Federal Policies: Undergraduate Students

General Policies

U.S. Citizenship Requirement

In order to receive federal aid you must be a U.S. citizen, or an eligible noncitizen. Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you:

  • Are a permanent U.S. resident with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
  • Are a conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Hold an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one year and your status has not expired), Victim of human trafficking, T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.  

If the government cannot confirm your citizenship status you will be asked to provide documentation of your eligibility. The Student Aid Report you receive after filing the FAFSA will have a notation if your citizenship status requires you to provide further documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Independent Undergraduates

The university believes that the primary responsibility for an undergraduate education lies with the student and parent, to whatever extent possible. Therefore, all undergraduates applying for Tufts aid are required to provide parental information regardless of federal dependency status. If you have extenuating circumstances, you should consult with an aid officer.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

You are entitled to see your applications, grade transcripts, notice of awards and terms, and yearly reports. The Tufts copy of your Federal Perkins Loan promissory note is open for inspection at the Student Loan Office in Dowling Hall. Universities are not required to show parents and students notes and records kept solely for aid office use in reaching an aid decision, or to show students parental tax forms unless authorized by parents. Your aid officer may discuss your family finances with you, unless your parent specifically requests not to do so.

Drug Possession or Sale Conviction

Disqualification for Title IV Federal Aid

Offense 1st Conviction 2nd Conviction 3rd Conviction
Possession 1 year 2 years permanent
Sales 2 years permanent  

The law does not apply to juvenile records, and you may regain eligibility by completing an acceptable drug rehabilitation program or by having your conviction overturned.

If you have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving Title IV federal financial aid, you are required to report it on the FAFSA. For additional information on this requirement call a federal representative at 1-800-433-3243.

Title IV Fraud

Students who have been convicted of, or who have pled guilty (or nolo contendere) to, a crime involving fraud in obtaining Title IV federal financial aid are not eligible for additional aid until they have repaid the fraudulently obtained funds.

Withdrawal and Federal Funds

Federal regulations require that the university have a fair and equitable refund policy for recipients of federal student aid (including Federal PLUS Loans) who withdraw on or after the first day of a class for a period of enrollment for which the student was charged.

If you withdraw or go on leave during the semester, your institutional charges, such as tuition, fees, and room and board, will be reduced according to the Tufts University tuition refund policies as published in the Tufts Bulletin.

Once a student withdraws from the University, the Financial Aid Office will determine the earned and unearned portions of federal Title IV financial aid as of the date the student ceased attendance.  For a student who withdraws within the first 60% of the term, a prorate schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds that the student has earned.  After the 60% point in the term, the student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds and no refund will be required.  The refund will be used to pay the following financial aid funds as follows:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and any other federal aid awards are reduced in this order, up to the total amount of these aid programs. If you received a portion of the award in cash to cover non-institutional expenses, a partial repayment may be required to the pertinent federal program.
  2. Tufts Loans and Tufts Grants are reduced in this order up to the amount of remaining credit.
  3. If additional credit remains, it will be refunded to the student or outside sources.

Tufts will use the worksheet provided by the U.S. Department of Education to calculate federal financial aid refunds.  Students who are considering withdrawing or taking a leave of absence should consult with their aid officer to learn their rights and obligations.  Students should be aware that federal financial aid may not cover all unpaid institutional charges due to Tufts when a student withdraws.

If you received a Federal Perkins or Federal Direct Stafford Loan and withdraw for one or more semesters, you must complete exit counseling online. Details will be emailed and mailed to you.  If you have a Federal Direct Stafford or PLUS loan, you are required to notify your lenders as well as the Office of Financial Aid when you withdraw.

Federal Pell Grant Guidelines and Census Date

Federal Pell Grant amounts vary depending on a student’s enrollment status. A student enrolled less than full-time (3/4 time, ½ time, or part time) receives a pro-rated grant amount based on the full time award. The amount of a student’s Federal Pell Grant award for each term will be based on the student’s enrollment status as of the academic calendar date identified as “Last day for AS&E students to ADD classes for Full Term and First Session Courses.”  For summer Pell, the census date is identified as the second summer session start date. Enrollment changes after the date will not result in a change to the Pell Grant amount.

Five-Year Programs

Students admitted to the five-year liberal arts programs with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts or New England Conservatory pay tuition to Tufts and apply for financial aid from Tufts. Criteria for selection and continuance of Tufts aid are the same as for the four-year undergraduate programs.

Aid recipients admitted to the five-year Museum, Conservatory or liberal arts/engineering programs by the end of the sophomore year may expect renewal consideration for a fifth year to obtain both degrees.

Combined-degree (bachelor/master) financial aid recipients should apply to the graduate school for scholarships for the fifth year or when the bachelor's degree requirements are completed, whichever comes first.

Contact Us