Speech@Emerson FAQs

Program FAQs

What is Speech@Emerson?

Speech@Emerson is the online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program from Emerson College. The program combines online and in-person learning to bring Emerson’s top-ranked on-campus program to aspiring speech-language pathologists across the US. Our curriculum prepares students to become SLP generalists—students build skills and knowledge to serve clients ranging in age from newborn to elderly.

Is Speech@Emerson accredited?

The Master of Science (M.S.) education program in speech-language pathology (residential and distance education) at Emerson College is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, MD 20850, 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700.

Any concerns specific to the program’s accreditation status should first be addressed to the program and Emerson College and then to the CAA.

Last updated on June 27, 2022

Will my diploma indicate that I earned my degree online?

No. Speech@Emerson features the same curriculum as our on-campus program, so you will receive the same degree as our on-campus students—a Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) degree from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

The student-to-teacher ratio is approximately 15:1.

What sets Emerson’s graduate communication sciences and disorders program apart from other programs?

Our online program offers students across the country the chance to study the same curriculum as on-campus students and work with the same faculty. As a student in the online program, you will:

  • Prepare to pursue a career as a generalist in the field, able to work with children and adults who experience communication challenges;
  • Understand how to be a reflective-practice clinician, capable of analyzing clinical challenges and problem-solving meaningful solutions;
  • Learn to synthesize knowledge and skills obtained from academic and clinical experiences; and
  • Practice a family-centered approach, which prepares you not only to treat clients, but to support their families and caregivers as well.

How many credits are required to complete the online Master of Sciences in Communication Disorders (M.S.) program?

You are required to complete 54 master’s-level credit hours in order to complete the program. Depending on your undergraduate background, you may also be required to complete up to 18 credits of foundational coursework online before transitioning into applied graduate courses.

How many semesters are required to complete the program?

The online program is offered through both a 5-term and 9-term track. On the 5-term track, you can complete the program in as few as 20 months. On the 9-term track, the program can be completed in as few as 36 months. With both the 5-term and 9-term tracks, students are required to complete both academic courses and clinical placements simultaneously across several terms. Clinical placements require students to be available three to five full-time days per week throughout the semester.

Can I work while enrolled?

Due to the demands of the online program, you are not able to work full time. Depending on the track, during certain terms, you may be able to work part time. For either track, it is not possible to work while completing clinical placements because clinical placements require a commitment of three to five full-time days per week for the duration of the term.

Will I be required to visit campus?

You will be required to complete two Thursday–Sunday Immersions at Emerson’s Boston campus, during which you will meet classmates and faculty in person, explore academic labs, participate in research colloquium, and gain hands-on clinical experience in the Robbins Speech, Language, and Hearing Center.

With this degree, where might I expect to work?

Speech@Emerson prepares you to be a generalist in the field, giving you the ability to work with clients facing communication challenges. SLPs work in settings that include schools, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, private practices, and early intervention programs. More information can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

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Online Experience FAQs

What are the online courses like through Speech@Emerson?

The Emerson online curriculum is delivered through a mixture of live classes and interactive coursework.

As a Speech@Emerson student, you will attend weekly classes by logging in to the online campus. Classes are face to face, with professors and students appearing on-screen. They are kept small, capped at approximately 15 students, to foster discussion and collaboration between students and faculty.

Coursework—lectures, simulations, discussions, tests, and quizzes—can be accessed 24/7 through the online platform from anywhere with an internet connection. Coursework is completed in preparation for the next week’s live class session, creating discussion-based, seminar-style classes.

Will I be able to build relationships with faculty and other students?

The Emerson community is close and tight-knit, and as an online student you will benefit from the support of joining forward-thinking faculty and classmates who will treat you like a colleague. You will use the online campus to connect with your classmates, a diverse group of people living all over the country, for study groups and social meetups, like happy hours. You can also schedule one-on-ones with your professors during online office hours.

When you graduate, you and your classmates will be invited to walk in Emerson’s commencement on our Boston campus.

What if I am having trouble with my technology?

You will be assigned a dedicated student support advisor who will help you acclimate to the online learning environment and answer any questions you may have along the way. During all live class sessions, technology support is available in the online classroom to address any technological issues that may arise.

What other services are available to online students?

You will have access to the same services as on-campus students, such as the library, career services, and the alumni network.

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Admissions FAQs

Do I need an undergraduate degree in communication sciences and disorders to apply to Speech@Emerson?

No. Our online master’s program welcomes motivated students from a range of academic backgrounds.

Are there prerequisite course requirements?

Yes. Depending on your academic background, you may be required to take up to 18 foundational course credits before you begin master’s-level courses. We offer all of these courses online. For more information about these courses, see our Course Catalogue.

