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Financial Aid & Scholarships

A guide for graduate and doctoral students.


You’ve decided to pursue higher education. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to pay for it.

That’s where Lesley’s Financial Aid Office can help. Use our step-by-step guide to apply for government and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here. We’ve even included private sources of funding you can apply for on your own.

Don’t think you qualify for aid? We recommend applying anyway. There are many types of aid you may not have considered, and it’s always a good idea to explore all of your options.

Let’s get started.

International Students

International Students

If you're an international student, you are not eligible for federal or state funding, and so, you won't file the Free Application for Federal and Student Aid (FAFSA).

Learn about scholarships, private loans, and student jobs you're eligible for.

Apply for Federal Financial Aid

Apply for Federal Financial Aid

Your eligibility for federal aid, and even some types of school-based aid, is determined by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, there are other non-government aid programs that require the FAFSA.

So, we recommend you start there.

  • Step 1: FAFSA & Deadlines

    Begin your pursuit of all financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    Submit the FAFSA when you apply for Lesley University admission, and each year to renew.

    Use Lesley University’s school code: 002160

    Need help? Watch these videos on how to fill out the FAFSA.

    Preferred Deadlines

    We encourage you to apply for financial aid at the same time as applying for admission. The last possible day to apply for each academic year is June 30, or the final week of classes, whichever comes first.

  • Step 2: Additional Documents

    Submit additional documents, if asked.

    The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects 30 percent of applicants to complete a verification process.

    We’ll contact you if we need more information. Current students should check their Lesley email account.

    Once you’ve been accepted, log in to your Self-Service account to view your required documents under “My Documents.”

  • Step 3: Financial Aid Award Letter

    You’ll get an official Financial Aid Award Letter by email that has:

    • Types of aid that make up your package
    • Amounts for each term of your expected enrollment
    • Estimated costs for your education
    • Estimated indirect costs, such as living expenses, books, and supplies

Types of Funding

Types of Funding

There are many types of financial aid that students can use for higher education. Several funding options are based on the results of your FAFSA.

Other types of funding, such as private or school-based scholarships, or alternative loans, are sources you apply for separately.

We’ve included all the types of aid you may be eligible for, and how to apply for each one.

Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships & Grants

Scholarships and grants are free money that you don’t pay back, making them a great way to help finance your education.

There are several sources of scholarship and grant money. Here’s what’s available to you and how you apply for each type.

  • Graduate Merit Scholarships for Applicants

    At Lesley, we offer several merit scholarships for graduate students.

    These awards are based on the strength of your application to Lesley University. You’ll find out if you’ve received a merit scholarship in your acceptance letter.

    You might receive a merit scholarship as well as private award from an outside source or a tuition discount.  In that case, you will be eligible to retain the larger of the awards. 

    Counseling and Psychology Master’s or PhD

    The department awards $1.2 million in merit scholarships each year, in amounts up to $12,000 for master’s degree candidates and $16,500 for PhD candidates. Master’s candidates are also eligible for the Eleanor Roffman Community Counseling Scholarship.

    Creative Writing MFA

    The program awards $490,000 in merit scholarships each year.


    Applicants may be eligible for a one-time Dean’s Merit Scholarship. We give preference to applicants with a strong written personal statement and a 3.5 or higher GPA in their most recent degree-granting program.

    Expressive Therapies Master’s

    The department awards $2.2 million in merit scholarships to master’s degree candidates each year, in amounts up to $20,000.

    International Higher Education

    The program awards $40,000 in merit scholarships per year. Applicants are also eligible for the Sylvia Cowan Scholarship.

    Mindfulness Studies

    The program awards $63,000 in merit scholarships per year in amounts up to $3,150.

    Photography MFA & Visual Arts MFA

    The College of Art and Design awards $500,000 in merit scholarships each year, in amounts up to $15,000 for Photography and up to $21,000 for Visual Arts.

    Social Work

    The program awards $25,000 in merit scholarships per year.

  • Donor-Funded Scholarships

    Donor-funded scholarships are endowed awards made through the generosity of individuals and corporations. There is no separate application process for these awards. The cumulative amount of a student's existing Lesley University Merit Scholarship may be updated during the academic year to include a donor-funded scholarship; however, the total amount of the Lesley University Merit Scholarship will remain the same.

