Graduate Tuition and Financial Aid

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Various forms of financial aid are available to support your studies at the College of Fine Arts. In addition to loans (federal and credit-based) and external funding opportunities that are available, we offer a range of scholarships and assistantships for students in our on-campus programs.

Students interested in our online programs should refer to the CFA Online site here.  The only financial aid we offer to students in our online programs are Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans.

The College of Fine Arts Graduate Financial Aid Office is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 230. This office is a resource for CFA graduate students and prospective students. The CFA Graduate Financial Aid Office can assist graduate students with scholarships, assistantships, Work-Study grants, stipends, and loan processing. Students are welcome to drop by the office, call (617-353-3350), or email us.

Financial Aid FAQS


Tuition

Tuition varies from program to program. Expand the sections below to learn about your individual program.

Please note that all students who register full-time are must pay the required university fees outlined in the “Fees” section below, in addition to tuition.

For information about tuition refunds if you add or drop a course, please visit the Registrar’s website here.

If you are receiving a scholarship and have questions about how the percentage of your scholarship is calculated, please see the “Scholarships” section below.

All rates that follow are for our on-campus programs.  Please refer to the CFA Online site here if you are interested in one of our online programs.

Tuition is charged as follows for students enrolled in the Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, Performance Diploma, or Artist Diploma programs. Please note that School of Music tuition is substantially lower than the standard Boston University full-time tuition rate as an acknowledgment of the University’s support for the College of Fine Arts. Please see the section below titled “Scholarships” for more information on calculating your scholarship award.

  • 2017-2018 Tuition (full-time students*): $21,000
  • 2017-2018 Applied Music Fee** (two semesters of weekly one-hour lessons with faculty): $3,600
  • 2017-2018 Tuition (part-time students*): $1,593/credit for most courses, or $797/credit for evening graduate music education courses
  • 2017-2018 Continuing Study Fee (for doctoral students who have completed coursework): $1,593/semester

*Full-time student status requires that students enroll in 7.0-11.5 credit hours per semester, or for continuing studies if the student is post-coursework.  Students taking fewer than 7.0 credits per semester will be considered part-time students.  Please note that part-time status must be approved by an advisor on a case-by-case basis, and that students dropping to part-time status may not be eligible for financial aid such as scholarships or loans.  International students are typically required to remain at full-time status.

**Students in performance degrees are required to register for applied lessons along with coursework.  Students in composition, choral or orchestral conducting, music education, music theory, or musicology are not assessed the applied music fee unless the student elects to take applied lessons.

The Opera Institute charges a flat full-time tuition rate of $27,000 for the 2017–2018 academic year. Opera Institute students receive a full-tuition scholarship and separate living stipend, but are still responsible for health insurance and required University fees outlined in the “Fees” section below.

All students are also assessed required university fees as outlined below.

Tuition is charged as follows for students enrolled in the School of Theatre programs. Please note that School of Theatre tuition is substantially lower than the standard Boston University full-time tuition rate as an acknowledgment of the University’s support for the College of Fine Arts. Please see the section below titled “Scholarships” for more information on calculating your scholarship award.

  • 2017-2018 Tuition (full-time MFA students*): $25,514
  • 2017-2018 Tuition (Artisan Certificate or part-time MFA students*): $797/credit

*Most MFA programs in the School of Theatre require two years of full-time study and a third year of part-time study to achieve the requisite 60 academic credits.

All students are also assessed required university fees as outlined below.


All rates that follow are for our on-campus programs.  Please refer to the CFA Online site here if you are interested in one of our online programs.

Tuition is charged as follows for students enrolled in the School of Visual Arts programs. Please note that School of Visual Arts tuition is substantially lower than the standard Boston University full-time tuition rate as an acknowledgment of the University’s support for the College of Fine Arts. Please see the section below titled “Scholarships” for more information on calculating your scholarship award.

