TYPES OF AID
Merit scholarships are awarded at the time of admission specifically for study at the Eastman School of Music. The funding source (donor) may result in a change of the merit scholarship name; however, the amount of the award will remain the same. Merit scholarships are renewable for up to 8 semesters of full-time undergraduate study (or 10 semesters in the case of dual degree students), within the stipulations outlined below.
To retain an Eastman merit scholarship, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or better; be a full-time student during each semester covered by the award; and continue making satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her degree, as determined by performance in an annual jury and by Eastman’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Review each semester. An undergraduate’s merit scholarship will have a monetary reduction each semester if the CGPA falls below 3.0 or these expectations are not met.
Student and family need often varies from year to year, so Eastman’s need-based scholarship eligibility will be reviewed and awards may be adjusted upon receipt and review of the FAFSA (domestic students) or CSS PROFILE for International Students. A student who continues to meet the need criteria each year may receive the Eastman need-based scholarships for up to 8 semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment (or 10 semesters in the case of dual degree students), provided that they remain in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory progress towards their degree. If a student is released from his/her housing contract, Financial Aid reserves the right to review the student’s eligibility for institutional need-based aid.
FEDERAL GRANT AID
The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant awarded to students by the federal government and does not have to be repaid. The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula, established by Congress, to determine eligibility based on the information reported on the FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov). All Pell eligible students must complete the verification process before any Pell Grant funds will be credited to their student account.
Effective July 1, 2012, an undergraduate student can only receive the Federal Pell Grant for a maximum lifetime limit of 12 semesters.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) is a campus-based aid grant funded by the federal government, administered by the school and does not need to be repaid. This money doesn’t need to be paid back. This grant is awarded to Federal Pell Grant recipients with the highest calculated need. The SEOG grant will be credited to the student account upon completion of the verification process.
FEDERAL WORK STUDY
The Federal Work-Study program provides full-time undergraduate students an opportunity to earn money towards educational expenses through on-campus and off-campus employment. The hourly pay for each position is determined by the University of Rochester pay rate based on the type of work and the skills required. Most FWS program eligible students at the Eastman School of Music obtain employment within the school.
Students are responsible for seeking available positions on campus if the student wishes to earn work-study funds. Available positions are posted to FAJOBLINK.
The number of hours a student can work will be determined by the class schedule, supervisor, and the amount of FWS funds offered to a student on the financial aid package. Students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for work-study.
Our Loan Information page has more in-depth information about each of these loan programs.
The Federal Perkins Loan is a federally funded loan administered by the Eastman School of Music Financial Aid Office. This loan has a 5% fixed interest rate and no origination fee. The Perkins Loan is subsidized so your loan will not accrue interest until you graduate or are no longer attending school at least half- time. Eligibility for the Perkins Loan is based on financial need as determined by the information provided on the FAFSA and the availability of funds.
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a low-interest educational loan for undergraduate students attending school at least half-time (6 credits). This loan has a fixed interest rate and an origination fee is subtracted at the time of disbursement. Interest will begin to accrue on the loan after graduation. There is a 6 month grace period before repayment begins. Eligibility for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is based on financial need as determined by the information provided on the FAFSA.
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a low-interest educational loan for undergraduate and graduate students attending school at least half-time (6 credits). This loan has a fixed interest rate and an origination fee is subtracted at the time of disbursement. Interest will begin to accrue on the loan after disbursement. The government does not pay the interest; the student can choose to either pay the interest while in school or have the interest added to the loan principal to be repaid later. There is a 6 month grace period before repayment begins after graduation. Eligibility for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on need and a student can qualify regardless of income.
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan program provides credit-based loans at a fixed interest rate and allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. An origination fee is subtracted from the requested loan amount at the time of disbursement, so the dollar amount disbursed will be less than the amount borrowed. Repayment on the principal and interest can be deferred while the student is enrolled in college. However, interest will accrue and be capitalized back into the loan.
HOW DO I RENEW MY MERIT SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2015-2016?
You do not need to complete any additional forms regarding merit aid. You only need to make sure that you are in compliance with the requirements listed below.
In order to renew your Merit Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year, you must:
- Be registered for at least 12 credit hours each semester.
- Be making satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of your degree.
- Be maintaining a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 or higher.
Merit Scholarships are awarded for a total of 8 semesters (10 semesters for dual degree students) unless you are a transfer student.
Merit Scholarships are determined at the time you are accepted to Eastman and cannot be appealed.
HOW DO I RENEW MY NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID FOR 2015-2016?
International Students receiving the George Eastman Grant need to complete the 2015-2016 CSS PROFILE for International Students each year. Eastman’s CSS Code is 2224. The George Eastman Grant is a need-based institutional grant. Student and family need often varies from year to year, so a student’s eligibility will be reviewed and awards may be adjusted upon receipt and review of the CSS PROFILE for International Students.