  • Early Childhood Education Program Scholarship

    Constance and Lewis Counts, champions of early childhood education and advocates for greater access to higher education, founded a scholarship for students pursuing a degree in early childhood education.

      The Constance and Lewis Counts Scholarship is for:


      In 2020-2021: one scholarship of $4,000 was awarded.

      We’re looking for applicants who:

      • Are committed to the field of early childhood education.
      • Have a strong interest in multicultural issues.
      • Have a documented financial need.
      • Are enrolled in 6 or more credits for the Fall semester.

      How to Apply 

      This scholarship has been awarded for 2020-2021. Please check back next spring for 2021-2022 information.

      Here's what you'll need to do:

      1. File for the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). Use Lesley University’s code: 002160.
      2. Complete the Lewis and Constance Counts Scholarship application, which includes an essay and your résumé.
    • Expressive Therapies Program Scholarships

      There are 5 scholarships for Expressive Therapies graduate students who are in their last year of study.

      Available Awards

      Community Engagement Award

      For a student who demonstrates applications of music therapy in the community.

      Creativity and Innovation Scholarship Award

      For a student who demonstrates creativity and innovation in art therapy.

      Distinguished Expressive Arts Therapy Award

      For an Expressive Arts Therapy student who distinguishes his or her work in graduate studies, internship, or community.

      Minerva Drama Therapy Research Award

      For a student who proposes to build upon his or her thesis research, or who presents a strong vision for the application of drama therapy after graduation.

      Norma Canner Dance/Movement Therapy Award

      For a Dance/Movement Therapy student who demonstrates passion, involvement, and creative vision in bringing dance/movement therapy to the community and celebrating its culture.

      How to Apply

      Write a 2-page essay. Include:

      • Your name
      • Contact information
      • Name of the award you’re applying for
      • Description of how you meet the criteria

      Email your essay to: Gilda Resmini-Walsh at grwalsh@lesley.edu. Put the name of the award in the subject line.


      • Nov. 1: Deadline
      • Dec. 1: Award notification
      • Spring: Awards given
      • May: Student event for award recipients
    • Special Education Program Scholarship

      The Anne Larkin Scholarship is awarded to a newly-accepted student in an on-campus special education master’s degree program. This one-time award is based on the strength of your application to Lesley University. You’ll find out if you’ve received a Larkin scholarship in your acceptance letter. We give preference to applicants with a strong written personal statement and a 3.5 or higher GPA in their most recent degree-granting program.

      With the support of founder George Weiss, Say Yes to Education, Inc. (SYTE) established an endowed scholarship fund honoring Anne Larkin, Lesley University professor emerita and former director of the SYTE Cambridge Chapter, which was housed at Lesley from 1991-2008. Throughout her tenure at Lesley, Dr. Larkin’s program affiliation was with the Special Education Division, and she has dedicated herself, both professionally and personally, to serving individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood. This scholarship will be under the direction of the Graduate School of Education and will be awarded to graduate students who have been accepted into the Special Education program. 

    • Specialist Teacher of Reading Program Scholarships

      Our Language and Literacy Division offers two scholarships and one paid assistantship for students in our graduate Specialist Teacher of Reading programs.

        We’re looking for applicants who:

        • Are in good academic standing.
        • Are enrolled in at least 6 credits on campus.
        • Have outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, and a commitment to a career in literacy education.
        • Can provide evidence of collaboration with colleagues and peers.

        Francis Conley & Bernard J. Conley Memorial Scholarship

        Francis Conley (Dunton) was a Lesley College graduate who had a long career in teaching. This need-based scholarship is for a newly-enrolled graduate student in our Specialist Teacher of Reading master's degree program.

        Barbara Polk Washburn Endowed Scholarship

        Betsy Cabot created this scholarship in honor of her mother, who was a reading practitioner.

        This scholarship is for a student in the Specialist Teacher of Reading master's degree program who has been awarded financial aid. Preference is given to students nearing their practicum.


        $1000 (one scholarship).

        How to Apply

        Please check back in the spring for next year's application.