  • 2017-2018 Tuition (full-time MFA students): $25,514
  • 2017-2018 Tuition (part-time MFA students): $797/credit
  • 2017-2018 Tuition (MA Art Education students): $1,593/credit for most courses, or $797/credit for evening Art Education courses

*Full-time registration in the School of Visual Arts MFA programs requires that students enroll in at least 12.0 credits per semester.  Full-time registration for 32-credit MA programs requires registration of 7.0-11.5 credits per semester.  Students dropping below the required number of credits in a given semester will be considered part-time students.  Please note that part-time status must be approved by an advisor on a case-by-case basis, and that students dropping to part-time status may not be eligible for financial aid such as scholarships or loans.  International students are typically required to remain at full-time status.

All students are also assessed required university fees as outlined below.


Fees

All full-time students who attend classes on campus are charged the following fees for 2017-2018:

  • Student Services Fee: $162/semester
  • Health & Wellness Fee: $206/semester
  • Community Service/Program Fee: $25/year (assessed in the fall semester)
  • = Total $761 in required fees for 2017-2018

Explanation of these fees can be found here.

Full-time students enrolled in the College of Fine Arts are required to participate in a qualifying medical insurance plan.  New students are automatically enrolled in the BU Basic Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and their student accounts are charged for the coverage.  The charge for the Basic SHIP in 2017-2018 is $2,045.  Students may increase their enrollment to the BU Student Plus SHIP to help cover a spouse or dependents (charged at $2,813 for 2017-2018), or may waive their enrollment in the health insurance plan if they have a comparable level of health insurance coverage.  International students are required to enroll in a Boston University Medical Insurance Plan.  All changes to the automatic enrollment must be submitted by the appropriate deadline.  Please see more information about medical insurance at Boston University here.


Scholarships

The College of Fine Arts offers merit scholarships based on the strength of each candidate’s artistic promise and program needs. Financial need is not a factor. As there is no separate application process for scholarship consideration, all graduate students (both domestic and international) admitted to an on-campus program are automatically considered for scholarship aid based on the strength of the application.

Scholarships are calculated based on full-time registration.  Students who drop to part-time status may not be eligible to receive scholarship aid (see the Tuition section above).  Any offer of scholarship will continue for the duration of the student’s program (see Commitment Requirements by Program below).

Students receiving scholarship are expected to make satisfactory academic progress, as defined by their school and program.  The academic status of every student is reviewed at the end of each semester.  Failure to make satisfactory progress and remain in good standing can result in academic probation or dismissal.  Any student not meeting the satisfactory progress requirements will forfeit his or her scholarship.

For detailed information, please click on your school:

Please be aware that any scholarship offered may be used towards tuition and applied music fee charges only, and that you will still be responsible for paying for health insurance (if you do not waive it) and required university fees as noted above.  Any percentage of scholarship you have been offered will continue for two years for MM and PD candidates and three years for DMA candidates as long as you enroll as a full-time student, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and perform artistically in a manner consistent with the expectations of the faculty.

For performance students receiving a merit scholarship, we base your scholarship calculation on a combination of the tuition charges ($21,000) and the applied music fee ($3,600):

100% scholarship: equivalent to $24,600

75% scholarship: equivalent to $18,450

50% scholarship: equivalent to $12,300

25% scholarship: equivalent to $6,150

For students who are not charged the applied music fee (those in the composition, choral or orchestral conducting, music education, music theory, and musicology departments), your scholarship calculation is based on the tuition charges alone ($21,000).

100% scholarship: equivalent to $21,000

75% scholarship: equivalent to $15,750

50% scholarship: equivalent to $10,500

25% scholarship: equivalent to $5,250

The figures below are for MFA students in their first or second years.  Third-year MFA students in the School of Theatre are charged on a per-credit basis, and the percentage of your scholarship in your third year will be prorated to cover your tuition charges.

Please be aware that any scholarship offered may be used towards tuition charges only, and that you will still be responsible for paying for health insurance (if you do not waive it) and required university fees as noted above.  Any percentage of scholarship you have been offered will continue for three years for Master’s candidates as long as you enroll as a full-time student, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and perform artistically in a manner consistent with the expectations of the faculty.

