The Office of Student Financial Assistance at Massachusetts College of Art and Design is committed to helping students and their families obtain the resources needed to help them afford a MassArt education, ensuring that access to a chosen field is not limited by the cost of attendance.
The college offers a wide range of options for financial assistance so that students interested in attending MassArt may do so regardless of their financial means.
Financial aid is a time-sensitive process, so please be sure to consult the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s Important Deadlines webpage and submit all forms and materials in a timely manner, to be considered for all possible aid opportunities for which a student may be eligible.
Financial aid is available for undergraduate, graduate, and certificate students, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance follows US Department of Education guidelines in administering financial aid programs. The basic principle behind financial aid is that students and their families have primary responsibility for meeting as much of the cost of attending college as is reasonably possible. Financial aid is a supplement to family resources if family resources are insufficient to meet college costs.
Three components determine eligibility for financial aid: cost of attendance, family contribution, and financial need. Stated simply, cost of attendance minus expected family contribution (EFC) equals financial need.
Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance is NOT the amount which will be billed by the college, but rather the estimated and reasonable cost of completing a full academic year at MassArt as a full-time student. The cost of attendance represents the maximum amount of financial aid a student may receive for one academic year. Students and their families should borrow only what they need to supplement other finances that they may have.
The financial assistance letter lists cost of attendance, based on the following costs:
- Tuition and fees payable to the institution
- Art supplies and books
- Room and board (or a living allowance for living off campus/at home)
- Personal costs, transportation
The estimated cost of attendance is determined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance based on residency status with the college as well as the information provided on the FAFSA about living arrangements. If living arrangements change, please notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance in order to update the cost of attendance.
These expenses may be added to a student’s cost of attendance upon request if applicable:
Student Health Insurance for 2012-2013: $1,261
Please refer to the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s Cost of Attendance webpages for a detailed breakdown of the various costs of attendance, by program.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The “expected family contribution” or “EFC” is based on the information supplied on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The family contribution is calculated using the US Department of Education guidelines and a process called need analysis. This process takes into account components such as:
- Family income
- Number of family members
- Number of family members attending college on at least a half-time basis
- Family assets (not including the primary residence)
- Taxes paid
- An allowance for essential family living costs
The Office of Student Financial Assistance uses the results of the need analysis to determine the types of financial aid that a student is eligible to receive. A student with determined financial need may be eligible for need-based aid and loan programs, whereas a student with no determined financial need may be eligible for non-need-based federal loan programs.
How to Apply
Students should apply for financial aid at the same time they apply for admission. They should not wait until they have been admitted to apply for financial aid! The only financial aid application required is the FAFSA-the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
MassArt’s priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 1.
To Complete Your Financial Aid Application:
File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible. File the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Even if a federal tax return has not yet been completed, the FAFSA can still be completed using estimates of the prior year’s income. MassArt’s federal school code is 002180 and should be included on the FAFSA application.
Students (and parents of dependent students)-be sure to apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN at www.pin.ed.gov prior to starting the FAFSA. The PIN(s) serves as an electronic signature(s) for the FAFSA.
- New applicants to the college must provide their social security number to the Admissions Office so that the college may be able to retrieve FAFSA information.
- After completing the FAFSA, it takes 3-5 days for Federal Student Aid (FSA) to review and process an application. Once complete, FSA will send a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR). Please review it to ensure that the information submitted was accurate and complete. If corrections are needed, make changes on the FAFSA website. MassArt will receive an electronic copy of the SAR, along with any corrections made, so long as MassArt’s school code has been included on the FAFSA.
- Additional documents may be required for students who are selected for verification by the federal government. If required to submit additional information, the Office of Student Financial Assistance at MassArt will send notification by letter. These documents should be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance as soon as possible to avoid delay in receiving a financial aid offer.
Please note, all prospective undergraduate and graduate students who complete an admissions application will automatically be considered for institutional merit scholarships for which they are eligible. There is no separate application to apply for a merit scholarship at MassArt. Decisions regarding merit scholarships are made by a scholarship committee and their decisions will begin being mailed out in late winter for accepted fall applicants.
Any student applying to, or accepted to, or enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or certificate program is eligible to apply for financial aid.
International students are not eligible for need-based financial aid; however, they may apply for a private student loan with a US cosigner.