        Elizabeth & Edmund Cabot Assistantship

        This is a paid assistantship open to students in the Specialist Teacher of Reading master's degree program. Recipients work with faculty or administrators on literacy-related projects during the academic year. Students work 5-10 hours/week up to 100 hours. Hours take place within the typical workday. 

      • Doctoral Program in Educational Studies

        Beginning in Fall 2022, the Center for Inclusive and Special Education and its Lesley Institute for Trauma Sensitivity (LIfTS) will offer three exciting opportunities to doctoral students in the Graduate School of Education:

        • Research Fellowship position to a student interested in inclusive education. This position offers up to $12,000 for a one year appointment (September–June).
        • Research Fellowship position to a student interested in trauma and learning. This position offers up to $12,000 for a one year appointment (September–June).
        • Up to six Research Associate positions. This position offers a stipend up to $1,000 for a one year appointment (September–June).

        Each appointment also allows students to enroll in one trauma and learning LIfTS course per semester at no charge, and provides students with a unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the field and collaborate on research projects.  

        Position details and applications are available in July/August. Applicants must be matriculated Educational Studies PhD students throughout their appointment.

        Please contact spedcenter@lesley.edu with your questions.

      • Federal TEACH Grant for Education Students

        The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is federal money that supports students who are studying to become teachers. Specifically, it’s for educators who plan to work in a low-income school and teach a high-need subject area after graduation.

        It was created by the U.S. Department of Education to get the best teachers where they are needed most—helping our nation’s most disadvantaged students to succeed.

        Do you plan to...

        1. Become a “highly-qualified” teacher, as defined by your state?
        2. Teach full-time, in a low-income (Title I) school, for at least 4 years?
        3. Begin this teaching within 8 years of graduating from your teacher licensure program?
        4. Teach in a high-need subject area, as defined by the U.S government or state?

        If you answered yes to all 4 questions, the TEACH Grant may be right for you. Learn more on the TEACH grant website. 


        1. You’re enrolled a TEACH Grant Eligible Academic Program (PDF).
        2. You’re a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
        3. You’re in good standing with the Title IV aid programs, as reported by the National Student Loan Data System.
        4. You satisfy one of these academic qualifications:
          1. Have a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) in your most recent academic program prior to enrolling at Lesley University. And, maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA while enrolled in a TEACH Grant eligible program at Lesley University.

          2. Score above 75th percentile on a national admissions test (Example: SAT/ACT for undergraduates; GRE for graduate students).

          3. Are a current teacher, former teacher, or a retiree in any field. Former teachers must be pursuing high-quality alternative certification in a master's degree program.

        TEACH Grant Application

        Complete this 4-step Teach Grant application process each academic year.

        1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
        2. Complete and submit a TEACH Grant Intent Form (PDF).
        3. Sign the U.S. Department of Education’s online TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
        4. Complete the U.S. Department of Education’s online TEACH Grant Counseling. Use your FSA ID to complete the counseling. It’s the same ID you used to sign the FAFSA. If you don’t have an FSA ID, or can't remember it, request one from Federal Student Aid.
      • Post-9/11 GI Bill® & Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans

        Lesley University proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, making it possible for veterans and their dependents to earn a degree.

        The Post-9/11 GI Bill®, developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, pays full in-state tuition and fees at public schools. For private schools like Lesley, it covers tuition and fees up to a cap each year. You may qualify for tuition benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, if you’ve served at least 90 days on active duty since September 11, 2001.

        The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. It helps close the gap between the amount the Post-9/11 GI Bill® covers and the actual amount for tuition and fees at private institutions. As a participating school, we’ve dedicated funds for the Yellow Ribbon Program that Veterans Affairs matches dollar for dollar.

        You may qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program if you:

        • have been honorably discharged from active duty
        • have been released from active duty and placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list
        • have been released from active duty and transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve
        • have been released from active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces
        • have been honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days since September 11, 2001

        Your dependents may be eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.

        Questions regarding the Post 9/11 GI Bill® or the Yellow Ribbon Program should be directed, Thomas Graves, Registrar Representative and VA Certifying Official at 617-349-8781 or tgraves@lesley.edu.

        * GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site.

      • Private Graduate Scholarships

        Private scholarships are sources of funding you can research and apply to on your own. We’ve compiled a list of places that offer scholarships for graduate students.

