Undergraduate Students

 

EASTMAN SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS

Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships are awarded as a Howard Hanson Scholarship specifically for study at the Eastman School of Music.  At a later time, 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 awarded for a total of 8 semesters (10 for dual degree students).  These merit scholarships will carry over into the new academic year provided that students maintain a 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), make satisfactory academic progress, and are not on academic probation.

Students must maintain a 3.0 (CGPA) to continue to receive a merit-based scholarship. Failure to maintain a 3.0 CGPA by the end of the first year of studies (or any subsequent semester) will result in a monetary reduction per semester of any merit scholarship. Academic probation students will usually receive a further merit scholarship reduction per semester. In more serious cases, the Eastman School of Music reserves the right to remove a student’s entire merit scholarship award.

Need-Based Funds

For Domestic students (US citizens or permanent residents), eligibility for the Eastman need-based institutional aid is determined from the information reported on the FAFSA. A student may be required to complete the verification process before his/her need-based aid will be credited to the student bill.

For International students, eligibility for the Eastman need-based institutional aid (George Eastman Grant) is determined from the information reported on the CSS PROFILE for International Students.

As a student’s need often varies from year to year, need-based aid eligibility will be reviewed and awards will be adjusted each year accordingly. Students, who continue to meet the need criteria each year, may receive the George Eastman Grant for up to eight semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment. 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 AID

Federal Pell Grants

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 federal funds will be credited to their tuition bill.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

Awarded to Federal Pell Grant recipients who have the highest calculated need. The SEOG grant will be credited to the tuition bill upon completion of the verification process.

As of July 1, 2011, the Federal Government discontinued the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) due to federal funding cuts.

Federal Work-Study Awards

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 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 the Careers and Professional Development website.

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 award letter. Students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for work-study.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

This program provides low-interest (5%) long-term loans to students who demonstrate financial need. The Eastman School of Music has a very small allocation of these funds, so we are only able to award this loan to a very limited number of students. If the financial aid package for the coming year includes this loan, the Financial Aid Office will notify students in August about any documents that need to be completed. Repayment does not begin until nine months after the student completes or withdraws from his/her educational program.  A Federal Perkins Loan must be declined or reduced in writing.

Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)

This program provides low-interest, long-term loans for students’ educational expenses. Yearly subsidized loan limits per class status are $3,500, $4,500 $5,500 and $5,500 respectively. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Students will not be charged any interest on a subsidized loan, while enrolled in school at least half time, as the federal government subsidizes the interest. The interest rate for a Direct Subsidized Student Loan is fixed at 4.66% (14-15). An origination fee of 1.072% is charged by the Federal government, so the actual dollar amount received will be less than the amount borrowed. Federal regulations require multiple disbursements of federal loans originated for a full academic year.  One half of the loan amount will disburse in the fall term and one half in the spring term.

Students also qualify for an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized loan for all four academic years. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. Students are charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If interest is allowed to accumulate, it will be capitalized and added to the principal amount of the loan. The interest rate for a Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan is fixed at 4.66% (undergraduates for 14-15) and 6.21% (graduates for 14-15) . An origination fee of 1.072% is charged by the Federal government, so the actual dollar amount received will be less than the amount borrowed. Federal regulations require multiple disbursements of federal loans originated for a full academic year.  One half of the loan amount will disburse in the fall term and one half in the spring term.

If a student wishes to decline or reduce a Federal Direct Loan, the Financial Aid Office needs to be notified in writing no later than 14 days after the disbursement of the loan.

First-time Federal Direct Loan Borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling Session before loan proceeds can be credited to the student’s account.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

This federal program provides credit-based loans that allow parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid awarded. The interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is fixed at 7.21% (14-15).   Repayment for PLUS Loans begins 60 days after the second disbursement of an academic year loan or 60 days after the only disbursement of a one semester only loan. An origination fee of 4.288% is charged by the Federal government so the actual dollar amount received will be less than the amount borrowed. Parents may request that this fee be considered in the student’s Cost of Attendance so as to maximize the PLUS eligibility.  Federal regulations require multiple disbursements of federal loans originated for a full academic year.  One half of the loan amount will disburse in the fall term and one half in the spring term.

The PLUS Loan is not automatically renewed.  A FAFSA and a new loan application must be submitted each year.

If a parent wishes to decline or reduce a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, the Financial Aid Office needs to be notified in writing no later than 14 days after the disbursement of the loan.

First-time Federal PLUS Loan Borrowers, who are approved for this loan, must complete a Master Promissory Note before loan proceeds can be credited to the student’s account. The Bursar’s Office will also require that a PLUS Loan Borrower complete a Credit Balance Request Form for PLUS Borrowers.

If a parent is concerned about the financial eligibility for a PLUS Loan, the Eastman Financial Aid Office can run a credit check to determine eligibility. A Credit Check Authorization Form must be completed and returned before the credit check can be done.  If a parent is not eligible for a PLUS Loan based on the credit check, the student may receive an additional unsubsidized loan amount of $4,000 or $5,000 depending on the student’s grade level.

