FAQs – Financial Aid


When should I apply for financial aid?

The maximum consideration deadline is March 1. It is always to your advantage to apply as early as possible. The School of Social Work does deplete its grant funds. There have been years when the School has been unable to provide grant aid to late applicants.

Should I wait until I know if I’ve been admitted to apply for financial aid?

Definitely NOT. You should complete the application for financial aid at the same time that you complete the application for admission, but definitely before March 1. (When March 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is the following Monday.)

I am getting a divorce (or separation) and don’t want to have my spouse’s income counted. Is this possible?

Yes, in addition to the FAFSA and School Financial Aid Application you must provide the following documents: copy of your separation/divorce agreement, completed Verification Worksheet, signed copy of your taxes and W-2s. If you are not legally separated and/or divorced, please provide a letter stating your separate addresses as well as the date of your change in marital status. If you have not yet filed the FAFSA, do so following the directions for divorced or separated status.

I have had a recent change in my income. Can I receive additional financial assistance?

Possibly. In addition to the FAFSA and School Financial Aid Application, you will need to provide a letter to the School explaining the change in your financial circumstances as well as the date the change occurred. To the letter, please attach a Verification Worksheet, signed copy of your Federal Taxes, copies of your W-2s, and any supporting documents you feel may help. The Office of Admission and Financial Aid will review your information and offer any help we can.

How many credits must I take to be eligible for financial aid?

To qualify for traditional types of financial aid, you must be enrolled for five credits each semester. *Alternative education loans are available for students enrolled less than half-time.

If I’m in default on a federal education loan, can I still receive financial aid?

New federal regulations governing defaulted loans have made it easier for a student to get out of default on a loan and resume payment or defer the loan. Grant aid is available from the School (to financially eligible students) as long as the student is making repayment on the defaulted loan. Documentation is necessary. Students with a defaulted loan should call the Office of Admission and Financial Aid for specific information.

I live with my parents. Will this affect my financial aid?

Yes, but not as much as you might assume it would. All graduate and professional school students are considered to be independent of their parents for federal financial aid. For the School’s grant money, we also assume that you are independent and do not require information about your parents’ income and assets. However, we do assume that your living costs are about 30% less than students who maintain a separate household. There are many students here who qualify for a grant who also live with their parents.

When will I hear if I’ve been awarded financial aid?

When the Office of Admission and Financial Aid is notified of your admission, your application is reviewed. If your application is complete, you should hear within two to three weeks after admission; but probably not before April 15. If your application is not complete, you will receive notice of what is missing from your application.

The first award letters generally are not mailed before April 15 to applicants who have complete applications. Keep in mind that the sooner you file your federal tax return the sooner you can complete your part of your financial aid application.

My situation is really unusual. Is there anyone who can advise me?

Yes. The Office of Admission and Financial Aid is open from 8:30 to 4:30, Monday-Friday when classes are in session. After April 1, processing of applications becomes a priority and it is more difficult to reach the office between March 1 and September–when school begins. So, the best time to call or come in to discuss special circumstances is between now and the first part of April.

Are there scholarships for minority students?

All of the grant aid available at the School of Social Work is awarded based on financial need. The Human Rights and Opportunity Grant, available to all students, takes into account a variety of factors including a history or background of educational and/or socio-economic disadvantage.

The School also offers a number of competitive scholarships for which you can apply. Some of these scholarships are geared toward minority students. Application materials are available in September of each academic year and located on the Financial Aid bulletin board. You do not have to be a financial aid applicant to apply.

How do I apply for the Human Rights and Opportunity Grant?

You don’t need to do anything beyond completing the application for financial aid. All students who apply for financial aid are automatically reviewed for all types of aid the School has to offer.

I just want to apply for loans. Do I have to complete this whole financial aid application process?

No, you need only complete the FAFSA. However, we recommend that students complete the entire application process. You might be surprised what you qualify for. Also, if you have a change in your finances, this will be one less form you will need to complete for additional consideration.

If I am ineligible for any kind of grant aid, I will have difficulty paying my tuition until I receive my loan money. Can I postpone paying my bill until my loan money arrives?

Yes, if you have been awarded a federal education loan through the School and you have returned your Acceptance Form indicating that you will borrow an amount sufficient to cover your tuition and fees, your payment will be automatically deferred (postponed) until your loan funds arrive.

Can I receive assistance for daycare expenses?

Yes. Please provide a letter indicating your request and the name(s) of the dependent(s) receiving daycare. Attach documentation of your payment to the daycare facilitator.

I applied for financial aid last year. Can you reactivate my application?

No. Even students who have been enrolled for the current year must reapply for every subsequent year of enrollment. This is because students’ financial circumstances and family situations change from year to year and these changes have an effect on eligibility for financial aid.

When should I apply for financial aid?

The maximum consideration deadline is March 1. It is always to your advantage to apply as early as possible. The School of Social Work does deplete its grant funds. There have been years when the School has been unable to provide grant aid to late applicants.