        Lesley University is not responsible for the actions or claims of outside organizations.

        Start here to research private scholarships.

      • Scholarships & Your Financial Aid

        You got a private scholarship to help pay for your education. Now you may be wondering how this affects your financial aid package.

        In most cases, private scholarships are added to your existing financial aid, and don’t result in a reduction of the total aid.

        There are a few cases where we might need to make adjustments:

        Need-Based Aid

        Adjusted if the total need-based aid is more than your calculated need (which includes tuition, fees, and living expenses).

        Loans or Federal Work-Study

        Are always reduced before any adjustment to the grant portion of an award.

        Merit-Based Aid

        Adjustment required if the total award is more than the cost of tuition and fees.

      Student Employment

      Student Employment

      Federal Work-Study

      Your financial aid award letter will tell you if you’ve received Federal Work-Study funding, and the total amount for the year. This is usually no more than $1,800.  

      Find a part-time Work-Study job, then earn your award through the hours you work. Most jobs are on campus in an office, but some are at off-campus locations.

      Other Employment

      If you don’t get Work-Study funding, you can apply for other part-time jobs on campus through our Lesley Works student employment program. Or, search for an off-campus job through our Career Resource Center.

      Search Jobs

      Look for Work-Study, Lesley Works, and off-campus employment.

      Tuition Discounts

      Tuition Discounts

      You may be eligible for a few types of graduate tuition discounts.

      If you graduated from a Lesley bachelor's degree program, you're eligible for our biggest discount—The Lesley Dividend—where you get 12 free credits toward your Lesley master's degree.

      If you receive a merit scholarship award and are eligible for a tuition discount, we can offer you only the larger award.

      Discounts do not apply to credit rates that have been reduced in response to COVID-19.

      • Lesley Dividend for Graduate School

        If you earned your bachelor’s degree at Lesley, you’re eligible to get 12 free credits toward your Lesley master’s degree.

        And at $650 to $1,130 credit, that’s a huge tuition savings of $7,800–$13,560.

        The award is applied to your tuition over 2 semesters. You’ll get 6 credits of free tuition in your first semester, and 6 free credits in your last semester of graduate study.

        You can even use the Dividend toward an already-discounted dual bachelor’s and master’s degree program, for an even bigger bargain.

        A student cannot use the Dividend in the following instances:

        • For a certificate or non-degree program
        • When advancing from one Master’s program to a second Master’s program
        • When advancing from one Master’s program to a PhD program
        • In conjunction with another discount or institutional scholarship


        The Dividend for your first 6 credits of study will be applied to your account automatically. To apply the Dividend for your last 6 credits of study, you'll need to log in to the Lynx Solution Center and submit a case.


      • City Year Partnership Discount

        We offer City Year’s corps members, alumni, and staff a 25 percent tuition discount on several of our graduate programs.

        This tuition discount applies only to total tuition costs that have not already been discounted by other Lesley partners.  Please check with the Graduate Admissions Office to confirm the tuition structure for your program.

        This tuition discount scholarship is open to City Year applicants who have been accepted into one of Lesley’s on-campus or low-residency graduate programs.


        To qualify, City Year corps members and alumni must complete at least 1 year of service and City Year staff members must be employed for at least 2 years.


        • 25 percent off graduate tuition.
        • Scholarship can be renewed each semester for the entire program, so long as you are in good academic standing.
        • One-year enrollment deferral: Once accepted, you may defer enrollment for up to a year if you serve more time with City Year.
        • Discount is for tuition only, not for fees or books.
        • If you are awarded a Lesley merit scholarship, you will be eligible to receive either the City Year discount or the merit scholarship, but not both.

        Apply for the City Year Scholarship

        1. Apply for a Lesley graduate program.

          Lesley’s Graduate Admissions Office makes all admissions and scholarship decisions, not City Year. Be sure to meet all application requirements and deadlines.
        2. Identify your City Year affiliation.

          Tell our Graduate Admissions Office that you served with City Year (luadmissions@lesley.edu or 617.349.8300). Reference the "tuition discount partnership scholarship."
        3. Request a City Year service verification letter.

