Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens if I apply for aid after the deadline?

A: Late applications may be subject to processing delays. In addition, some sources of aid such as federal Perkins Loans are limited, so timely applications are encouraged.

Q: What are the SAR and the ISIR?

A: These two items are responses from the federal government regarding the information you submitted on your FAFSA. The SAR is the Student Aid Report which is a multi-page, color document which verifies that the information was accurately received. You may also use the SAR to make corrections. The ISIR is the Institutional Student Information Record and is an electronic version of the SAR. The school receives the ISIR automatically provided that you indicated the correct federal school code on the last page of your FAFSA.

Q: I do not want to take all the loans which were offered to me. What should I do?

A: Please indicate on your award letter which loans you do want and for what amounts and we will send you an adjusted award letter.

Q: I have prior educational loans. Do I have to make payments on those while I am attending the GSD?

A: Not usually, if it's a federal loan. Because you will be in school, you should qualify for loan payment deferment. Harvard participates in a national clearinghouse program that updates lenders with student enrollment dates. However, if your lender requires it, you should contact your lender to obtain a deferment form which will be completed and mailed from our Registrar's office after you have officially registered.

Q: I have not yet filed my income taxes for the year. Should I wait to complete my application materials?

A: No. You may list estimated information in order to get your awards processed in a timely manner. Once the return has been filed, please forward a copy to the Financial Aid Office and your records will be updated accordingly.

Q: Can I receive any money from my aid before the school year begins?

A: No. Federal regulations do not allow students to receive refunds from their aid until the student has officially registered for classes.

Q: Must I reapply for financial aid every year?

A: Yes.

Resources: Financial Aid: FAQs

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