Financial Aid at Eastman
Returning Undergraduate Students
- Tips for Completing the 2021-2022 FAFSA?
- Definitions Of Aid Programs
There is no application required for your Merit Scholarship to be renewed. You will receive one half of your annual scholarship amount for up eight semesters (up to ten semesters for dual degree). You only need to make sure that you are in compliance with the requirements listed below.
- Be registered for at least 12 units 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 to an entering student for 4 years (up to 5 years for dual degree). Transfer students’ awards are renewable based on the entering class year (for example, 3 years for an entering sophomore).
Merit Scholarships are determined at the time you are accepted to Eastman and cannot be appealed.
Though we are focused on making Eastman as affordable as possible, we are not able to meet need for all admitted students. If a student is released from his/her housing contract, the Eastman Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review the student’s eligibility for ALL financial aid, including Eastman Merit awards. You should meet with the Financial Aid Office before requesting a housing release to ensure you understand the potential change in your financial aid.
Federal Financial Aid
All Domestic Students (US Citizens or Permanent Residents) need to complete the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eastman’s FAFSA Code is 008124.
- 7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the 2021-22 FAFSA
- Common FAFSA Mistakes to Avoid
- How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval
- How to Update My FAFSA
- 5 Things to Do After Filing the 2021-22 FAFSA
Eastman’s FAFSA Code is 008124
Application Deadline: April 1, 2021
An email will be sent to you by the Eastman Financial Aid Office with a link to your financial aid notification on ESM FAOnline.
We start to review financial aid files for all returning Undergraduate students in late May.
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. Not all students are selected for verification. Your FAFSA may be selected for verification because your FAFSA contains estimated information or inconsistencies, was incomplete, or was selected at random.
How will I know that I have been selected for verification?
If you are selected, in order to comply with Federal regulations, we may ask you to provide information that verifies the data you provided on your FAFSA. Please note that the need-based portion of your financial aid offer is only an estimate until verification of your financial aid file is completed.
Required documentation varies depending on the reason(s) your application was selected. Typically, if your FAFSA is selected for verification, you and your parent(s) must complete the following:
- Verification Worksheet
- From the tax year used when completing your FAFSA:
- If your parent(s) have filed federal taxes, they will need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
- If you have filed federal taxes, you need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
- If you and/or your parent(s) earned income from any source, submit a copy of each Form W-2 received or if no W-2, a list of the source(s) and total earnings
IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
If you did not choose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when you initially filed your FAFSA, please complete the following:
- Log-in to fafsa.gov to “Make FAFSA Corrections“
- In the “Financial Information” section, click “Link to IRS”
- On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”. Once you complete the IRS information, the system will bring you back to the FAFSA
- Make sure you submit the corrections and sign your FAFSA using your FSA ID
You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as married filing separately
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household
- The parents’ marital status is “Unmarried and both legal parents living together”
- The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
- The student/parent filed their tax return electronically within the last three weeks, or through the mail within the last 11 weeks
Additional information about using the DRT is available from the Department of Education.
IRS Tax Return Transcript Request
Tax filers selected for verification and unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval must request a Tax Return Transcript (NOT an Account Transcript) of their tax return from the IRS in one of three ways:
- The IRS website by selecting “Get Transcript ONLINE” or “Get Transcript by MAIL”
- The IRS automated phone transcript service at 1-800-908-9946
- Complete and submit Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T to the IRS by mail
Note: For electronic filers, an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS. The IRS Tax Return Transcript may take up to 8 weeks to be available for those who file paper tax returns.
Identity Theft Information
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you cannot obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved by the IRS. Since resolution can take a significant amount of time, please provide a copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) tax transcript to our office along with a signed and dated statement by the tax filer indicating you were a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.
What happens if I do not complete verification?
If you choose not to, or fail to submit verification documents, we will be unable to complete the review of your eligibility for financial aid. Failure to comply with the verification requirements will result in your aid being canceled and any future aid not disbursing to your student account. If financial aid had already disbursed to your student account, your financial aid will also be canceled which may result in a balance on your University student account.
If you are selected for federal verification but do not wish to complete the process and want to cancel your aid application, you should send written notification to the Office of Financial Aid.
If verification determines any of my FAFSA information to be in error, how will the information be corrected?
Our office is required to submit all changes resulting from verification to the Federal Student Aid Processor. The Processor sends a revised electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student. The revised SAR highlights the data that was changed and states that the changes were made by your school.
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.
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a grant program for students who are residents of New York State. It is based on a family’s taxable income and the student’s level of study. In addition to the FAFSA, a separate TAP application is required by the state. The Eastman (Rochester, University of) TAP code is 1016.
New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence provide up to $1,500 per year for up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State.
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 & Policy on Private Lending.
If the family’s financial circumstances of an undergraduate student have changed drastically due to unemployment, medical expenses, loss of personal funding (Social Security or Child Support), etc., then the student/family may contact the Eastman Financial Aid Office to ask about an Appeal for Special Circumstances.
For detailed information about the costs of an undergraduate degree at Eastman, please see the University Bursar’s website at https://www.rochester.edu/adminfinance/bursar/index.php/billing-and-payment/billing-and-fees/