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 a 2020-2021 application online at fafsa.ed..gov by April 1, 2021. 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 the HEERF II Grant.
The amount of funds distributed to each student is based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA. Eligible students with a FAFSA EFC of $10,000 or below will be eligible for $1,200, those with an EFC of $10,001 to $25,000 will be eligible for $600 and those with an EFC above $25,000 will be eligible for $300. Please note that the 20-21 FAFSA EFC will be used to determine the amount of the HEERF II Grant; if only a 19-20 FAFSA is on file, the 19-20 EFC will be used.
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, you will need to log into Sage and request the grant using the refund link in your Student Center no later than Friday, April 9, 2021. As part of the process, you will need to certify that you have expenses equal to, or exceeding, the amount of the HEERF II Grant awarded to you, plus any previously awarded HEERF Grant I and Brandeis Emergency Fund Grant payments received since March 13, 2020. You are not required to prove or itemize expenses. You may request that the funds be sent to you via direct deposit or check. Checks cannot be picked up on campus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The amount of financial aid for which a student is eligible is affected by whether a student is living on campus, off campus or residing at home/with family. Brandeis meets 100% of each student’s financial need. A student’s financial need is determined by the following formula:
Need = Cost of attendance (COA) – Institutional Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The following room and board costs are included in the COA for each housing option:
On campus: $7,945 per semester (based on cost of double room and 12-meal plan)
Off campus (apartment in Waltham-area): $5,615 per semester (a lease and utility bill/proof of rent payment is required; if actual off-campus apartment costs are higher than this estimate, documentation can be provided to increase the COA up to no more than on campus)
At home/with family: $1,200 per semester
If a student changes from one housing status to another, either for the full year or from one semester to the next, the need-based scholarship will typically be reduced or increased by the difference in the cost of attendance. Federal aid may be affected by the difference in cost as well.
To inquire as to how your specific aid package may be affected by a change in housing choice, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 781-736-3700 to schedule an appointment with your financial aid counselor.