Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Once I have been admitted, what sort of financial assistance package will I receive?

The only form of assistance that is part of the admission process is scholarship and fellowship funding. Once you’re admitted, we’ll notify you about merit scholarships and fellowship awards. 

All graduate students who meet the requirements to receive federal financial aid may receive aid up to the cost of attendance, but we discourage students from requesting the maximum amount in federal loans just because they can. We work closely with students to create personalized aid packages. 

Admitted students should review the information on the Loans, Grants & Work Study section of our website. If you need more help, feel free to contact our Financial Assistance team—we’ll be happy to help you put together your personalized aid package.

Q: What type of financial assistance is available for the summer term?
If you are enrolled in a degree program and registered for six credits or more during the summer term, you may be eligible for a Summer Direct Unsubsidized Loan. To receive a Summer Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must submit the loan request form, which is available online near the end of the spring semester. To be considered for federal financial aid, you must submit a FAFSA for the upcoming academic year and complete your summer registration before submitting the request form. If additional funds are necessary, the summer Graduate PLUS loan is also an option.

Q: What does Boston University do to encourage and support teachers and the teaching profession?
The University is committed to teachers. We understand that most teachers work during the day and can’t take classes before the evening, so we offer discounted evening rates.

In addition, Field Associate Scholarships are available to teachers who have supervised BU Wheelock students as their student teachers.


Q: What are the scholarship options for incoming graduate students, and how do I apply for them?
There are various scholarships for incoming graduate students at BU Wheelock. You do not need to fill out an additional application for the Wheelock Scholars Merit Scholarships. We award our scholarships when our academic programs review applications. BU Wheelock also has a number of endowed and named scholarships that are available to our full-time students.

Some of those scholarships do require the submission of the Supplemental Scholarship Application with the admission application and others do not.

Q: Can I receive my scholarship in the summer term or have the entire amount applied in the same semester?
No. All scholarships and doctoral fellowships are applied to a student’s account evenly across the fall and spring semesters unless otherwise noted in your award letter, which will be sent to you shortly after admission.

Q: My program is a two-year program and I was offered a scholarship for the first year. Am I guaranteed a scholarship for the second year?
Yes. If you’re in a multiyear program, you will receive a scholarship of equal value in your second year as long as you are enrolled only in required coursework as a full-time student and are making satisfactory progress toward your degree.


Q: How do I apply for federal loans?
Make sure you complete the FAFSA and Entrance Counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note. Then download the appropriate loan request forms from the Loans section of our website section of our website. Complete these loan request forms and submit them to the BU Wheelock Financial Assistance Office.

Q: When will my loans disburse to my student account?
Loans usually disburse to students’ accounts two weeks before the start of the semester if students have successfully submitted a loan request form, completed loan counseling, and signed the Master Promissory Note in ample time for processing. It will generally take 7-10 days to fully process a loan.

Q: How do I request my loan refund to use for living expenses?
Loan refunds are available on or after the first day of the semester. To request a refund, go to the Student Link > Money Matters > Student Account Inquiry, and on the top of the screen is the link for Request a Refund. Click on the link and follow the instructions. The refund will be direct-deposited to your bank account.

Q: My financial situation has changed. I initially requested more in loans than I actually need. Can I reduce or cancel my loans?
We realize that financial situations can change for the better, and we are happy to hear this. You are able to adjust any of your loans (Perkins, Stafford, PLUS) as long as your request is processed during the award period of the loan. It will be your responsibility to make sure that there is a credit on your student account.

If you received the loan during the academic year, you will need to complete the Loan Adjustment Form to reduce or cancel your loan as long as this is done before the end of the academic year. If you request an adjustment after the disbursement of the fall semester has been received, Boston University reserves the right to make the entire requested adjustment to the spring semester disbursement.

Q: How do I defer my loans from a previous institution?
If you have previous educational loans with in-school deferment provisions, you can defer payments as long as you are seeking a degree and enrolled in at least six credits.
Boston University has contracted with the National Student Clearinghouse to provide proof of enrollment, enrollment history, and loan deferment information. You will need to log in to the Student Link > Money Matters > Loan Deferment Notifications and complete the necessary steps.

Some loan servicers do not accept documentation from the National Clearinghouse (Navient and Sallie Mae, for example), so you may need to download an application for in-school deferment from the loan servicer. This form will need to be signed and completed by the Boston University Registrar Office at 881 Commonwealth Avenue.

International Students

Q: Do international students on an F-1 visa face any particular obstacles when applying for financial aid?
International students have to produce documentation showing that they have financial support from their family or from a sponsor in order for the University to issue an I-20. If we offer a scholarship, students can include the aid we’re providing as part of their financial aid statement, but they still have to show that they have sufficient remaining funds. There are loans that are offered through US sources to international students who have a US cosigner or a US sponsor, but in most cases, loan options for international students are quite limited.

Our assistantships are also a source of support and an option for both international and domestic students. Depending on their various needs at any given time, departmental offices and professors hire graduate assistants. Teaching assistant positions may provide some tuition benefits as well as a stipend. It is unusual, however, for international students to receive graduate assistantship offers before arrival in the United States.

Q: What types of funding are available to international students?
If you’re an international student, you can apply for BU Wheelock general scholarships as well as any private funding that does not require US citizenship. To receive additional financial support during the academic year, be sure to review and apply for any graduate assistantships you may be qualified for.