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General

I'm a US student (citizen or permanent resident), is there a GSD specific financial aid application for me to apply?
Yes, prospective US students will need to submit both the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and internal financial aid application. You will only be considered for a financial aid package after submitting both forms. The FAFSA can be found online. Information on how to complete the internal financial aid application will be emailed to prospective US students in mid-January. Both the FAFSA and internal financial aid application will need to be submitted by February 9, 2018.

What does it mean to qualify for financial aid? How do I know if I qualify?
The majority of GSD financial aid funds are need-based awards, which means that funding is given based on the financial situation of the student. The only way to know if you will get financial aid is to apply. Since situations change from year to year and there are many variables involved, we cannot quote a specific level where students will or will not qualify for aid.

The website says that financial aid applications are due by early February. Does this mean that I have to apply for financial aid before I know if I am admitted?
Yes, do not wait until you receive your admissions letter to apply for aid.

If I am admitted to the GSD, will my financial aid package be included with my admissions letter?
As long as you apply for financial aid by the February deadline, you should get your financial aid package at the same time as your admissions letter. Please keep in mind that this also depends on the applicant filling out the financial aid application completely. An incomplete application can result in the financial aid package being delayed.

I missed the financial aid application deadline. Does this mean I cannot get financial aid?
If you submit your financial aid application after the deadline, it is likely that you won’t receive your financial aid package with your admission letter. Keep in mind, late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note that some sources of financial aid are limited, so timely applications are encouraged. If you notice that you have missed the deadline, it is best to apply as soon as possible. Applying for financial aid has no bearing on your admission.

I do not want to take all the loans which were offered to me. What should I do?
Please indicate on the “Accept Awards” tab in the online financial aid program which loans you would like to accept, decline, or reduce. Type in any reduced amounts to accept that amount.

What are the SAR and the ISIR?
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 (E00212).

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

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.

I have not yet filed my income taxes for the year. Should I wait to complete my application materials?
No. For US applicants, this year's FAFSA will ask for an earlier year's tax information, so you won't need the recent tax information for that application. Our online aid application will ask for the more recent year income information, so we encourage you to complete that application in late January when they have a better idea of their total income for the most recent year completed. US applicants may use estimated information for the most recent year's information.

Can I receive any money from my aid before the school year begins?
No. We cannot disburse aid until a student has officially registered for classes. If you have special circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Must I reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes.

International Students

Is there financial aid available for International Students?
Yes, the GSD does have a need-based grant program available for international students who qualify (except MDE).

I'm an international student; how do I apply for financial aid?
The GSD Financial Aid Office has its own internal financial aid application for international students. Information on how to complete the internal financial aid application will be emailed to prospective international students in mid-January. The internal financial aid application will need to be submitted by February 9, 2018. It is important for international students to submit the financial aid application by the February deadline. Do not wait until after you receive your admission letter to apply. Late applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note that some sources of financial aid are limited, so timely applications are encouraged.

Scholarships

Does Harvard offer scholarships?
Yes, the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships offers a wide variety of awards for both US and international students. These scholarships require a separate application to apply. Some applicants need to submit additional materials to accompany the application. Please visit the Harvard Committee on General Scholarships for more information and instructions on how to apply.

The Harvard Committee on General Scholarships website says I need to apply through my school?  What does this mean?
For these scholarships, there is a section dedicated to Restricted Scholarships on the internal financial aid application. You will need to complete this section to be considered for any restricted scholarships. There are some restricted scholarships that require additional steps, please review each scholarship carefully so you do not miss any deadlines.

I missed the deadline for a scholarship. Does this mean I cannot apply for it?
Unlike the financial aid deadline, scholarship deadlines are firm. It is unlikely that late scholarship applications will be considered.

Other Admissions Questions?

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