Your financial aid award may include a combination of different types of aid in one package. So, you’ll need to know the basics about each. For starters, grants don’t need to be repaid; loans do. Student employment programs provide opportunities to earn money for your college expenses.

Your eligibility for each type of aid was determined during the awarding process, and you were only awarded aid you were eligible to receive. Select from the menu for more detailed information about the various kinds of financial aid that may appear in your award.

    Grants: Undergraduate Students

    A grant is a type of aid that does not need to be repaid. Below is a description of the types of grants that may be offered as part of a financial aid award. Your eligibility for each type of aid was determined during the awarding process, and you were only awarded aid you were eligible to receive. 

    Federal Pell Grant

    A Federal Pell Grant is a need-based federal grant awarded to students with exceptional financial need. The U.S. Department of Education determines Pell Grant eligibility based on the information provided on the FAFSA. A Pell Grant is credited to your bill each semester.

    Federal SEOG Grants

    A Federal SEOG Grant is a need-based federal grant awarded to students with exceptional financial need. Tufts awards the SEOG to Pell Grant recipients using available funds from the U.S. Department of Education. An SEOG Grant is credited to your bill each semester.

    Tufts Grants

    A Tufts Grant is a need-based institutional grant awarded by Tufts. It is credited to your bill each semester.

    Outside Scholarships

    Outside aid reported in your aid application will appear on your award letter even though it is not aid from Tufts. An outside scholarship can work to your advantage by significantly reducing your debt or work responsibility. That’s why we strongly encourage you to apply for any outside aid for which you may qualify.

    If you receive outside scholarships, or if your outside aid award differs from the amount estimated on your Tufts financial aid award, you must notify the aid office. Please note that tuition benefits from an employer and ROTC benefits are treated as outside scholarships.

    In compliance with federal regulations and institutional policy, Tufts may reduce your aid award if you receive outside aid after we have met your full need. Please visit our Outside Aid page for a detailed description.

    If your outside scholarship payment will arrive after the bill due date, you must submit documentation from the scholarship organization to have a pending credit placed on your bill. This credit may be added only if the organization will send their payment directly to Tufts.

    In addition to the commonly awarded grants outlined above, here are some other sources of funding that some students may be eligible to receive. Please note that the source organization determines student eligibility, and the awards are treated as outside aid.

    Awards Source Eligibility Comments
    Tufts National Merit Tufts National Merit Finalists $500 per semester for up to 8 semesters of full time enrollment at Tufts University
    GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program Federal Eligible U.S. Veterans $5,000 Tufts grant matched by $5,000 from the federal Yellow Ribbon Program.
    ROTC - Army, Air, Force, Navy Federal UG; Chosen by Army, Air Force, or Navy Cross register at MIT. Four-year tuition scholarships available as well as partial scholarships.
    Mass. Grants & Gilbert Grants Commonwealth of Mass. UG; Massachusetts residents; Financial need; Meet state deadlines Award amount determined by MA Office of Student Financial Assistance


    Other State Scholarships Various States UG; Financial need; Meet state deadlines Residents of CT, PA, RI, VT may be eligible


    Loans: Undergraduate Students

    A loan is a type of aid that must be paid back in the future. Below is a description of the types of loans that may be offered as part of a financial aid award. Your eligibility for each type of aid was determined during the awarding process, and you were only awarded aid you were eligible to receive.

    Student loans are a serious obligation. Failure to repay them can result in damage to your credit rating and difficulty in securing other credit, such as car loans or mortgages. If you’re in default on federal loans, you will be ineligible for any additional federal financial aid. Please visit our Repayment page for additional information.

    Federal Direct Loans

    The Federal Direct Loan program offers two types of loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, in which the government pays the interest while you are a student enrolled at least half-time, making the loan interest-free while you’re enrolled, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, in which interest accrues while you are enrolled.

    You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to borrow through this loan program. If you meet all eligibility requirements, you can borrow through both loan programs up to the maximums shown in the chart shown here. Detailed information about Federal Direct Loans can be found here.

    No payments are due until six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status. During this grace period, interest will accrue. Deferments are available. A fee is charged for each Direct Loan and is subtracted from the amount borrowed. Direct Loan fees are subject to change.

    If your financial aid package does not include a Federal Direct Loan, you may be able to add one to your financial aid award. If the Direct Loan on your award is less than your annual limit, you may be able to increase the loan amount. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility.

    Tufts Loans

    Tufts offers a need-based Tufts Loan of $500 to $2,000 annually to some undergraduate aid recipients. You are charged no interest while enrolled, and repayment begins six months after you leave Tufts. The interest rate is 5% with a five-year repayment. Deferments are available. You’ll receive information about signing loan documents during the summer.

