Below are some commonly asked questions by students and parents. Please click the CARES Act link for additional information. If you have a question that is not answered here,please email us at email@example.com.
We recognize that, in the face of the profound impact of the pandemic and subsequent economic crises, many families’ financial needs have changed. Therefore, for the 2020-2021 academic year, there will be no increase in undergraduate or graduate tuition rates; there will be no lab or studio art fees, and there will be no increase in room and board fees (residence halls and dining). Please note that first-year and incoming transfer students may see an adjustment to their financial aid packages based on the updated tuition figures and fees.
We will continue to meet the demonstrated financial needs of our students and have set aside additional financial aid funding. We urge those students and families whose financial situations have recently changed to immediately contact Student Financial Services so that their financial aid packages can be reviewed and revised appropriately. We hope that this step will support us in our goal of ensuring that students from every background, regardless of financial need, can find a home here.
Returning undergraduate students who have completed their 2020-21 academic year applications for need-based aid can expect to receive their financial aid packages in mid-July. If you need information earlier than this, contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 781-736-3700 to schedule an appointment with your financial aid counselor.
If an adjustment is required, first-year and incoming transfer students will receive updated financial aid packages in mid-July.
If you and/or your family are experiencing financial difficulties, contact Student Financial Services as soon as possible to discuss the documentation the university needs to consider your change in financial circumstances.
Brandeis plans to provide students with electronic bills (via the Student Account Center) by late July, with a payment due date of Aug. 21.
No additional reduction in tuition will be made. This is for two reasons. First, despite the hardships imposed by the pandemic, we will continue to deliver the high-quality academic programs and services that our students and their families expect, and our schools will continue to devote their resources to delivering excellence in course instruction, student services and extracurricular activities. Our students will continue to have access to the many services and elements that make Brandeis an outstanding education and experience. The faculty and administration of our schools are deeply committed to enriching in-person, virtual and hybrid instruction so that students receive the benefits accruing from a rigorous academic experience, complemented by a compelling community experience.
Second, the university’s costs are not going down. The costs of providing a Brandeis-quality educational experience have increased, not diminished, in light of the pandemic. Nor does our model of instruction this year seek to reduce costs; to the contrary, we are using technology to enhance the Brandeis experience and provide as much individual engagement with students as possible. Moreover, we expect that our students will continue to experience significant benefits from all that they will learn at Brandeis and the network that they establish as Brandeis students.
The general refund schedule for student withdrawals is available on our refund policy page. This policy remains in effect during 2020-21.
There will be no refund of tuition or other fees in the event that Brandeis determines that all courses must move to a virtual format. In the event that students are required by the university to permanently vacate their on-campus housing before the end of the housing license period, we will provide a pro-rated refund of room and board charges. Students may request partial refunds of the unused portions of meal plans if the university decides to close the dining halls for the remainder of the academic year. Students who are approved to remain on campus despite the closure will be responsible for housing fees for the duration of their stay.
Emergency aid is available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Due to the limited nature of these funds, priority is given to undergraduates and graduate students with demonstrated financial need and whose circumstances require an independent living arrangement. The maximum award that a high-need student would receive for summer housing and food is $3,250. A more typical award for a high-need student is $1,625. Brandeis is unable to support a student's family members or pay for childcare. We can help offset the costs of technology (laptop, internet) for students enrolled in summer or fall classes. To apply for these funds, complete the application available on our Emergency Funding page.
If you are eligible to file a FAFSA but have not yet filed one, you must complete either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 applications online at fafsa.ed.gov no later than June 24, 2020. Undergraduate and graduate students who would not ordinarily file a FAFSA are encouraged to do so to receive this funding. The Office of Student Financial Services will review your application and approve your eligibility for Title IV federal aid.
The amount of funds distributed to each individual will depend in part on the number, and financial need, of students who apply. Grant amounts will be determined by July 1, 2020. Funding will be disbursed starting in early July until funds are exhausted.
If you/or your family have experienced a change in your financial circumstances due to COVID-19, you may request reconsideration of your need-based financial aid package by submitting the following required documents to the Office of Student Financial Services:
Financial Aid Appeal Worksheet (20-21) with indicated documentation.
Letter of explanation of special circumstance.
A complete and signed (even if e-filed) copy of your and your parent(s)’ 2018 U.S. federal income tax return, as submitted to the IRS, with all pages, schedules and W-2s.
Once the Appeal Committee reviews the submitted documentation, your financial aid counselor will notify you of the decision by email. Response time may vary based on the volume of appeals at the time you submit your request, however, you will typically receive a status update within 5-10 business days.
Once you are notified that you have been approved for the grant on July 1st, you will need to log into Sage and request the grant using the refund link in your Student Center. As part of the process, you will need to certify that you have expenses equal to, or exceeding, the amount of the grant plus any emergency funds already received for COVID-related expenses from the University since March 13th. You may request that the funds be sent to you via direct deposit or check. Checks cannot be picked up on campus.
If your financial aid package is not sufficient to make Brandeis an affordable option for you and your family, we encourage you to contact your financial aid advisor to discuss any special circumstances that you may have that affect your and your family's ability to contribute to college costs (e.g., a change in your parent(s)' employment status, unreimbursed medical expenses, non-recurring income sources, etc.). Your advisor will let you know whether these circumstances are sufficient to warrant an increase in your financial aid award and will also let you know what documentation will be required to re-review your financial aid eligibility.
First year students/first time Stafford loan recipients are required to complete Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note to have the loans disbursed to their account when the semester begins.
You will need your Department of Education issued FSA ID Username and Password. If you forgot this information or need to create an FSA ID there are links to help on the LOG IN Page.
Go to the Department of Education's website, https://studentaid.gov, and select the LOG IN button. Once you have logged in, you will need to complete two steps.