I have not completed the foundational courses. Can I still apply to the program?

Yes. If you have not fulfilled the foundational course requirements, you may still be admitted to the program, and you will be required to complete all necessary courses before you begin the applied master’s-level coursework. We offer all foundational courses online.

Do I need to submit standardized test scores?

If you are not a native English speaker, you will be required to submit TOEFL scores.

Can I request that my transcripts be sent electronically?

Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institution(s) you attended, ask to have your transcript(s) sent to appsvcs@speech.emerson.edu. This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Do I need to complete an interview?

Yes. In order to receive an admissions decision, you will participate in an interview with a member of the admissions team that will be recorded and included in your completed application. The interview will be scheduled once you have submitted your online application.

What is the application fee?

You will need to submit a nonrefundable $75 application fee along with your completed application.

I am not a US citizen or permanent resident. Can I apply?

We are not currently offering the program to international applicants.

I am a US citizen living abroad. Can I apply?

Due to the difficulty of locating appropriate field placements internationally, US citizens living abroad are ineligible for the online program. However, applicants who will be living in the United States before their desired cohort starts may apply.

Can I speak with an admissions counselor to learn more about the program before I apply?

You can contact an admissions counselor at any time to discuss the program. The admissions team can be reached at 1-855-997-0407 or admissions@speech.emerson.edu. We also host online admissions events to provide prospective students with more information about the program.

Can I apply to both the on-campus program and Speech@Emerson at the same time?

No. Students can only apply to either Speech@Emerson or the on-campus program. If students are not admitted to either Speech@Emerson or the on-campus program, they must wait one year before reapplying to either program.

Once admitted, can I defer my enrollment?

As an admitted student, you may elect, once you have paid your non-refundable enrollment deposit, to defer your start date for up to one calendar year from the term for which you were originally admitted. For further information or questions, please contact Admissions at 1-855-997-0407 or admissions@speech.emerson.edu.

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Licensure and Certification FAQs

Which types of certification or licensure will I need once I earn my degree?

After graduating from your master’s program, you will need state licensure to practice as a speech-language pathologist. As each state has different requirements regarding licensure, it is important to check your state’s specific education and licensure requirements. Depending on your location, you may need to fulfill additional post-graduate requirements in order to become licensed.

State-by-state licensure requirements can be found on the ASHA website. Students are also encouraged to check with their state licensing boards for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

How do I obtain my Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) once I graduate from the program?

Speech@Emerson graduates are eligible to begin their Clinical Fellowship (CF) year, which is the first step graduating students take toward obtaining the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). Additional details about the CF year can be found on the ASHA website.

If you have any additional questions about Speech@Emerson, reach out to our admissions team at 1-855-997-0407 or via email at admissions@speech.emerson.edu.

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Tuition and Financial Aid FAQs

Tuition and Billing

How much does the Speech@Emerson program cost?

Tuition is based on the number of credits for which you register. Current tuition rates can be found on the Speech@Emerson Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Are there additional fees assessed on top of tuition?

There is a $50 registration fee assessed on top of tuition per term. There also will be requirements that students enrolling into applied graduate coursework will need to fulfill and pay for, such as:

  • $150 for a packet of test protocols for academic and clinical coursework that will be used throughout the applied portion of the program.
  • $85 Calipso fee that will enable you to track and document clinical placement clock hours throughout your program.
  • $120 to complete the health and background checks through CastleBranch in preparation for your clinical placements and immersion on the Emerson Boston campus.

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

There is a $400 nonrefundable 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 award package before submitting the deposit?

You will not be able to view your award until after you submit your deposit. However, assuming you have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can contact the Financial Aid Office to receive estimated award information. You will receive your official award notification once you have registered for your courses.

How does billing work?

You will be billed via TouchNet with access through the Emerson student portal (eCommon). Information regarding your bill can be found on the Emerson student accounts page.

When will my financial aid be applied to my bill, and how long after the start of classes will it be before I see funds applied to my account?

Your anticipated aid will be applied to your bill, but your funds will not be disbursed to your student account until after the start of classes. Once we have verified your enrollment, which will occur after the add/drop period, we will be able to disburse funds for most students. Disbursements occur after the add/drop period for all programs at Emerson College. Some students in foundational courses may not be able to receive funds until their second seven-week course commences.

When will I receive a tuition bill, and when is payment due?

Payment deadlines are listed on the Dates and Deadlines web page.

How do I view my bill?

Follow the steps outlined in Emerson’s eBill and Payment Instructions.

How do I pay my bill?

Students can pay online via eCommon with their TouchNet PayPath student account.

What are the accepted forms of payment?

Visit the Billing and Student Accounts web page for accepted forms of payment.

How does my employer pay the school?