Continuing Education students who are not enrolled in a certificate or degree program are not eligible for financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Assistance. For information about other financial resources, please see Professional and Continuing Education’s webpage for Financial Resources.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance will use the information provided on the FAFSA to determine eligibility for all sources of financial assistance.
When You Will Hear From Us
Incoming students who have been accepted by the Admissions Office and file the FAFSA by March 1 should receive a financial assistance letter by mail by April 15 or prior to the date by which accepted students must notify Massachusetts College of Art and Design of intent to enroll. Please note: if selected for verification, a finalized financial assistance letter will not be sent until the required documents are submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Returning students who file the FAFSA by March 1 should receive a financial assistance letter by mail by June 15. Please be aware that financial aid will be placed on hold if a student is not meeting the criteria for satisfactory academic progress. Returning students who are selected for verification will need to submit a federal verification worksheet, 2011 federal tax transcripts and W-2s in order to receive a financial assistance letter.
How to Accept Your Financial Aid
Once a financial assistance letter is received, the student must inform the Office of Student Financial Assistance what types of aid he/she would like to accept or decline by following the instructions on the letter, and returning a signed copy of the financial assistance letter to the Office of Student Financial Assistance by the date indicated.
Please return a signed copy of the financial assistance letter to the Office of Student Financial Assistance in a timely manner.
Complete Loan Application(s) as Required
The following loans listed on the financial assistance letter require further action in order for the loan to be received and applied to the student’s billing statement:
- -Federal Direct Stafford Loan(s)
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Massachusetts No Interest Loan
Please be sure to complete the loan application instructions in a timely manner to avoid a delay in the processing of your loans.
Types of Financial Aid
Federal Pell Grant
A federal grant awarded to undergraduate students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. These awards are based on financial need.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
A federal grant which is only awarded to Pell Grant recipients. MassArt has limited amounts available to its undergraduates.
A state-funded program administered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is awarded to eligible Massachusetts residents who complete their FAFSAs by May 1. This is a strict state deadline. Funds are awarded to students who are financially needy and do not have a prior bachelor’s degree. The Office of Student Financial Assistance is familiar with the state’s criteria in awarding these funds and will include the amount a student is eligible for on the financial assistance letter prior to confirmation from the state. In some cases, the state may require additional information from a student’s family to determine eligibility for an award. If the state notifies a student that they require further information, it is important to comply immediately. Students who do not comply in a timely manner lose their award.
Tuition Waiver/Cash Grant
These are state-funded and institutional grants awarded to undergraduates from Massachusetts who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Awards are based on financial need. For more information about tuition waivers, please see the section labeled “Tuition Waivers.”
Massachusetts residents may be eligible for the MASSGrant listed above. For residents of other states, check with the state’s scholarship office to determine eligibility for an award and if it is transferable to MassArt. MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance should be notified of any transferable award from a state other than Massachusetts, and this award will be included in the financial aid package.
MassArt merit scholarships are quite competitive. Students must be high academic achievers with strong portfolios to be given serious consideration. Take the time to submit application materials-especially a portfolio-that fully represent accomplishments and potential and demonstrate what you will bring to MassArt.
Applicants who have completed a FAFSA and are strong candidates will automatically be reviewed for awards for which they are eligible. To receive full consideration for some merit scholarships, complete the FAFSA by February 15.
The scholarship committee begins reviewing accepted applicants around March 1. Once the decisions have been made, scholarship recipients will be notified by letter from the scholarship committee.
The Senator Paul E. Tsongas Scholarship Program
The Tsongas Scholarship covers all tuition and fee charges for four years, and is awarded annually to five new students from Massachusetts. Recipients must place in the top ten percent of their class or have a grade point average of 3.75, and must have highly competitive SAT scores or the ACT equivalent, or have earned at least two grades of 3.5 (B+) or better in advanced placement of honors courses. The scholarship committee selects Tsongas scholars from the pool of accepted applicants who meet the above criteria and who also have exemplary portfolios and other admission submissions; preference is given to those candidates demonstrating financial need.
The Trustees Scholarship
The Trustees Scholarship is the highest award for out-of-state applicants. It covers all tuition and fees and is renewable for up to four years. Each year, the scholarship committee identifies up to six Trustees scholars, top academic students with outstanding portfolios who also have demonstrated financial need.
