Types of Aid

Tufts graduate students use a variety of funding opportunities, including those described below.

Tufts Institutional Scholarships and Assistantships

Most scholarships, fellowships, and research or teaching assistantships are administered through the Dean’s Office or Admissions Office of your school. Application processes for tuition scholarships vary by school.

Admitted students being offered institutional tuition scholarships and/or assistantships will be notified by their school shortly after acceptance. Please reach out to your Admissions Office with questions about institutional tuition scholarships or assistantships.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The federal Direct unsubsidized loan is available to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program.

  • The interest rate is 7.05% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024.
  • The origination fee is 1.057% for loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2023.
  • Interest accrues while the student is enrolled, during the grace, and during the repayment period.
  • Repayment begins six months after a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. 
  • The standard repayment term is ten years, but many borrowers may choose other repayment options including Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year. GBA and OTD students may borrow $10,250 per semester.
  • Borrowers may not exceed the $138,500 lifetime aggregate limit for Direct loans.

Federal Direct Loan Application Process

If you are a first-time federal Direct loan borrower, you must complete the following steps. Your loan will not be disbursed until you have completed all steps. Tufts will cancel loans if all steps are not completed.

1. Complete the FAFSA and send to Tufts (school code 002219).

2. Submit a Master Promissory Note to agree to loan terms.

3. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling to learn about borrowing.

Federal Work Study

Federal work study is available to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program. Work study is the opportunity, but not obligation, to get a job on campus and work to earn money for out-of-pocket expenses like food or rent. Work study is not deducted from your Tufts bill. Students are responsible for applying to and securing a job. 

For more information visit our Student Employment page. 

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The federal Direct Grad PLUS loan is available to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking.

  • The interest rate is 8.05% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024.
  • The origination fee is 4.228% for loans disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2022, and before Oct. 1, 2024.
  • Interest accrues while the student is enrolled, during the grace, and during the repayment period.
  • Repayment begins six months after a student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. 
  • The standard repayment term is ten years, but many borrowers may choose other repayment options.
  • Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid.
  • Any student wishing to borrow for the cost of health insurance should contact Student Financial Services directly.

Grad PLUS Loan Application Process

1. Complete the FAFSA and send to Tufts (school code 002219). Student Financial Services will award federal Direct unsubsidized loan first because the unsubsidized loan has better rates than the PLUS loan.

2. Complete the credit-based Grad PLUS loan application and choose a loan amount. Contact Student Financial Services if you need help choosing how much to borrow. The PLUS loan application generally opens on May 1. 

3. Submit a Master Promissory Note to agree to loan terms.

4. Complete Loan Entrance Counseling to learn about borrowing.

Denied PLUS Applications

Some students will be denied the Grad PLUS loan based on their credit history. If this is the case, applicants are given the option to do nothing, appeal the denial, or find an endorser (a cosigner on the loan). Students using endorsed loans must complete PLUS Loan Credit Counseling and complete a new master promissory note. If you were initially denied and are approved on appeal or with an endorser, please contact studentservices@tufts.edu.

 

Private Educational Loans

Graduate students can choose to borrow from a private lender. Information about maximizing federal loan eligibility, and our formal review process for choosing the private lenders who appear on our website can be found below. Please note that you are under no obligation to borrow from any of the lenders listed here and can select any lender you prefer and apply directly with that lender. 

You should apply for a loan no later than three weeks before your billing due date. Once the application process is complete and the loan is approved, Tufts will certify the loan and place pending credit on your account.

We encourage all eligible students to consider using your maximum federal Direct unsubsidized loan eligibility before seeking any alternative or private loan, as there are many benefits associated with federal loan programs that are generally not available through private loans. When considering alternative loans, you should also a review the federal Direct PLUS loan option.

Private Lenders

A variety of banks and private lenders offer alternative loans for financing education costs for both graduate and undergraduate students and their families. Tufts has a formal process to review the loan offerings of most of the major lenders. Based on this review, we have chosen the lenders listed on our Preferred Lender List for their competitive rates,  borrower benefits, and customer service. Be assured that Tufts receives no benefits, financial or other, from these lenders for being on our preferred lender list.

You are under no obligation to borrow from one of these lenders. If you would like to borrow from a lender who is not on this list, you can simply select the lender of your choice and apply directly with that lender. The lender will be responsible for getting your loan information to us.

You may borrow up to the cost of education minus any aid received.

Lenders offer private loan programs with different rates, fees, repayment terms, and approval requirements. We suggest that you carefully review each program to compare the terms and conditions before deciding which alternative loan may be appropriate for your needs. The lenders listed below are those most utilized at Tufts. You can complete the application process directly through the websites linked below.

Preferred Lender List


Fair Lending Practices - Code of Conduct

Tufts University has always been committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior.  We recognize that ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process is critical to providing fair and affordable access to higher education.  With the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress has required that all colleges post a Code of Conduct relating to financial aid, private lending and student choice.  Accordingly, the staff in Student Financial Services herein confirms that we adhere to the following sound practices.

I.  University employees do not receive any personal benefits from Lending Institutions   
No member of the Student Financial Services staff will accept anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution.  For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc. will never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual will never accept payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars.

II.  The University does not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution   
The staff in Student Financial Services does not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software.  Likewise, the University does not allow any Lending Institution to staff the Student Financial Services office or Student Services calling center at any time.

III.  The University makes appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists   
The selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the private/alternative loans Preferred Lender List is based solely on the best interests of University students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of the University. We abide by the following:

  • Students and their parents are free to select the Lending Institution of their choice for private/alternative loans and will suffer no penalty imposed by the University from using a Lending Institution that is not a “Preferred Lender.”
  • Students and their parents are not required to use any of the University private/alternative loan “Preferred Lenders” and may borrow through any lender or guarantor they choose.
  • The University does not assign a borrower’s loan to a particular lender and will certify all loans based on a borrower’s selection of a lender.

IV.  University employees do not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration   
No officer, trustee or employee of the University who makes financial aid decisions for the University or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the University Student Financial Services office will receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant on a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution, or receive any reimbursement of expenses for such service.