          Email alumni@cityyear.org with "Lesley University Graduate Programs" in the subject line. Include the site where you served and your corps graduation month and year. The City Year Alumni Department will send your service verification letter to the Lesley Graduate Admissions Office and add it to your applicant file.
      • Other Lesley Graduate Tuition Discounts

        We offer 4 other types of tuition discounts that can be used toward several of our campus-based graduate programs.

        Some restrictions may apply.

        Lesley Alumni Discount 

        • 10 percent reduction for most campus-based courses, at the on-campus rate.
        • Receive this discount for eligible courses starting after your Lesley graduation.
        • Does not apply to dual-degree programs that combine a bachelor's and master's degree.
        • Does not apply to Lesley Dividend recipients.
        • If you graduated before 1989: Submit an Alumni Discount Form (PDF) to our Registrar's Office to begin receiving this discount.

        Senior Citizen Discount

        • 10 percent reduction for most campus-based courses, at the on-campus rate.
        • You must be at least 55 years of age by the start of class to receive the discount for that course.

        City of Cambridge Employee Discount

        • 10 percent tuition reduction for most campus-based graduate courses, at the on-campus rate.
        • For City of Cambridge, Massachusetts employees. Includes public school teachers and government employees.
        • Attach proof of your current City of Cambridge employment to your course registration form.
        • Submit your documentation to our Student Accounts office before the last day of Add/Drop for the semester, and for each registration period.
        • We'll credit the discount after the Add/Drop period.

        Cambridge Resident Discount

        • 10 percent tuition reduction for most campus-based graduate courses, at the on-campus rate.
        • Submit proof that you live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, such as a lease with your address.
        • The discount is good for entire the lease. You won't have to submit additional documentation for this time period.
        • Other acceptable documents include any 2 of the following: Utility bills, cell phone bill, credit card bill, or bank statement.
        • Each document needs to show a Cambridge, Mass. address, and be dated within 30 days of when you turn it in.
        • Submit these documents to the Student Accounts Office prior to the last day of Add/Drop each semester.

        Discount Policies

        • The above discounts are not offered for undergraduate programs, Threshold, off-campus programs, Creative Writing MFA, Visual Arts MFA, Photography MFA, low-residency programs, or online courses.
        • Discounts will not apply if other promotional rates or reductions are applied to the tuition charge (vouchers, employee discounts, institutional scholarships, or special offering rates).
        • Discounts will not apply to deferred tuition payments or special payment arrangements.
        • Discounts may not be combined.
        • Discounts will not be applied retroactively.
        • Other restrictions may apply. Policies are subject to change.




      You may be eligible for a few different types of loans. Some federal and state loans are based on the result of your application for federal student aid (FAFSA), and appear on your financial aid award letter if you’re eligible.

      Other government loan programs require additional steps to apply for them. And then there are private, non-government loans that you would research and apply for on your own.

      For Washington State residents seeking information and resources about student loan repayment or seeking to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit the Washington Student Achievement Council or contact the Student Loan Advocate at loanadvocate@wsac.wa.gov.

      Here are the different types of loans and how to apply for each one.

      • Federal Direct Loans

        Federal Direct loans are provided by the U.S. Department of Education, at a fixed interest rate, to help you pay for your undergraduate or graduate education. Because they are backed by the U.S. government, the interest rates are lower than private loans.

        How to Apply

        Fill out the FAFSA. Your financial aid award letter will indicate if you’ve received a Federal Direct loan, and how much. You'll need to accept, decline, or revise (reduce) the loan through your Lesley Self-Service account.

        About Federal Direct Loans

        There are 2 types of Direct Loans out there—Unsubsidized and Subsidized. As a graduate student, you may be eligible for an Unsubsidized Loan.

        Unsubsidized Loans

        • For undergraduate and graduate students.
        • The student is responsible for the interest that accrues.
        • You can make voluntary interest payments while in school, or defer interest payments until they enter repayment.

        We recommend you pay the interest when it’s billed each quarter. Otherwise, unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance) at the end of the grace period, making the loan more expensive.



        There is a limit on how much you may borrow each academic year. For graduate students, the limit is up to $20,500 per year. There is also a limit on how much federal loan funding you may borrow in total, called the "aggregate."

        Origination Fee

        The U.S Department of Education deducts this fee off the top of the loan before sending funds to Lesley University on your behalf.