100% scholarship: equivalent to $25,514

75% scholarship: equivalent to $19,136

50% scholarship: equivalent to $12,757

25% scholarship: equivalent to $6,378

We do not offer any financial aid to Artisan Certificate students other than Direct Unsubsidized (Stafford) Loans.

 

Please be aware that any scholarship offered may be used towards tuition charges only, and that you will still be responsible for paying for health insurance (if you do not waive it) and required university fees as noted above.  Any percentage of scholarship you have been offered will continue for two years for Master’s candidates as long as you enroll as a full-time student, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and perform artistically in a manner consistent with the expectations of the faculty.

100% scholarship: equivalent to $25,514

75% scholarship: equivalent to $19,136

50% scholarship: equivalent to $12,757

25% scholarship: equivalent to $6,378

10% scholarship: equivalent to $2,552

 


Commitment Requirements by Program

Music

Master of Music, Artist Diploma, Performance Diploma students: 2-year commitment

Doctor of Musical Arts students: 3-year commitment

Center for New Music Doctor of Musical Arts students: 4-year commitment (for students beginning in Fall 2015)

Theatre

MFA students: 3-year commitment

Artisan Certificate students: 2-year commitment

Visual Arts

MFA students: 2-year commitment

Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate students: 1-year commitment


Assistantships

Assistantships are positions within the College of Fine Arts that are specifically available to graduate students. Assistantship opportunities include positions with instructional, research, and/or administrative responsibilities. Both domestic and international students may be considered for available positions. Assistantships are awarded based on artistic merit and the needs of the schools.

There is no separate application required to apply for an assistantship in the School of Theatre.

Students in the School of Visual Arts who are interested in applying for assistantship consideration should be in contact with SVA Assistant Director Jessica Caccamo.

Applicants to and current students in the School of Music will receive the Music Graduate Assistantship application by email in January. If you have questions, please email CFAmusic@bu.edu.


Stipends

Students enrolled in the School of Theatre MFA programs, the Center for New Music DMA program, or the Opera Institute may receive stipends in addition to other scholarship aid. Stipends are split between the fall and spring semesters and are paid out as a check or direct deposit to the recipient at the end of the first month of each semester. If you are planning on using your stipend to pay for living expenses, please arrive with at least one month of savings to cover your expenses before your stipend is processed.


Work-Study

Funding for the graduate Work-Study program is provided by the federal government. The purpose of these grants is to assist US citizens or permanent residents who demonstrate financial need. Students are given an amount of money that they may earn through hourly paid positions in the University. As funds are very limited, not all interested students receive an award. To apply for Work-Study, students must complete both a 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Work-Study application below.

The application for Summer 2017 work-study is now closed.

Due to the high volume of applications received and the limited size of our graduate work-study budget, the application for 2017-2018 academic year work-study is now closed.


Loans

Skip directly to information on: General Loan InformationFederal Direct Unsubsidized “Stafford” LoansFederal Grad PLUS LoansPrivate Loans

General Loan Information

Unlike what you may recall from your undergraduate studies, at the graduate level we do not automatically award or offer any forms of federal financial aid. You can review information on loan eligibility in the sections below to help self-determine whether you will be eligible to receive a federal loan. If you would like to receive a federal loan and determine you should meet the eligibility requirements, then you will need to follow the full loan request instructions provided, including submitting a BU Loan Request Form for the appropriate loan time and amount. We do not start the loan award process for any student until receiving this form.

We consider your submission of the form to be your acceptance of the loan. After we receive the request form and process your loan award, you will not need to separately accept or approve the award, it will just show up on your student account. You are responsible for reviewing your account to ensure that loan funds are disbursed according to your expectations. If your plans change after submitting the loan request, please contact artaid@bu.edu for guidance on how to increase, decrease, or cancel your loan award for the year.

Please note that you will need to fill out the loan request form anew for each academic year and summer. Loans requested in one year will not automatically renew in later years.

After you have applied for the loan (instructions below), our office will check for all required documentation and eligibility. We may ask for additional financial or citizenship information such as a copy of photo identification, recent copies of your tax return or related documentation, notarized statement of educational purpose, etc. Additional documentation is common for students who were not born US citizens, have recently changed legal names, or have been self-employed or did not file a tax return.

