About Your Award

Please see the "Everything You Need To Know About Your Financial Aid Award Letter" brochure for detailed information.

I.R.S. Regulations on Financial Aid

Scholarships, grants, and employment awards may be considered taxable income. Check with your accountant or the IRS for specific tax information

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

Federal Aid Recipients

Students are awarded Title IV funding (federal aid) with the assumption they will attend the entire period for which aid was awarded, typically a semester or term. If a student wishes to withdraw or take a leave of absence from a term, he/she must contact the Office of Student Affairs to complete the appropriate forms. The date the student contacts Student Affairs is the official withdrawal date. This process also applies to students who drop all of their classes for the semester.

Federal regulations require that any student awarded Title IV assistance who takes a leave of absence or withdraws is subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation. This calculation is based on the official withdrawal date as determined by Student Affairs and can result in an adjustment to Title IV funding. The calculation is based on the percentage of Title IV aid earned by determining the number of days the student completed as a percentage of the number of days the student was expected to complete. Students are considered to have earned 100% of their Title IV aid if they are in attendance through 60% of the term. Unearned title IV funds need to be returned to the appropriate federal programs which may result in the student owing a balance to the university. Title IV funds are returned in the following order:

Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal PLUS Loan
Federal Pell Grant
Federal SEOG

Unofficial Withdrawals

At the end of the semester, The Office of Student Financial Services is notified of any student who did not complete any classes. Students who cease to attend and don’t earn any credit for the term are considered unofficial withdrawals. Unofficial withdrawals are also subject to the R2T4 calculation.

Institutional Aid Recipients

Institutional aid is disbursed to a student’s account after he/she incurs 100% tuition liability. This usually occurs after the add/drop period and the last day to drop a class without a ‘W’ grade. If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence prior to this date, all institutional aid is returned. Once a student incurs 100% tuition liability, no adjustment is made to institutional aid.

Requirements for Receiving Funding

A student receiving most forms of financial aid at Suffolk University must adhere to the following:

  • Be enrolled in a degree granting program
  • Be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits per semester (with the exception of the PhD program)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident*
  • Not be in default on prior educational loans
  • Not owe a refund on Title IV
  • If required, be registered with Selective Service

* International Students should refer to the International Student Financial Aid for financial aid options.

Note: A financial aid application will not be reviewed until the student has been admitted to a degree or certificate program.

Study Abroad

Suffolk University is pleased to offer students the opportunity to participate in Study Aboard programs. Students electing to participate in a study abroad program should be fully prepared to absorb ADDITIONAL costs since loans may be the only financing option available through the Office of Student Financial Services. It is most important to resolve financial issues prior to leaving the country. If a student is receiving aid, that funding (with the exception of employment) can normally be used for a Suffolk Univeristy sponsered program.

As mentioned previously, Stafford, PLUS, or credit based loans are available for study abroad. To apply, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Services for application information. Students studying abroad need only notify the Student Financial Services in writing of their plans and submit a written approval from their advisor. Students not studying through a Suffolk sponsered program will need to supply the Student Financial Services with the following:

  • If you need financial aid transferred to a college or university other than a Suffolk sponsored program, you must have the Student Financial Services at the other college complete a Consortium Agreement. Consortium Agreements are available at the Office of Student Financial Services.
  • Written Program cost information
  • A written breakdown of any other costs (plane ticket, etc.) you might absorb
  • A written program approval from the Dean’s Office. Approval should indicate that credits earned through study abroad will be accepted as credits toward your degree. An approval section is included on the Consortium Agreement.

    Most scholarships and grants can easily be applied toward your study abroad bill. Employment awards such as Work-Study may not be used for Study Abroad Programs. You may retain your employment award for any semesters you are at Suffolk, but employment awards will be revoked for any semester(s) you are studying abroad. Loans may also be used, however you need to plan ahead. You may be required to sign a promissory note which must be done prior to your departure. If you are also required to endorse loan checks, you may want to consider signing a power of attorney over to someone you trust, such as a parent or sibling so that they can sign your loan checks.

Although you are involved in a study abroad program, you should still be aware of all financial aid deadlines and do your best to meet them. You should also know if you are interested in applying for scholarships which require an interview, it may not be possible to make special arrangements for you.

Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional details on how a study abroad program could affect your financial aid situation. You can reach us by phone at 617.573.8470, by fax at 617.720.3579, email, or by visiting our office at 41 Temple Street, Boston, MA 02114.

Renewal of Aid

Applicants must reapply for funding each year and can generally expect to receive the same level of funding (although the composition may change) providing:

  • University funding levels remain the same
  • Application deadlines are met
  • Satisfactory academic progress is maintained
  • Enrollment status remains the same

Note: Additional funding received through the appeal process may not be renewed every year.


Occasionally, an applicant may receive financial aid in excess of tuition costs. In such cases, a refund check for the difference is issued to the student, but not until all funding has been received by the University and "ADD/Drop" period is over, usually six (6) weeks after the start of each semester.

Therefore, it is important to make your financial plans accordingly, since you may need to utilize your own resources to cover fees, books, and other related expenses.

Changes in Enrollment

Changes in your enrollment status may effect your financial aid. If any changes are made after your financial aid award has been determined, you will need to fill out a change of enrollment form.

Co-op and Financial Aid

A student participating in the Co-op Program is eligible for financial aid consideration provided he/she maintains part-time enrollment of at least six credits per semester.


A book voucher is NOT a request for additional financial aid. A book voucher is merely an advance on your financial aid refund that allows you to purchase books and supplies. This means that the amount you spend via the book voucher will be deducted from your excess financial aid.

In order to qualify for a book voucher, a student must be awarded financial aid in excess of direct costs for the semester. Your financial aid funds must be ready to be disbursed (i.e. loan paperwork, verification process, enrollment etc.). If you are relying on outside scholarships in order to meet this requirement, the funds must be posted to your tuition account.

The amount depends on how much you have available in financial aid funding after your charges have been paid. This includes tuition, fees, and university contracted housing room and board. The minimum amount of a book voucher is $100.00 and the maximum amount of a book voucher is $600.00. The exact amount that you will receive depends on how much you have available in financial aid after your other charges have been paid.

Outside (Private) Scholarships

Numerous private scholarships are available through outside organizations and can be an invaluable source of assistance. Information on such scholarships is available at your local library or on the web.

You must report the receipt of any private award to the Office of Student Financial Services as your award package may be affected. If an outside award is received, it may necessitate a reduction in other forms of funding previously awarded to you by the Student Financial Services . In most cases, if a reduction is required, self-help awards (loans and/or employment) are often reduced before grant/scholarship funding is decreased.

Payment Plans

The Bursar's Office is willing to work with students and their families to arrange a manageable tuition payment plan. Please contact the Bursar's Office at 617.573.8407 or https://www.afford.com/suffolk for additional information.

Financial Aid and your Tuition Bill

With the exception of employment awards, most forms of aid are applied directly to your tuition account. This is normally done twice a year, after the start of the Fall and Spring semesters. Loans are normally disbursed twice a year and recipients may be required to sign a promissory note for the loan before it can be applied to the tuition account.

Therefore, it is important to complete all required paperwork as soon as possible so that funding is transferred to the University in a timely manner.


Each student has the right to appeal his/her financial aid decision. Appeals should only be based on new or changing information which was not included on the original financial aid application. Appeal applications are available in the Office of Student Financial Services and must be accompanied with supporting documentation. Additional funding received through the appeal process MAY NOT be renewable every year.