Understanding Your Award Letter: Undergraduate Students

These are resources to help undergraduate students understand their Tufts financial aid award letter. The award letter is the official notification from Tufts Financial Aid that provides three important pieces of information: The Cost of Attendance, the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the Financial Need/Aid Eligibility. Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution equals Financial Need/Aid Eligibility.

2020-2021 Academic Year Update (6/23/20): We plan to email completed financial aid decisions to returning undergraduate students by Friday, 6/26/20.

Financial aid awards for 2020-2021 were calculated based on the default estimated Cost of Attendance for students who will be attending in person and living in on-campus housing, or renting an off-campus apartment.

Other attendance options for 2020-2021 include attending in person and commuting to campus from a family or friend's home, or attending remotely from your own home. The Cost of Attendance will be adjusted for students who plan to commute or attend remotely. 

Please review the examples below to see how commuting or attending remotely will impact your financial aid award. Because both the Cost of Attendence and the financial aid award are reduced by the same amount if a student commutes or attends remotely, choosing either option may not result in cost savings for financial aid students. 

Actual award adjustments will be made as soon as possible after Financial Aid receives confirmation of your updated attendance preference. The Cost of Attendance figures below are not actual costs for 2020-2021. They are simply used to illustrate the different attendance scenarios. Your actual estimated costs can be found in your award letter, and in SIS.

On/Off Campus Estimated Costs
Estimated Costs Remote* Estimated Costs
Tuition and Fees $61,000 Tuition and Fees $61,000 Tuition and Fees $61,000
Housing  $8,500 Housing $0 Housing $0
Meals $7,000 Food and Utilities $7,000 Food and Utilities $2,400
Books and Personal $2,600 Books and Personal $2,600 Books and Personal $2,600
Total COA $79,100 Total COA $70,600 Total COA $66,000
- Family Contribution $30,000 - Family Contribution $30,000 - Family Contribution $30,000
= Financial Aid Eligibility $49,100 = Financial Aid Eligibility $40,600 = Financial Aid Eligibility $36,000
Sample Aid Award   Sample Aid Award   Sample Aid Award  
Federal Loan $5,500 Federal Loan $5,500 Federal Loan $5,500
Work Study $2,000 Work Study $0 Work Study $0
Tufts Grant $41,600 Tufts Grant $35,100 Tufts Grant $30,500


*Financial aid awards for international students who attend remotely will be adjusted on a case by case basis.

It is important to note that the financial aid award letter is not a bill, and your EFC is not necessarily what you and your family will pay directly to Tufts. You will be billed each semester through eBill. However, you can use the award information on your letter to estimate your bill.

Please select from the menu to learn more about your award letter.