        Example: For a $5,000 loan with a 1 percent origination fee ($50), you’d get $4,950 to use toward your education.

        Learn More

        Learn more about Federal Direct Loans, including annual and aggregate limits, interest rates and fees, and terms and conditions.

      • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

        This is a federally guaranteed loan, with a fixed interest rate, for graduate students. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education.

        A PLUS Loan can help pay for tuition and education-related expenses. You may borrow up to the cost of your education, minus other financial aid.

        To be eligible, you:

        • Meet the basic eligibility requirements for federal student aid
        • Are a graduate student enrolled in at least half-time (taking 3 credits/semester)
        • Were also eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
        • Have good credit

        How to Apply

        1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
        2. Apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan online, through the U.S. Department of Education.
        3. If you get the loan, and you’re a first-time borrower, you’ll need to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Use your FSA ID to complete this step. It’s the same ID you used to sign your FAFSA.

          If you don’t have an FSA ID, or can't remember it, request one from Federal Student Aid.
        4. First-time borrowers need to complete Graduate PLUS Loan Entrance Counseling. This takes 20–30 minutes. Use your FSA ID here, too.


        Origination Fee

        The U.S. Department of Education deducts this fee from the loan before sending funds to Lesley University on your behalf.

        Example: For a $10,000 loan with a 5 percent origination fee ($500), you’d get $9,500 to use toward your education.


        The interest on a PLUS loan accrues while deferred, and is capitalized (added to the principal balance) when the loan enters repayment. You can make interest-only payments while in school, making the loan less expensive overall.

        Learn More

        Learn more about Graduate PLUS Loans, including interest rates, fees, and term and conditions.

      • Private Education Loans

        Several private loan products are available to students and parents; however, you should research scholarships, grants, work programs, and Federal Direct Loans before borrowing from a private lender.

        Lenders are on our Private Loan List only because they have notified Lesley University that they offer private educational loans for the current academic year.

        Research your state's lending agency, local bank, or credit union.

        If you decide to use a lender or loan product not listed on the Private Loan list, notify Lesley’s Financial Aid Office so we can certify your loan of choice.


        Here are some tips for when you research private education loans.

        Know Your FICO Score

        • Lenders use your FICO score to determine your credit risk.
        • The higher the FICO score, the better (lower) the interest rate you'll get on the loan.
        • Estimate your FICO score. Use the Bankrate Free FICO Score Estimator calculator.
        • Obtain your actual FICO score for a fee.
        • FICO scores are a snapshot of your credit risk, and can change.

        Improve Your FICO Score

        • Get a free credit report and check it for errors. Fix mistakes before applying for a private loan.
        • Pay bills on time, settle past due accounts, pay down debt, and reduce the percentage of your total credit card balances to below 30 percent of total available credit.
        • Don't cancel a credit card to boost your score. This can cause an immediate, short-term negative effect.
        • Keep your oldest credit cards. The longer credit history you have, the better your FICO score.

        Research Options and Rates

        • Determine the lenders you are interested in before completing your first credit application.
        • The approval process for a private loan results in a hard inquiry on your credit report.
        • Having many hard inquiries may reduce your credit score.
        • Multiple applications within 30 days will only result in 1 hard inquiry. Apply to several lenders to find the most competitive rates in this 30-day window.
        • If you apply for more than one private loan, let Lesley's Financial Aid Office know which one you want. We’ll certify the first loan application we receive, and may cancel additional requests.

        Questions to Ask About the Private Loan or Lender

        Consider these factors to determine the best private loan product for you.

        Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

        • The principal is the amount you borrowed that remains unpaid, before interest and fees.
        • The APR is the annual cost of your loan, including the effect of any fees or charges in addition to interest.
        • Interest rates may be fixed or variable. A fixed interest rate remains the same throughout the entire loan term. Variable (adjustable) interest rates are subject to change. The rates could increase during the life of the loan, making the loan more expensive.
        • Find out if the lender uses PRIME or LIBOR to determine their interest rates. Lenders using LIBOR typically use the 3-month rate.
        • Learn more about how PRIME and LIBOR rates work.

        Interest Capitalization

        When borrowing money, you’ll have to pay interest; it's just a matter of when.

