Financing Your Graduate Education

This section of the website contains information relevant to the Public Health programs, Professional Degrees programs, Nutrition programs, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences students.

Please note: Applicants should not wait for an acceptance letter before beginning the financial aid process.

Important Dates:

The priority consideration dates for applying for financial aid are:

June 1, 2022 - for current/returning students in Fall 2022

June 17, 2022 - for current/returning DPT/PA students in Fall 2022

February 25, 2022 - for incoming students entering in Fall 2022
Candidates who have submitted all paperwork to the Financial Aid office by the priority consideration date will begin to receive award notices in late March.

November 4, 2022 - for students entering in Spring 2023
Candidates who have submitted all paperwork to the Financial Aid office by the priority consideration date will begin to receive award notices in December.

May 6, 2023 - for incoming students entering in Summer 2023
Incoming students beginning their studies in Summer of 2023 should complete the 22-23 application and FAFSA as well as the 2023-24 application and FAFSA

FAFSA School Code: E00520

Types of Aid Available

  • Type of Aid Annual Limit Interest Rate Net Fees Eligibility
    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $20,500 1 5.28% (accrues from date of disbursement; fixed rate for the life of the loan but each year new rates will be established on July 1st for loans disbursed within that year based on the variable index rate) 1.057% Meet federal requirements2
    Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan COA - other aid 6.28% (accrues from date of disbursement; fixed rate for the life of the loan but each year new rates will be established on July 1st for loans disbursed within that year based on the variable index rate) 4.228% Meet federal requirements, and meet credit requirements2
    Federal Work-Study Typical base award of $1,000     Need-based, meet federal requirements2. Students may request an increase if necessary.

    1 MPH Students may be eligible for up to $33,000 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan annually.

    2 Students must complete FAFSA, submit all required documents to the Office of Financial Aid and be: U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, enrolled in degree-seeking program at least half-time, meeting standards of satisfactory academic progress, in compliance with Selective Service requirements (if male), and have no prior drug convictions during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid. In addition, borrowers must complete an online entrance interview AND complete a Master Promissory Note for each program prior to receiving funds from Federal Direct Sub/Unsub and/or GradPLUS. Net fees are updated as of 10/01/2020.

  • Public Health Scholarships

    The Public Health Program has a limited number of need-based scholarships for full-time students. All admitted applicants to the MPH program for fall semester entry are considered for available scholarship funding. There are no additional applications required as all eligible candidates will be reviewed. Scholarships are very limited in availability and only cover a portion of tuition expenses. If you have been awarded a scholarship, you will be notified separately by the Public Health Admissions Office; this information will not be included in your Financial Aid Notice (FAN).

    Please note that due to limited resources, scholarships are only awarded to incoming, full-time students who are U.S. Citizens/permanent residents. Financial assistance is not available for international students. Scholarship funding may only be applied to fall or spring semesters and may not be used for courses taken during the Summer I or II semester. Questions pertaining to scholarships should be directed to the PHPD Admissions Office.

    Nutrition Scholarships

    For information on Scholarships, Stipends and Assistantships, visit the Friedman School Funding Options website.

  • The Office of Financial Aid awards institutional and federal student loans in accordance with eligibility requirements and availability of funding.

    Students are responsible for completing all required paperwork with lenders to ensure the disbursement of loan proceeds to their student accounts.

    Tufts University participates in the William D. Ford Direct Lending program. Students may complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. Federal student loan borrowers must also ensure that they complete mandatory loan entrance interview counseling prior to their loan disbursements. Students may satisfy this requirement by going online to studentaid.gov and completing the entrance counseling session at their convenience. Both the Direct Loan Master Promissory Notes, and loan Entrance Counseling, are located under "Complete Aid Process" on the studentaid.gov main page.

    Students who are graduating, taking a Leave of Absence, withdrawing, or who will drop to less-than half-time enrollment must also complete Federal Student Loan Exit Counseling. Choose "Complete Exit Counseling" from the Manage Loans menu at the top of the page, and proceed following the instructions provided. Results will be sent to Tufts School of Medicine automatically.

    Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

    Masters, Nutrition, and PhD Degree Students

    Loan Type Annual Aggregate
    Subsidized Direct (maximum amount shown; amount is lower if student has less need) *note - Subsidized Stafford loan is no longer offered to graduate/professional students starting 7/1/12 $65,500
    Unsubsidized Direct (maximum amount shown; amount is lower if annual costs are lower) $20,500 Up to $138,500 less aggregate subsidized
    Combined $20,500 $138,500

    Master of Public Health (MPH) Students

    Loan Type Annual Aggregate
    Subsidized Direct (maximum amount shown; amount is lower if student has less need) *note - Subsidized Stafford Loan is no longer offered to graduate/professional students starting 7/1/12 $65,500
    Unsubsidized Direct (maximum amount shown; amount is lower if annual costs are lower) $33,000 Up to $224,000 less aggregate subsidized
    Combined $33,000 $224,000

    Loan Types and Terms

    Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

    • Interest
      • For loans disbursed after July 1, 2021:
        • 5.28% fixed rate
        • Interest rates will be established each year for Direct Unsubsidized loans for disbursements that will occur between July 1 through June 30. Under the law, the index rate is determined each year as the "high yield of the 10-year Treasury note" plus a statutorily defined "add-on". The interest rate for a loan, once established, will apply for the life of the loan – that is, the loan will be a fixed-rate loan. As a result, it is likely that students will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a interest rate based on the year the loan was borrowed.
      • Interest accrues on Direct Unsubsidized loans immediately upon disbursement.
      • The Department of Education is no longer issuing Direct Subsidized Loans for graduate/professional level students with award years that began after July 1, 2012.
    • Fees (as of 10/1/2020)
      • Direct Unsubsidized loans have a 1.057% origination fee so, for example, if you borrowed $10,000 your disbursement would be $10,000 - ($10,000 x .01057) or $9,894. You would still be responsible to repay $10,000 plus the interest associated with the $10,000 you borrowed.
    • Disbursements
      • Disbursements must be made in two equal payments over the length of the academic year. Borrowers should expect to receive one-half of loan proceeds at the start of the fall term and the second half at the start of the spring term.
    • Repayment
      • Begins after a six-month grace period from when you cease at least half-time enrollment.
      • Standard repayment length is 10 years from date first payment is due; can be extended for some borrowers to 25 years. The Department of Education lists the various repayment plans on its website.
    • Eligibility
      • The financial aid office determines eligibility for the Direct Unsubsidized loan based on the FAFSA and the annual Cost of Attendance of the academic program. There are annual and aggregate limits for Direct Unsubsidized loans.

    Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

    • Interest:
      • Loans disbursed after July 1, 2021:
      • Fixed interest rate of 6.28%
      • Interest rates will be established each year for Direct Graduate PLUS loans for disbursements that will occur between July 1 through June 30. Under the law, the index rate is determined each year as the "high yield of the 10-year Treasury note" plus a statutorily defined "add-on". The interest rate for a loan, once established, will apply for the life of the loan – that is, the loan will be a fixed-rate loan. As a result, it is likely that students will have a set of fixed-rate loans, each with a different interest rate based on the year the loan was borrowed.
    • Fees (as of 10/1/2020)
      • Direct Graduate PLUS loans have a 4.228% origination fee subtracted from the disbursement of loan proceeds. So, for example, if you borrowed $10,000 your disbursement would be $10,000 - ($10,000 x .04228) or $9,577. You would still be responsible to repay $10,000 plus the interest associated with the $10,000 you borrowed.
    • Eligibility
      • There is a credit check associated with the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. To qualify, borrowers must not have an adverse credit history which for the Direct Graduate PLUS loan is defined as: 90 or more days delinquent on any debt or if, within five years of the date of the credit report, you have been the subject of a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Federal Student Aid debt (for example, a Direct Loan or Federal Stafford Loan). The annual Direct Graduate PLUS limit is the difference between the student's annual cost of attendance less all other annual financial assistance. There is no aggregate Direct Graduate PLUS limit.
    • Disbursements
      • Disbursements must be made in two equal payments over the length of the academic year. Borrowers should expect to receive one-half of loan proceeds at the start of the fall term and the second half at the start of the spring term.
    • Repayment
      • Begins after a six-month grace period from when you cease at least half-time enrollment.
      • Standard repayment length is 10 years from date first payment is due; can be extended for some borrowers to 25 years. The Department of Education lists the various repayment plans on its website.

    Alternative/Private Loans

    Alternative/Private loan lenders use different types of financing components to determine what your interest rate will be. They may lack the deferment and forbearance options for residency that many federal loan programs offer. These loans may charge fees. Most Alternative/Private Loans have no interest rate cap, so these loans may tend to be more expensive than the Graduate PLUS loans in the long term.

    To make an informed decision, it is helpful to know historical trends of those rates, so we have included the links to Forecasts and Bankrates below.

  • Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

    TAs are generally available for the MPH and MS Health Communication programs for students who have taken the relevant course(s) or have significant experience in the subject area. TAs are graduate students who assist professors with managing their course. Duties may include overseeing and/or assisting with laboratory sessions, review sessions, evaluating student work, etc.

    Stipends range from $2,000-$2,500 for each full course/per semester. Faculty give preference to students who have demonstrated academic excellence in at least one semester of their graduate coursework, and they typically recruit students who have taken their course.