Other Merit Scholarships
Students may also be considered for an assortment of institutional scholarships based on various academic and demographic criteria. Eligible applicants are identified during the application review process, and names are forwarded to the scholarship committee for consideration. Scholarship amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000 per year. Some of these awards are renewable, and some are for only one year.
A Note on The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship
MassArt does not participate in the Adams Scholarship program since it does not receive funding for this scholarship program from the Commonwealth. MassArt’s special status within the state’s higher education system makes it more dependent on tuition revenue than the other state universities. In MassArt’s New Partnership Agreement, the college accepted a reduced appropriation from the state in exchange for the ability to retain tuition revenue. This arrangement means that tuition waivers which are not reimbursed by the Commonwealth, including the Adams Scholarship, directly reduce the resources available to maintain quality academic programs, which is MassArt’s highest priority.
Currently, there is no approved mechanism for the college to receive reimbursement for Adams Scholarships. Despite the lack of funding, MassArt enrolls a large number of students who receive the Adams Scholarship designation. Through a long-standing and successful need-based financial aid program, MassArt continues its strong commitment to directing financial aid resources to the best-qualified students, ones with academic and artistic potential. This includes scholarship assistance for many students from middle-income families.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design honors the following Commonwealth of Massachusetts tuition waivers. Please submit the proper documentation proving eligibility for a tuition waiver to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Students receiving tuition waiver benefits are exempt from in-state tuition but are responsible for all other education costs including fees, books, supplies, and living expenses.
Need-based Tuition Waiver
The need-based tuition waiver is a state-funded grant awarded to undergraduates from Massachusetts who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Awards are based on financial need, as determined by the FAFSA.
Adopted Children Tuition Waiver
This tuition waiver is for students adopted through the Department of Social Services by state employees or eligible Massachusetts residents.
Armed Forces Tuition Waiver
Tuition waivers are available for active members of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard) stationed and residing in Massachusetts.
Foster Care Children Tuition Waiver
This tuition waiver supports students who are foster children in the custody of Massachusetts.
Higher Education Employee Tuition Waiver
According to the System-Wide Tuition Remission Policy for Higher Education, tuition remission may be provided to higher education employees, their spouses, and dependent children based on guidelines established by the Department of Higher Education. A Tuition Remission Certificate must be completed by the employee and their Human Resources Office and submitted for each semester the student is enrolled.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Tuition Waiver
This tuition waiver is for clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Please contact a Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission counselor for more information.
Massachusetts State Employees Tuition Remission
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Tuition Remission Program is available to eligible state employees and their spouses. A Tuition Remission Certificate must be completed by the employee and their Human Resources Office and submitted for each semester the student is enrolled.
Native American Tuition Waiver
Tuition waivers are available for American Indian residents of Massachusetts who are attending state colleges or universities. Contact the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs for information and an application.
Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver
Tuition waivers are available for Massachusetts residents over the age of 60. Please submit a driver’s license, birth certificate or other evidence of age verification to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery Tuition Waiver
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Stanley Z. Koplik certificates recognize high academic achievement on the MCAS and other measures of academic accomplishment including competitions, student publications, and awards. Recipients must maintain a college 3.3 GPA or the equivalent. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education determines Koplik Certificate of Mastery tuition waiver awards.
Valedictorian Program Tuition Waiver
This tuition waiver is provided for Massachusetts high school students who have been designated as valedictorians.
Veterans Tuition Waiver
Students who have served in the armed forces may be entitled to receive a tuition waiver.
Please note that members of the Massachusetts Army or National Guard are eligible for 100% tuition and fee remission. Please contact the Massachusetts Army National Guard Education Services Office for more information.
Outside Scholarship Opportunities
The Office of Student Financial Assistance receives many notices about scholarships offered from private sources outside of the college. Please visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s Outside Scholarship Opportunities webpage for more information on finding outside scholarships.
Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of all financial aid received from other sources. Types of assistance that must be reported include private scholarships, tuition waivers, veteran’s benefits, Massachusetts Rehabilitation assistance, etc. Please mail a copy of the award notification to the Office of Student Financial Assistance, so that it can be noted on the student’s account.
All students are encouraged to work to help with educational costs. Federal work-study is a need-based work program that enables students to earn wages at MassArt through a variety of job opportunities. Work-study students are paid $8.00 per hour and receive bi-weekly paychecks.