        • Find out when the interest on your loan is capitalized, meaning, when it is added to the principal balance. Ask if this changes during repayment.
        • If you defer paying your loan while in school, you are deferring the principal, interest, and fees. Interest still accrues on the loan while you are in school, and then is added to the principal for you to pay back at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This means you will be paying interest on the interest you "borrowed."
        • Making interest-only payments on an alternative loan while in school will drastically reduce the total cost of the loan.

        Calculate the Total Cost of the Loan

        Ask the lender about interest rates and fees, and other questions such as:

        • Are there introductory rates that increase over time?
        • Is there an origination fee deducted from the loan before the funds are sent to Lesley University?
        • Are there any fees added after the entire loan has been disbursed?

        Loan Limits

        Does the loan have an annual or aggregate limit? Ask yourself if you can afford to borrow within the limits.


        • Does repayment begin immediately or after you graduate or leave school?
        • How long is the repayment period? Are there choices, such as 10 years versus 20 years?
        • Are you rewarded for making on-time payments? Or, are there penalties for repaying the loan early?

        Lender Stability

        • How long has the organization been providing student loans?
        • Are they offering alternative loans through the next 4 years?
        • Does the lender sell its loans? If so, how often? To whom? And with what consequences?

        Customer Service

        What services does the lender offer to borrowers?

      • Federal Student Loan Repayment

        If you borrowed funds from the U.S. government for your education, there are a few ways you can pay back that loan. Federal student loans are managed by a loan servicer. Your loan servicer will help you navigate your repayment options.

        Income-Driven Repayment Plans

        Income-driven repayment plans are meant to be affordable. Your monthly payments are 10 or 15 percent of your discretionary income. This figure is calculated based on your total income, household size, and U.S. poverty guidelines.

        Each year, you’ll need to send income and household size information to your loan servicer so you can remain on this type of repayment plan.

        If your income decreases or your household size increases at any time, contact your loan servicer to get a new monthly payment amount. You don’t have to wait for the annual review.

        Learn more about income-driven repayment plans.

        Other Repayment Plans

        There are also a few repayment options—Standard, Graduated, and Extended— that aren’t based on your income, and are available to all borrowers.

        Learn more about your other options.

        Next Steps

        Work with your loan servicer to see if you qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, or to figure out which plan is best for your situation.

        Check the National Student Loan Data System for contact information for all federal loan servicers.

      • Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

        If you borrow funds from the U.S. government for your education, you may be eligible for a loan forgiveness program. This means you won’t have to pay back all of the money you borrowed.

        There are loan forgiveness programs for teachers, for public service workers, and individuals on an income-driven repayment plan.

        Teacher Loan Forgiveness

        Receive forgiveness for up to $17,500 of your Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized student loans.

        You may be eligible if you:

        • Teach full-time; and
        • Have taught for 5 full and consecutive years in schools or educational agencies that serve low-income families.

        Learn more about Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

        Public Service Loan Forgiveness

        Receive forgiveness for the balance due on your Federal Direct student loans.

        You may be eligible if:

        • You’ve made 120 qualifying payments (10 years) on loans under certain repayment plans; and
        • You made the payments while employed full-time by a qualifying public service employer, such as a government agency or not-for-profit organization.

        The repayment plans that qualify are income-driven­, meaning your monthly payment is based on your income, household size, and the federal poverty guidelines for your area.

        Learn more about Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

        Income-Driven Repayment Loan Forgiveness

        If you don’t qualify for public service loan forgiveness, you may have another option.

        You could have your federal student loan balances forgiven if:

        • You’re on a repayment plan based on your income and household size; and
        • You’ve made payments on time for 20 or 25 years.

        Whether you qualify after 20 or 25 years depends on when you became a first-time borrower. You may need to pay income tax on the amount forgiven.

        Learn more about Income-Driven Repayment.


        You may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

        However, the 5 years of employment for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness does not count toward the 10 years of employment for Public Service program.

        Next Steps

        Work with your loan servicer to see if you’re eligible for a loan forgiveness program.

        Check the National Student Loan Data System for contact information for all federal loan servicers.

      • Lender Code of Conduct

        Lesley University does not recommend any particular loan product.

        Review our Lender Code of Conduct for legal information about lending relationships.