Students can contact the Office of Billing and Student Accounts regarding employee reimbursement.

Are payment plan options available for online students?

The Tuition Payment Plan gives you the option to make monthly no-interest payments. A payment plan must be set up prior to the bill due date.

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

Students with unresolved account balances will have a hold placed on their account. For additional information, read our Financial Policy. You can monitor your balance online by logging in to eCommon.

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

Any student with a credit balance or overpayment on their student account is eligible to request a refund. First, check your current account balance on eCommon. If you are showing a credit balance on your student account, you may then choose to request a refund. For additional refund information, visit the Billing and Student Accounts Refund Information page.

What is the Title IV Authorization?

All students are eligible to receive full credit for their tuition and fees, excluding nonrefundable deposits, if they withdraw before the first day of classes. Students receiving federal financial aid funds who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the Federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation. Adjustments are made based on the number of days a student attends, up to the 60 percent point of the semester. Tuition charges on the student’s account are adjusted according to the Emerson College Refund/Withdrawal Policy as indicated. Dates are determined by the Boston campus.

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

Contact the Office of Billing and Student Accounts at 617-824-8655.

Emerson Student Portal

How do I set up my Emerson ID and password?
Your address is your eCommon username followed by @emerson.edu (usually: firstname_lastname@emerson.edu), and your password is your Emerson account password.

How do I set up my Emerson email address?

Please visit the Emerson IT Help Desk for instructions on setting up your Emerson email account.

What is the Emerson student portal?

The Emerson student portal is eCommon. Your eCommon account includes access to academic records, billing through your TouchNet student account, financial aid, direct deposit set-up, and more. You will need your Emerson ID and password to log in to the student portal.

Financial Aid at Emerson

Does Emerson offer internal scholarships to online students?Scholarships may be available for eligible students enrolling in the program. Speak with your admissions counselor to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

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

Emerson 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 the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Entrance Counseling, and the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note on the Federal Student Aid website. (You must complete the FAFSA each academic year in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.)

What federal student aid is available to graduate students?

The types of federal student aid graduate students are eligible to apply for include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. Learn more about the types of federal student aid.

Why are graduate students not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant or the Federal Subsidized Loan?

The Department of Education (ED) awards Federal Pell Grants and Direct Subsidized Loans to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and have not yet completed their bachelor’s degrees. The ED does not evaluate need or income for loans at the graduate or professional level; therefore, graduate students are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant or the Direct Subsidized Loan.

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

Federal regulations and institutional policies require the Office of Student Financial Services to review the academic progress of all students requesting financial assistance. Students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward completing degree programs in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

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

Students must register at least half time, which is 4 credit hours per term, to receive federal aid.

How many credits are required to receive aid for foundational courses?

Based on federal guidelines, you must be enrolled in at least 4 credits to be eligible for financial aid in foundational courses.

How do I determine full-time enrollment in this program?

Fall, spring, and summer semesters: Students enrolled in at least 8 credits are considered full time; students enrolled in 4 credit hours are considered half time.

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 Emerson?

Emerson recommends students use elmselect.com to review their alternative loan options. The list is not exhaustive but is meant as a comparison tool to help assess some available loan products. If you wish to utilize a loan not on the list, you may. While we understand that you may have questions, we believe you have the right and ability to seek the education loan provider of your choice. It is recommended that students utilize their full Federal Direct Loan eligibility before using alternative or private loans.

When will I receive my financial aid award?

Financial aid awards are available to view through the eCommon portal after a student registers for classes.

How do I accept my financial aid award?

Once you have registered for your classes and received your financial aid award, you will need to log into eCommon to view and accept your award. You must accept the Terms and Conditions of your award even if you choose to decline the loan offer.

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 award.

Does my Direct Loan eligibility cover the entire cost of the program?

No, this is not the case in all instances. Students should always check their Student Account statements to see if they need to pursue additional options for balances. Please refer to the Financing Your Education document.

How soon will loans disburse to my student account?

Federal student loans do not disburse prior to the start of classes. Loans are disbursed after the add/drop period each semester and at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid.

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

Yes. Provided the total amount of financial aid for a given semester exceeds the amount of direct institutional charges for that semester, you will have the ability to request the excess funds in the form of a refund. Note: Refunds cannot be requested until after the funds have officially disbursed to your account. The disbursement will occur during the week following the end of the add/drop period, once we have verified that you are attending class(es).

Is there an immersion required for this program? If so, will I be able to use the loan funds to cover these expenses?

Yes, you will attend two weekend-long immersions (Thursday–Sunday) at Emerson’s Boston campus during which you’ll have the opportunity to practice hands-on application of concepts learned in class under the supervision of faculty and staff.

