Financial Aid Questions and Answers
- What is Clark's current tuition?
- For tuition and fee expenses, please contact your Student Account Counselor in the Office of Student Accounts.
- Is Clark a "need-blind" admissions school?
- Yes, Clark University's undergraduate admissions process is need-blind. This means that every student is admitted based solely on his or her merit, without regard to the family's financial situation.
- Is Clark SAT optional?
- Yes, Clark University does not require SATS, but you may submit them if you wish.
- What items are due and when?
International students are not eligible for US federal financial aid. International students should complete the CSS PROFILE. For additional information regarding international student aid, visit our international student pages.
All Other Students:
Early Action and Regular decision candidates must submit the CSS PROFILE (and Non-Custodial PROFILE, if applicable) and FAFSA forms by February 1.
After each of the deadlines, the Financial Assistance Staff will begin review of these applications. You may be required to submit additional forms and/or provide additional information and/or documentation before your award can be determined.
If you are admitted and accept the invitation to attend, tax documentation is due in the Office of Financial Assistance by May 1.
- Are the financial aid requirements and procedures different if I am a transfer student?
- No. Transfer students follow the same guidelines as all regular U.S. candidates.
- What are Clark's school codes for the PROFILE and FAFSA?
- Clark's code for the PROFILE form is 3279. 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?
Clark University, like many private colleges, uses the PROFILE Forms to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid from the University and adheres to the philosophy that it is the responsibility of both parents to contribute to college expenses, regardless of marital status.
The Non-Custodial Parent PROFILE collects income and other financial information to measure the non-custodial parent's ability to contribute to college expenses, which is taken into consideration when determining your student's eligibility for financial aid from the University. However, it does not obligate the non-custodial parent to pay. Additionally, his/her information is kept strictly confidential unless authorization to share it is given by the non-custodial parent.
Without the Non-Custodial Parent PROFILE, you will not be considered for need-based aid from Clark University. However, you will still be considered for financial aid from the federal government based on completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- My parent is self-employed or owns a farm. Do I need to submit a College Board Business/Farm Supplement Form or a Clark University Business/Farm Addendum Form?
- Clark University has its own form for business owners and does not require the College Board Business/Farm Supplement Form. While the Clark University Business/Farm Addendum is not required in every case in which a parent is self-employed, the Office of Financial Assistance does reserve the right to request the form. If, after an initial review of your application, we require the form, you will be notified.
- 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.
- When will I receive my award letter?
- Providing all requested documents have been received by our office by the established deadlines, students should receive notice of financial aid eligibility by late March.
- 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.
- I've heard about "packaging"—What does this mean?
- After Clark has determined the amount of financial aid you will receive, the Office of Financial Assistance offers you this funding from a variety of sources. This combination of different sources is called a financial aid "package." The offer of aid is given as a mix of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment. Grants are funds offered to you without repayment obligation, much like scholarships. Loans offered to the student will have to be repaid, usually after graduation. Employment is an opportunity for the student to work a part-time job on campus, earning funds for spending money or books. For a further explanation of your financial aid package, please refer to the Award Guide sent with your award letter packet.
- I am applying to several colleges. Will the amount of assistance I receive be similar at each college?
- Your financial aid award will differ from college to college depending upon the costs of each institution and the availability of funds. Since your eligibility for aid is the difference between the annual cost of attendance and your expected family contribution, you may have increased aid eligibility at higher-priced colleges, and less at lower-priced institutions. Although the cost of the college is an important consideration, the amount your family will have to pay out of pocket after financial aid is subtracted is equally as important. You will not know the answer to this question until you apply for admission and financial aid and then receive your financial aid package from each college.
- Can I expect to receive the same financial aid award for all four years?
- At Clark University, you can expect to receive approximately the same financial aid each year as long as your family's financial situation does not change; the number of your siblings attending undergraduate college does not decrease; the number of family members living in your household does not decrease; and you reapply by established deadlines. Many students may actually see increases in their aid award as their eligibility to receive student loans increases each year.
- Does my or my parent's debt factor into my award?
- Consumer debt, such as car loans and credit card bills, does 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.
- 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.
- Does academic achievement play a part in determining my financial aid award?
- Academics do not play a part in determining your eligibility for need-based assistance. However, at Clark we do offer merit-based scholarships which are based entirely on your academic background. Eligible students can receive scholarships of up to $18,000. These scholarships are renewable for up to four years, as long as you maintain certain academic standards. Students are selected on the basis of their grades, class rank, and SAT scores. Students who receive merit-based scholarships may also be eligible for additional need-based assistance.
- 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 help them financially with college, do not claim them 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?
- In the campus 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 our Job Directory or the Student Employment overview and Frequently Asked Questions pages.
- I've received work study as 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. During orientation, 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. If a student is having difficulty finding employment on campus, the student should go to the Office of Financial Assistance for guidance.
- 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 is 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's 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 Loan and Federal Pell Grant, if applicable.
- 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.
- If I have not completed my undergraduate requirements in four years, can I still receive aid to complete my degree?
- Students are limited to eight semesters of Clark-sponsored need-based financial aid and merit scholarship awards. If your undergraduate degree should take more than eight 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.
- Does Clark offer a "discount" if I can pay for all four years at once?
- Clark offers families the option of fixing the tuition rate for four years at the first-year level. To do this, families pay four years of tuition the first year, thereby "locking" into the first year's tuition rate.
- The financial aid award that I got from another institution is different from the one I got at Clark. Why is that?
- Each college or university has its own distinctive financial aid process that is dependent on the resources of the institution, the total cost of attendance, its admissions goals, its merit standards and other factors. In addition, private schools use the information provided in the CSS PROFILE to build financial aid packages, something most public institutions do not do. These differences will usually result in different financial aid packages for each school you apply to. Clark uses an institutional methodology determined to best fit the University's needs and ability to support students. If Clark is your first choice and you have a financial aid award from another academically strong institution, and it appears that the total cost to you and your family will be greater at Clark, you should share that information with our Financial Assistance Staff. Your family may be facing circumstances that our staff can take into account in the calculation of your need-based financial aid eligibility.