Once your loan request has been approved and awarded by Boston University, your loan award minus an origination fee will be credited directly to your student account. Note that all academic year (fall/spring) loans are divided exactly in half and disbursed equally in the fall and spring semester, even if you have an uneven course load. Summer loans are similarly divided equally between Summer 1 and Summer 2 sessions.

If you request the loan well before the start of a semester, the loan will be listed as “PENDING” until shortly before the first day of classes. If you request a loan during the semester, it will be listed as “PENDING” for 5-10 business days as it processes through the Department of Education. Once your loan is no longer listed as “PENDING”, it will list a posted date and that means it has disbursed to your student account.

If your loan still shows as pending but it is past the start of the session and it has been in pending status for over 2 weeks, please contact artaid@bu.edu to determine the delay in your loan’s processing.

Student Account Inquiry Screenshot: Pending & Posted Loans

Federal regulations require Boston University to release any federal loan money not used to pay for required tuition and fees directly to the student after a certain date each semester; this is known as a Title IV Refund. If you wish for any part of your loan credit to stay on your account to pay for future or non-required charges, you must authorize us to roll your funds forward with a Federal Financial Aid Credit Authorization form.

Examples of non-required charges that a loan would not automatically cover include health insurance charges, MBTA semester pass, convenience charges, or charges for future semesters. Once your loan is applied at the beginning of the semester it may seem that the loan is covering these excess charges, but a Title IV Refund may still be issued, possibly leaving a balance on your account.

If loan funds are already showing up on your account, you may file a federal aid credit authorization by following the directions online at Student Link > Money Matters > Federal Financial Aid Credit Authorization Status. Please complete this step as soon as possible after receiving your loan if you want to leave any credit on your student account.

If you’d like to file the authorization form before your loan has been awarded, you may download the form here and then return the form to BU Student Accounting Services at the address noted on the form, by email to studenta@bu.edu, or by fax to 617-353-3313. This form only needs to be completed one time during your program at Boston University and may be filled out as soon as you have a BU ID number.


Federal Direct Unsubsidized “Stafford” Loans

Federal Direct Unsubsidized “Stafford” loans are not need-based, so unlike at the undergraduate level, we do not automatically review your FAFSA or offer a loan award. As a graduate student enrolled full-time in your program, you will most likely be eligible to borrow the Stafford loan maximum of $20,500 per year. Primary eligibility factors include:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident. International students are not eligible to receive United States federal financial aid.
  • Enrolled in adequate program & coursework. To receive financial aid you must be enrolled in adequate coursework to qualify for full-time certification in your program. With any questions about whether or not you qualify as a full-time student, please contact us at artaid@bu.edu. Please note that Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate students in Graphic Design are not eligible to receive federal financial aid at this time.
  • Under the lifetime borrowing limit of $138,500. This lifetime limit includes Stafford loans borrowed under both the current Direct Loan program as well as the previous FFEL program, but it does not include other types of federal loans such as Perkins or Grad PLUS. If you have ever borrowed a federal student loan, you may find your personal borrowing history on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) online at: https://nslds.ed.gov/. Click on “Financial Aid Review” and follow the prompts to log in with your FSA ID.
  • Not in default on any prior educational loan. We will not allow you to receive additional federal financial aid if you are not in good standing on any prior student loan. If you resolve the default, you will become eligible to borrow again. Information about your loans in default can be found on the NSLDS Financial Aid Review above. If you are in default on a loan currently, you can find information on how to resolve it on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Still have adequate Stafford eligibility remaining. The $20,500 annual limit includes both academic year (fall/spring sessions) as well as summer sessions. Typically summer loans are included with the following academic year; for example, loans borrowed in Summer 2017 typically count towards your 2017-2018 annual limit and may decrease the amount of Stafford loans you can receive during Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

Stafford loans may only be used for graduate-level coursework required for your degree program. Stafford loans may not be used to pay for prerequisite courses such as MT400, courses that are not approved as counting towards your degree requirements, or repeat coursework that has already been used to receive federal loans. If you find yourself enrolled in ineligible courses, you may still request the maximum loan amount you need and we will award you as much as you are eligible for in the given semester.

