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Financial Aid FAQs

Are all students eligible to receive federal aid? 

Generally students must meet the following criteria in order to eligible for federal aid:

  • Students must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen (US permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C Alien Registration Receipt Card). Check with the Financial Aid Office for further explanation
  • Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if you are a male between 18 and 25 yrs old
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program working towards a degree. NOTE: Continuing Education students are NOT eligible to receive federal and state aid
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate
  • Cannot be in DEFAULT on a prior federal loan or owe an overpayment to the federal government
  • Students must be US Citizens or eligible non-citizens in order to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility is matched with records from the Department of Homeland Security database.
  • Students must meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Is receiving federal aid connected to or based upon academic progress?
Yes. Per federal regulations and The Boston Architectural College policy, students need to make satisfactory academic progress in order to continue receiving federal student aid. Students will be reviewed annually end of spring semester to determine if they are making satisfactory academic progress for federal and state financial aid eligibility. The minimum GPA and completion rates must be met in order for students to receive financial aid.

SAP is determined two ways: qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (course completion). Below are GPA and completion rate requirements for each degree program:

  • BDS: minimum 2.3 GPA
  • BID, B.Arch, BLA: minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Graduate programs: minimum 2.7 GPA
  • Completion is 66.7% (student must successfully complete 2/3 of all classes attempted toward their degree) and transfer credits are included in the calculation as successfully completed.
  • Students whose practice hours are used for financial aid eligibility will have them included in the calculation of the completion rate.

Students who fall below any of the minimum standard stated above will be suspended from receiving financial aid. Students will be sent a suspension letter. Students who are suspended have a right to appeal. The appeal must be in writing and address the reasons why the student did not meet minimum SAP during the semester and what has changed to enable the student to regain good SAP standing. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee makes all final decisions regarding approving or denying the appeal.

What does it mean if the results of my FAFSA application states I'm required for Verification?
When the federal government requires the Financial Aid Office to verify the information listed on the FAFSA, additional documentation must be submitted. Students will be notified to make a correction to the FAFSA application by selecting the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or if a students is unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then an IRS Tax Transcript will be required. Additionally either a Dependent or Independent Verification Worksheet (depending on the student's status) must be completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Occasionally, the Financial Aid Office will require additional information regarding financial support, untaxed income, or family members. Students will be notified of any requests for additional documentation. An award letter will not be sent to students until all requested verification documents have been received and reviewed and the student's eligibility is determined.

When can I expect to be notified by The Boston Architectural College (BAC) of my financial aid awards?
Students will be notified of their financial aid eligibility in the form of an award letter. Students must be accepted into a degree program at the BAC and have provided all necessary documents to the Financial Aid Office. Generally the Financial Aid Office will begin to send award letters for the upcoming academic year in April for fall attendees and November for spring attendees.

What do I have to do in order to get my Federal Stafford Loan funds?
When students are awarded Federal Direct Stafford Loans, they are required to complete Entrance Counseling and have a valid Master Promissory Note before the funds can be credited to their students account. Entrance Counseling will provide a information about your rights and responsibilities, and the Master Promissory Note is your signed agreement that you understand these rights and promise to repay this loan.

How much can I borrow?
Students are able to borrow up to their Cost of Attendance per academic year. The Cost of Attendance is listed on the award letter, and it includes tuition, an allowance for room and board expenses, books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Students are awarded federal loans according to their eligibility and academic grade level, not to exceed the direct costs to the school. For example, a first year independent undergraduate, if eligible, will be awarded a Subsidized Stafford Loan in the amount of $3,500, and an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan of $6,000, for a total amount per academic grade level (first year) of $9,500. Whereas a graduate student is eligible to receive a Federal Direct UnSubsidized Stafford Loan in the amount of $20,500.

If students have borrowed their maximum amounts under the federal loan programs (Direct Stafford, Direct Parent, and Graduate PLUS), and need additional funds to help defray tuition and other educational related expenses, students may be able to borrow alternative/private loans. The Financial Aid Office encourages students to review interest rates and repayment options for all alternative/private loans prior to borrowing, as these options differ from federal loan programs.

What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw from classes?
Students must complete a withdrawal form (available from the Registrar's Office) prior to withdrawing from a course or the semester. It is recommended that students who are receiving financial aid consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to a withdrawal to ensure that the student is fully aware of how withdrawaing impacts their financial aid. Students should be aware that the BAC has an institutional refund policy for tuition adjustments. This is found on the Tuition and Fees section of the website. Federal guidelines mandate that all federal aid be adjusted according to a strict refund policy set forth by the Department of Education when a student fully withdraws. According to federal refund policies, students earn a percentage of their federal aid up to the 60% period of the semester. Therefore, if a student fully withdraws from school, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the percentage by dividing the number of days that the student attended by the number of days in the semester. If the calculation is less than 60%, a percentage of federal funds will be returned. This most often results in a balance due on the student account. If the student has attended more than 60% of the semester, no return of federal financial aid will be required.

If students withdraw from all classes without official notification, federal regulations mandate that the Financial Aid Office calculate a last day of participation in an educationally related activity, such as class attendance, and then determine whether federal funds must be adjusted. Students should be aware that changes in enrollment might also result in a change in financial aid.

What if I have special circumstances that affect my ability to complete the FAFSA, or affect the information previously reported on the FAFSA?
Students who have unique special circumstances that affect their ability to complete the FAFSA should see a Financial Aid Administrator. In certain situations, dependent students who are unable to provide parental information on the FAFSA, due to extenuating circumstances, may be considered independent after a Financial Aid Administrator reviews their situation. Students will be required to submit documentation about their situation before a determination will be made. Additionally, students who have had significant changes to income information reported on the FAFSA due to unforeseen circumstances, such as sudden unemployment, medical expenses not covered by insurance, death in the family, etc., should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Please explain the student budget that is used to determine the total cost of attendance.
The total cost of attendance consists of budget items listed in the example below. The specific amounts in the example are for an undergraduate student enrolled in 6 to 11.5 credits who is living off-campus. A student can receive financial aid (grants, loans, or federal work study) up to the total budget. Financial Aid Award letters will have student specific budget information.

Student Budget

Direct Costs*
Tuition and fees $21,894 

Indirect Costs**
Housing and Food $16,000 
Books and Supplies $1,200
Transportation $1,200 
Personal Expenses  $2,000
Total Budget $ 42,294

*Direct costs consist of the expected balance due to the college for tuition and fees plus estimated loan fees.
**Indirect costs are estimates of other education related expenses.

Can I get an early refund check for books and supplies?
Students who are receiving federal aid beyond their tuition and fees can request money for books and supplies. A refund check could then be available at the end of the first week of classes. Maximum requested amounts can be $600.  Requests for a refund check for books and supplies can be made by emailing