Federal Financial Assistance
Federal student aid includes grants, loans, and work-study. To learn more about the types of federal financial assistance available to SED students, review the information below.
Federal Aid Eligibility
To be eligible for U.S. Government Federal Financial Assistance students must meet the following requirements:
- Be a citizen of the United States or hold a permanent resident visa
- Be enrolled at least half time (six credits) in a degree-seeking program
- Must not be in default on previous education loans
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Be registered with Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25
- Complete and sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress at SED
- Submit the Federal Financial Aid Interest Sheet to the SED Financial Aid Office
Federal Work-Study is a program that promotes access to employment for students who demonstrate financial need. Available funds are provided by a federal allocation and a University matching contribution. Recipients are selected by the Office of Financial Assistance and must meet federal need and other criteria.
The Work-Study Office provides information to eligible students about available jobs in University departments as well as off-campus nonprofit agencies. Work-Study allocations may be used for community service programs.
Graduate work-study students may be paid either weekly at established hourly rates or monthly at a fixed amount, depending on the nature of the job. Job assignments, which average twelve to fifteen hours per week, are coordinated with the student’s class schedule.
Specific inquiries about the program should be directed to the Student Employment Office.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants up to $3,964 to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that services students from low-income families.
Teaching Obligation: In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you receive TEACH grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. The terms are defined as:
TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve: Each year you receive a TEACH Grant you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. The agreement is a legally binding document that defines the teaching obligations you must meet and specifies your repayment obligation if a TEACH Grant that you receive is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. When you sign the service agreement, you are agreeing to repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date that the grant funds were disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching obligation. Once the grant has been converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
Highly-Qualified Teacher: You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law Title IX.
Full-Time Teacher: You must meet the state’s definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority of your time teaching on of the high-need subject areas. Elementary school teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
High-Need Subject Areas (subject areas vary by State): High-Need fields are: Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Reading Specialist, Science, and Special Education or any field that has been identified as high-need by the federal government, a state government, or a local education agency, and that is included in the annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.
Schools Servicing Low-Income Students: These include any elementary or secondary school listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
BU SED Federal Loan Information
If a student is requesting a loan the loan amount that a student can receive is usually limited by one or more factors, such as calculated financial need, the cost of education, annual or maximum loan limits, the applicant’s credit rating, etc. For this reason, it is important to know the specific eligibility requirements, loan terms, and application deadlines for each program under consideration.
As a graduate student you may borrow:
- Up to $6,000 each year in Perkins Loans depending on your financial need.
- Up to $20,500 each academic year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
- The remainder of your college costs not covered by other financial aid in Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. Note: A credit check is required for a PLUS Loan.
Doctoral students who have completed residency requirements and who are engaged in writing a dissertation or are completing other academic requirements may be eligible to apply for certified full-time status in order to apply for a student loan, continue loan deferment privileges, or obtain appropriate visa coding for international student status. Students seeking certified full-time student status must contact the SED Records Office, Room 127, in order to obtain an application that must be completed before the start of the spring and fall semesters.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are long-term, low-interest education loans. As with other federal need-based programs, eligibility is determined through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Interest Rate: The current interest rate is 6.21% fixed for the life of the loan and it is an unsubsidized loan.
Maximum Annual Amount: The maximum annual amount for the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is $20,500 during the academic year.
Origination Fee: An origination fee of 1.073% is deducted automatically from amounts borrowed on these loans. Therefore, the net result disbursed is less than the loan amount approved.
Repayment start date: Repayment beings 6 months after you graduate or you cease to be enrolled in at least half-time (6 credits).
To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, complete the loan request form and return to our office by July 1, 2014. This form should be directed to the SED Office of Graduate Financial Assistance in Room 115, 2 Silber Way, Boston MA 02215. Forms may be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 617-353-8937. Please note that digital signatures are not acceptable.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are long-term, low-interest education loans. The PLUS loan is a credit-based loan.
Interest Rate: The current interest rate on the Graduate PLUS loan is 7.21% fixed for the lifetime of the loan.
Maximum Annual Amount: The PLUS does not have any annual borrowing maximums, so this loan may be used to bridge the gap between all other forms of funding and aid, and your total cost of attendance.
Origination Fee: An origination fee of 4.292% is deducted automatically from amounts borrowed on these loans. Therefore, the net result disbursed is less than the loan amount approved.
Repayment start date: PLUS graduate loans enter repayment once the loan is fully disbursed. However, as a graduate student, your loan will be placed into deferment while you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and for an additional six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.
To apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, complete the loan request form and return to our office by July 1, 2014. This form should be directed to the SED Office of Graduate Financial Assistance in Room 115, 2 Silber Way, Boston MA 02215. Forms may be scanned and emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 617-353-8937. Please note that digital signatures are not acceptable.
This is a federally funded, long-term educational loan allocated to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need. Due to limited funds, not everyone who qualifies for a Perkins Loan will receive one.
Interest Rate: The Perkins Loan has an interest rate of 5% fixed for the lifetime of the loan. There are no interest charges until nine months after you cease half-time enrollment (six credits) and begin repayment.
Repayment start date: You will have 9 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time (6 credits) before you must begin repayment.
To apply for a Perkins Loan, a student must indicate an intention to apply for the loan on the SED Graduate Financial Aid Interest Form and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Summer 2014 Federal Financial Aid
Graduate students interested in applying for federal financial aid during the Summer 2013 semester must complete and submit the appropriate forms due 2-4 weeks before the start of the term. These should be directed to the SED Office of Graduate Financial Assistance in Room 115, 2 Silber Way, Boston MA 02215. Forms may be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 617-353-8937. Please note that digital signatures are not acceptable.
The Direct Stafford annual borrowing limit is $20,500. Therefore, the amount you request in the summer will impact the amount you are able to request during the Fall and Spring semesters of the academic year.
Loan consolidation is available for Direct loans when students graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Loan consolidation can be a great way to simplify loan repayment by centralizing multiple existing loans into one bill, which can also lower monthly payments by giving students up to 30 years to repay their loans. However, students need to carefully consider if loan consolidation is right for them. By increasing their loan repayment timeline, students will also make more payments and have to pay more in interest. There may also be the added impact of losing any borrower benefits offered with the original loans. Borrower benefits from the original loan, which may include interest rate discounts, principal rebates, or some loan cancellation benefits, can significantly reduce the cost of repaying loans as well. Students might lose those benefits if they choose to consolidate. Once loans are combined into a Direct Consolidation Loan, they cannot be removed.
Review the Consolidation Checklist on the studentloans.gov website to see if consolidation is the best option. We also advise students to contact their loan servicer for specific information and help comparing repayment rates.
In order to consolidate Direct loans, students may apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan on the Direct Consolidation Loan website.
Potential borrowers should keep in mind that loans must be repaid and that repayment ability should be calculated in relation to total debt and future earnings. Failure to meet loan repayment obligations can jeopardize one’s credit rating and eliminate eligibility for federal student assistance funds.
There are a number of repayment plans for Federal Direct Loans. Below are simplified definitions of the various plans. For more details on these loans, please visit Federal Student Aid Repayment Plans. There you will find a more detailed comparison of these plans.
- Standard Repayment Plan – All monthly payments will be at a fixed amount over a 10 year time frame.
- Graduated Repayment Plan - The payment amounts begin relatively low and will increase (usually every two years) over a 10 year time frame.
- Extended Repayment – This plan is only available for those who have received more than $30,000 in Federal Direct Loans. You will have 25 years to pay back your loans and may choose to have a standard fixed payment plan or a graduated payment plan.
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan – The monthly payments will change as your income changes over a 25-year time frame. Your maximum monthly payments will be 15% of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence.
- Paye As Your Earn (PAYE) Plan - The monthly payments will change as your income changes over a 20- year time frame. Your maximum monthly payments will be 10% of discretionary income, the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your family size and state of residence.
- Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan - The monthly payments will change as your income changes over a 25-year time frame. Payments are calculated each year and are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total amount of your Direct Loans.
Federal Loan Cancellation/Loan Forgiveness
If you are a teacher or become a teacher serving in a low-income or subject-matter shortage area, it might be possible for you to cancel or defer your student loans.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program for Direct Stafford Loans: This program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, you may be eligible for forgiveness up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Stafford Loans.
Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation Program: You qualify for cancellation of up to 100% of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full-time in a public or non-profit elementary or secondary school system as a
- teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
- special education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
- teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.
For information on Direct Loan and Perkins loan repayment and cancellation options, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue working full-time in public service jobs. Borrowers may qualify for forgiveness on the remaining balance of their federal loan(s) after 120 on-time qualifying payments while working full-time at an eligible public service job. For more information, check out the “5 Steps to Understanding Public Service Loan Forgiveness”, or visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness page on the studentloans.gov website.