Federal Student Loans & Student Employment

U.S. Federal Loan Programs

U.S. citizens/permanent residents are eligible borrow through a variety of federal loan programs. Program and application information follows. Eligibility for all federal loan programs is determined by Tufts University Student Financial Services.

In addition to reading the information below, please be sure to visit the Tufts University Student Financial Services website for complete program details and procedures.

Federal Direct Loans

  • Students may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year
  • Borrower must be a US citizen or permanent resident 
  • 7.05% fixed interest rate for 2023-2024, determined by the federal government
  • Interest accrues from the time of disbursement
  • Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2023 will have a 1.057% loan fee
  • Standard repayment is ten years
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation, or when students withdraw or drop less than half-time status

GradPlus Loan

  • Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid
  • Students are required to apply for the maximum Federal Direct Loan first
  • Borrower must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • 8.05% fixed interest rate for 2023-2024, determined by the federal government
  • Interest accrues from the time of disbursement
  • Origination/Guarantee fee is 4.228% for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2023.
  • 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

How to Apply for Federal Loan Programs

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The Tufts school code is 002219.
  • You will need an FSA ID number to apply online. You may obtain a number here.
  • 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.
  • Need-based financial aid awards will arrive via email from Tufts Student Financial Services. Please monitor your junk and spam filters to be sure you receive this important message!

Alternative Private Loans

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. Detailed information on Alternative Private Loans can be found on the Tufts University Student Financial Services website.

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

Prodigy Finance - provides educational loans to international students enrolled in two-year residential programs. No co-signer is required.

Student Employment

In addition to teaching and research assistantships, various part-time jobs are available at Fletcher and Tufts under regular student employment budgets and, for those who qualify, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. Students with jobs typically work between 8-12 hours a week both on and off campus. International students with an F-1 visa may work up to 20 hours a week on campus. Students typically earn $15.00–$18.00 per hour depending on job responsibilities. More information on student employment can be found on the Tufts Student Employment Office website.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

At Fletcher, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to second-year and doctoral students. Professors choose their own assistants. Teaching and research assistantships are treated as student employment at Fletcher. Assistantships do not reduce tuition fees. The stipend for assistantship positions is typically around $2,000.

Fletcher students may serve as teaching assistants at Tufts University in the undergraduate departments of Political Science, Economics, History, International Relations, and Modern Languages. These assistantships are normally awarded to second-year students, though occasionally first-year students are selected. Students interested in teaching assistantships should make inquiries directly to the individual departments at Tufts University as early as possible for full consideration. Fletcher students also serve as teaching assistants at other institutions in the Boston area.