1 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence
2 From the Director of Financial Aid Dear Students and Parents: Perhaps the best advice any college can give to a prospective student is: Make your educational choice first, and then take the steps necessary to pay for it. Once your goals are matched with the college that s right for you, there are many ways to seek assistance in meeting expenses. For almost two decades, I ve worked closely with students and their families to help them find the resources to pay for a Sarah Lawrence education. In fact, more than half of our students are receiving some type of assistance this year. So the good news is that it can be done, and this little book can help you do it. In these pages you ll find an explanation of the sometimes confusing world of financial aid: what kinds of grants and scholarships you may be eligible for; what forms you need to fill out, and when; and tips on sources of financing you may not have considered. We hope you catch our spirit of optimism, which is a big part of how we approach our task. We urge you to review this brochure and then make your application for aid, even if you are not sure whether you are eligible. The Office of Financial Aid is here to help you, so please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. My colleagues and I look forward to working with you and bringing you that much closer to joining us at Sarah Lawrence College. Sincerely, Heather McDonnell Director of Financial Aid Phone: (914) , 9 a.m. 4:30 p.m. (EST) Fax: (914) Web: Mail: Sarah Lawrence College Office of Financial Aid 1 Mead Way Bronxville, New York
3 2 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence The Cost of Education at Sarah Lawrence To plan effectively for your education, you must first have an accurate estimate of its cost. The budget below does not include allowances for fees, books and supplies, personal expenses, and the cost of travel between the College and the student s home Budget for One Year at Sarah Lawrence College Tuition $42,600 Room & Board $13,368 Total $55,968 Average student aid package, all sources (grant, loan, and job)... $35,044* Average Sarah Lawrence gift aid grant...$29,270* Percentage of students receiving some type of need-based aid... 55% * These numbers are simply averages. Financial aid is calculated and awarded on an individual basis.
4 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence 3 How Financial Aid Is Packaged As at most colleges in the United States today, the Sarah Lawrence College financial aid package combines outright college and government grants with governmentsupported loans and work opportunities. Most financial aid is based on need. The College offers other scholarships on a limited and competitive basis. The Three Elements of Financial Aid A Sarah Lawrence financial aid package is composed of three elements: Grants Student loans Employment Long-term student loans and money earned from working are considered selfhelp. The average self-help amount, which includes both student loan and work opportunity funds, is $4,425 for first-year students and $5,300 for all returning students. Every financial aid recipient is awarded a student loan and work opportunity as part of the package. You are not required to accept a student loan or work offer to receive the Sarah Lawrence gift aid offered. Frequently Asked Questions Can I afford to attend Sarah Lawrence College? Yes. Approximately 62 percent of students at Sarah Lawrence receive some form of financial aid. The amount of aid received is determined by a student s demonstrated need. How do I apply for financial aid? Sarah Lawrence requires every student seeking financial aid to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS Profile). Both forms are available online. In addition to these two forms, we require signed, completed copies of your and your parent s federal income tax returns for the previous tax year. For example, if you are applying for the academic year, you should submit your 2010 tax return. If your parents are separated or divorced, we also require that your non-custodial parent file and return the CSS Profile Non-Custodial Parent Statement (NCPS),
5 4 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence which will be available to you directly from CSS upon receipt and processing of your application. Please see the Financial Aid Forms and Deadlines section for the schedule of materials required. All male students ages 18 to 26 (if required to do so) must register for Selective Service before any form of financial aid may be awarded. You can now register online for Selective Service. How is financial need determined? In determining a student s demonstrated need, Sarah Lawrence subscribes to the practice and procedures of federal and institutional methodology as published by the US Department of Education and the College Scholarship Service. The formulas consider necessary family expenditures, including taxes, living costs, outstanding medical expenses, and costs for siblings college tuition. Students are expected to contribute 50 percent of their income and 25 percent of their assets toward the cost of their own education. The minimum expected contribution from a first-year student is $1,350 and, from all others, $1,500. Financial need is determined by subtracting your family contribution from the total cost of education. In addition to tuition, room, and board, we consider books, supplies, travel, and personal expenses as costs related to attending college. How is financial aid packaged? Grants, employment, and student loans are the three elements of a Sarah Lawrence financial aid package. You are not required to accept the loan or work offer to receive Sarah Lawrence gift aid. What is Sarah Lawrence gift aid? Sarah Lawrence gift aid is funded from various sources, including contributions from alumnae/i, parents, students, and friends of the College. Sarah Lawrence gift aid is directly applicable to any tuition, room, and board expenses incurred while enrolled at the College or one of its overseas programs. It does not need to be repaid.
