Tuition, Billing, and Financial Aid FAQs

Questions About Tuition and Billing

Questions About the Simmons Student Portal

Questions About Financial Aid at Simmons

Questions About the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Questions About the Federal Pell Grant

Questions About Federal Direct Loans

Questions About Other Loan Options

Questions About Loan Repayment

Questions About Military Education Benefits

Questions About Tax Benefits for Education

 

Tuition and Billing

How much do the Simmons online undergraduate programs cost?

Tuition is based on the number of credits for which you register. Current tuition rates and fees can be found on the Simmons University Undergraduate Online Tuition page.

Are there additional fees assessed on top of tuition?

There are no additional fees for the Simmons fully online undergraduate programs. 

Will I be billed for the student health insurance plan (SHIP)?

A: No, students admitted into an online program are not subject to the state of Massachusetts SHIP requirements. Online students are not eligible to purchase health insurance through Simmons. Massachusetts residents seeking health insurance coverage may choose to visit the Massachusetts Health Connector website for more information.

How much is the deposit, and when is it due?

There is a $250 non-refundable enrollment deposit due once admitted. 

Can I use financial aid to cover the deposit?

No, federal student aid cannot be used to pay the deposit.

Will I be able to view my financial aid award before submitting the deposit?

You do not need to pay your deposit in order to receive your financial aid award. However, Student Financial Services must receive your FAFSA form for the year in order to package your financial aid. Please complete the FAFSA at the same time you complete your application for admission.

When will I receive a tuition bill, when is payment due, and how do I view my bill?

Payment deadlines are listed on the Payment Policies page under Tuition Payment Deadlines.

Billing statements are posted online to students' Simmons Connection account each month during the semester. Paper billing statements are not sent by mail. Students and authorized users will receive an email notification when a statement has been posted online. 

Students can access their statement by logging in to Simmons Connection. After logging in, go to AARC > Access Student Account Center > View Bill/Make a Payment > Statements Tab. You can also refer to the Account Activity section under My Account for the most up-to-date account information. Tuition payment is due seven days prior to the start of each term. 

What are the accepted forms of payment?

Payments can be made by online e-check, online credit card, check, money order, and wire. Please see our payment methods page for more information. 

How does my employer go about paying the school?

Please contact Student Financial Services at 617-521-2001 or sfs@simmons.edu for more information. 

Are payment plan options available for online students?

Payment plans are available through Nelnet. Learn more here.

What are the consequences if my tuition bill is not paid when classes begin?

Charges for tuition, fees, and any prior balance must be paid in full each semester before a student may attend class. Students who do not settle their accounts prior to the first day of classes may have their schedules canceled and will have to select courses on a space-available basis. For more information, visit Simmons’ Payment Policies page.

If I’m eligible to receive a refund, what is the process?

Students will automatically receive a refund for any excess funds (credit balance) on their student account each semester. Details on the refund process as well as how to sign up for direct deposit are listed on the Financial Aid & Credit Balance Refunds page. If you receive funds that exceed the amount of tuition and fees for a term, you will have the credit balance refunded approximately four weeks after the term begins. A financial aid refund check will be mailed if a student has not signed up for direct deposit.

Please keep in mind that when federal Title IV grant or loan assistance is disbursed and the recipient does not complete the enrollment period, the law requires that Simmons University calculate the amount that must be returned by the school and/or student to Title IV program accounts. This may result in a balance due to the University.

What is the Title IV Authorization?

Title IV funds are federal student aid funds, which are from federal student aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more about Title IV Authorization.

Who can I contact at Simmons for billing and payment questions?

Visit Student Financial Services for billing and payment information.

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Simmons Student Portal/Account Setup 

What is the Simmons student portal?

Simmons Connect will take you to AARC, an online registration and student information system, where you can manage your personal and profile information, register for courses, order transcripts, and monitor your progress in completing their university and degree requirements. AARC is accessible for current students and recent graduates with their Simmons login information at http://connection.simmons.edu/

How do I set up my Simmons Connection account?

Simmons Connection is the online portal where you can access your academic registration, billing statements, personal information, and Simmons email.

You can set up your Simmons account two business days after submitting your enrollment deposit. Go to the Email and Password Account Setup page to activate your account. 

Once your account is activated, log in to Simmons Connection using your username and password you created during the account activation step. 

How do I set up my Simmons email address?

You can access your email account within Simmons Connection or directly at gmail.simmons.edu once you complete your Simmons Connection activation. Your Simmons Connection and Simmons email username and password are the same. 

Contact the Simmons Service Desk at servicedesk@simmons.edu or 617-521-2222, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, for technical assistance related to your Simmons Connection account or Simmons email.