    Accepting Loans

    Please note that you are not required to accept the loans you are offered. You can request to reduce the loan amount or decline the loan completely. If you decide to accept a loan, you must complete online documents in order for the loan funds to disburse to your student account. You'll receive an email with full instructions during the summer. Once you’ve met these requirements and are enrolled at least half-time, your loan funds will be disbursed to your account, minus any loan fees in the case of a Federal Direct Loan. Find full details and our application process here.

    Work Study

    The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a federally subsidized student employment program through which a portion of your wages are paid by federal funds and the balance by the employer. In addition to on-campus jobs, you may also work in off-campus community service jobs developed by the Student Employment Office (SEO). Job opportunities are also available for non work study applicants. 

    Average awards range from $2,000 - $2,800 per year. 

      Federal Work-Study (FWS) FAQs

      • No. The FWS program was developed by the federal government to allow students who are eligible for financial aid to earn some of their out of pocket expenses. The award is earned by working and receiving a paycheck at the end of the week for the hours worked. It is not funding that is subtracted from the university bill.

      • No. The amount listed is the maximum amount you can earn through a work-study job. The work-study program consists of part-time employment during the academic year and full-time employment during the semester breaks.

      • No, you can choose to turn down your work-study award if you wish. To do so, please contact the Financial Aid office. However, you can use federal work-study in several different locations including On-Campus, Off-Campus Community Service, and America Reads opportunities.

      • When you accept a work-study job, the government subsidizes a certain percent of your wages and the employer is responsible for paying the remainder. Therefore, if a department hires you, they use less of their departmental budget to pay you. This might give you a preference in the hiring process.

      • Technically, you can earn as much money as you wish. However, because the federal government will subsidize only up to the amount listed in your aid award letter, any surplus amount you earn above and beyond must be paid directly from your employer's budget. Depending on your employer, this surplus amount may not be in their budget. Therefore, some employers may keep track and restrict how many hours you work to ensure you don't earn more than your award amount.

      • You can use it on just about anything! The paycheck you receive at the end of each week is yours to do with as you wish. You can spend it on academic expenses (books, lab fees, or printing costs) or social expenses (movies, ordering pizza, or a night out with friends).

      Work Study Program Information

      On-Campus Work Study

      Many departments on the Tufts campus offer positions for students with FWS. These jobs are available on a part-time basis during the academic year. During the summer there are a few community service and America Reads jobs available on campus on a full-time basis.

      Off-Campus Community Services Work Study

      This program allows work-study students to work for nonprofit organizations in positions that will directly benefit the community. For a position to be considered community service, you must provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or solve particular problems related to those residents’ needs. You can access these jobs on Handshake as well. If you are interested in working for an agency that is not listed, you must contact the student employment office first. 

      America Reads and America Counts

      Another important work-study program to which Tufts is committed is the America Reads program. This program allows 100% of the wages of work-study students to be paid from federal dollars if you are employed as a reading or math tutor for children in preschool or elementary school. This program also includes students employed as tutors in family literacy programs that provide services to families with preschool or elementary school children.

      Tufts Subsidized Work-Study

      Tufts Subsidized Work-Study is a small program that subsidizes wages for needy undergraduates who do not qualify for Federal Work-Study, such as international students. If you qualify for this program, the Financial Aid Office will subsidize 75% of your wages and the department that employs you will pay the remaining 25%. Tufts Subsidized Work-Study is limited to on-campus employment during the academic year only.

      Non Work-Study

      Non work-study jobs are positions available to all students regardless of financial aid status. Therefore, if you are a Tufts student who does not receive financial aid, you are still eligible for a non work-study position. Non work-study jobs are located both off and on campus during the academic year and semester breaks.

      Work Study Eligibility

      Find out if you’re eligible for Federal Work Study or Tufts Work-Study jobs

      • You are eligible if you receive financial aid AND it's included in your package. Check your Financial Aid Award.
      • You are not eligible if you do not receive financial aid OR if it's not included in your Financial Aid Award Notice.

      Scholar Development: Undergraduate Students

      Please review the Tufts Outside Aid Policy to learn how receiving outside scholarships may affect your financial aid. Applying for outside scholarships sufficient to replace the loan and work portions of your aid award can help you graduate debt-free. You can begin your outside scholarship search on FastWeb and the College Board's Scholarship Search.

      Assistance with external scholarship and fellowship opportunities is available to students. We encourage you to visit the Office of Scholar Development to learn more about these opportunities.