Domestic Students (US Citizens or Permanent Residents) need to complete the 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Make sure to use the Eastman School Code on your FAFSA: 008124. The Eastman FAFSA Application deadline is April 15, 2015.
Completing the FAFSA
Recommended tips for filing the FAFSA for both student and parents:
- If you have not yet completed your 2014 Federal Tax Return, then complete your FAFSA using estimated tax return and asset information.
- If you have completed your 2014 Federal Tax Return, then complete your FAFSA using the tax return information you submitted and your asset information.
After completing your 2014 Federal Tax Return information:
Update the 2015-2016 FAFSA by returning to your original FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov and clicking on “Link to IRS”.
- Parent and student tax information will automatically transfer from the IRS database into the FAFSA.
- If you and your parents file your taxes electronically, wait 3 weeks and then use the IRS Data Retrieval.
- If you and your parents file your taxes via regular mail, wait 8 weeks and then use the IRS Data Retrieval.
Do not try to complete the IRS Data Retrieval if any of these situations below apply to you or your parents. Contact the Eastman Financial Aid Office for further guidance:
- You or your parents are not required to file a 2014 Federal Tax Return.
- You or your parents will be applying for a tax extension.
- Your parents file separate tax returns.
- Your parents will file an amended 2014 Federal Tax Return
- One of your parents files as Head of Household.
Additional information may be requested:
- Be sure to check the Required Documents tab on your ESM FAOnline account for any additional information that may be required by our office.
HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY 2015-2016 FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE?
An email will be sent to you by the Eastman Financial Aid Office with a link to your Financial Aid Package on ESM FAOnline.
Your need-based financial aid awards will not be offered to you until your processed FAFSA or CSS PROFILE for International Students is received electronically by the Eastman Financial Aid Office. In cases where a FAFSA or CSS PROFILE for International Students at Eastman has not been received, you will receive a Financial Aid Package listing the merit scholarship and identifying the “missing” financial aid documents.
WHAT IS VERIFICATION?
Verification is the process of confirming the information you provided on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as required by Institutions participating in Federal Financial Aid programs. In order to comply with Federal regulations, we may ask you to provide information that verifies the data you provided on your FAFSA.
WHAT OTHER FUNDING IS AVAILABLE?
We encourage students to search and apply for outside scholarship funding throughout their degree program. Receiving the greatest amount of outside scholarship funding requires students to consider scholarships beyond the music realm (clubs, religious organizations, ethnic groups, groups that parents or other relatives may be involved with, etc.) and to keep the search broad (start with the general scholarships, then try the arts, etc.). Please visit our Forms and Links page to begin your search.
State Educational Loans
Some state governments offer an educational loan program. These programs:
- are available to both undergraduate and graduate students (and possibly to parents and relatives), as long as the student is matriculated and enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
- are credit-based and offer interest rates and terms which are very competitive with alternative loans.
- may have both fixed and variable interest rates available, depending on the state.
To learn if your state has a loan program contact your State Education Agency through the Department of Education’s Educational Resource Organizations Directory. Read carefully the loan criteria and contact your State Education Agency with questions.
Private Alternative Loans
Some students and families choose to borrow a private loan to cover a portion of the cost of education not already paid for by scholarships and federal grants/loans. We encourage students and parents to exhaust all federal loan options prior to applying for a private loan. The federal loan programs generally offer lower interest rates and fees than the private loans.
If a student chooses to pursue a private loan, we recommend comparing the costs associated with various lenders before completing an application. Interest rates, fees, repayment periods, and other benefits can vary significantly between lenders. Often these loans are based on credit-worthiness and approvals are not automatic. The FinAid.org website provides some comparative information regarding private loans. When selecting a loan through a comparative website, be sure to go to the lender’s website to ensure the most up-to-date information about the loan.
The Eastman School of Music does not maintain a preferred lender list. As such, the University has no agreements or relationships with any lenders and does not receive any benefit, financial or otherwise, from the use of private loans by students. For more information on the University’s policies, please see our Student Loan Code of Conduct and Policy on Private Lending.
Financial Aid Appeal
If a family’s financial circumstances have changed drastically due to unemployment, medical expenses, loss of personal funding (Social Security or Child Support), etc., then the student/family may pursue the Eastman Financial Aid Office Appeal process.
Domestic students must complete a 2015-16 Financial Aid Appeal Form for Domestic Students and a CSS PROFILE. The Eastman School Code for the CSS PROFILE is 2224.
International students must complete a 2015-16 Financial Aid Appeal Form for International Students and the CSS PROFILE for International Students. The Eastman School Code for the CSS PROFILE for International Students is 2224.
When the completed information is received by the Eastman Financial Aid Office, it will be processed, reviewed and forwarded to the Appeals Committee for a decision. A student/family will be notified via email with the outcome of the appeal.