to a collection agency (with all collection and service fees accruing to the student and a report made to the credit bureau)


  • Refunds for students charged per credit (most GSAS and SoE programs, Fletcher GBA) are not processed until after the add period each semester and after a student has begun attendance in enough courses to reach half-time status. Students should set up their refund account before requesting their refund

  • No, students cannot receive a refund of loan funding until after the loan has disbursed and all charges are paid. Loans disburse after the add date has passed and a student has begun attendance in enough courses to reach half-time status.