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Financial Aid at Simmons

Do Simmons online undergraduate programs offer internal scholarships to online students?

Institutional scholarships are not available for Simmons online undergraduate programs. 

If you are looking for outside scholarships to help reduce costs, we have compiled a list of free outside scholarship searches that may help you find additional resources to apply to your cost of attendance.

We strongly advise you NOT to pay any scholarship search firm. Most likely, if an organization is asking for a payment to help you search for scholarships, they are not providing a legitimate service.

Are there Simmons-specific supplemental financial aid forms I need to complete?

Simmons does not require any school-specific supplemental forms. If you are a new student and are planning to apply for federal student aid, you will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), entrance counseling, and the loan agreement master promissory note (MPN) on the Federal Student Aid website.

What federal student aid is available to undergraduate students?

Students who complete the FAFSA form, are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who are not in default on any previous student loans may be eligible for the Pell Grant and the Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. Massachusetts residents may also qualify for the MASSGrant.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Federal Pell Grant and the Direct Subsidized Loan?

The Department of Education awards Federal Pell Grants and Direct Subsidized Loans to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need, have not yet completed their bachelor’s degrees, and have remaining lifetime eligibility. For more information, click here.)

Are there academic standards I must meet to continue to receive federal student aid?

To be eligible for and continue to receive federal student aid, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving and completing their program of study through measurement of qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completed credits) standards. Learn more about the undergraduate SAP policy.

What is the minimum number of credits required to receive federal student aid?

You must be registered for at least six (6) credits per semester to be eligible to receive federal student aid.

How do I determine full-time, part-time, or half-time enrollment in this program?

Students who are enrolled in at least 12 credits are considered full time. Those enrolled in 6–8 credits are considered half time, and those enrolled in 9–11 credits are considered three-quarter time. 

How will I receive my financial aid award?

You will receive your award letter via email, and it will be available by logging in to AARC.

How do I accept my financial aid award?

We assume that you will accept the aid that is offered. If you would like to reduce or cancel any of your Federal Direct Loans, fill out the Loan Adjustment Request form on our website.

Am I required to accept the full amount that I am offered on my award letter?

No, you do not have to accept the full amount offered. Students are encouraged to borrow only what is needed. You can choose to accept all, part, or none of your financial aid.

Will my financial aid cover my tuition and fees?

Aid eligibility is dependent on several factors, including your status as a dependent or independent student and the number of credits for which you are enrolled. Please consult with your assigned financial aid officer for more detail.

How soon will loans disburse to my student account?

As long as all required loan documents (master promissory note and entrance counseling) are completed, federal student loans will disburse 14 days after the term begins. 

Can I use loans to cover additional expenses such as living expenses, books, supplies, etc.?

The total cost of attendance (COA) for the academic year includes tuition, fees, and living expenses. If there is eligibility for additional loan funds based on the COA, you are able to use those resources to cover expenses such as books, supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses. Most independent undergraduate students would need to borrow through private education loans to help cover additional expenses. If you are considered a dependent undergraduate, your parent may borrow through the Federal PLUS Loan program.

Who can I contact at Simmons for financial aid questions?

Visit the Student Financial Services website for additional details regarding general financial aid information and loan options, or email sfs@simmons.edu. For questions pertaining to financial aid for active-duty military service members and veterans benefits, please contact our Office of Military and Veteran Services. 

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Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application the Department of Education uses to determine if you are eligible to receive federal student aid.

Where can I find the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available online at Studentaid.gov. The FAFSA is a free application; you will not be asked to pay.

What is the Simmons FAFSA school code?

The Simmons FAFSA school code is 002208.

Do I need to include my Social Security number (SSN) in my application for admission to be eligible for aid?

If you are planning to apply for financial aid, please provide your SSN on your application for admission. Providing your SSN will expedite the financial aid process. For more information, please contact Student Financial Services by email.

Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA?

Your dependency status determines whose information you must report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

  • If you’re a dependent student, you will report your and your parents’ information.
  • If you’re an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you’re married, your spouse’s). 

What is the expected family contribution (EFC)?

The expected family contribution (EFC) is a measurement of your ability to contribute toward your educational costs. As an undergraduate student, your EFC is a determining factor in your eligibility for subsidized federal student loans.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available every Oct. 1 for the upcoming academic year. New students planning to use federal student aid should complete a FAFSA while applying for admission. Continuing students will need to submit a FAFSA each year they plan to receive federal student aid.

FAFSA Start Date
Start Term FAFSA Year
May 2021 Summer 2020–2021
2021–2022*
Sept 2021 Fall 2021–2022
Jan 2022 Spring 2021–2022

*Needed to receive financial aid award for fall semester

Do I need to complete the FAFSA each year?