Interest Rates

Rate for loans first disbursed July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017: 5.31%
Rate for loans first disbursed July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018: 6.00%

Although students do not need to make payments on student loans until 6 months after graduating or withdrawing from our program, Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest from the date they are disbursed.

Origination Fees

Fee for loans first disbursed October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017: 1.069%
Fee for loans first disbursed October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018: 1.066%

Origination fees are deducted from the full loan amount, which means that you will receive slightly less on your student account in loan funds than you are actually borrowing.

Additional Information

More information about interest rates and fees can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Deciding how much to borrow is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. While students are eligible to borrow funds sufficient to cover tuition, fees, rent, and other expenses, you must consider carefully whether you are able to meet the financial responsibilities associated with borrowing. The opportunities afforded you through your graduate education are significant and financing a portion of your educational program can be a reasonable choice, but please ensure when you decide to borrow that you borrow realistically, with a reasonable expectation that your later income will sufficiently pay off your accruing debt.

As a very rough estimate, you will incur student loan payments of approximately $12 per month for every $1,000 you borrow. Thus, borrowing $10,000 will result in a monthly loan payment of $120 for 10 years. If you borrowed $20,000 each year for two years, your monthly payments would increase to $480.

Only you know how much loan money you will need for the semester, depending on other forms of financial aid you have available, whether you will be paying any part of your bill out of pocket, and whether you need a credit refunded to you after classes begin to help cover other educational expenses. You should request only as much money as you need for the current loan period (either the academic year [fall + spring] or the summer). There is an annual borrowing limit of $20,500. To appropriately pace educational loan borrowing, students should not borrow more than $10,250 per semester.

With questions about your specific situation, please contact us for guidance at artaid@bu.edu.

If this will be your first Stafford loan of your current degree program with Boston University, please complete the following steps:

1. 2017-2018 FAFSA. Submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at https://fafsa.gov. Note that this FAFSA should be based on your 2015 tax return, as we are now using “Prior Prior Year” tax information for financial aid. Note also that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been taken down indefinitely due to security concerns, so you will need a copy of your 2015 tax return on hand to fill out the information accurately. If you do not have access to a copy of your 2015 return, you may submit a Form 4506-T to the IRS to request a transcript of that return. If you also filed a 2016-2017 FAFSA last year for any reason (even if you did not submit it to Boston University), the tax information will need to match exactly between both records. Please double-check both records and carefully read any comments given to you upon FAFSA submission to ensure that your information aligns.

You must complete the FAFSA as an independent student, regardless of whether anyone else claims you as a dependent on their taxes. Do not use estimated or rounded numbers on your FAFSA as we will ask you to make corrections of any inaccuracies, and this will slow the processing of your loan.

Boston University’s school code is 002130.

2. BU Stafford Loan Request Form. Submit this form online at: http://www.bu.edu/cfa/admissions/graduate/tuitionandaid/stafford-loan-request-form/
You will be required to log in with your BU Kerberos username and password. Please indicate the amount you would like for the full academic year, fall + spring combined, and the amount will be split equally between fall and spring. If you are planning to be enrolled full-time in one semester and part-time in the other, and an equal loan split will not adequately cover your bill, please request your loan amounts for each semester separately. Contact artaid@bu.edu with any questions.

3. Subsidized/Unsubsidized/PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling: This only needs to be completed once for the duration of your program at BU. Access it online at https://studentloans.gov by logging in with your Federal Student Aid ID (the same one used to complete your FAFSA) and following the links to Complete Entrance Counseling.

4. Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note): This only needs to be completed once for the duration of your program at BU. Access it online at https://studentloans.gov by logging in with your FSA ID and following the links to complete a Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN). Be sure to complete the MPN for the Sub/Unsub loans and not for the PLUS loans, unless you will also be borrowing a Grad PLUS loan this year as well.