PLUS Loan borrowers who wish to defer payment on the principal of the PLUS Loan, while the student is in school, must complete the Parent PLUS Loan Deferment Form.  This form can be obtained from your Federal PLUS Loan Servicer. A parent borrower can identify who the Federal Loan Servicer is by reviewing the PLUS Loan account at www.nslds.ed.gov.

More information on Federal Loan processing, please visit the Eastman Loan page.

 

Renewal of Your Merit Scholarship for Next Year (2014-2015)

In order to renew your Merit Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year, you must:

  • Be registered for at least 12 credit hours each semester.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (during the 2013-2014 academic year) 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.

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 in this email.

Renewal of Your Need-Based Financial Aid for Next Year (2014-2015) 

International Students Receiving the George Eastman Grant

The George Eastman Grant is a need-based institutional grant. A student’s eligibility for this grant is determined by demonstrating financial need which is determined by Eastman using the financial information provided on the CSS PROFILE for International Students.  A student’s need will often vary from year to year, so the George Eastman Grant award eligibility will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly each year.

You will need to complete the CSS PROFILE for International Students for your eligibility to be reviewed for the George Eastman Grant for the 2014-2015 academic year. Eastman’s CSS Code is 2224.

Domestic Students (US Citizens or Permanent Residents)

The U.S. Department of Education has created an enhancement to the FAFSA filing process by allowing applicants and parents to retrieve tax data from the IRS.  This process is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  Parents and students should select this option when filing their 2014-2015 FAFSA to streamline the application process.

  • Complete the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) following the instructions that best describes how you will apply.  Make sure to use the Eastman School Code on your FAFSA008124.  The Eastman FAFSA Application deadline is April 15, 2014.

We recommend the following steps when filing the 2014-2015 FAFSA:

Group 1 – You and your parents will be completing the FAFSA prior to filing your 2013 Federal Tax Returns.  This process is the recommended method.

Complete the 2014-2015 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Use estimated student and parent tax information when completing the FAFSA.

Complete your 2013 Federal Tax Returns for both students and parents.

Update the 2014-2015 FAFSA by returning to your original FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and clicking on “Link to IRS”.

  • The parent and student tax information will automatically be transferred 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.
  • You and your parents will need to update any of the other questions on the FAFSA manually.

Do not send any financial aid information to the Eastman Office of Financial Aid.  When we receive your FAFSA information, we will notify you if any further information is needed.

Group 2 – You and your parents will be filing your 2013 Federal Tax Returns prior to completing the FAFSA.

Complete your 2013 Federal Tax Returns for both students and parents.

Complete the 2014-2015 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Update the 2014-2015 FAFSA by returning to your original FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and clicking on “Link to IRS”.

  • The parent and student tax information will automatically be transferred 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.
  • You and your parents will need to update any of the other questions on the FAFSA manually.

Do not send any financial aid information to the Eastman Office of Financial Aid.  When we receive your FAFSA information, we will notify you if any further information is needed.

Group 3 – You or your parents will be applying for a tax extension by filing an IRS FORM 4868.

You will need to send a copy of your IRS Form 4868 or approval of extension and all 2013 W-2 forms to the Eastman Office of Financial Aid. We will require a signed statement certifying AGI and taxes paid for a self-employed applicant.  Do not send any other financial aid information.  We will notify you if any further information is needed.

Do not try to complete the IRS Data Retrieval if:

  • You or your parents are not required to file a 2013 Federal Tax Return
  • Your parents file separate tax returns
  • Your parents will file an amended 2013 Federal Tax Return
  • One of your parents’ files as Head of Household
  • Your parents file an Amended tax return

Please contact the Eastman Financial Aid Office for further guidance about completing the FAFSA.

FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE

A link to the Financial Aid Package at ESM FAOnline is emailed to undergraduates.  Need-based financial aid award offers will not be made to undergraduate students until the 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, a student will receive a Financial Aid Package identifying the merit scholarship and the “missing” financial aid documents.

 

VERIFICATION PROCESS -

Verification is the process of confirming the information on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). In order to comply with Federal regulations, we may ask you to provide information that verifies the data you provided on your FAFSA. The creation of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has simplified the verification process.

Our office is no longer allowed to accept federal tax returns.

 

ADDITIONAL FUNDING

Outside Scholarships

We encourage students to search and apply for outside scholarship funding throughout their undergraduate years. 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 undergraduate scholarships, then try the arts, etc.).

Private 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 loans before completing an application. Interest rates, fees, repayment periods, and other benefits can vary significantly between loans. 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 University of Rochester 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 a parent’s/spouse’s unemployment, medical expenses, loss of personal funding (Social Security or Child Support), etc., then the student may petition for additional assistance.

Domestic students must complete a2014-15 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 2014-15 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.