Need-Based Financial Aid

Need-based aid includes grants, gifts that you and your family do not need to repay; federal work-study, an opportunity for you to earn money; and loans, which you and your family will need to repay.

To be considered for need-based aid, you must complete a financial aid application.


Clark University Grant

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

  • $2,500 maximum
  • Available if you have demonstrated exceptional financial need
  • Your need is determined by your FAFSA.
  • Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant-eligible students.

State Grants (Non-Massachusetts)

  • Only some states participate in state grant programs. Grants vary, depending on the state.
  • You must be a legal resident of your home state.
  • You must be a full-time student pursuing your first bachelor's degree.
  • Your eligibility and need are usually determined by your FAFSA.
  • Important to note: You may need to file a FAFSA before Clark's deadline.
  • You will be notified of your eligibility by your state.

Massachusetts Gilbert Grant

  • $2,500 maximum
  • Your need is determined by your FAFSA.
  • You must be an eligible, full-time undergraduate student.
  • You must be a permanent resident of Massachusetts.
  • Funding is allocated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Clark University for distribution.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

  • $2,000 maximum
  • Your need is determined by your FAFSA.
  • Your offer of work-study does not guarantee that you will receive that amount. Instead, your offer is the limit of your potential earnings. Clark cannot guarantee your employment or whether you will be able to earn the full amount of your award.
  • You can choose from eligible part-time Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program  jobs on campus or at nearby off-campus sites.
  • Your earnings through federal work-study are taxable income, so you must report them on your tax return.
  • Your potential earnings will not be deducted from your tuition bill before being earned. Instead, you will receive paychecks for your actual hours worked. Your earnings may be used for personal expenses, books and supplies or saved for future billed charges.


Federal Direct Stafford Loan

By completing a FAFSA, you will be automatically considered for a Stafford Loan. Your FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If you are a new student, Clark will send your award letter by mid-March. Using your EFC, Clark University will recommend both your Stafford loan amount and type.

Your Stafford Loan amount (determined by your FAFSA):

  • First-year students: up to $3,500
  • Sophomores: up to $4,500
  • Juniors and seniors: up to $5,500

The type of Stafford Loan you will receive (subsidized or unsubsidized):


  • Interest is subsidized by the federal government, meaning it is paid for you while you are in school.
  • You will assume repayment of your loan six months after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time.


  • The federal government does not pay interest on the unsubsidized portion of the loan while you are in school.
  • You will be responsible for interest payments.
  • You can choose either to (1) make the interest payments while you are in school or (2) allow the interest to accrue and be capitalized prior to repayment.
  • Principal repayment does not begin until six months after you leave school or drop to less than half-time enrollment.

You should not borrow more than you need or will be able to repay. If you are a first-time borrower of the federal Direct Loan Program, the federal government requires you to complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

You will be notified over the summer regarding these requirements.

Federal Perkins Loan

  • $4,000 maximum
  • Your need is determined by your FAFSA.
  • This low-interest federal loan program is administered by Clark University.
  • Funds are limited. Preference is given to undergraduate students who demonstrate a high level of financial need.
  • Repayment begins nine months after you graduate or drop to less than half-time enrollment.
  • Interest rate during repayment is fixed at 5 percent.
  • Several cancellation and/or deferment provisions are available for students meeting certain criteria.

Massachusetts No-Interest Student Loan

  • Offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through Clark University.
  • Undergraduate students who are residents of Massachusetts are eligible.
  • Due to limited funding, this loan generally is awarded to upperclass students with high financial need.
  • Your need is determined by your FAFSA and state funding. You must meet all eligibility criteria established by the Commonwealth.
  • Your loan amount depends on your need and Clark University's allocation from the state.
  • No interest accrues.
  • Repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.