Yes. Because eligibility for federal student aid does not carry over from one award year to the next, you will need to complete the FAFSA for each award year for which you are or plan to be a student.

What constitutes an academic year for federal student aid?

An academic year is the year for which financial aid is used to fund your education. Generally, this is the 12-month period that begins on July 1 of one year and ends on June 30 of the following year.

What criteria are used to determine eligibility for federal student aid?

In order to apply for federal student aid, you must: 

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • have a valid Social Security number (SSN)
  • be registered with Selective Service if you are male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree program
  • be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • not currently be in default on previous federal student loans
  • not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit

Learn more about federal student aid eligibility criteria on the Federal Student Aid website.

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Federal Pell Grant

What is the Federal Pell Grant?

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your expected family contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.

How is my expected family contribution (EFC) determined?

The information you report on your FAFSA form is used to calculate your EFC.

The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year. The EFC Formula guide shows exactly how an EFC is calculated.

Your EFC is not the amount of money you or your family will have to pay, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. The EFC is used to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

How much can I get yearly?

Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,345 for the 2020–2021 award year (July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021).

The amount you get, though, will depend on:

  • your expected family contribution
  • the cost of attendance (determined by Simmons for your specific program)
  • your status as a full-time or part-time student
  • your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

View the tables for 2020–2021 award year, based on the factors above, that are used to determine Pell Grant award amounts.

How do I apply for the Federal Pell Grant?

You should start by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will have to fill out this form every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid. 

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Federal Direct Loans

What is the difference between the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

The Federal Direct Loan is a federal loan offered to students to help with the cost of education. Federal Subsidized Loans are based on income and financial need. Federal Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. 

How much am I eligible for each year?

If you are an undergraduate student, the maximum amount you can borrow each year in Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans ranges from $5,500 to $12,500 per year, depending on what year you are in school and your dependency status.

How much am I able to borrow, and what is the aggregate loan limit?

Dependent undergraduate students are eligible to borrow up to $31,000 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Independent undergraduates, and dependent undergraduates whose parents are not eligible to borrow through the Parent PLUS program, are eligible to borrow up to $57,500.

How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit or have defaulted on a federal student loan?

Log in to the StudentAid.gov homepage to view your federal student loan borrowing history and loan servicer details. Please note that private education loans are not listed on this site. Students in default are not eligible for additional federal loans. Contact your lender for default resolution options. 

How do I apply for the Federal Direct Loans?

To apply for the Federal Direct Loans, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the current Federal Direct Loan interest rate?

The Direct Loan interest rate is determined on an annual basis. Learn more about interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website. 

Are there any additional loan fees for the Federal Direct Loan?

There is a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. Information on loan origination fees can be found on the Interest Rates and Fees page of the Federal Student Aid website.

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Other Loan Options

Are there other loan options available?

Two other loan options exist for undergraduate students: private educational loans and Direct Parent PLUS Loans.

What are private loans?

Private education loans, also known as alternative loans, are offered by private lenders to help students bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in federal loans. Lenders offer private educational loans with different rates, fees, repayment terms, and approval requirements.

Are private loans offered at Simmons?

Private loans are available through lending agencies such as banks or credit unions. Simmons cannot recommend any particular lender to its students, but we do partner with elmselect.com to provide information on a variety of lenders that our students have borrowed from. We strongly recommend that you compare rates carefully and know what their monthly repayment schedule will be.

What is the Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a federal loan that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses in addition to the Direct Subsidized Loan. Learn about Direct PLUS Loans.

Do Direct PLUS Loans affect my aggregate loan limit?

Only Direct Subsidized/Direct Unsubsidized Loans and federal loans made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program count toward your aggregate loan limit. 

What are the eligibility criteria to apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

One of the eligibility requirements to receive a Graduate PLUS Loan is that you must not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether a Graduate PLUS Loan applicant meets this requirement. 

How much can I borrow from the Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

If approved for the Parent PLUS Loan, your parent(s) can borrow up to the cost of attendance as determined by Simmons.

How and when can I apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan by completing the credit application on the Federal Student Aid website, and complete the Parent PLUS Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN). 

You can apply for the Direct Parent PLUS Loan within 180 days of the start of your program, or once you are enrolled.  

What is the Direct Parent PLUS Loan current interest rate, and are there any additional loan fees?

The Direct PLUS Loan interest rate is determined at the beginning of each academic year and is available on the Federal Student Aid website’s Interest Rates and Fees page. 

There is a loan origination fee that is a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. Information on Direct PLUS Loan origination fees can be found on the Interest Rates and Fees page of the Federal Student Aid website.

