How to Pay for an Education in a Harvard Extension School

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The Harvard University Extension School is the branch of Harvard University that handles continuing education for adult learners. Classes are available alone, or as part of a certificate program or degree program leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students may also take prerequisites for degree programs. Classes are available on campus, online and in the evenings. Working professionals can pursue degree programs part time.

Non-admitted Students

Students who are taking classes on a course by course basis are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, or financial aid through the university. There are other financial aid options available though, which are listed on the Harvard University Extension School website. These options include scholarships, private loans and tuition assistance programs. Most students will need to take at least three courses in their degree program and earn at least a "B" before admission.

Admitted Students

Students who are admitted to a degree program and are United States citizens or "eligible non-citizen" are classified as "admitted students" by the Harvard University Extension School financial aid office and are eligible for federal, state and university funding. Non-citizens can contact the financial aid office to discuss eligibility for aid.

Steps to Receiving Aid

The first step to funding a degree program at the Harvard University Extension School is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA, as it is commonly called. The FAFSA can be filed online or through postal mail. Next the student files the appropriate enrollment form through the Student Financial Services office. Once the forms have been processed, the student will receive an award letter. The amount of the award will not only depend on financial need but will depend on the number of courses a student will be taking. The student then signs the award letter, indicating whether they accept or decline the financial aid offer. Then, if the student is receiving federal aid, entrance loan counseling is required, as well as the signing of the master promissory note.

Aid Processing

After the necessary paperwork has been filed and the aid as been accepted, the financial aid will be applied to the student's financial aid account. If the amount of financial aid received is greater than the cost of attendance for the term, the student will receive the difference in the form of a refund within 14 days. Students typically use refund checks to cover books, transportation and living expenses. If the amount of financial aid is less than the cost of attendance, the student is responsible for paying the difference. Excess costs can be paid by credit, cash and check.

Other Options

Harvard University staff members are eligible for an alternative financial aid program through the university. The program is called the Harvard University Tuition Assistance Plan or TAP for short. Staff members are eligible for the Tuition Assistance Plan if they have worked for at least 17.5 hours per week since July 1st for fall classes and November 1st for spring. As of 2010, staff members pay $40 per class, with a maximum of two classes per term. Veterans may be eligible for financial assistance for educational endeavors through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans should contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs directly to establish eligibility. They should then notify Student Financial Services at the Harvard University Extension School.

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