Financial Aid FAQ
- Tuition and Billing
- The FAFSA
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Military Benefits
- Loan Repayment
- Simmons Financial Aid
Tuition and Billing↑
What is the cost of attendance for SocialWork@Simmons?
SocialWork@Simmons tuition is $1,030 per credit hour for the 2017–2018 academic year. Students complete 65 credits. Students must also pay a field education fee of $55 per placement and a $55 student fee per term. Visit our Tuition and Financial Aid page to learn more about costs associated with the SocialWork@Simmons program.
Will tuition change each academic year?
A moderate tuition increase can be expected for each academic year.
How do I pay my bill?
If you would like to pay any portion of your bill out of pocket, you can make a payment online through the Student Account Center and e-bill, or you can set up a payment plan through HigherOne. For more information, visit our Student Accounts page.
What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Department of Education’s application for determining a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.
Where can I find the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is a FREE application. If you are asked to pay a fee to complete the application, you are on the wrong website.
Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA if I live on my own?
If you are applying to graduate school, you do not need your parents’ financial information to complete the FAFSA.
When is the earliest I can complete the FAFSA?
Each year the updated FAFSA is available October 1.
What constitutes an academic year for federal student aid?
SocialWork@Simmons processes financial aid on what is called a Borrower-Based Academic Year (BBAY). This means that a financial aid year for the online MSW program equals two terms.
What types of federal student aid are available to graduate students?
Graduate students can apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Learn more about types of federal financial aid here.
Will I need to fill out the FAFSA each year?
Yes, the FAFSA needs to be completed each year. Federal student aid eligibility does not carry over from one award year to the next.
Why am I not eligible for the Pell Grant or Direct Subsidized Loans?
The Department of Education only awards the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loan to students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level.
What if I didn’t include my SSN in my application for admission? Will Simmons receive my FAFSA?
If you did not include your SSN in your application for admissions, Simmons will not be able to retrieve your FAFSA from the federal database. Please contact Student Financial Services via phone at 617-521-2001 to verbally provide your SSN or securely send us a copy of your SSN card so that we can verify your information and update your account.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans↑
What is the difference between an unsubsidized loan and a subsidized loan?
Direct Subsidized Loans, also commonly known as Stafford Loans, are only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time and during the six-month grace period. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans here.
What is the aggregate loan limit?
Your aggregate loan amount is the total you can borrow across the course of your education. The aggregate amount for graduate and professional students is $138,500, which includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study. Learn more about aggregate loan amounts here.
How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?
You can go to NSLDS.ed.gov to view your federal student loan borrowing history.
What is the current interest rate?
The current interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans can be found here.
Do I have to pay my loans while I’m in school?
You are not required to pay on your student loans while you are in school as long as you are enrolled at least half time. At Simmons, half time for graduate students is considered 5 credits and you cannot combine credits from other semesters in order to reach this status. You must be enrolled at least half time within in a single term. Your unsubsidized loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, take a leave of absence, or fall below half-time status.
What criteria are used to determine eligibility?
In order to apply for federal student aid, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
- Have a valid SSN
- Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re male (must register between ages 18–25)
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree program
- Be enrolled at least half time (5 credits) in an eligible program
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through FSA
- Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit
The Direct Unsubsidized Loan (commonly referred to as a Stafford Loan) is not based on income or credit history. You can learn more about student eligibility criteria here.
Are there any additional loan fees?
Yes, there is a current loan origination fee of approximately 1% of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. You can learn more about the origination fee here.
What if I am currently in default or have defaulted on a prior federal student loan?
Review your loan history at NSLDS.ed.gov and contact your servicer for details on how to clear the default.
Direct PLUS Loans↑
What is a Direct PLUS Loan?
Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay for education expenses. Learn about Direct PLUS Loans here.
How do I apply for a Direct PLUS Loan?
In order to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, you can apply for the Direct PLUS Loan by completing the credit application at studentloans.gov.
What is the current interest rate?
Do Direct PLUS Loans affect my aggregate loan limit?
No. Only Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are used to calculate your aggregate loan amount.
When do I have to repay my Direct PLUS Loan?
Your Direct PLUS Loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, take a leave of absence, or fall below half-time status. You are not required to pay your student loans while you are enrolled in school as long as you are enrolled at least half time.
What criteria are used to determine eligibility to receive a PLUS Loan?
You are eligible if you are a U.S. citizen, enrolled in a graduate program at least half time, and have passed a credit check. You must first exhaust the funds in a Direct Unsubsidized Loan before getting a Direct PLUS Loan.
How much can I borrow with the Direct PLUS Loan?
If approved for a Direct PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to the full cost of attendance as determined by Simmons College, less any other financial aid received.
How do I apply for military benefits?
If you are eligible to apply for military education benefits, visit the Veterans Affairs website here and complete the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP).
Do I need to do anything besides complete the VONAPP?
A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility must be provided to Student Financial Services by mail, fax or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. An updated Certificate of Eligibility (COE) will be mailed to you within six to eight weeks of successfully completing your VONAPP. Students must also submit a Student Information Form prior to the start of each academic year.
What is the national maximum per academic year for private schools?
For students with Chapter 33 benefits, the national maximum for private schools per year is $22,805.34 for 2017–2018.
What is the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?
The Yellow Ribbon Program allows degree-granting private colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum cap for the resident tuition and fees at public institutions. Veterans who are utilizing Post-9/11 GI Benefits and who are entitled to 100% of their benefit may be eligible. To participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, you must be using Post-9/11 GI benefits at 100% eligibility, not on active duty, and not a military spouse. There are a limited number of Yellow Ribbon awards available.
What is the difference between active and non-active duty?
Active duty service members serve the military full time and are not currently eligible for the YRP. Non-active duty service members are not currently serving the military in any capacity and are eligible for YPR at 100% per COE.
Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits?
You may be eligible if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill here.
What is the current Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)?
The current, 2017–18, MHA is $840.50.
When do I have to pay back my loan?
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. Learn more about repayment timelines here.
Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?
A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation here.
What are the repayment plan options, and how do I select one?
Loan servicers offer a range of repayment options, including income-based repayment. Your servicer will contact you during your six-month grace period to select a repayment option. You should select your repayment option before your first payment is due.
Simmons Financial Aid↑
Are there any payment plans available?
Payment plans are available. If you are interested in setting up a payment plan for your tuition, you can sign up online with HigherOne. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your Student Account Representative. Their contact information is available at Student Financial Services.
How do my employers go about paying the school?
For more information about employer tuition assistance, please contact our Student Accounts office.
How are my loan funds distributed by term?
You can receive up to $10,250 of the Direct Unsubsidized Loan (commonly referred to as a Stafford Loan) per semester, including the summer semester.
Does Simmons require I complete any supplemental financial aid forms?
Yes, you must complete the Student Information Form (SIF) each year.
What is the minimum number of credits I must take to receive federal student aid?
You must be registered for at least 5 credits per semester to be eligible to receive federal student aid.
Do I have to pay my tuition deposit before I can receive my award package?
No, you do not need to pay your deposit in order to receive your financial aid package. However, Financial Aid will not be able to provide an award until they have received both a FAFSA and a Student Information Form for the year. Please complete these documents at the same time you complete your application for admission.
Can I use financial aid to pay my deposit?
No, you cannot use financial aid to pay your deposit.