Searching for Financial Aid: Checklist and Advice
1) You should start the process of financing your education right away. Do not wait until late in the application process. Getting a head start on securing funding will help to ease the enrollment process.
2) Explore the financial aid webpages and links on our website. This will help you answer questions you may have, as well as giving you an overview about your options and how to apply for various scholarships or loans.
3) Prepare your budget. Using exact University costs and estimates for items such as living expenses, school materials, airfare, etc., develop a realistic budget for the school year. The Cost of Attendance page has information on the costs for each program to help you through this process. Research the Greater Boston area to find out details about this region’s cost of living.
4) Web, Web, Web. Conducting an intensive web search by using related search words (graduate school aid, scholarship opportunities, international student loans, etc.) will allow you to explore, at your own pace, the possibilities that exist even beyond what is offered by the Heller School and ideas you will find on the Heller website.
5) Think about how you identify yourself. That can lead to some smaller pockets of money that are designated to specific groups available through advocacy organizations and/or foundations. Some examples are women’s organizations, LGBT organizations, and ethnic organizations.
6) Don’t restrict yourself to finding all the information in one place. In many situations, there may be smaller scholarships for which you might be qualified. These small scholarships can add up; don’t dismiss opportunities because of size.
7) Keep us updated. Let us know how your search is going and how successful you have been. Schools work more effectively with those who are active in their own search process. Our admissions team can offer you advice for your search.
8) Use the Borrow Smart tool available on the Student Financial Services website. Be realistic about all your options. Not everyone finds a way to fully fund their graduate education through scholarships. Explore loan options as well as scholarship opportunities.
9) Don’t overextend yourself. If loans are necessary for you to fund your education, always factor in that you will eventually have to repay them. Some quick fix, higher interest loans may not be a realistic long term strategy. Borrow Smart allows you to see the different repayment schedules each loan offers.
10) Ask questions. Although you are in charge of conducting your search for funding, it is important to keep in touch with Admissions and Financial Aid representatives who can help guide you. Feel free to contact Heller's Office of Financial Aid at helleradmissions@Brandeis.edu.