Frequently Asked Questions

For Charles River Campus and Off-Campus Programs

When are payments due for the spring semester?

The payment deadline for the spring semester is mid-December. Late fees will begin to accrue after that date.

How is financial aid disbursed for the academic year?

Most financial aid is disbursed in two payments (once at the start of each semester).

How many credits must I have in order to get financial aid?

You must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) to get and keep financial aid, including a federal loan and most alternative loans.

How will I know that my student account is paid and up-to-date?

You may view your student account and financial aid status online on the Student Link. Making sure your student account is accurate is your responsibility.

Will there be a credit check when I apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

No, but credit checks are required for alternative loans and a co-signer does not help if you cannot pass the credit check.

I submitted a request for a refund. Why haven't I received it yet?

There must be a credit balance in your student account before a refund can be processed. You may view your student account online to see when your funds are credited. Also, each semster, refunds are not released until starting the first day of classes for the semester.

Why didn't I get the amount of the alternative loan I requested?

Even though there is an alternative loan limit each year, which is not based upon financial need, other eligibility requirements (such as the student budget and other financial aid) may limit the amount for which you qualify.

I don't want to calculate exactly how much loan I need. Can I just borrow the maximum available to me?

You should not borrow the maximum loan amount each year just because it is available. That will mean higher loan payments when you graduate.

Why was money deducted from the loan amount I borrowed?

There are guarantee and/or origination fees for most of the student loan programs.

Do I have to do the Entrance Counseling before my Federal Loan is credited to my student account?

Yes. The entrance counseling is required by federal regulation before federal student loan funds can be disbursed. You may complete the requirement online.

Are there circumstances that will affect my financial aid?

Yes. If you drop a course, take a leave of absence, get additional financial aid, get a Resident Assistant position, etc., your financial aid may be affected.

The semester has not begun yet, but can I get a refund or advance?

No, student loans cannot be disbursed until the first day of classes each semester.

Can I get an advance for the spring semester before the winter break?

No. You cannot receive a refund or an advance of spring semester credit until after the winter break, starting when classes begin for the spring semester; therefore, you should have December and January rent and other living expenses budgeted.

What will happen if I do not complete the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note?

Your Federal Direct Staffford Loan funds will not be credited to your student account until you complete the promissory note and it is processed. You may complete it online.

Are scholarship awards based on financial need?

No. The awarding of SSW scholarships is generally based on merit.

If I am awarded a scholarship, will I be able to get it again for the next year?

If you are awarded a SSW scholarship, you must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to be considered for that scholarship for the following year. Incomplete grades will be taken into consideration once they are posted and may affect your eligibility. You must also complete and submit the SSW Financial Aid Application.

How do I defer my previous loans now that I am in school?

In order to get your previous loan(s) deferred, you must send the deferral form(s) to the Boston University Verifications Department at 881 Commonwealth Avenue.

I applied for a refund last month and received it. I now have a loan that was just credited to my student account. Do I need to submit another form for a refund?

Yes. If you submit a refund form before all of your funds are credited to your account, and it is processed, you will need to submit a new refund form to request any new funds that become available.

Can I dispute the late fee that was added to my student account?

If you get charged a late fee and you want to dispute it, you must put your appeal in writing to Student Accounting Services.

I may have to file bankruptcy. Can I include my student loans?

No. Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Can I consolidate my alternative loan with my federal loans?

Alternative loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans nor payment extended over a greater period of time.

Do I have to complete the Exit Counseling requirement?

Exit counseling is required by federal regulations before you can receive your diploma at graduation.

What do I need to do to apply for financial aid?

Filing a FAFSA and a SSW financial aid application is required each March if you are applying for SSW financial aid; if you are applying only for a student loan, however, the FAFSA is still necessary, but student loan applications are not usually available until April or May and must be filed separately.

As a full-time student, is the cost of taking summer classes included in my tuition?

Full-time students may take courses in the summer, but they are not covered by the tuition paid during the academic year; students are charged the “per credit” rate for summer courses.

Can I get federal work-study if I did not apply for financial aid?

The federal work-study program requires an assessment of financial need according to federal requirements, i.e., it is “financial aid.”

I have a balance due on my student account from last semester. Will that prevent the processing of my financial aid for next semester?

Any balance due at the end of the academic year must be paid off before financial aid for the following academic year can be processed.

Will my trust fund be considered when calculating my financial need?

Almost every trust fund can be used for educational purposes and is counted as “cash” when determining eligibility for federally funded programs.

Can I get a summer loan if I am only taking one course?

You must be registered for at least 6.0 credit hours during the summer to be eligible for a summer loan.

If I borrow more than the suggested maximum in the summer, will my academic year loan eligibility be reduced?

Using a student loan for summer enrollment may result in reduced eligibility for the following academic year.

Why can't I submit my summer loan request before I register?

Student loans for summer enrollment are based upon the number of credits for which you register and therefore cannot be processed until you have registered for classes.