What are my options if I'm denied the Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

If you are denied the Parent PLUS Loan, you may reapply with an endorser or follow the instructions on the Department of Education's website to appeal the denial.

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Loan Repayment

Do I have to repay my student loans while I’m in school?

You can defer payment on your federal student loans if you are enrolled at least half time. You should be aware that although you can defer payments while you are in school, interest will still accrue on your unsubsidized loan(s).

Your Federal Direct Loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, fall below half-time status, take a leave of absence, or withdraw from the program. Most private loans also have deferred payment options while you are in school; however, you will need to check with your loan servicer. 

When do I have to repay my loan?

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you will be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. You are not required to pay while in school; however, if you choose to, there is no penalty to prepay. Learn more about repayment timelines.  

What are the repayment plan options, and how do I select one?

The Department of Education (DOE) offers multiple options for repayment. You may visit the DOE website for more information on loan repayment plans.

Is there a repayment calculator or estimator that I can use?

Yes, visit the DOE website for repayment calculators

Can I consolidate my undergraduate loans?

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including all undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation.

Are there any loan forgiveness options available?

In certain circumstances, all or a portion of a borrower’s federal student loans may be forgiven under the federal government’s loan forgiveness program. Please review the Department of Education website for more information on federal loan forgiveness programs

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Military Education Benefits

How do I apply for military education benefits?

To begin the process of applying for military education benefits for which you are eligible, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the VA at 888-442-4551.

What documents are required to process military education benefits?

We require a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE is mailed to you roughly 30 days from submitting the application. A copy of the COE must be provided to the Office of Military and Veteran Services by mail, fax, or email at stephen.pusateri@simmons.edu. 

What are the eligibility factors for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®?

You are potentially eligible for this VA-administered program if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

How are Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits calculated at Simmons?

The annual private school cap for 2020–2021 is $25,162.14. If you are eligible at a rate of 100%, this is the maximum amount you can receive for the year. If you are eligible at the 50% rate, then your maximum eligibility is $25,162.14 x 0.5 = $12,581.07. Your tuition and mandatory fees, less any institutional scholarship funding you receive, are deducted from this amount as you progress through the year (e.g., if your tuition and fees are $10,000 and you have a $1,000 scholarship, we report tuition and fees of $9,000). Once the benefit is used up for that year, you will receive no further tuition benefit, unless you are Yellow Ribbon-eligible, until the annual cap resets in the fall term. 

What is the deadline to apply for VA education benefits?

Please apply for your benefit as early as possible, ideally one to two months prior to the start of your program. This will put you in the best possible position to map out your costs and make an informed decision about how to best utilize your hard-earned benefits. That said, we can retroactively certify your benefit for a term that has already begun if you are unable to complete your application in this time frame.

Simmons University will not impose any penalty — including late fees or denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities — or require that any covered individual borrow additional funds because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations due to the delayed disbursement of funding from the VA under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33. If your tuition benefit does not fully cover your bill for the term, the difference must be paid prior to registration in subsequent semesters, but any amount due from the VA will not prevent registration. For more information, visit the Simmons For Veterans page.

What are current rates of benefits, including the monthly housing allowance (MHA)?

The tuition and fee payment rate and the MHA are determined at the beginning of each military academic year on Aug. 1. The current rate table is located on the Education and Training page of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site

Does Simmons University participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?

At this time, the Simmons online undergraduate programs are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Who can I contact at Simmons for questions about using military education benefits?

For questions regarding the use of your military education benefits, contact Stephen Pusateri by email at stephen.pusateri@simmons.edu or phone at 617-521-2885.

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Tax Benefits for Education

How do I qualify for a tuition tax credit?

For details on tax benefits for education, see IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education, which provides detailed information. Simmons is unable to provide tax advice. We urge you to contact your tax advisor or the IRS (at 800-829-1040 or www.irs.gov) if you have any questions regarding the HOPE or Lifetime Learning Tax Credits.

What is the 1098-T Form?

It is an informational form filed with the Internal Revenue Service to report the amounts billed to you for qualified tuition, related expenses, and other related information. The primary purpose of IRS Form 1098-T is to inform you that we have provided this required information to the IRS.

What information is included in the 1098-T Form?

Form 1098-T reports amounts paid for qualified tuition, scholarships, and grants processed to students enrolled in courses at Simmons University for which they received academic credit. The information reported on the 1098-T Form helps students evaluate whether they are eligible for an educational tax credit.

How do I obtain my 1098-T Form?

If you are a current student, you can obtain a copy of your 1098-T via the online Student Account Center, accessible through AARC. If you no longer have access to AARC, please contact Student Financial Services at sfs@Simmons.edu or 617-521-2001 to request a copy.

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Created: August 2020