Fletcher Connect

Loan Information

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal loan and work study programs. The Tufts University Office of Student Financial Services determines loan and work study eligibility following submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Detailed information on the loan and work study programs can be found at students.tufts.edu/financial-services.

FAFSA forms should be completed by April 15 (March 15 for first-time applicants), although you are encouraged to complete your FAFSA by February 15 to allow provisional credits to be reflected on your Tufts tuition bill, which will be available electronically in early July. A financial aid letter cannot be generated until the Tufts Financial Aid office receives your FAFSA data. Even if you have not completed your tax return forms, it is strongly recommended you use estimated income/tax information in order to submit the form on time. Students interested in being considered for Work-Study funds must ensure their FAFSA has been filed and received by Student Financial Services in Dowling Hall by May 1. Matriculating students who have not completed the FAFSA, but who would like to be considered for Federal Loan Programs, may do so at any time during enrollment at Tufts. Please allow three weeks for processing.

You can complete the FAFSA on-line at fafsa.ed.gov/. To file on-line, you will need a PIN (personal identification number).  First time applicants, and those who have forgotten their PIN, can apply for a PIN at pin.ed.gov. The Tufts Federal Institutional Code Number is 002219.  If you have already completed the FAFSA for graduate study, you will be able to follow the simplified FAFSA renewal process.

If you have questions about the FAFSA or the federal programs, please contact Tufts Student Financial Services at studentservices@ase.tufts.edu or at 617-627-2000. You may also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

This loan program is available to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled on at least a half-time basis. The loan is not based on need. Repayment of principal begins six months after graduation, or after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Students may either pay interest during periods of enrollment or defer paying the interest. Please note that the deferred interest will be capitalized (added to your loan principal at repayment) at the end of the grace period if not paid prior to beginning repayment. 

  • Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year.
  • Interest accrues from the time of disbursement.
  • Standard repayment is 10 years.
  • 6.00% fixed interest rate (set by the government) for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation, or when students withdraw or drop less than half-time status.
  • 1.066% loan origination fee subtracted from the amount borrowed. 

GradPLUS Loans

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who need additional funding after borrowing Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds should apply for a GradPLUS Loan. Interest begins to accrue on the loan from the date of the first disbursement. Students can defer repayment while enrolled at least half-time. 

  • Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.
  • Students are required to apply for the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan first.
  • Borrower must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • 7.00%  interest rate (set by the government) for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Interest accrues from the time of disbursement.
  • Students will be charged an origination fee of 4.272% which will be subtracted from the amount borrowed.
  • Standard repayment is 10 years.
  • Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed, but may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time. 

Alternative Loan Programs available to U.S. and International Students

Several banks and private lenders offer educational loans for financing graduate school education. Most private lenders require a U.S. co-signer for international students. The terms and conditions of the alternative loan programs are usually not as favorable as U.S. government loans (U.S. students are encouraged to borrow through Federal Direct Stafford and GradPLUS Loan Programs). Detailed information on Alternative Private Loans can be found on the Tufts University Student Financial Services website at students.tufts.edu/financial-services/financial-aid/types-aid/loans/alternative-and-private-loans.

Mpower Financing provides educational loans to both international and domestic students. No co-signer is required. 

The Fletcher School has a very limited pool of loan funds available for use as “loans of last resort.” After exhausting all other sources of financial support, students may apply for a loan, not to exceed $5,000. The interest rate on the loan is 5% and repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. The maximum repayment period is ten years. Interest does not accrue while the student is enrolled in school.

Fletcher Emergency Loans

Students may apply for interest free Emergency Loans of up to $2,000 from Fletcher for short periods.  Loan repayment is within one to two months. Typically, Emergency Loans are used to cover personal expenses in the short term. Emergency Loans are not available for summer support. Please contact the Fletcher Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for details.

How Loans are Applied to your Student Account

Tufts is a Federal Direct Stafford Loan lender which means that both your Federal Direct Stafford and GradPLUS Loans will come directly from the federal government. All students who have never borrowed a Direct Loan are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). To sign a MPN, please follow the instructions found at students.tufts.edu/financial-services/financial-aid/types-aid/loans/graduate-federal-direct-loans. If you are a prior borrower of a Direct Loan a new Master Promissory Note will not be needed. You may review your loan history at the NSLDS site at nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/.

All entering graduate students, as well as first time borrowers at Tufts, must complete Entrance Loan Counseling online at students.tufts.edu/financial-services/financial-aid/types-aid/loans/graduate-federal-direct-loans.

All loans are disbursed directly to your student account in two installments – one in the Fall semester and one in the Spring semester.

Refunds after Enrollment

If you have a credit on your account once your bill has been paid, your refund will be processed through BankMobile. Full details on the refund request process are available here.

If you are seeking a refund made payable to a third party, you must submit a signed Refund Request Form to the Student Services Desk in Dowling Hall. Please note that Tufts Student Financial Services will begin processing refunds during the second week of classes.

After Graduating

Information on Exit Counseling, Loan Repayment, Debt Management and Loan Consolidation can be found at uss.tufts.edu/finaid/gradaid/.