6 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence 5 What federal grants are available? Federal Pell and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are awarded to students who meet the eligibility criteria as established by the Department of Education. All financial aid applicants who are US citizens apply by completing the FAFSA. Students eligible for Pell funding may also be eligible for the Federal SEOG. This grant is awarded after the Office of Financial Aid obtains the official results of your FAFSA from the Department of Education. For more information, check out the Federal Pell Grant site at Pell Grant recipients who graduate(d) from a rigorous high school program may be eligible to receive the federal Academic Competiveness Grant (ACG). New students will be notified of this award after the review of their final high school academic transcript has been done by the Office of Admission. Returning Pell Grant recipients who graduated from a rigorous high school program after January 2005 may also be eligible to receive ACG. Pell Grant recipients who are third- or fourth-year returning students and are taking at least 25 percent of their course work in selected math and science disciplines may be eligible to receive the federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART). Students meeting the criteria for selection will be notified of this award after each drop-add period is over. What state grants are available? New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is available to all eligible New York residents attending Sarah Lawrence College. New York residents who complete the FAFSA will be sent a separate TAP application, which they must complete and file by the stated deadline. For more information, explore the New York State site. Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC offer grant programs to their residents who attend New York colleges. Contact the state education department or your high school guidance counselor for further information. How does student employment work? You may work on campus. The first four weeks of the fall semester are reserved for the hiring of work-study students. After this period, campus jobs are available to all students. The Office of Student Employment will be available to assist you in the job search process. You will receive a paycheck every two weeks for work already performed. In addition to on-campus jobs, community employment opportunities in the vicinity of the College are posted on campus. These jobs are usually part time, and most do not require transportation to the site.
7 6 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence What types of loans are available to students with financial need? Sarah Lawrence commonly awards two types of federally administered student loans: the Perkins Loan and the Federal Student Loan. Federal Perkins Loans are awarded to students who demonstrate the greatest need. This loan carries a 5 percent interest rate, which accrues six or nine months after graduation or as soon as the borrower drops below half-time status. Repayment also begins at that time and usually continues over a 10-year period. Federal Student Loans are available through the federal government. If you demonstrate need, you are eligible for the subsidized student loan, on which the federal government pays interest as it accrues until six months after your graduation or the point at which you drop below half-time status. If you do not demonstrate need, you are eligible for an unsubsidized student loan, on which the interest must be paid while you are in school. As with the subsidized loan, repayment of principle begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time status. Repayment of either loan can be made over a 10- to 15-year period. First-year students are eligible for up to $3,500 in student loans, sophomores up to $4,500, and juniors and seniors up to $5,500. The variable interest rate on the student loan for new borrowers is based on the 91-day Treasury bill plus a 3.1 percent allowance, not to exceed 8.25 percent. The rate for students enrolling for the following school year is announced at the beginning of June. The federal government may charge an origination fee for the student loan. These fees are deducted from each semester s check. A student loan is an obligation that must be repaid after you complete your degree or cease to be enrolled. For more information on how to apply for a student loan, see page 8. What about loans for parents? The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a program whereby credit-worthy parents may borrow the total cost of their child s education minus any financial aid awarded to the student. The variable interest rate is capped at 10 percent based on the 52-week Treasury bill plus an allowance of 3.1 percent. Temporary credit will appear on each semester s bill until the PLUS checks are endorsed by the parent and Sarah Lawrence College. You can file online at
8 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence 7 How will I receive notice of my financial aid award? If you re an incoming applicant and you file the necessary forms by the stated deadlines, you will receive notification of your award in early April. Returning applicants will be notified in early May if the required financial forms and tax returns are received by the deadlines. Late applicants for financial aid will be notified upon completion of all required documents, and awards will be subject to fund availability at the time of completion. Since our financial aid resources are limited, funding may not be available to late applicants. How do I accept my award? To accept your award and have the aid credited to your student account, you must submit all documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid no later than the stated deadlines. How is financial aid renewed from year to year? Renewal of financial aid is not automatic. Forms must be filed by the stated deadlines each year of attendance. Recipients must continue to demonstrate financial need and maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid. What does satisfactory academic progress mean? The federal government and Sarah Lawrence have policies governing who may continue to receive financial assistance. This determination is based on how many credits you attempt, how many you earn, and what your grade point average is at the end of each academic year. The federal government policy is reflected in this chart: End of Year Attempted Credits Must Earn at Least You must continuously maintain a 2.0 or better grade point average at the end of your sophomore year.
9 8 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence How do I apply for student loans once my eligibility is determined? If you are eligible for student loans, you will be notified in your financial aid award letter from the Office of Financial Aid. You must complete an entrance counseling interview and Master Promissory Note by visiting Once this Master Promissory Note is filed, the funds from your loan will be made available to your account through the Sarah Lawrence College Office of Student Accounts. What happens to my financial aid if I study off campus? If you are studying overseas on one of Sarah Lawrence s programs, all aid for which you are eligible will be applied to the cost of the program including Sarah Lawrence gift aid. If you are studying at another college, or through another school s program, you and the financial aid office at the host institution will need to complete a Consortium Agreement with the Sarah Lawrence Office of Financial Aid. Through this agreement, the Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, and Pell Grant monies will be applied to the cost of that program. Whether or not I qualify for aid, are there other payment or loan options available to help my family meet college costs? Yes. Sarah Lawrence offers a 10-month payment plan administered through the Sarah Lawrence Office of Student Accounts. Please call (914) for more information on this plan. In addition, there are many private or alternative student loans available through various lenders that do not require that a student demonstrate need. What about other non-slc-based financial assistance? In addition to the aid components available to Sarah Lawrence for inclusion in your package, we recommend several other financing alternatives. Scholarships are awarded to academically talented students by many foundations, civic and religious organizations, and affinity groups. Check your local library and your high school guidance office for more information about these scholarships. Many scholarships are designed for students with specific interests or particular talents and are well worth pursuing.
