Financial Aid for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Current students: Please visit our Continuing Students page.

In addition to the need-based grants and merit scholarships offered by SIT, US citizens and permanent residents may be eligible for federal financial aid. The Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, and the Federal Work-Study Program are all programs a graduate student may consider if they meet the eligibility requirements.

How to apply for Financial Aid

SIT Scholarships and Grants

SIT awards both need-based grants and merit scholarships to full-time US citizens and permanent residents. The average award ranges between $800 to $6,300 annually.

Several competitive SIT scholarships have been established to recognize those students who reflect the SIT mission through their professional and personal lives. No additional application is required to be considered for SIT gift aid and competitive scholarships.

Learn more about merit scholarships and need-based grants offered by SIT.


Federal Loans for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

In addition to the gift aid offered by SIT, US citizens and permanent residents  may be eligible for one or more of the federal student loans. The Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program are open to graduate students who meet eligibility requirements.

Federal Direct Student Loan
The Federal Direct Student Loan Program offers unsubsidized loans to graduate students. Eligibility for the unsubsidized student loan is not based on financial need; students are responsible for interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan funds are disbursed until the loan is repaid in full. You may choose to pay the interest while you are in school to reduce your final repayment amount. Otherwise, you may choose to capitalize the interest, which means to defer interest payments while enrolled in school and let the accrued interest be added to the loan principal, thus increasing the amount that must be repaid.

Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 each academic year.

Aggregate Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to an aggregate total of $138,500 including undergraduate loan amounts.

Interest Rates – The interest rate on Federal Direct Student Loans is fixed at 5.41%.

Origination Fee – An origination fee of 1.072% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.

Repayment – Federal Direct Student Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Master Promissory Note – If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Student Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Federal Direct Student Loans at SIT. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year, nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.

Disclosure Statements – The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a disclosure statement from the US Deptartment of Education listing the amounts and types of your direct loans. You will receive a new disclosure statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your disclosure statements as a record of the loans you have received at SIT.

Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan at SIT, you are required to complete an entrance counseling session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to SIT until you have fulfilled this requirement. The entrance counseling session should be completed online.

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a non-need based loan that allows the student to borrow up to the cost of attendance less all other financial aid received. In order to be eligible, the student borrower must not have an adverse credit history.

Annual Borrowing Limit – Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received including Federal Direct Student Loans and private educational loans.

Aggregate Borrowing Limit – None.

Interest Rates – The interest rate is fixed at 6.41%. Interest starts accruing on this loan at the time of disbursement.

Origination Fee – An origination fee of 4.288% will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.

Credit Check – Borrower cannot have an adverse credit history. Adverse credit is defined as being 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, having a credit report that shows bankruptcy, default, discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write off of a Title IV debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report. Lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered adverse credit. If you are denied, you can apply with an endorser (co-signer) whose credit history will be considered.

Repayment – Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan repayment can be delayed until six months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Master Promissory Note – If you are borrowing a Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online. The Master Promissory Note that you sign will be used for all of your subsequent Direct Grad PLUS Loans at SIT. You will not need to sign a new promissory note for each academic year nor will you sign a new note if you decide to change the amount of your Direct Loan.

Disclosure Statements – The Master Promissory Note does not list the amount of your loans. When each loan is disbursed you will receive a disclosure statement from the US Deptartment of Education listing the amounts and types of your direct loans. You will receive a new disclosure statement for each new loan that you borrow, and if any changes are made to the amount of your loans. Be sure to keep your Disclosure Statements as a record of the loans you have received at SIT.

Entrance Counseling – If this is the first time that you have borrowed Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan, you are required to complete an entrance counseling session to inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. Your loan funds will not be disbursed to SIT until you have fulfilled this requirement. The entrance counseling session should be completed online.

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a fixed, 5% interest rate loan. It is available to graduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Since there is a limited pool of Federal Perkins Loan funds each year, these loans are awarded first to students who meet all priority deadlines. Federal Perkins Loan awards are typically $2,000 per year.

