Tufts University Financial Aid
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Calculating Eligibility

Aid recipients must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Additionally, you must have a valid Social Security number and, if required by law to do so, be registered with the Selective Service System. To maintain eligibility for federal aid, you cannot owe payments or be in default on a Federal Perkins Loan or a Federal FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan for attendance at Tufts or another institution; nor can you owe a repayment on a Federal Pell Grant or Federal SEOG Grant; nor can you have borrowed in excess of the loan limits, under Title IV Programs, at any institution.

How Financial Aid Eligibility is Calculated

All undergraduate financial aid at Tufts is need-based. This need, or aid eligibility, is the difference between educational expenses and the university's estimate of what the family can contribute toward those expenses. Educational expenses in our total budget include tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal expenses, as detailed here

Tufts does not offer any merit or academic scholarships. All aid is based solely on financial need and is not adjusted for superior academic performance or extracurricular activities. The only exception is a small ($500 per year) Tufts National Merit Scholarship program.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

You and your family are expected to contribute to your undergraduate educational expenses to the extent that you are able. In our analysis of family finances, financial aid officers review information reported on the PROFILE, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and federal income tax returns in order to determine the family contribution.  We also review business taxes and/or non-custodial parent information, if either of these apply to your family.

The parental contribution is our estimate of your parents ability to contribute to your education based on such factors as income, assets, whether you will have housing charges or commute from home, your family size, and the number of siblings in college.  If there is one or more siblings enrolled full time, with similar costs, the family contribution will be divided.

The student contribution is based on student income and assets. The typical expectation will be $1,500 - $2,200, plus a  minimum 35 - 75% (depending on grade level) of reported assets in your name.

The combination of the student and parent contributions make up the Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC.

In determining eligibility for Tufts aid, Tufts will make institutional adjustments to the federal analysis as well as adjustments for information on the parents' tax returns. In some cases, the EFC shown on the Tufts Financial Aid Notice could be significantly higher than the federal EFC shown on the FAFSA Student Aid Report from the federal government.  Tufts uses our institutional calculation to determine eligibility for Tufts grant aid, unless the government mandates a higher contribution via the federal calculation.

EFC Calculators

Curious what your own EFC might look like? We encourage all families to visit a site, with information about paying for college, which is run by the College Board, using this EFC link. They have a tool called a Calculator that can be used to determine both a federal and an institutional EFC. The calculator leads the user though a series of screens that allows you to input a family financial picture, and then calculates an approximate Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).  Another resource for great calculators is available through this trusted site.

The estimates provided are only as accurate as the information that has been entered, and we advise using them only as a guide to what a family might expect to have to pay for educational expenses. The institutional calculator is not effective when the family has a business, reports losses on federal taxes, has a sibling enrolled at an institution with costs much lower than Tufts, or if there is a noncustodial parent to be considered.

Tufts uses our institutional calculation to determine eligibility for Tufts grant aid, unless the government mandates a higher contribution via the federal calculation.

Appeal Process

Entering students: if you wish to appeal your aid decision, you should submit an Appeal Form to Student Financial Services immediately. Once you have paid your admission deposit, you will normally not be considered for any additional first-year aid unless there is a drastic change in your family’s financial circumstances. We have awarded you the maximum aid for which you are eligible, based on the Tufts financial aid policies. If there have been changes in your family’s financial situation or if you feel there are special circumstances to be communicated to your aid counselor, please contact us immediately. We do not match financial aid offers from other institutions, and different awards from other institutions will not be used alone as a basis for adjusting the Tufts aid award.

Returning students: if you wish to have your aid decision reconsidered, you should submit an Appeal Form to Student Financial Services. Normally, revisions are made based upon changes in family circumstances or clarification of information previously submitted. In general, returning student appeals will not be reviewed until the end of October, and any additional aid will be credited to the Spring bill. Families should plan to pay the Fall balance in full when due in August.
Returning students who wish to discuss a financial aid grievance should follow these channels: 1. The student’s financial aid counselor; 2. Director of Financial Aid; 3. Dean of Student Services. If unable to obtain a satisfactory explanation, you may write to the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, which will appoint a faculty member as Ombudsperson to investigate. If the Ombudsperson is unable to resolve the grievance informally, a formal recommendation for resolution will be made to the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

  Financial Services - Financial Aid, Dowling Hall 7th Floor, Tufts University, Medford, MA,  02155  |  Tel: (617) 627-2000  |  Email