    Research Assistantships (RAs)

    RAs are generally available via faculty in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, as well as throughout the other schools housed on the Boston Health Sciences campus of Tufts University. These positions generally pay $15/hour.

    Handshake: Student/Graduate Employment Database

    RA positions, administrative on-campus jobs, and outside PHPD-related internships, part-time jobs, and full-time jobs are advertised to students through Handshake, PHPD’s job, internship, fellowship, and on-campus opportunities database.

    Once students matriculate, they will gain access to Handshake and a full-range of opportunities. Generally, the greatest number of on-campus opportunities are available in September at the beginning of the academic year, though opportunities also arise throughout the rest of the year, particularly at the beginning of each semester.

    Beginning in July of each year, and through September 1, Career Services forwards all posted RA positions to Fall matriculating students via the incoming student listserv. After that time, students will have access to Handshake.

    Learn more about Handshake.

    Full-time Tufts University Employment

    Those interested in pursuing full-time Tufts employment will find opportunities through the Tufts Human Resources Site: Careers at Tufts.

    On-Campus Jobs at Other Tufts' Schools

    There is also a Tufts-wide student employment website, which houses opportunities primarily on the Medford campus.

    Additional questions regarding Public Health Program RA and TA positions may be referred to Career Services.

How to Apply for Aid

  • Steps listed indicate things you must do. Steps listed in italics describe the events that will take place once you have completed each step.

    1. Submit your completed financial aid application to the Office of Financial Aid by the stated deadline or priority consideration date
      The Office of Financial Aid staff will review your eligibility and send you a Financial Aid Notice (FAN) detailing the types of aid you are eligible to receive
    2. Sign and return one copy of the FAN to the Office of Financial Aid within 2-3 weeks of receipt of the FAN
    3. Complete Master Promissory Notes for all loans you wish to accept
      • Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
        Upon receipt of your FAN and your completion of the MPN the Office of Financial Aid will certify your loan eligibility
      • Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
        Upon receipt of your FAN and your completion of the MPN the Office of Financial Aid will certify your loan eligibility
    4. Complete the mandatory Direct and Graduate PLUS Entrance Interview at the same time you complete the MPN(s)
      • Your lender will disburse your semester's loan proceeds to the university on the first day of the semester based on your program's academic calendar
      • The Office of the Health Sciences Bursar will issue refund checks if your loans exceed your billed charges
  • 2021-2022 Application Requirements (starting Fall 2021)

    Please submit your Tufts application electronically via Tufts MED FA Box.

    2022-2023 Application Materials (starting Fall 2022)

  • All applicants

    Financial aid is awarded on an academic year basis. See deadlines above.

    Students will not be eliminated from consideration for any types of funding by applying after the priority consideration date. However, the Office of Financial Aid processes applications on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, late applicants may experience a delay in the notification of their eligibility. Students would still be expected to meet all registration and bill payment deadlines even if they have not received financial aid award notices by those dates. Consequently, they may also cause a delay with disbursements and/or refund checks being issued.

    Please be aware that loan eligibility may not be certified after the last day of classes. Students who are applying for financial aid late into the semester (within one month of the last day of classes) should contact the Office of Financial Aid to confirm that adequate time is available to process the request.

    *In general, PhD students with tuition and stipend support do not qualify for financial assistance. However, some students with extenuating circumstances may qualify for federal student loans. PhD students who believe they have extenuating circumstances should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss them.

    New applicants

    Please do not wait until you are admitted to apply for financial assistance. Having a complete financial aid application on file when you are admitted ensures that we will be able to review your application quickly and notify you of your eligibility shortly after your admission.

    Continuing applicants

    The Office of Financial Aid will be in touch with you each December to notify you when application materials for the next academic year are available for download from the web.

    How do I apply for aid?

    Complete the applications and submit the supplemental documents listed in the application instructions.

    Who may apply?

    Students whose cost of attendance exceeds their family/other financial resources are encouraged to apply for financial aid. However, applicants who meet the following requirements may be eligible to receive federal financial aid if they are: 1) accepted or enrolled at Tufts University School of Medicine on at least a half-time basis, 2) meeting standards of academic standard progress, 3) a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen, 4) NOT in default with prior student loans, 5) compliant with requirements of Selective Service Registration (male students) and 6) have no prior drug convictions during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid.

    Renewal of eligibility

    Students are required to apply for financial aid each academic year and eligibility is determined for all financial aid programs available. Components of a student's aid package may vary from year to year due to changes in financial circumstances, late applications, changes in program regulations, and/or funds available.

    International Students

    No federal or institutional funds are available to international students. However, private loans may be secured with an eligible co-signer. The Office of Financial Aid would be happy to assist international students with questions pertaining to private loans.