      Payment Plans

      Payment Plans

      Divide your tuition and fees into smaller, monthly payments through a flexible, interest-free payment plan.

      You can set up a payment plan with our Student Accounts Office. Learn more about payment plans.

      Enrollment & Next Steps

      Enrollment & Next Steps

      Secure your funding and pay your bill.

      You’ve applied for federal aid, scholarships, and private funding. And you have an idea of your financial picture for the upcoming year.

      If you decided to enroll at Lesley, or you are a returning student, you’ll need to complete these steps to secure your funding and to pay your bill.

      • Step 1: Accept your award, when applicable.

        Here’s what to do if you see any of these types of funding in your financial aid award letter.

        Federal Direct Loans

        Complete 3 steps so we can credit the loan to your student account.

        1. Accept or decline the loan in full, or revise (decrease) the loan amount through your Self-Service account within 30 days.

          If you revise the loan amount, click “Accept” to finish the step. We’ll notify the U.S. Department of Education so they can certify the loan. If you don’t accept the loan within 30 days, it will get canceled.
        2. Sign a Master Promissory Note (PIN) electronically. This is an agreement between you and the U.S. government. It states you understand your responsibilities as Federal Direct Loan borrower. Once you sign, it’s good for 10 years.
        3. Complete the U.S. Department of Education’s online Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. This takes 20–30 minutes.

        Scholarships & Grants

        No need to do anything. We’ll apply these funds toward your tuition and fees.

        Federal Work-Study

        No need to do anything. These funds will be paid to you for the hours you work in a Federal Work-Study job.

      • Step 2: Report private or other funding you've received.

        Send notification letters from private scholarships to Lesley's Financial Aid Office.

        Let us know if you have tuition reimbursement, alternative (non-government) loans, or state grant money from a state other than Massachusetts.

        Your total resources can’t exceed the budgeted costs for your education, including tuition, fees, and living expenses. Financial aid from outside resources can be used to reduce your need for federal assistance or loans.

      • Step 3: Register for classes.

        Register for classes and independent studies before the end of the add/drop period.

        Changes in your enrollment can affect the amount of aid you receive, and when you receive it. If your plans change, notify Lesley's Financial Aid Office in writing immediately.

        Use this online form to submit your enrollment changes.

        We’ll review your registered credits to confirm your enrollment. We’ll email your Lesley address if your financial aid is at risk.

      • Step 4: Get your bill, and finalize your financial plan.

        If you’ll have a balance due after your financial aid is applied to your tuition, fees, and other charges, you’ll need to find a way to pay it.

        For example, set up a payment plan or get a loan.

        Contact our Financial Aid Office via our "Ask the Lynx" contact form for support as you finalize your financial plan.

        Set up a payment plan, or pay your bill.

      • Step 5: We credit the funds to your student account.

        This process is called “disbursement.” We’ll disburse your financial aid funds once:

        • We’ve confirmed your registration
        • You’ve begun classes, and
        • You’ve completed the steps for accepting certain awards

        When will my financial aid be applied to my bill?

        The date you get your funding depends on your program.

        Review the disbursement dates.

        If you’re awarded aid after your disbursement date has passed, we’ll credit the funds once you’ve completed the requirements.


        You may have a credit balance if your billed tuition and fees are less than the amount of financial aid applied to your student account.

        In this case, we’ll refund you within 14 days of the disbursement date. Use the refund for living expenses, transportation, or personal expenses you incur as a student.

      Financial Aid Policies

      Financial Aid Policies

      Lesley University is required to follow all federal and state regulations.

      Review the Financial Aid policies that could affect your ability to keep your federal and state financial aid while studying at Lesley.

      Net Price Calculator

      Net Price Calculator

      If you’re considering Lesley University, use our Net Price Calculator to get an early estimate of your total annual cost and potential financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and other kinds of funding.

      The results do not represent any guarantee of cost or your actual financial aid award, but it is a great place to start. Lesley’s Financial Aid Office determines your actual financial aid eligibility, once you submit your official application for federal student aid (FAFSA).

      Current students and prospective transfer students should contact our Financial Aid Office via our "Ask the Lynx" contact form for information instead of using this calculator.

      Start the Net Price Calculator.

      Contact Student Financial Services

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