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Financial Aid & Scholarships

A guide for Threshold 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 explore funding options.

Let's get started.

Scholarships & Grants

Types of Funding

Scholarships & Grants

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

Here’s what’s available to you and how to apply.

  • Threshold Scholarship Fund

    This is a private scholarship fund for students who are eligible for the Threshold Core Program. Students can use the scholarship to complete their 2-year certificate program. The fund is created through the generosity of donors and the amount available for scholarships varies from year to year. We'll award scholarships based upon the availability of funds. Completing the application does not guarantee that an applicant will receive a scholarship award.

    • Scholarships will be awarded annually on the basis of economic need and academic merit.
    • The Director of the Threshold Program will announce the applications and awards for the scholarship each year.
    • Applicants must apply for this award every year.
    • Students can use the funds from the scholarship for tuition or room and board.
    • Full-time enrollment in the Threshold Core Program is required.
    • If the student withdraws from the program during the academic year, the remaining funds will need to be returned to the scholarship. If a student is reinstated into the program, he or she will need to complete the application process again.

    How to Apply

    All Threshold students are encouraged to complete their FAFSA application, which begins October 1 each year, to be considered. Students that have completed the FAFSA, and submitted an essay will be notified by letter of their award by March 31st, annually.

    1. Complete the Free Application for Federal and Student Aid. Use Lesley's school code 002160.
    2. Send an email to the Executive Director of the Threshold Program, Jennifer Thorell, at jthorell@lesley.edu.


    • Put "Threshold Scholarship Fund" in the subject line of the email.
    • Include a statement in the email announcing the student's intent to apply for the scholarship fund.
    • Include a one-page essay, attached to the email as a Word document, about the student's goals in life, and how completing the Threshold Core Program will help the student reach these goals.

    If you have any questions about the Threshold Scholarship Fund, contact:

    Jennifer Thorell
    Executive Director, Threshold Program
    Lesley University


  • 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.

Student Employment

Student Employment

Lesley Works & Off-Campus Jobs

You can apply for 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 Lesley Works and off-campus employment.

Private Loans

Private Loans

Here are private, non-government loans that you can 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.

  • Private Loan Options

    Private (alternative) education loans are monies you borrow from a private lender, not from the federal government. Private loans can cover the difference between the cost of your education and the funds you received from other sources.

    Use these resources to determine the best loan product for you or your family.

    Private Loan Options

    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?

  • 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.

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.

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.

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