Office of Financial Assistance

Financial Aid and Financial Assistance at Clark University

Questions and Answers

What is Clark's tuition?
For tuition and fee expenses, please contact your Student Account Counselor in the Office of Student Accounts, or visit the Student Accounts website.
What items are due and when?
The Clark Application for Financial Aid, and the FAFSA are due by April 24.
After this deadline, the Financial Assistance Staff will begin to review these applications.
You may be required to submit additional forms and/or provide additional information before your award can be determined.
What is Clark's school code for the FAFSA?
The FAFSA code is 002139; the campus code is 00.
My parents are divorced, separated or were never married to one another. Does my non-custodial parent have to complete the College Board's Non-custodial Profile?
Unless it is specifically requested by our office, the Non-custodial Profile is not required for returning students.

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My parent is self-employed or owns a farm. Do I need to submit a Clark University Business/Farm Addendum Form?
Unless it is specifically requested by our office, the Business/Farm Addendum is not required for returning students.
What if my application items are turned in late?
If you apply for financial aid after the deadline, you may still be eligible for federal funds. Clark and state funds, however, are very limited. Filing late may affect your eligibility for these funds.
What if my application is not complete?
Your application cannot be reviewed until all materials required and requested have been received.

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When will I receive my award letter?
Providing all requested documents have been received by our office by the established deadlines, returning students should receive their award letters at the end of June.
I understand that I will need to contribute at least part of my total expenses. How is my expected contribution determined?
The expected family contribution (EFC) is an estimate of how much of your educational expenses you (and/or your family) are expected to absorb. The family contribution is not a prediction of how much cash you actually have on hand; neither is it a value judgment about how much your family ought to have available from their current income, or a measure of your liquidity. Rather, it is an estimate of your capacity over time to absorb some of the cost of education. The EFC generally expects a strong financial commitment on the part of the student proportional to his/her income. We estimate how much you can be expected to contribute (relative to other students), but make no assumptions about how you will finance that contribution. In fact, you have choices about how to do that and Clark's Office of Financial Assistance can assist you by suggesting a variety of programs of payment plans and student loans.

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How will my financial aid be renewed?
Clark University is committed to the renewal of financial aid for applicants who received aid as entering students. Aid will be renewed upon receipt and review of a complete and timely application. The amount of aid will vary with the applicant's eligibility and the availability of funds. Eligibility varies with the changes in a family's income, assets, and number of family members enrolled in at least half time basis in undergraduate school.
Does my or my parent's debt factor into my award?
Consumer debt, such as car loans and credit card bills, do not have any bearing on your financial aid award.
My parent is a full-time student. Can that be considered in my aid package?
Under both federal and institutional guidelines, parents in college are not counted as family members enrolled in college.

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My sibling is a student. Can that be considered in my aid package?
Dependent siblings under the age of 24 studying in an undergraduate degree-granting program at an accredited college or university will be counted as family members in college for both federal and institutional aid calculations.
Siblings enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited college or university will be counted as family members in college for federal but not institutional aid calculations.
Do academics play a part in determining my financial aid award?
Students receiving financial aid of any type (including parent loans and most private educational loans) are expected to remain in good academic standing and are required to make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. Satisfactory academic progress is defined by regulations of the U.S. Department of Education as “proceeding in a positive manner toward fulfilling requirements.”
Full-time bachelor's degree candidates must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average each year. In addition, students must successfully complete at least five courses their first year; six courses their second year; and seven courses each year thereafter. Full-time undergraduate students receiving financial aid have a maximum of six years to complete a four-year degree program.
Evaluation of satisfactory academic progress is made each year, following two consecutive terms of enrollment. Students who are not making progress are no longer eligible for financial assistance through either federal, state or institutional funds. Additionally, we are not able to certify any private educational loans that require Satisfactory Academic Progress for certification. Students are able to submit an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid, and if it is granted the student will be placed on one semester of financial aid probation.  For more details on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, please refer to page 10 of the Award Guide.
How can I be considered an independent student?
Many students would prefer to be considered independent for financial aid purposes because their parents choose not to help them financially with college, do not claim them on their tax return, or because the students live apart from their parents. However, the criteria for establishing independence for financial aid are very strict. According to federal guidelines, a student applicant is considered independent of his/her parents for financial aid purposes only when he/she is able to answer, "yes" to one or more of the following questions:
  • Are you 24 years of age or older?
  • Are you married?
  • Are you a graduate or professional student?
  • Do you have legal dependents other than a spouse?
  • Are you a veteran or an individual currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces?
  • At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  • Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? 
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk for being homeless?

