Tuition and Financial Aid


For the 2014-2015 academic year, full-time tuition for College of Fine Arts MFA programs is $22,858 per year. This tuition is substantially lower than the standard Boston University full-time tuition and is an acknowledgment of the University’s support of the College of Fine Arts.  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.  The 2014-2015 part-time tuition rate for the College of Fine Arts School of Theatre  is $714 per evening credit.

In addition, all students who attend classes on campus are charged the Health and Wellness Fee ($167 per semester) and the Student Services Fee ($151 per semester).  A Community Service/Program Fee of $20 is assessed one time per year, in the fall semester. 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 Boston University Student BASIC Plan and their student accounts are charged for the coverage ($1,941 per year).  If the student has a comparable level of health insurance coverage, a Medical Insurance Waiver must be completed by the Medical Insurance Waiver deadline to waive participation for the 2014-2015 Plan Year.  International students are required to enroll in a Boston University Medical Insurance Plan.  Please see the Medical Insurance Waiver Guidelines and carefully read the Comparable Coverage guidelines here.

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.


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 (both domestic and international) admitted graduate students are automatically considered for scholarship aid.

Scholarships given to masters level students are a three-year commitment. Scholarships and Federal Direct Stafford loans are split between the fall and spring semesters. Scholarships are based upon full time registration.


Assistantships are positions within the College of Fine Arts, available to graduate students, that include instructional, research, and/or administrative responsibilities. There is no separate application required to apply for an assistantship. Both domestic and international students are automatically reviewed for assistantship positions. Assistantships are awarded based on artistic merit and the needs of the schools.


Academic year work-study applications are now available here.  Please return completed applications to the Graduate Financial Aid Officer, CFA Room 230.  The deadline for work-study applications is Monday, August 25th.


Students enrolled in the School of Theatre may receive stipends in addition to other scholarship aid. School of Theatre stipends, split between the fall and spring semesters, are paid out as a 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.


The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program provides low interest loans to US citizens and US permanent residents pursuing graduate education. The maximum loan eligibility is $20,500 in unsubsidized loans per academic year.

To be eligible for federal financial aid (loans and work study), a student must:

  • Be accepted to a graduate program at Boston University
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester
  • Not be in default on a previous Federal Stafford, Perkins or other educational loan
  • Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident

Applying for a Stafford Loan is a two-step process:

Step One

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
BU School Code: 002130

The FAFSA must be submitted in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. Both prospective and currently enrolled students are strongly encouraged to complete the FAFSA form online, as this will decrease the processing time for your loan. The Federal Student Aid Program generates a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA data. Boston University uses the information from the SAR to determine student eligibility for Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Work-Study. FAFSA website –

Step Two

Complete the Stafford Loan Request Form

The Stafford Loan Request Form (PDF) is used in conjunction with the FAFSA. The student uses this form to indicate much he/she would like to borrow under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. Without this form, the Financial Aid Officer cannot begin the process of determining a student’s eligibility for the loan amounts requested. Complete the Stafford Loan Request Form at the link above.

You cannot receive a loan if the Stafford Loan Request form is not completed.

Additional requirements for first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan Borrowers:

If a student is a first-time borrower, s/he must fulfill an entrance counseling session, which is required by the federal government. This requirement should be completed on-line.

First time borrowers also need to complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) which should be completed on-line. Potential borrowers will need their federal personal identification number (PIN). If a borrower does not have a PIN or cannot recall it, a duplicate PIN can be requested on-line. Boston University will be notified within 48 hours when an on-line promissory note has been completed.

Entrance Counseling and Promissory Note

Duplicate PIN

How Much To Borrow?

Deciding how much to borrow is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. While it is possible to borrow sufficient funds to cover tuition, fees, rent and other expenses, you must consider carefully whether you are able to meet the financial responsibilities associated with borrowing. As an estimate, you will incur student loan payments of approximately $12 per month for every $1,000 that you borrow. Thus, borrowing $10,000 will result in a monthly loan payment of $120 for 10 years. If you were to borrow $10,000 each year for two years, your monthly payments would increase to $240.

The opportunities afforded you through your graduate education are significant and financing a portion of your educational program can be a reasonable choice. Make sure when you decide to borrow that you borrow realistically with a reasonable expectation that your later income will be sufficient to meet your borrowing expense.