Financial Aid for Early Decision and Early Decision 2 Applicants

At Boston University, applying for admission and financial aid as an early decision candidate tells us that you know what you want from your college experience and you’re passionate about pursuing your goals. That’s why we are excited to work with you and guide you and your family through the financial aid application process.

And when it comes to college expenses, you can’t plan one year at a time. You need to plot out how you’re going to pay for the entire program, from start to finish. That’s why with the BU Scholarship Assurance your Boston University scholarship will be renewed at the same level each year – guaranteed – with no additional CSS Profile™ required.

Familiarize yourself with the Early Decision need-based financial aid application process, frequently asked questions, merit award information and helpful checklists.

Both the CSS Profile™ and the FAFSA are required to apply for BU-funded financial aid as a first time recipient. However after the first year BU need-based scholarship aid is guaranteed at the same level as the prior year and no Profile™ or FAFSA is required; that’s the BU Scholarship Assurance.

Only the FAFSA is required to apply for federal financial aid and state grants, and for these funds the FAFSA must be filed each year. We strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your IRS federal income tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA. This will streamline the application process and help you avoid errors which can cause delays.

The 2018-2019 CSS Profile™ and FAFSA are both available starting October 1, 2017. You will receive a financial aid decision along with your admissions decision if you file both forms by the deadline.

Note: For many students the BU funded financial aid is an important component in meeting the costs of enrollment.

  • 2018-2019 FAFSA
  • 2018-2019 CSS Profile™
    • If your biological or adoptive parents are divorced, separated, and/or do not share the same household list both parents (and any stepparents if applicable) on your Profile, as instructed. The parent you live with most must provide their information on your FAFSA and Profile. Your other (noncustodial) parent must also complete a Profile, which will be appended to your Profile later. Enter your other (noncustodial) parent’s email address on your Profile, as instructed, so CSS can send them information on how to create their separate Profile account log-in.
    • Submit a CSS Profile™ Waiver Request for the Noncustodial Parent if getting a CSS Profile™ from the other (noncustodial) parent will be impossible.

Other forms may also be required.

Q. Should I wait for an admission decision before applying for financial aid?

A. No. It could be too late to receive full consideration for financial aid if you delay submitting your application for any reason.


Q. As an Early Decision candidate what do I need to do to apply for financial aid? Is it the same process as for regular admissions? What about application deadlines?

A. Just like with the regular freshmen admission process, you will be required to submit both the CSS Profile™ and FAFSA. However, some of the Early Decision financial aid deadlines are earlier. Review the filing instructions and deadlines carefully.

CSS Profile™ FAFSA
EARLY DECISION November 1 November 1
EARLY DECISION 2 January 2 January 2

Q. Are there any disadvantages to applying through Early Decision if I know I will need financial aid to attend?

A. As an Early Decision candidate, you agree to apply only to Boston University. By doing so you forfeit any opportunity to compare your BU financial aid decision with potential offers from other universities. Apply through Early Decision only if you’re comfortable with these restrictions.


Q. What factors are considered when awarding Boston University Need-based Scholarships?

A. BU Need-based Scholarships are offered based on several factors, including calculated financial eligibility, academic achievement, the availability of funds for your program of study, and other factors.


Q. If after receiving financial aid, there is still a gap, are there other loan options?

A. We encourage students and their families to borrow responsibly and carefully consider the full duration of their enrollment and potential monthly payments before making a loan commitment. Credit-based loan options include private, state and federal loans. Information about credit-based loans and resources to help you evaluate them and your options are on our loan page.

Download and print the checklist and use it to help you manage your way through the process.

Download a printer friendly version of the Early Decision Checklist.

To Apply

By November 1

  • Note all applicable deadlines.
  • Submit the 2018-2019 FAFSA.
  • Submit the 2018-2019 CSS Profile™.
    • If your biological or adoptive parents are divorced, separated, and/or do not share the same household list both parents (and any stepparents if applicable) on your Profile, as instructed. The parent you live with most must provide their information on your FAFSA and Profile. Your other (noncustodial) parent must also complete a Profile, which will be appended to your Profile later. Enter your other (noncustodial) parent’s email address on your Profile, as instructed, so CSS can send them information on how to create their separate Profile account log-in.
  • Submit a CSS Profile Waiver Request if getting a Profile from your other (noncustodial) parent will be impossible.
  • Regularly check your BU Applicant Link and email for requests for additional information.

After You Receive Your Aid Decision

Beginning in Mid-December

  • Create a four-year plan for financing your education at our planning page.

By January 15

  • Acknowledge your Financial Aid Award via the Applicant Link.
  • Submit your Enrollment Deposit.

After Paying Your Deposit

By June 1

  • Submit Income Verification in order to confirm your tentative financial aid award.
  • You may expect a finalized award by early July, provided you have submitted all required documentation in a timely manner.

Mid-May through July

We want to do all we can to take your particular circumstances into consideration.  We encourage you to contact our office with any questions about your financial aid.

Download a printer friendly version of the Early Decision 2 Checklist.

To Apply

By January 2

  • Note all applicable deadlines.
  • Submit the 2018-2019 FAFSA.
  • Submit the 2018-2019 CSS Profile™.
    • If your biological or adoptive parents are divorced, separated, and/or do not share the same household list both parents (and any stepparents if applicable) on your Profile, as instructed. The parent you live with most must provide their information on your FAFSA and Profile. Your other (noncustodial) parent must also complete a Profile, which will be appended to your Profile later. Enter your other (noncustodial) parent’s email address on your Profile, as instructed, so CSS can send them information on how to create their separate Profile account log-in.
  • Submit a CSS Profile Waiver Request if getting a Profile from your other (noncustodial) parent will be impossible.
  • Regularly check your BU Applicant Link and email for requests for additional information.

After You Receive Your Aid Decision

Beginning in February

  • Create a four-year plan for financing your education at our planning page.

By March 1

  • Acknowledge your Financial Aid Award via the Applicant Link.
  • Submit your Enrollment Deposit.

After Paying Your Deposit

By June 1

  • Submit Income Verification in order to confirm your tentative financial aid award.
  • You may expect a finalized award by early July, provided that you have submitted all required documentation in a timely manner.

Mid-May through July

We want to do all we can to take your particular circumstances into consideration.  We encourage you to contact our office with any questions about your financial aid.