Complete Entrance Counseling: -Select the I’M IN SCHOOL Checklist, then select the link to “Complete Entrance Counseling” Select START and follow the instructions.
Complete the Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note
-After Entrance Counseling is complete there is a link to Complete a Master Promissory Note or you can go back to your Dashboard and select the I’M IN SCHOOL Checklist, then select the link to “Complete Loan Agreement” Select START for “MPN for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans” and follow the instructions.
These processes will only need to be done the first time you borrow a Stafford Loan, as your promissory note is good for up to ten years.
For a small application fee ($45 per semester), but no interest or other finance charges, families may contract to have 5 equal monthly installments each semester deducted directly from a checking account.
Payments will be withdrawn from July 15 to November 15 for Fall 2020 and December 15 to April 15 for Spring 2021. A family need not pay the entire balance due through the payment plan; the payment plan may be used in combination with other family resources or parent/student loans.
In the Student Account Center, you can click on the Account Activity tab to see the line item charges for the semester. On the Summary tab, you can click the “Pending Aid’ link to see the merit and/or need-based aid that is being deducted from the bill.
Brandeis has partnered with Flywire to provide our international students with an easy and secure method to send international payments in your home currency through your Student Account Center. Additionally, you can go to the Brandeis Flywire page to initiate an international payment.
Per federal regulations, student billing access is not automatically granted to the parent. Rather, the student has to add a parent (or any person) for participant access to the bill. To do this, student will first log into the Student Account Center through sage (click the View Account or Manage Payments button under Finances). This opens the Student Account Center which will have gray a “Manage Account Access” button at top. The student will click that button and add the parent. The parent will then receive a registration email to set-up access to the bill.
Your eligibility for need-based financial aid has been determined according to federal government regulations and University policies governing financial aid programs.
Using the information that you reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, student and parent tax returns (if submitted prior to review), and other supporting documentation, the Office of Student Financial Services has calculated your Expected Family Contribution, the amount of family financial resources you and your parent(s) are expected to contribute towards your educational costs. (Note: Your Expected Family Contribution is not a prediction of how much cash you actually have on hand, nor a value judgement about how much you "ought" to be able to pull from your current income, nor a measure of your liquidity. Rather, it is our best estimate of your capacity to absorb some of the costs of education over time.)
The Expected Family Contribution is subtracted from a standard budget of expected educational expenses, or Cost of Attendance. The difference between the Expected and Family Contribution and the Cost of Attendance is your maximum eligibility for need-based assistance. Federal Law prohibits a student from receiving financial assistance in excess of his/her calculated eligibility.
In most cases, your Expected Family Contributions consists of a contribution from your income and assets, and a contribution from your parent(s)' income and assets. In cases of divorce or separation, a contribution is normally expected of both natural parents and/or from your custodial parent's new spouse if he/she is remarried. (Your custodial parent is the parent with whom you live with.)
Please note that when determining eligibility for assistance, all assets are assumed to belong to the person who reports the interest and/or dividends earned from those assets on his/her tax return. Federal law requires students to use 35% of their assets each year for educational expenses.
Your financial aid is only awarded for one year at a time. You must reapply for financial aid each academic year for which you wish to be considered for assistance. Since Brandeis meets full calculated financial need for undergraduate students, your financial aid package will be adjusted each year commensurate with your cost of attendance and any changes in your expected family contribution (EFC). Each year, your financial need may vary, reflecting changes in your family’s financial circumstances (changes in income and assets, number in college, etc.), the cost of attending Brandeis, and your residency status (i.e., on campus, off campus or with parents/relatives), which may affect the amount of your need-based grant.
Continued eligibility for aid from federal sources requires that you maintain satisfactory academic progress towards your degree. Although all merit scholarships have a GPA requirement for renewal, there is no GPA requirement for need-based Brandeis funds.
All required forms for reapplication will be detailed on our website prior to the next school year. If you are currently receiving financial aid, renewal application information will be e-mailed to you. It is your responsibility to submit the required documents even if you do not receive the renewal e-mail. Renewal applications should be filed by the published deadlines on the SFS website. Failure to file all financial aid application materials by the appropriate deadline may result in a limited or partial award, registration complications, and/or late fees on your student account.
The Office of Student Financial Services determines your eligibility for need-based aid only. Merit-based scholarships and grants are awarded through the admissions process and are determined by a Scholarship Committee.
All students accepted for admission to Brandeis are automatically considered for University-funded merit-based aid if they have completed the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE application. You will be notified at the time of admission to the University if a merit-based scholarship will be offered to you. Under current policy, if you are not awarded merit funds as an entering student you will not be considered for merit funds in subsequent years.
Most students who receive need-based assistance are awarded an aid package consisting of grant, loan and work awards designed to meet the applicant's calculated eligibility. Usually, a loan is awarded first, followed by a work expectation. All, or a portion of, the remaining eligibility is met with University, federal and state government, and private grant assistance.
Your Financial Aid Award Letter may include one or more of the sources of need-based financial aid detailed in the Financial Aid Information Guide, which can be downloaded on our Forms page. Your Award Letter assumes a level of federal and state appropriations that is frequently not finalized at the time that the awards are made, therefore, if funds fail to be appropriated as anticipated, offers may have to be reduced or canceled. You will be notified immediately if any changes are necessary.
Knowing your eligibility for financial aid is only half the process in determining what you will owe for a year's education at Brandeis.
The student accounts office issues billing statements prior to the beginning of each semester. Use the Cost of Attendance Calculator to help you understand what charges you will incur and what sources of financial aid credit to your account.
The university reserves the right to change its costs at any time. You will need to consult each semester's billing statements for your actual costs. In the interim, the calculator can help you estimate the net cost of a year's education at Brandeis.