Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid
Financial Aid Forms and School Code
Do I have to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year?
Yes, a FAFSA should be filed every year the student will be attending school and looking for federal financial assistance at the following website: www.fafsa.ed.gov
What is Boston University’s Title IV school code?
The Title IV school code for all GMS graduate programs at Boston University School of Medicine is 002130.
Do I need to apply for a private loan if I am asking for federal loans?
Most full-time students will need to borrow from both the Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) and apply for additional funds from an alternative credit based loan program to meet the educational costs at least for the first year.
Where will I look for credit based educational loans?
Boston University provides a list of popular private loan programs and lenders our graduate students frequently use to meet their educational costs while here. Although you are not required to use any of the listed lenders, they are options for your consideration. Use the following link to find those options.
How do I know how much I will need to borrow from the private lender?
In addition to tuition costs, health insurance coverage costs, and general fee information, there is a standard living expense allowance for all graduate students attending Boston University. Please visit the annual cost of attendance for MA & MS programs page for further information.
Are there any scholarships/assistantships available to MA students?
Most of our MA programs are loan based but you should check with your particular department of interest for further information. Travel awards are available to help financially support graduate students who are giving a presentation or presenting a poster at a scientific meeting.
Am I automatically awarded Federal Work-Study and/or Federal Perkins Loan because I applied?
Due to the high volume of applicants and limited budget; it is not guaranteed you will be awarded Federal Work-Study or a Perkins Loan. These are need based funds and those students who demonstrate the most need as determined by the FAFSA information will be considered first.
I’ve filed my FAFSA. What’s next?
Filing your FAFSA is only the first step in the federal financial aid process. You will need to contact your financial aid office for the institutional financial aid loan applications and complete an entrance counseling session and electronically sign a master promissory note at www.bu.edu/finaid.
Ongoing Finaid Paperwork once at BU
Do I have to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete an Entrance Counseling Session every year for the Federal loan programs?
No. Only those students attending Boston University for the first time or borrowing Federal Direct Loans and/or Federal Graduate PLUS Loans for the first time will have to electronically sign a Master Promissory Note and complete an Entrance Counseling session online for the university.
Do I have to submit an institutional financial aid loan application every year?
Yes, every year a student is interested in financial assistance a FAFSA must be filed and an institutional loan application must be submitted to the financial aid office.
General Questions Once at BU
Can I receive my living expense funds before class starts so I can pay rent and purchase books and supplies?
University policy will prohibit any funds from being released to students until class officially begins each semester. With this in mind, it is strongly suggested that students come to Boston University with one month’s rent and living expense needs at their disposal.
I am running out of money and the semester hasn’t ended. What should I do?
Students should only be using their living expense funds for things directly related to the pursuant of his/her current degree such as room and board, transportation, book and supplies. If he/she is having difficulty making ends meet on the standard budget set for all graduate students, then he/she will need to submit a written explanation of where he/she is falling short financially and provide supporting documentation and submit the budget increase request to his/her financial aid office for review.
Can I use all my Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility to pay my fall semester tuition and not worry about applying for a private loan until spring?
Unfortunately, you cannot utilize your maximum federal loan eligibility in a single semester unless you happen to be graduating that semester. Otherwise, all financial aid requested will be split equally between the fall and spring semesters. Likewise, if you are enrolled in both summer sessions, your aid will be equally split between summer one and summer two.
When will I receive my living expense funds?
University regulations restrict us from releasing any federal funds until class officially starts for each semester and provided you have been officially approved for the credit based loan as well as completed all Federal Direct Stafford Loan and/or Federal Graduate PLUS loan requirements.
How will I receive my living expense check?
Students have the option of requesting a direct deposit through studentlink once the funds have arrived here at BU. If the student does not have an active US bank account or would rather receive a check, then he/she should contact the financial aid office about a week before classes begin to request the check be mailed or held at Student Accounting Office for pickup.
I need to repeat a course; can I get federal funds to pay for it?
If the failed course is required for the degree then students can request federal aid to cover the cost if tuition is charged.
International Applicant Financial Aid
Are international students eligible for financial aid?
International students are not eligible for any federal financial aid but there some lenders that allow international students to borrow educational funds as long as they can secure a US Citizen or Permanent Resident with good credit as a co-signer.
What is the estimated cost that an International applicant applying must provide to attend Boston University?
According to the “Estimate of Expenses”, the expenses should be for one year minimum to attend Boston University. (Please note that the Estimate of Expenses is updated on a yearly basis) confirm for MAMS.
What forms of financial support are acceptable for International applicants applying to the Graduate Program?
We accept checking or savings bank account statements, bank loan statements, scholarship award letters and support letters from the government or independent organizations. The financial documents must be in English and in U.S. dollars. It should clearly state your name and/or sponsor’s name. If sponsored, a legalized letter from your sponsor is required. (All documents should be original- no photocopies are accepted.