If you have already received Stafford loans from Boston University for your current program, please complete the following steps:

1. Register for full coursework for the semester. You must be registered for your full semester of courses (all of your anticipated fall courses, if you are requesting a loan just for fall or for the academic year, or all of your anticipated spring courses if you are requesting a loan just for spring). Please contact your academic advisor or your school’s main office if you need assistance registering.

2. 2017-2018 FAFSA. Submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at https://fafsa.gov. Note that this FAFSA should be based on your 2015 tax return, as we are now using “Prior Prior Year” tax information for financial aid. Note also that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been taken down indefinitely due to security concerns, so you will need a copy of your 2015 tax return on hand to fill out the information accurately. If you do not have access to a copy of your 2015 return, you may submit a Form 4506-T to the IRS to request a transcript of that return. If you also filed a 2016-2017 FAFSA last year for any reason (even if you did not submit it to Boston University), the tax information will need to match exactly between both records. Please double-check both records and carefully read any comments given to you upon FAFSA submission to ensure that your information aligns.

You must complete the FAFSA as an independent student, regardless of whether anyone else claims you as a dependent on their taxes. Do not use estimated or rounded numbers on your FAFSA as we will ask you to make corrections of any inaccuracies, and this will slow the processing of your loan.

Boston University’s school code is 002130.

3. BU Stafford Loan Request Form. Submit this form online at: http://www.bu.edu/cfa/admissions/graduate/tuitionandaid/stafford-loan-request-form/
You will be required to log in with your BU Kerberos username and password. Please indicate the amount you would like for the full academic year, fall + spring combined, and the amount will be split equally between fall and spring. If you are planning to be enrolled full-time in one semester and part-time in the other, and an equal loan split will not adequately cover your bill, please request your loan amounts for each semester separately. Contact artaid@bu.edu with any questions.Doctoral students in continuing studies phase should indicate 0 credits in all sessions (unless you are registered for a credit-bearing course this year) and make a note in the box for explanation of special circumstances that you are in continuing studies for fall and/or spring.


Federal Graduate PLUS Loans

Federal Grad PLUS loans are not need-based, have no annual borrowing limit, and are awarded only upon request. In most cases, we recommend that a student exhaust the Federal Direct Unsubsidized “Stafford” loan eligibility before considering borrowing a PLUS loan, as the PLUS loan has higher origination fees and interest rates, and requires passing a credit check or obtaining a cosigner to qualify.

In some cases, pursuing a private loan may make more sense for your situation. Please thoroughly consider all your options and weigh your needs as far as interest rates, fees, repayment options, etc.

More general information about Grad PLUS loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website and on our Office of Financial Assistance website.

Primary eligibility factors include:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident. International students are not eligible to receive United States federal financial aid.
  • Enrolled in adequate program & coursework. To receive financial aid you must be enrolled in adequate coursework to qualify for full-time certification in your program. With any questions about whether or not you qualify as a full-time student, please contact us at artaid@bu.edu. Please note that Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate students in Graphic Design are not eligible to receive federal financial aid at this time.
  • Not in default on any prior educational loan. We will not allow you to receive additional federal financial aid if you are not in good standing on any prior student loan. If you resolve the default, you will become eligible to borrow again. Information about your loans in default can be found on the NSLDS Financial Aid Review above. If you are in default on a loan currently, you can find information on how to resolve it on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • No adverse credit history. Detailed information about what qualifies as adverse credit and how to qualify for a PLUS loan if you do fall under adverse credit can be found on this Federal Student Aid Fact Sheet.

PLUS loans may only be used for graduate-level coursework required for your degree program. PLUS loans may not be used to pay for prerequisite courses such as MT400, courses that are not approved as counting towards your degree requirements, or repeat coursework that has already been used to receive federal loans. If you find yourself enrolled in ineligible courses, you may still request the maximum loan amount you need and we will award you as much as you are eligible for in the given semester.

Interest Rates

Rate for loans first disbursed July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017: 6.31%
Rate for loans first disbursed July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018: 7.00%

Although students do not need to make payments on student loans until 6 months after graduating or withdrawing from our program, Grad PLUS loans begin accruing interest from the date they are disbursed.