Money earned in the work-study program can be used for any educational and/or personal expenses; however, it is NOT credited to the student’s billed expenses at MassArt. On average, work-study students work approximately 8 hours per week and may be responsible for helping various administrative offices, bringing prospective students on tours, helping out in one of the studios, or gallery sitting, among other tasks.
Work-study positions may be found in several different ways. Some work-study supervisors prefer to hire through word-of-mouth, or will post flyers around campus; others may post their open work-study positions on the Career Services job listing site.
Once students have found a work-study position, they must visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance to complete a Work-Study Contract, and provide proof of eligibility to work in the US (the student must bring original documents, such as a passport, birth certificate, or social security card) before they can begin their job.
Work-study students interested in working off-campus may apply for community service work-study jobs through the Center for Art and Community Partnerships. Students that are not able to find a work-study job will NOT receive additional funding to replace the work-study earnings expectation.
Unfortunately, the Office of Student Financial Assistance cannot guarantee on-campus jobs since there are not enough work-study positions for every student. For those who cannot find a work-study position or who are ineligible to earn federal work-study funds, the Career Services Office provides information for students to find off-campus jobs.
Student Loan Programs
Student loans have varying repayment terms and interest rates and must be repaid. The interest rates listed below are the standard rates for the 2012-2013 academic year; however, the promissory note is the final word on the correct rate.
At MassArt, families are counseled to borrow only federal loans, and to seek alternative loans as a last resort. For the undergraduate class of 2012, 73.3 percent of students borrowed to help with educational costs. For undergraduates, the average amount borrowed by students was $28,429. The undergraduate median amount borrowed by students was $25,875.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
This federally funded loan program is available to full and part-time undergraduate students. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan program enables students to borrow directly from the US Department of Education, and repay to an approved Federal Student Aid Loan Servicer. MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance originates and processes the loan.
Repayment begins six months after the student graduates, withdraws from the college, or drops to less than half-time enrollment. In order to receive a Stafford Loan, a student must be enrolled for at least six credits per semester and must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
Application Process: In order to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, students must file the FAFSA annually. Once the Office of Student Financial Assistance determines eligibility for financial aid, then the Stafford Loan(s) for which a student is eligible will be offered on the financial assistance letter.
The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is provided based on financial need. The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan while the student is enrolled in school for at least six credits per semester, and during authorized deferment periods. The current interest rate for undergraduate Subsidized Stafford Loans for the 2012-2013 school year is fixed at 3.4 percent.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is provided regardless of financial need. The student is responsible for the interest accruing while he/she is enrolled in school, and during authorized deferment periods. During this time, students may either pay the accumulating interest or capitalize the interest. Capitalization means the unpaid interest will be added to the principal balance of the loan at the beginning of the repayment period. The current interest rate for all Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for the 2012-2013 school year is fixed at 6.8 percent.
Direct Stafford Loans have a 1 percent origination fee. Multiply the loan term amount by .99 to determine the net amount that will be credited to the bill.
Students who receive a Stafford Loan for the first time at MassArt are required to complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. Entrance Counseling and the MPN are completed online at www.studentloans.gov. Once signed in, click on “Complete Entrance Counseling” in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. After completing the Entrance Counseling, click on “Complete MPN” in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Stafford Loan applications are considered incomplete until the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note have been completed.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program is a federally funded program that enables graduate students to take out an additional student loan to supplement their financial aid package once they have exhausted maximum loan eligibility in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. It is not based on financial need. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan program enables students to borrow directly from the US Department of Education and repay to an approved Federal Student Aid Loan Servicer. MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance originates and processes the loan.
Interest Rate and Fees: Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent for the 2012-2013 school year and begin accruing interest 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed to the college. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans have a 4 percent origination fee. Multiply the loan term amount by .96 to determine the net amount that will be credited to the student’s bill.
Application Process: All borrowers will apply online at www.studentloans.gov. MassArt will be notified if the student is approved for the loan. If approved, the student will be notified, and should then complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (if a first-time borrower) on the same site.
Loan Eligibility: Eligibility for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan depends on a modest credit check that determines whether the student has an adverse credit history. If a student is denied a PLUS Loan, they may obtain a credit eligible endorser to cosign the loan. In order to receive a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, students must be enrolled for at least six credits per semester.