Under severe circumstances, federal guidelines allow a Financial Aid Administrator to override the applicant's status as a dependent student on a case-by-case basis, making him/her independent for financial aid purposes. (Please note that severe circumstances do not include a parent's unwillingness to provide financial information needed to complete the FAFSA, refusal to contribute towards college expenses, or the student demonstrating that he/she financially supports him/herself.) Contact our office for more information.

If I was not awarded federal work study, can I still work on campus?
On the job directory, each position is labeled “work study only,” “non-work study only,” or “work study or non-work study.” Students who have not been awarded federal work study funds may still work on campus in any job labeled “non-work study” or “work study or non-work study.” For a list of available jobs, visit the Job DirectoryVisit the Student Employment overview and frequently asked question pages.

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I've received work study part of my award. Am I assigned a job or do I apply for one?
An offer of work study is an opportunity for you to obtain an on-campus job. All available jobs are posted on the job directory. You apply for positions that interest you and fit your class schedule. You will receive a pay check for the hours you work. Students who are offered work study are not obligated to work. Some Clark students earn all of their allotments, some just part of their allotments, and still others choose not to work on campus. When an offer of work study assistance is made, Clark University does not guarantee a student will earn his/her full allotment nor does it guarantee a job opportunity.  Visit the Student Employment overview and frequently asked question pages.
If I receive outside scholarships (E.G.: Women's Club, High School Scholarship) will this affect my financial aid award?
Unless you notify us otherwise, your financial aid award at Clark was based on the assumption that you will not receive aid from non-Clark sources. If you do receive such assistance, we may revise our offer of financial aid.
Clark University's policy for these adjustments is as follows: For scholarships based on the student's merit, outside funds may first fill unmet need, if any, as calculated by Clark University. Any remaining outside funds will go first to reduce the student's self-help aid (Loans then Federal Work Study). Any remaining outside funds will then reduce Clark grant dollar-for-dollar. Scholarships that are not meritorious (federal or state grants or tuition subsidies based on parent's employment) reduce Clark aid dollar-for-dollar.
How will participating in a Study Abroad Program affect my aid award?
Students studying in a “Clark program” will receive their usual aid package, with the exception of federal work study.
Students studying in a “Non-Clark program” will receive only their Federal Stafford Loans and Federal Pell Grant, if applicable.

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Will my financial aid award change if I move into an off-campus apartment?
Unless you have indicated that you are living at home with your parents and commuting to Clark, your financial aid award is based upon the premise that you are incurring living expenses such as room and board or rent and groceries. Therefore, whether you are living in an on-campus residence hall or an off-campus apartment and whether or not you are participating in the meal plan, your aid will remain the same.
Can I apply for financial aid for summer classes?
In most cases, there are not any summer financial assistance programs for full-time students enrolled in the Undergraduate daytime program. However, some students may be eligible for summer work-study and should check with the Office of Financial Assistance regarding the application process and deadlines for the summer work-study program.

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If I have not completed my undergraduate requirements in four years, can I still receive aid to complete my degree?
Students are limited to 8 semesters of Clark sponsored need-based financial aid and merit scholarship awards. If your undergraduate degree should take more than 8 semesters for you to complete, you may be eligible for federal aid in the form of student loans beginning the ninth semester.
Does Clark have a payment plan by which I can make monthly installments to pay my bill?
Clark offers a monthly payment plan through Tuition Management Systems. An alternative to large payments each semester, this plan allows families to make ten equal payments beginning June 1st. There is no interest charge for this service, only a modest enrollment fee of approximately $60.

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What if I have never applied for financial aid before?
While students who have never received aid can apply, institutional funds are not reserved for this purpose. Returning students who have not previously applied for aid should plan to receive federal funds only and not Clark funds (unless their family has had a significant change in circumstances such as loss of a job or death in the family).
Special Notes
Students enrolled in a five year combined bachelors and masters program are limited to four years of undergraduate Clark aid. Fifth year students may apply for Federal Stafford Loans.
Those students with a less intensive academic schedule mandated by the Dean of the College will be reviewed on an individual basis.

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