Students awarded a Federal Perkins Loan will be required to sign and return a promissory note that covers not only the student’s rights and responsibilities, but also the cancellation and deferment features of the loan, some of which are listed below.

Cancellation Features
Portions of the Federal Perkins Loan may be canceled upon documentation that you have performed full-time services in the following areas. Please refer to your promissory note for details.

  • Teaching at a school with a high concentration of students from low-income families
  • Early intervention services provided to infants and toddlers with disabilities
  • Work in law enforcement or as a corrections officer
  • Work as a nurse or medical technician
  • Child or family service agency employee providing services to high-risk children from low-income communities
  • Head Start staff member
  • Military service member serving in certain areas
  • Member of a volunteer service such as Peace Corps or ACTION Program

Private Education Loans. Private loans are designed to meet costs not covered by other forms of financial aid. Students are encouraged to pursue federal student loans (if eligible) and outside scholarships before applying for private student loans.

Credit-Based Approval
Approval for private loans is based on an individual’s creditworthiness. Students who do not meet a lender’s credit qualifications may need to apply with a credit-worthy co-signer. Interest rates, grace periods, repayment options and fees are determined by the lender and can vary considerably from lender to lender.
Because these loans are approved by lenders based on your credit history, we strongly encourage you to review your credit report prior to applying. You may receive a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you are interested in receiving your FICO score you can go to www.myfico.com and for a fee they will release your score.

Disclosures and Self-Certification
Title X of HEOA — the Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act — contains information regarding the loan disclosure forms that are required by the federal government. A borrower self-certification form is required to be completed, signed, and submitted to the lender before loans can be disbursed. Lenders will provide students with a blank self-certification form by mail and/or online.

Lenders must allow sufficient time for an applicant to receive the Final Disclosure. The Final Disclosure outlines the three business–day rescission period, allowing applicants a final opportunity to evaluate their needs for a private student loan and/or cancel the loan without penalty. Based on the time for an applicant to receive the Final Disclosure and carry out the rescission period, a lender will not disburse funds until approximately seven days after the Final Disclosure is issued.  Please allow sufficient time for the approval process of a private educational loan so that your tuition charges are paid in a timely manner.

Borrowers should always review the current information and benefits at the lender’s website when selecting a lender.

When considering whether to apply for a private educational loan or a Federal Grad PLUS Loan, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Most private loans come with a variable interest rate and no fees. The Direct PLUS Loan, on the other hand, offers a fixed 6.41% interest rate for the life of the loan, but charges a small fee.
  • Income and credit score do not affect a student’s ability to obtain a Direct PLUS Loan, whereas credit criteria are usually more stringent on private loans.
  • The Direct PLUS Loan does not offer a grace period, while private loans usually do. See “Deferment and Forbearance” section below for more information.
  • The Direct PLUS Loan is permitted in Federal Consolidation Loans and private loans are not.

Income-Based Repayment Plans

Student Loan Forgiveness


Employment

Federal Work Study
SIT offers a Federal Work Study program that allows eligible students to earn part of their college costs through part-time employment in positions on the SIT campus or in a limited number of local community organizations. Students with a work-study position generally work between 8 and 10 hours each week. The rate of pay complies with the minimum wage in the State of Vermont. Approximately 60 percent of students have a work position. Click here to learn more about the various work study positions available.

Campus Resident Advisors
Students can earn the equivalent of room and board fees by working to create a cohesive learning community in SIT’s multicultural residence halls. Students do not need to qualify for financial aid to be eligible for these positions. Applications are only made available to students upon admission to an SIT graduate program through acceptance notification materials. The director of Residential Life and Activities begins making position appointments in April, and selection is based on demonstrated skills and experience.

SIT is no longer accepting applications for the campus resident advisor position for the 2013–2014 academic year.


External Sources of Funding for Prospective Students -
US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Learn more about external sources of funding.


For more information on financial aid, please contact:

SIT Financial Aid Office
Tel: 802 258-3281
Tel: 800 336-1616 (toll-free in the US)
Fax: 802 258-3500
Email: finaid@sit.edu

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