Office Policies

Independent Status

Graduate/professional level students are considered independent for the purpose of awarding all federal funds.  Need-based Institutional funds awarded in the MD program consider parental assets until students reach the age of 38.  Please refer to MD policies for specific regulations regarding Institutional Aid.  In fairness to all students, a standard federal need analysis is applied to income and assets to determine a student's ability to contribute.  Independent students may be able to borrow through the Unsubsidized Stafford loan, Grad PLUS Loan and/or an alternative loan program.   

Married Students
Federal regulations require that married students provide their spouse’s income and asset information on the FAFSA. TUSM also expects that students will provide their spouse’s information on all university aid applications and submit their tax return and W-2 forms as well (if required). Spouses are expected to contribute to the support of the student. Please note, however, that federal and institutional funds cannot be used for any expenses incurred by anyone other than the student.

Appeals Process

If you would like the FAO to consider circumstances such as decreases in income or other changes in circumstances, please contact our office immediately by submitting a written request of appeal with all documentation attached. Documentation of changes is required in order for appeals to be considered.

In addition, circumstances may arise that cause a student to need financial assistance in excess of the standard cost of attendance. In certain situations, the student budget may be increased to include additional items. Allowable items for budget increases may include: (1) necessary medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance; (2) additional lodging and transportation expenses incurred for away clerkships; (3) loan fees; (4) one-time purchase of computer with a reasonable expense; (5) other justifiable education and emergency expenses. Requests for increases must be made in writing and expenses must be documented.

Award Adjustments
Federal program regulations require an adjustment of a financial aid award containing any federal funds if a student’s award from all sources is in excess of the calculated demonstrated need. TUSM reserves the right to reduce its award if necessary. If a TUSM award is reduced, the policy is to adjust the award so as to leave the student with the most favorable fund sources whenever possible. The school also reserves the option of substituting other program funds, should budget allocations necessitate such conversion.

Child Care Expenses
Increases in student budgets (COA) for reasonable child expenses are considered on a case by case basis. Students must document that they are solely responsible for child care expenses and that the expenses are necessary in order for the student to attend TUSM.  If two parties split child care costs, increased financial aid will only be considered for the student portion. 

 

Computers
The cost of a computer is not initially included in the standard COA but can be at the student's written request, one time during your attendance at TUSM. If you wish to increase your COA by the price of the computer (and any other necessary components outlined in the TUSM computer guidelines) purchased, you must submit a copy of the receipt to the Financial Aid Office. Increases in your budget for the purchase of a computer would enable you to borrow additional funds up to a maximum amount of $2,000.

 

Deferment of Loans from Undergraduate Institutions
To claim deferment on student loans obtained as an undergraduate or as a graduate student, a properly certified deferment must be submitted to the lender. The form is available from the lender. Timely filing of the deferment form is important, as it must be done before the expiration of any grace period. Deferment provisions on the different loan programs vary. Deferment forms are certified by the Registrar’s Office.

Emergency Loans
Short-term loan funds available to students who are experiencing temporary financial difficulties. Repayment of all outstanding short-term loans is a requirement for graduation. The maximum loan amount is $1,500. Generally, emergency loans are repaid from the student’s own educational loans as they are received by TUSM.

 

Living Expenses
Students relying on financial aid for their off-campus living expenses should bring enough money with them to cover one months’ worth of rent and expenses. Refund checks are normally available with a few weeks of the start of classes.

Non-allowable Expenses
Federal regulations allow us to consider only those expenses that are directly related to your attendance at TUSM for the academic year in question. The regulations do not allow us to take into consideration any payments to consumer debt (credit cards) or automobile loans when determining a student’s cost of attendance or the student’s eligibility for federal or institutional funds.

Non-Discrimination Policy
In accordance with Federal laws and regulations, TUSM accepts financial aid applications, determines financial need and provides financial aid funds without regard to race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age or physical handicap.

Obligation to Repay Loans
Signing a promissory note represents your agreement to the terms of that loan and to repay the loan when it comes due. Copies of loan applications should be kept by the borrower with a copy of the promissory note detailing the terms and conditions of the loan. TUSM loans are revolving funds and delays in repayment or defaults jeopardize our future ability to fund students.

Outside Scholarships (non-Tufts Related)
If a student receives a scholarship from a private source, they are required to notify the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. If the student has unmet need, the scholarship will simply be added to the existing award. If the student’s need is met, their award will be re-adjusted. If possible, the least favorable award will be adjusted. Additional rules that apply to MD students are listed under MD Policies.  If students have questions, they should contact their financial aid counselor.

