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Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students

Graduate students are able to apply for two categories of assistance as graduate students: non need-based merit scholarships, grants and tuition remission awarded by the department the student is applying to, and student loans. The individual department, based on information you provide on your admission application and supplemental information you provide, decides all scholarships, grants, and tuition waivers based on merit. Scholarships may come in the form of full tuition scholarships or waivers, half tuition scholarships or remission, or other varying amounts. Students who receive merit awards may also be eligible for additional need-based assistance in the form of student loans. Most graduate students are eligible for some type of student loan.

In general, any graduate student who has matriculated into a degree program may be eligible for a student loan. Loans offered to the student have to be repaid, usually after graduation, so students should not borrow more than they need or are able to repay. After you complete the application process for financial assistance, you will be notified regarding your eligibility and the amount you may borrow through the Federal Stafford Loan Program. In order to be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan, you must be accepted into a degree program and be enrolled at least half- time. Half-time enrollment for most Clark graduate programs is defined as two units per semester. Because your charges will be different depending on whether you are full or half-time, your eligibility for aid may change depending on your registration status.

All applicants must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Financial Aid) which can be completed online. Please note that our Title IV code number is 002139. In addition to the FAFSA form, we require the Clark Application for Financial Aid. This form is now available via the Admissions Portal.

When filing the FAFSA online the information is submitted electronically. The Clark Application will be received through your Admissions Portal submission.

If you plan on starting your program during the summer, our priority deadline is May 1st. If you plan on starting in the fall semester, our priority deadline is June 1st. If you plan on starting in the spring, our priority deadline is December 1st. It is very important for you to meet these deadlines if you plan to use any financial aid funds to pay your student account.

Once all required forms are received, you will be emailed an award letter to your Clark University email address notifying you of your eligibility for financial aid. You can apply for student loans at any point before or during the academic year. If you wait until after the priority deadlines, it is unlikely that you will have a loan approved in time for the beginning of classes.

In general, student loan funds are disbursed the first official day of classes each semester. (Note: the entire financial aid process must have been completed and all necessary paperwork must be received, including any student loan promissory notes, entrance interviews, and Stafford loan processing form in order for the funds to be disbursed). Your annual loan amount is divided in half for disbursement purposes. For example, if you have borrowed $20,500 for the academic year, half of that amount will be disbursed for the fall semester and the remaining half for the spring semester. You should be aware that a .5% origination fee is deducted from the total loan you have borrowed each year. This deduction is reflected in the final amount disbursed to your student account. Once your loan has disbursed and you wish to access any credit balance on your account, you should contact Student Accounts for assistance.

Tuition bills are usually due by the end of July for the fall semester and the end of December for the spring semester, but this may change from year to year. To confirm the tuition due date each semester, please contact your department or Student Accounts.

All students should have personal funds available when they arrive at Clark University regardless of anticipated student loan funds for expenses. Students should not rely on loan funds as their only source of income, as the process for awarding and disbursing these funds takes time and may be delayed for a number of reasons. Clark University will not advance students any type of refund based on the anticipation of student loan funds being disbursed.

Cost of attendance is based on the number of units a student takes each semester. For a complete breakdown of the costs for your particular graduate program, please contact your department.

Students may borrow a private, credit based alternative loan to help with the cost of educational expenses. These loans may not exceed the cost of attendance minus any financial assistance, including Stafford Loans and tuition remission. Information regarding alternative loans may be viewed online.

Clark University does not offer financial assistance directly to international students. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, unless the student is an eligible non-citizen as defined by federal regulations. International students may apply for an alternative loan; however, a U.S. Citizen is required to co-sign the loan. A link to some popular loan options amongst Clark University students can be found here.

You should contact the Office of Financial Assistance.  Our office is located in the AESC Building 939 Main Street, 3rd Floor.  We can be reached by phone at 1-508-793-7478 or email.

Contact Information

Office of Financial Assistance

Mailing Address
  • Clark University
    Office of Financial Assistance
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • 1-508-793-7478
  • 1-508-793-8802 (Fax)
  • finaid[at]clarku[dot]edu
Office Hours
  • Monday – Friday

    8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.