10 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence 9 If we are made aware of outside scholarships and grants that have been awarded to you, they will be listed on your financial aid award letter and may be credited to your student account. You should report any financial assistance awarded from a community organization, foundation, or high school to this office as soon as possible. Adjustments to your financial aid award may be required and vary according to the sources involved. If an adjustment is necessary, the Office of Financial Aid will first reduce the loan and work portions of your award so that your total award does not exceed your need. Lenders offer many alternative loan options. Check our Web site for more information, or contact any lender of your choice. Does Sarah Lawrence offer need-based scholarships? Yes. Unless otherwise specified, scholarships are awarded to students who have financial need and have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. How can I become an independent student? Dependency is determined when you are admitted to the College. If you are dependent at the time of admission, you remain so throughout your undergraduate years (for Sarah Lawrence funds only). Sarah Lawrence accepts the dependency criteria determined by the Department of Education (for federal funds only). How is my aid affected when a sibling attends college at the same time? As long as your sibling is enrolled at least half time in an undergraduate degree program, your family contribution is divided equally between the two of you. Siblings attending graduate or professional programs should not be reported as family members attending college.
11 10 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence Financial Aid Forms and Deadlines Please review this information carefully to ensure that you fulfill all requirements and meet all deadlines necessary to be eligible for aid. Financial Aid for US Citizens and Permanent Residents 1. After October 1, register for the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid PROFILE form online at When you register online, your personalized PROFILE application will be available to complete over the Web. You may list up to 10 colleges on this form; Sarah Lawrence s CSS PROFILE code is File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at The FAFSA that you need to submit will be available after January 1, The FAFSA code for Sarah Lawrence College is If your parents are separated or divorced, the parent with whom you live or spend the most time should file the PROFILE and the FAFSA. The other parent must fill out the Noncustodial Parent Statement, available online at https://ncprofile.collegeboard.com after you file the PROFILE application. CSS will an ID and password to you, the student. You must forward this information to your noncustodial parent for access to this form. The College expects both of your parents to contribute to the cost of your education to the extent that they are able. 4. All applications must be supported with copies of your parents and your own most recent federal income tax returns. These must be mailed no later than April 15 to the Office of Financial Aid. 5. New York State residents who are applying for financial aid must apply for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant by completing the TAP application. TAP is an entitlement grant based on the family s New York State taxable income. Please keep photocopies or printouts of all documents related to the financial aid application process.
12 Financial Aid at Sarah Lawrence 11 Financial Aid Deadlines for US Citizens and Permanent Residents CSS Profile FAFSA Tax Returns Regular Decision and Returning Students February 1, 2011 February 1, 2011 April 15, 2011 Early Decision I November 15, 2010 February 1, 2011 April 15, 2011 Early Decision II January 1, 2011 February 1, 2011 April 15, 2011 Transfer Student (Spring 2011 admission) Transfer Student (Fall 2011 admission) November 1, 2010 November 1, 2010 November 1, 2010 April 1, 2011 April 1, 2011 April 15, 2011 Note: A late application may reduce your chances of receiving institutional aid. Financial Aid for International Students Sarah Lawrence awards limited, need-based financial aid to international students. International students (holders of non-us passports) who wish to be considered for Sarah Lawrence financial aid are required to complete the CSS Profile. You will also need to supply either translated tax returns or translated statements of income from employers of your parents. Some countries do not have income tax, so you may not be able to furnish us with tax returns. Even if this is so, we will still need official documentation of annual income. For example, an official letter on company stationery from an employer is acceptable. Please keep photocopies or printouts of all documents related to the financial aid application process. Financial Aid Deadlines for International Students CSS Profile, Income Tax Forms or Statements of Income Regular Decision February 1, 2011 Early Decision I November 15, 2010 Early Decision II January 1, 2011 Transfer Admission (Fall admission) April 1, 2011 Note: A late application may reduce your chances of receiving institutional aid.
14 Checklist for Financial Aid Applicants CSS Profile Date submitted Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Date submitted Noncustodial Parent Statement (if applicable) Date submitted Student Federal Income Tax Return Date submitted Parent Federal Income Tax Return Date submitted
15 The Office of Financial Aid is here to help you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Office Hours: 9 a.m. 4:30 p.m. EST Phone: (914) Fax: (914) Office of Financial Aid 1 Mead Way Bronxville, NY SLC /10