Types of Aid
Financial aid for undergraduate students in the School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering is awarded entirely based on financial need. Tufts proudly meets 100% of the demonstrated need of every admitted student, regardless of citizenship status. Financial aid recipients will be offered Tufts aid for up to eight semesters or until completion of their bachelor's degree, whichever comes first. Financial aid recipients admitted to the five-year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree or five-year Combined Degree with the New England Conservatory will be offered financial aid for up to ten semesters.
Financial aid packages are composed of grants, student loans, and work study funding.
Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Tufts grants are always the largest source of grant aid received by Tufts undergraduates. Tufts grant amounts range from $1,000 to more than $75,000. About forty percent of Tufts undergraduates receive institutional Tufts grants. Tufts students also receive grants from federal and state programs such as the Federal Pell Grant and SEOG; ROTC scholarships; and a variety of private sources.
Students with annual family incomes of less than $60,000 will typically receive a financial aid package that includes no student loans. In these cases, Tufts will meet 100% of demonstrated need with only grant aid and work study funding. All other financial aid recipients will be awarded student loans as a component of their financial aid package. First-year domestic students will typically receive a $3,500 subsidized Federal Direct Loan. Tufts also offers a need-based “Tufts Loan” of $500 to $2,000 annually to some undergraduate aid recipients. For both loan types, students are charged no interest while enrolled and repayment begins six months after leaving Tufts.
The default rate for student loan repayment among Tufts graduates is about 1.5 percent, while the national average for institutions is about 10 percent. Additionally, Tufts administers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) through which graduates working in the nonprofit and public sectors can receive financial assistance toward repayment of educational loans incurred for their Tufts education.
Financial aid recipients are typically awarded a work study allocation, with average amounts ranging from $2,000 to $2,600 per year. Work study wages are paid directly to students to be used towards their living expenses while studying at Tufts. At the start of the academic year, students can find available positions via the Career Center’s Handshake database that match their interests and class schedule. Students are paid $12.75 to $15.00 per hour and first-year students typically work 5 to 10 hours per week.
Students who do not receive financial aid may still seek non-work study positions on campus and in the surrounding community.
Further details about work study and responses to frequently asked questions are available on the Financial Aid website.
Enrolling students are required to report outside scholarship awards to the Financial Aid office. If a student receives a scholarship from an outside source, the award will first be applied to reduce or eliminate the student loan and/or work study components of the student’s financial aid package. Additional information about outside scholarships is available on the Financial Aid website.
Tufts awards financial aid on the basis of financial need and aid is not adjusted for superior academic performance or extracurricular activities. Merit-based aid is provided only through the Tufts National Merit Scholarship program (see below), the ROTC scholarship program, and, in rare instances, for BFA applicants to the SMFA at Tufts.
National Merit Scholarship
Students who are National Merit finalists may receive an award from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), from a NMSC Corporate Sponsor, or from Tufts University. The NMSC will determine the type and amount of the student award and no student is allowed to receive more than one type of National Merit award. Students who are offered a Tufts National Merit Scholarship will receive $500 per semester for up to eight semesters of enrollment at Tufts.
Students may use Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC scholarships at Tufts. Tufts students participate in ROTC through units at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Scholarships may include funding towards tuition costs and, in some cases, monthly stipends. Four-year full-tuition and partial scholarships are available. For additional details and application materials, contact Army, Navy, or Air Force recruiting officers.