 

Privacy Information
All documents submitted on behalf of a financial aid applicant are strictly confidential. No copy or information is released to anyone, including parents, spouses, faculty members or program directors, without written permission from the student. TUSM has the right to disclose information to a funding source in connection with financial aid for which a student has applied or received, as may be necessary for such purposes as determining eligibility for financial aid, the amount of aid, the conditions that are imposed regarding aid, and enforcing the terms of the aid. In turn, a student does not have the right of access to family financial information if the parents indicate nondisclosure. Many parents try to act on a student’s behalf; however, as a graduate student you are considered independent for federal aid purposes. Thus, according to federal guidelines, financial aid administrators are not allowed to discuss the specifics of a student’s financial aid or academic file with anyone other than the student.  An official waiver must be filed in writing if students wish to release information to parents, guardians, or any other individual.  Waivers are only valid for the Academic Year in which they were filed. 

 

Requesting Additional Loan Funds
Students who did not initially request their full Stafford Loan, Grad PLUS or ALP eligibility may put requests for additional loan funds in writing. Additional loans can be processed for students once they have a valid Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file for the Federal Stafford Loans, or submit an application for the Grad PLUS Loan or ALP Loan.
Satifactory Academic Process

Please refer to registrar’s description of SAP.

Tuition Bills

Students are responsible for making sure the bill has been paid or provisionally paid by processed financial aid by the bill due date (generally, August 1 for the fall bill and January 1 for the spring bill). In order to guarantee the ability to use financial aid as a provisional credit, you must complete all financial aid materials at least 4 to 6 weeks before the bill due date.

The request for financial aid DOES NOT release the student from the bill. Students who do not pay or have provisional credits on their bills will incur a 10% late fee. If there were changes in charges or aid since the bill was printed, students must contact the Bursar’s office to determine updated bill. Bills are not run/mailed frequently. If students have any questions regarding their bill, please contact the Bursar’s Office at (617) 636-6551.

Verification
The Department of Education randomly selects students for a process called verification (if you are chosen, you will be notified on your Student Aid Report (SAR).  TUSM may also select students for verification under its own discretion.   If selected, no funds are awarded to a student until verification is complete. Verification involves comparing the student’s FAFSA information with their federal income tax returns, W2's, or other sources of alternative documentation.  TUSM will notify students when alternative information is required.
Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

The date of withdrawal will be considered to be the date on which the institution receives written notice of the withdrawal from the student. Other charges for the term, such as the health administration fee, are not prorated upon withdrawal during a term. Withdrawal prior to the beginning of a term will result in cancellation of all charges.

If a student withdraws before the first day of the semester, all financial aid funds will be returned. The Office of Financial Aid is required to calculate how much Title IV aid (Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and Perkins Loans) the student earned based on how many days of the semester the student attended. "Unearned" Title IV aid is required to be returned to the lender(s) by the student and/or the school in this order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct GradPLUS loans. The return of unearned money may leave the student with a balance, which the student is responsible to pay. If considering withdrawal, students should meet with their Financial Aid Advisor to determine the effect on their federal loans.

In the event of a leave of absence (medical or other) or withdrawal the University refund policy will apply for any period of leave.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their Financial Aid Advisor in the Office of Financial Aid to discuss the consequences of taking a leave or withdrawing.

No tuition refund other than that due under the refund policy stated above is made when a student is required to withdraw by the University authorities or when a student withdraws from a course with a W grade. Fees are not refundable.

Termination of Enrollment
Students who withdraw from school for any reason will not have their loan responsibilities forgiven.

Leave of Absence

A student planning a leave of absence must arrange an Exit Interview at the Financial Aid Office before the effective date of the leave. A student whose leave of absence extends longer than the length of the grace period on any of his/her loans, may be liable for some repayment amount on the loan. All leaves will be considered a withdrawal for purposes of repayment. Students are required to meet with the Financial Aid Office for further instructions.

A student on leave is responsible for contacting the Financial Aid Office to request the application materials for financial aid for the following year. A student on leave will be held responsible for submitting the application by the usual deadline date. Students on leave are not eligible for financial aid during the period of the leave.

Treatment of Federal Financial Aid Funds upon Withdrawal

If a student completely withdraws from school during a semester and before 60% of the semester has passed, federal regulations require that a school determine the percentage of any Federal Aid received that is earned. The amount of aid earned is calculated by multiplying the total federal aid by the percentage of the term for which the student was enrolled before withdrawing.  If the amount of aid earned is less than the amount of aid already disbursed to the student, a repayment may be required. If the aid disbursed was used to pay institutional charges (i.e. tuition), then that portion of that aid that is unearned as calculated by this federal formula, will be repaid by TUSM, in the order prescribed by federal regulation; first to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, then to Federal Perkins Loans, and finally to Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans. Please note that your tuition liability remains as described above, according the TUSM Refund Policy. If Federal loan money used to pay tuition must be returned to the lender according to the federal calculation, any balance due remaining on the student’s account becomes the student’s responsibility. The student is responsible for repayment of any unearned living expense money from federal aid advanced before the withdrawal. If the total amount of this repayment due comes from loans then the student may make this repayment under the original terms of the loan. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on this policy.  Students would also be required to do an exit interview online at www.studentloans.gov  if they are withdrawing or going on a leave of absence.