FAQs for International Students
Does the Heller School offer any scholarships to students?
We do our best as a program to award generous partial tuition scholarships to admitted students to help defray the overall costs of our programs. We rely on students to use our offer of a partial tuition scholarship and search for outside funding opportunities to account for the rest.
What happens to financial aid during the second year of the Master’s SID program?
Your partial tuition scholarship is for the first year of the master’s program. If you choose to participate in our advanced study program during your second year (this provides a second year of academic course work), the renewal of your merit award is contingent upon successful completion of coursework and all program requirements as outlined in the SID program's policies and procedures, as well as remaining a student good academic standing at Brandeis University.
If you opt for the internship track during your second year, the University will not charge full tuition (there is a continuation fee that is approximately 4% of full-time tuition costs), and we therefore do not provide any scholarships.
What alternative funding opportunities are available?
We strongly encourage you to look into other outside scholarship opportunities from organizations such as the World Bank, Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, or the American Association of University Women (among others). We maintain a list of outside scholarship opportunities to assist you in your search for supplemental funding. Please note that the list is not comprehensive, and that there are most likely additional opportunities that exist of which we are not aware. Use it only as the beginning of a broader and more comprehensive search.
What loans are available to international students?
International students are eligible for private loans. Private educational loans depend upon applications sent directly to the lending organizations. Each private lending organization has its own policies governing when the approval can be made, so the best way to check this out would be on the organizations' individual websites. If you are considering loans to finance your studies, you will need to show that you have secured the amount indicated on your VIDOF form minus any scholarships you may have received from the Heller School. As the loan process can be lengthy, you should begin the process as soon as possible. There are U.S. based private loan options, but international students need to have a U.S. or naturalized citizen to co-sign the loan. You can research these loan options at Borrow Smart. Please note that you would NOT be eligible for the federal loan options, only the private lenders. You may also want to conduct a search for educational loans for international students on the web. Two options are www.internationalstudentloan.com and www.globalslc.com
What loans are available for the 2nd year SID program?
All students are eligible for private loans during their second year in the MA/SID program. Tuition for the second year of the SID program is much lower, so your cost of attendance at the university is lower, while you continue to be entitled to loans for the cost of living.
How do I pay for the tuition deposit?
The $500 tuition deposit may be paid with a credit card, via wire transfer, or with either a personal or bank check drawn on U.S. dollars and made payable to Brandeis University. Complete instructions are found on the Admitted Students page.
Can someone else write my tuition deposit check for me?
Yes, we can certainly accept a check from someone beside you. Please ask the person to make the check for $500.00 payable to Brandeis University and to submit it to the Office of Financial Aid, and make sure that s/he either includes a letter stating that the check is for your tuition deposit, or that s/he clearly marks you name in the memo section of the check.
I have a sponsor who will be covering the tuition of my program. How should s/he make the payments?
Your sponsor must send in a letter, addressed to the Heller School Admissions Office, indicating that s/he is committing to sponsor you financially for your degree program. The exact amount of the sponsorship must be included in the letter, and backed up by the supporting documentation. The letter must indicate the total committed amount that will be available to you prior to the bill due date (in early August) of the fall semester. The letter must clearly state your sponsor’s full name and contact information (address, phone number and email). It must be signed and dated by the sponsor, and include the sponsor’s bank account information to match the supporting bank statement. The bank statement should be a statement of the person’s account activity and balances. It may be sent to us by email if it is sent directly from an official bank email account. If this is not possible, a printout for the customer (your sponsor) is fine, as long as it is on the bank’s official letterhead.
What should I send in to finalize my enrollment?
Complete information about accepting our offer of admission is on the Admitted Students page. International students must pay particular attention to the Visa Declaration Form (VIDOF) instructions.
What if I am waiting to hear about an outside scholarship and cannot submit all the requirements?
If you cannot submit all of the documentation necessary to hold your space in the class (the tuition deposit, statement of acceptance, and completed VIDOF with supporting documentation), it is best to wait until you are in such a position. If your enrollment at Brandeis depends on outside sponsorship, most likely you will not hear until after our decision deadline. Please do not worry about this, as each year we hold spaces in the incoming class for students who receive last-minute sponsorship and are unable to submit their documents by the May 1st priority deadline.
What happens to my financial aid if I defer for one year?
Students offered admission to one of the graduate programs at the Heller School may defer their admission for one year. We do not guarantee funding for master’s level students, although every effort is made to offer the same level of scholarship aid to students who are deferring. PhD students who defer their admission will not carry their offer of financial assistance. They will be considered for funding as a member of their new cohort of students in the year of their enrollment.
Students who wish to defer must submit their request in writing to the Office of Admissions by August 1.
What are my options for working while enrolled in my program?
Many students do work while they are enrolled in one of our programs. However, work study is not available to students at the graduate level as a form of financial aid. Many of our students do find some kind of campus employment, but these positions are not available to a student until s/he is on campus and registered as a full-time student. There is an Office of Student Employment that lists both on- and off-campus job opportunities that you can search.
Can I work as a teaching assistant?
Most of our teaching assistant positions are available to students after their first year in the program. After students have completed a year of coursework, professors have a better sense of their students and can think about suitable options for teaching or research assistantships.