Graduate Studies. Your Financial Aid Award Office of Financial Aid

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1 Graduate Studies Your Financial Aid Award Office of Financial Aid

2 Office of Financial Aid Enclosed you will find our offer of financial aid for the coming year at Sarah Lawrence. Keep your financial aid award letter handy as you read this booklet, which explains how we determined your award, a description of the aid resources, and instructions for accepting our offer. We wish to provide the necessary resources to supplement your ability to afford a Sarah Lawrence education. Remember to reapply for financial aid each year you intend to enroll at Sarah Lawrence College. This booklet provides an overview of the financial aid process at Sarah Lawrence and answers the most commonly asked questions about that process. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have specific questions or concerns. HOW THE AMOUNT OF YOUR AWARD WAS DETERMINED You completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or PROFILE from the College Scholarship Service. The information collected on these forms was used to calculate your ability to contribute to the cost of a Sarah Lawrence education. The Cost of Education Budget The budget used to determine your financial aid award includes fixed costs (tuition, fees) and our best estimate of what you should expect to spend on living expenses, books and supplies, travel to and from home, and personal expenses. These tuition costs are based on full-time enrollment. For current year costs by program, see the Student Accounts page at The Student Contribution The student contribution is based on your and/or your spouse s income and assets. A portion of your earnings, savings, and assets is expected to go toward your education here. A minimum contribution of at least $3,300 is expected of every student. Please note that you will need to bring money for books and supplies when you come to campus in the fall. Your Need Eligibility for financial assistance or your need is determined by subtracting the student contribution from the cost of education. Your demonstrated need or eligibility for assistance determines the financial aid award we have offered. Your Federal Financial Aid Award Eligibility for federal aid programs, such as the Stafford Loan, is determined by the mandated federal methodology. The calculation of your expected contribution was determined by the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your Sarah Lawrence Graduate Scholarship Eligibility for Sarah Lawrence Graduate Scholarship is determined by a methodology developed by Sarah Lawrence College and the College Scholarship Service. This calculation was based on the information you provided on the FAFSA or Profile. YOUR FINANCIAL AID AWARD The total financial aid award usually includes scholarships and student loans. You are not required to take out a student loan or work on campus to receive the scholarship offered to you. There are several types of assistance or programs offered in your financial aid package. Amounts of assistance are credited to your account in the Office of the Bursar once you have submitted all the documents required for each of the programs. Our office will assist you in completing the required documents. 1

3 Unless you tell us otherwise, scholarship and other awards are based on the assumption you will attend on a full-time basis. If you register for a different course load, your award is subject to change. The following financial aid programs may be a part of a student financial aid award for : GRANTS Any grant or scholarship is a gift and does not need to be repaid. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive the grant or scholarship. Sarah Lawrence Graduate Fellowship The Fellowship comes from the College and from contributions made by alumnae/i and friends of the College. This award is recognition of your past achievements and of your potential for success at Sarah Lawrence. Sarah Lawrence Graduate Scholarship This scholarship comes from the College and from contributions made by alumnae/i and friends of the College. The amount of scholarship is determined by your need after applying all other sources of aid for which you are eligible. Other Scholarships and Grants If we are aware of other scholarships and grants that you are to receive, they will be listed on your financial aid award letter and will be credited to your student account. You should report any financial assistance awarded from a community organization, foundation, or other source to this office as soon as possible. Adjustments to your financial aid award may be required and vary according to the sources involved. Please call this office for details. For information about finding non-college-affiliated scholarships, please see our Web site, WORK OPPORTUNITY (NON-TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS) Sarah Lawrence has several non-teaching assistantships available to graduate students. These positions are in offices that need clerical, computer, writing, and analysis skills. Interviews for these positions are held during the first two weeks of school. Positions are listed on MySLC. Please contact Student Employment in the Office of Financial Aid for additional information. STUDENT LOANS A student loan is an obligation that must be repaid after you complete your degree or cease to be enrolled. Federal Perkins Loan This federal loan is awarded to students who demonstrate the greatest need. The amount of the loan is credited to your account, half each semester, after you sign a promissory note in the Office of the Bursar. This loan has a 5 percent interest rate, which begins accruing nine months after you graduate or when you drop below half-time status. Repayment begins at that time and usually is extended over a 10-year repayment period. There are deferments and forbearances available should you experience difficulty in repaying your debt. Federal Stafford Loan The federal government provides student loan funds for up to $20,500 per year for all eligible graduate students. The interest rate is currently 6.21 percent. The Department of Education sets the interest rate annually on July 1st. As of July 1, 2012 all Federal Stafford Loans for graduate students are unsubsidized. You are responsible for interest on an unsubsidized loan at all times, including while you are in school. You may elect to make term payments or to capitalize the interest. Capitalizing means that the lender will add the accrued interest to the principal at repayment. 2