Origination Fees

Fee for loans first disbursed October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017: 4.726%
Fee for loans first disbursed October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018: 4.264%

Origination fees are deducted from the full loan amount, which means that you will receive slightly less on your student account in loan funds than you are actually borrowing.

Additional Information

More information about interest rates and fees can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

We recommend you maximize your Stafford loan borrowing before considering borrowing under the Grad PLUS program. For more information see the “Grad PLUS Loan Information” section above.

Deciding how much to borrow is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. While students are eligible to borrow funds sufficient to cover tuition, fees, rent, and other expenses, you must consider carefully whether you are able to meet the financial responsibilities associated with borrowing. The opportunities afforded you through your graduate education are significant and financing a portion of your educational program can be a reasonable choice, but please ensure when you decide to borrow that you borrow realistically, with a reasonable expectation that your later income will sufficiently pay off your accruing debt.

There is no annual or lifetime borrowing limit on the Grad PLUS loans, so you are welcome to request as much as you need. Your aid eligibility is restricted just by your enrollment status, maximum calculated financial aid eligibility budget, and other types of financial aid received.

With questions about your specific situation, please contact us for guidance at artaid@bu.edu.

Please complete the following steps to request a Grad PLUS loan:

1. 2017-2018 FAFSA (not necessary if you have already submitted it for a Stafford loan). Submit the 2017-2018 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at https://fafsa.gov. Note that this FAFSA should be based on your 2015 tax return, as we are now using “Prior Prior Year” tax information for financial aid. Note also that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been taken down indefinitely due to security concerns, so you will need a copy of your 2015 tax return on hand to fill out the information accurately. If you do not have access to a copy of your 2015 return, you may submit a Form 4506-T to the IRS to request a transcript of that return. If you also filed a 2016-2017 FAFSA last year for any reason (even if you did not submit it to Boston University), the tax information will need to match exactly between both records. Please double-check both records and carefully read any comments given to you upon FAFSA submission to ensure that your information aligns.

You must complete the FAFSA as an independent student, regardless of whether anyone else claims you as a dependent on their taxes. Do not use estimated or rounded numbers on your FAFSA as we will ask you to make corrections of any inaccuracies, and this will slow the processing of your loan.

Boston University’s school code is 002130.

2. BU Grad PLUS Loan Request Form. Download and print the request form from the Office of Financial Assistance website. (Note that the 17/18 Academic Year request form will be posted in late June.)
Please drop off or mail the form to the central Office of Financial Assistance at 881 Commonwealth Ave, or fax the form to 617-353-8200. Do not email the completed form, as sending information on a Social Security Number via email is not secure.

3. Subsidized/Unsubsidized/PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling (only for first-time borrowers): This is only needs to be completed once for the duration of your program at BU; if you have successfully received a Stafford or PLUS loan from BU you should not need to complete it again. First-time borrowers can access it online at https://studentloans.gov by logging in with your Federal Student Aid ID (the same one used to complete your FAFSA) and following the links to Complete Entrance Counseling.

4. PLUS Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note/MPN) (only for first-time borrowers or borrowers who previously borrowed with an endorser): This only needs to be completed once for the duration of your program at BU if you qualify to receive PLUS loans on your own, or every year if you need an endorser (cosigner) to qualify for a PLUS loan. Access it online at https://studentloans.gov by logging in with your FSA ID and following the links to Complete a Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN).


Private Student Loans

Students are welcome to pursue a private student loan as desired, be it through your home bank or credit union, a national lender, or elsewhere. We list some trusted, competitive student loan options on our Office of Financial Assistance website.

When determining what private loan might be best for you, please consider all details, including interest rates (and whether it is fixed or variable), additional fees (such as origination fees), repayment options, and any special options or incentives available to you (such as perqs for good academic standing, loyalty programs with a lender you have previously used, etc.). You will work directly with the private lender to determine the terms and details of your loan, and then the lender will typically work directly with our central OFA to certify the loan and apply the funds directly to your student account.