Massachusetts No Interest Loan (NIL)
This is a student loan offered to needy Massachusetts residents by MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This loan requires repayment six months after the borrower graduates, withdraws, or drops to less than half-time, and there is absolutely no interest charged. Students awarded this loan must come to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to complete the necessary paperwork.
Federal Perkins Loan
This is a federal student loan offered to Pell Grant-eligible undergraduates that does not need to be repaid until nine months after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops to less than half-time. The interest rate is five percent, however interest is not charged until repayment begins. First-time borrowers awarded this loan must come to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to complete the necessary paperwork.
Alternative Loans (Private Loans)
The loans on the financial assistance letter are federal and/or state loans and offer better interest rates and repayment terms than any other type of student loan. If the aid a student has accepted does not cover the total cost of his/her education, then applying for a private student loan may help to fill the additional need. A student’s maximum eligibility for alternative loans is the cost of attendance less any other aid that is received.
While the Office of Student Financial Assistance will process any private loan application, please visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s Alternative Loan Programs webpage for more information about Alternative Loan Programs, and lender suggestions.
Parent Loan Program
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program is a federally funded program that allows a parent of a dependent undergraduate student to borrow an education loan to supplement their student’s aid package. It is not based on financial need. The federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows a parent to borrow money to help cover the total cost of attendance (including tuition and fees, living allowance, and any other eligible school expenses) minus any aid the student is receiving.
Interest Rate and Fees: Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. There is a 4 percent origination fee. Multiply the loan term amount by .96 to determine the net amount that will be credited to the student’s bill.
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program enables parents to borrow directly from the US Department of Education, and repay to an approved Federal Student Aid Loan Servicer. MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance processes the loan.
Application Process: In order to apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, students must file the FAFSA annually. Once the student’s eligibility for other types of assistance has been determined, the maximum amount a parent may borrow in a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan will be offered on the financial assistance letter. To request a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, parents will apply online at www.studentloans.gov. MassArt will be notified if the parent is approved for the loan. If approved, new parent borrowers will complete a Master Promissory Note on the same website.
Loan Eligibility: Eligibility for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan depends on a modest credit check that determines whether the parent has an adverse credit history. If a dependent student’s parent is denied a PLUS Loan, the student becomes eligible to borrow more Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funding-up to $5,000 additionally, depending on the student’s grade level. Alternately, a parent may obtain a credit-eligible endorser to cosign the loan. Questions about the reason for a denied PLUS Loan may be directed to the Direct Loan Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394.
Financial Aid Refund Checks
Students who receive financial aid in excess of their MassArt bill are eligible to receive a refund of their financial aid monies to assist with other educational expenses. For example, a student who lives off-campus may receive financial aid over and above the college bill and use the excess to help pay for rent and other expenses. Generally, the first refunds for the fall semester are done in October, and in March for the spring semester. If you need assistance in determining when you will receive your refund check(s), please make an appointment with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Please note that any student that accepts a refund check and withdraws before 60% of the semester has passed may owe money to the college and/or the federal government. For more information, please read the following section, Federal Refunds.
The federal government mandates that students who withdraw or take a leave of absence from all classes before the 60% point of the semester may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal/leave. Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the “earned” amount must be returned by the college and/or the student to the Federal Government. This could result in the student owing aid funds to the college, the government, or both.
To determine the amount of aid the student has earned up to the time of the withdrawal/leave, the Office of Student Financial Assistance divides the number of calendar days classes were held prior to the withdrawal/leave period by the total number of calendar days in the semester (less any scheduled breaks of five days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed (either to the student’s college account or to the student directly by check) for the semester. This calculation determines the amount earned by the student, which he or she may keep (for example, if the student attended 25% of the term, the student will have earned 25% of the aid disbursed). The unearned amount (total aid disbursed less the earned amount) must be returned to the federal government by the college and/or the student. The Office of Student Financial Assistance notifies students who are required to return funds to the government and provides them with instructions.
If the college is unable to determine a withdrawal/leave rate, the law requires the Office of Student Financial Assistance to use the midpoint (50%) of the semester.
Funds that are returned to the Federal Government are used to reduce outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned by the college or the student must be allocated in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Students whose circumstances require that they withdraw or take leave from all classes are strongly encouraged to contact both MassArt’s Office of Student Financial Assistance and the Academic Advising Office. At this time, the financial consequences of withdrawing from all classes can be explained and clearly illustrated.