4 The federal government may charge up to 3 percent origination and guaranty fees for the Stafford Loan. These fees are deducted from each semester s check. Your Stafford Loan will appear as temporary credit on your semester contracts until the checks or transfers are endorsed by you and Sarah Lawrence College and deposited to your account. Repayment begins six months after you graduate or otherwise drop below half-time status. There are several repayment options; the standard term is 10 years. Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Credit-worthy graduate students may borrow funds in addition to those initially awarded. The Graduate PLUS Loan may not exceed the total cost of attendance minus all other aid. The interest rate is currently 7.21 percent. The Department of Education sets the interest rate annually on July 1st. Students must complete and submit a PLUS application at Students should also notify the Office of Financial Aid of their plans to borrow a PLUS Loan, and the amount requested. Origination and guaranty fees may apply to PLUS Loans. Planning for the Future: Circumstances that May Change Your Financial Aid Award Using the information you have provided and we have reviewed to date, your financial aid for is based on the cost of education budget and on your income, assets, and other circumstances. If you completed your financial aid applications by using estimates of income and taxes paid, a final financial aid offer will be based on actual tax returns and/or other requested documentation reviewed at a later date. The College reserves the right to revise any award if information changes or if you receive additional resources not listed on the award letter. Every year you must reapply for financial aid. Renewal of the financial assistance will be based on the changes in your income, assets, and other resources. Forms are available as early as October and must be completed by March 1. Your future financial aid packages will change. Such changes usually occur because income and/or assets change from year to year. As income goes up, your eligibility for assistance may go down. As income goes down, your eligibility increases. Additionally, if there are changes in course load (i.e. decrease or increase in number of credits for which you are registered) your award package might change. 3

5 You have made an important decision to further your education. It is a major investment of your time, effort, and money. It is a decision that requires careful and advance planning. The Financial Aid and Graduate Studies offices look forward to assisting you this year and delivering high quality service to you. You can help us by responding promptly to our requests for additional documentation. Requests for financial assistance are processed on the basis of both date priority and financial need. The following guide is designed to help you understand the Direct Loan Program and consider the immediate and long-term effects of educational borrowing. It will help you think through your options, analyze your situation, and make plans for repayment. Informed choices will make the financial aid process easier. APPLICATION PROCESS Office of Financial Aid Guide to Student Loan Processing Stafford and Graduate Plus Loans are processed electronically. New students have three steps to complete for each type of loan: a loan acceptance form, Entrance Counseling, and a Master Promissory Note. Continuing students who already have direct student loans through Sarah Lawrence College need do only step one. For the Stafford Loan: 1) Find the Student Loan Acceptance Form online at The form is under Downloads. Print and complete the Student Loan Acceptance Form, and return it to this office. Either accept the amount as offered in your award letter, or note a different amount you wish to borrow. Remember this is for the whole academic year. Also return this form if you choose to decline the offered Stafford Loan. 2) At complete the Entrance Counseling. 3) At the same Web site, complete a Master Promissory Note for a Stafford Loan. For the Graduate Plus Loan: 1) Find the Plus Loan Authorization Form online at The form is under Downloads. Print and complete the Plus Loan Authorization Form if you want this loan. Note the amount you wish to borrow. We prefer that you arrange one loan to cover your needs for the whole academic year. 2) When you do the Entrance Counseling for your Stafford Loan, include the options for a Graduate Plus Loan. 3) At complete a Master Promissory Note for a Plus Loan. For the Perkins Loan: Complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling, and return these forms to the Office of Student Accounts at Sarah Lawrence. Find the form at on the Student Accounts page. 4

6 PROCESSING FEES When you apply for a loan, you are agreeing to repay the funds you borrow plus interest and fees. All federal loans are subject to origination and guaranty fees, which are paid to the federal government. These fees will be deducted from your loan proceeds prior to disbursement. LOAN REIMBURSEMENTS Your loan will be disbursed in two equal amounts (at the beginning of the fall semester and beginning of the spring semester), minus the origination and guaranty fees. If there are excess funds on your account after your charges are satified, The Office of Student Accounts will arrange a refund of the balance for you. ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER LOAN CHECKS To deliver your student loan faster, and to make it more convenient, the College has arranged to have your federal loan funds transferred electronically and credited directly to your student account. If a private lender you selected does not offer Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), loan checks will be mailed directly to the Office of the Bursar. You will be notified when the check arrives and informed of the procedures for negotiating the checks. You will receive a refund from the Office of Student Accounts only if your financial aid package is more than your tuition and fee charges. A FINAL THOUGHT Your financial aid award is based on the information you have provided. Nevertheless, the financial aid process is complicated, and you may have further questions or concerns. We are eager to assist you in any way we can. We encourage you to call or write especially if your ability to attend Sarah Lawrence is in question. In the event any information you have provided us for use in determining your financial aid changes, please contact us immediately. In some cases we may need to decrease your award. In other cases we may be able to increase your award based on changes in income or assets. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid at (914) We look forward to assisting you in financing your Sarah Lawrence education. Roberta Daskin Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid 5 SLC /15

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