If you have eligibility for additional loan funds/refund, you are able to use those resources to cover immersion expenses. However, the school determines when loans will disburse and when refunds are issued.

Who can I contact at Emerson for financial aid questions?

If you have any questions about tuition and financial aid at Emerson, please email finaid@emerson.edu. Responses are typically handled within two business days. You may also call 617-824-8655.

Foundational Courses

If I am required to take foundational courses, am I eligible for federal aid?

Yes. Once you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), are admitted to the program, and have registered for courses, Emerson will provide you with an estimated award. You will receive your formal offer of aid once the Financial Aid Office is able to determine your cost of attendance based on the number of courses for which you are registered.

How many credits are required to receive aid for foundational courses?

You must be enrolled in at least 6 credits (or two courses) to be eligible for financial aid in foundational courses.

How do I apply for federal student aid for foundational courses?

Complete the FAFSA with Emerson’s school code: 002146. Complete Entrance Counseling and electronically sign the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note on the Department of Education website.

How much aid am I eligible for?

You are potentially eligible for up to $20,500 for the academic school year in Federal Direct Loans. You will need to be registered for at least 4 course credits in the term(s) for which you are enrolled in foundational courses. In addition, students may also apply for Graduate PLUS Loans up to their cost of attendance.

All foundational courses are 3 credits. Although the minimum requirement to receive federal financial aid is 4 credits, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be eligible for financial aid in foundational courses.

When will my loan disburse for the foundational terms?

Funds will disburse after add/drop period for the semester. If you are enrolled in one Mini-Term A course, your financial aid will not disburse until the start of your Mini-Term B course.

Why do I have to wait until the second seven-week course to receive my financial aid disbursement to my student account?

In order to be eligible for financial aid in foundational (prerequisite) courses, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credits. If you are enrolled in fewer than 6 credits in the first seven-week course, your federal financial aid will not disburse until the second seven-week course commences.

Applied Courses

If I have finished my foundational coursework, or I was not required to complete any, how do I apply for financial aid for applied courses?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you submitted for aid for the foundational term may be used to establish your eligibility for aid for the applied graduate terms as well. Complete the FAFSA with Emerson’s school code: 002146. Complete Entrance Counseling and electronically sign the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note on the Federal Student Aid website.

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

You must be enrolled in at least 4 credits to receive federal student aid for that semester.

What are the graduate federal loan amounts?

Graduate students are permitted to borrow up to $20,500 in a Direct Unsubsidized Loan each academic year. In addition, students may also apply for Graduate PLUS Loans up to their cost of attendance pending credit approval.

Once admitted, how long will it take to receive my financial aid award package?

You will receive a financial aid notification after you have fulfilled all requirements and completed your registration.

How long after the start of classes will I be able to see financial aid funds applied to my account?

Once we have verified your enrollment, which will occur after the add/drop period, we will be able to disburse funds for most students. Some students in foundational (prerequisite) courses may not be able to receive funds until their second seven-week course commences.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

What is the FAFSA and how do I apply?

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

What is the Emerson College FAFSA school code?

The Emerson College FAFSA school code is 002146.

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

Although it is not required, it can expedite the financial aid process.

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

If you are applying for graduate school, you are considered an independent student and do not need to include your parents’ information to complete the FAFSA.

What is the Expected Family Contribution?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measurement of your ability to contribute toward your educational costs. As a graduate/professional student, your EFC is not a factor in your eligibility for federal student loans.

When should I complete the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available every October 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.

Refer to the table below to determine which FAFSA to complete based on your desired start date:

StartTermFAFSA Year
September 2022
Fall 2022
2022–2023
January 2023
Spring 2023
2022–2023
May 2023
Summer 2023
2022–2023
September 2023
Fall 2023
2023–2024
January 2024
Spring 2024
2023–2024
May 2024
Summer 2024
2023–2024

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. For students maintaining continuous enrollment (summer, fall, and spring), an academic year will contain two consecutive terms.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

What is the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a federal loan offered to students to help with the cost of education. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on income or financial need.

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

In order to apply for federal student aid (FSA), you must meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

  • Be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security number (SSN);
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you are male (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; and
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit.

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

What is the aggregate loan limit?

The aggregate loan limit is the total amount that you may borrow in federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate study. In addition to borrowing limitations based on the cost of attendance for the program, students are also limited in terms of lifetime borrowing. The maximum aggregate loan limit for federal loans is $138,500. This amount does not include PLUS Loans or private loans.

If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you are not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit. You can learn more about graduate annual loan limits on the Federal Student Aid website.

How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?

Log in on 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.

What is the difference between a Direct Subsidized Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The US Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans while students are enrolled in their undergraduate programs. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students and does not require demonstration of financial need. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan begins accruing interest as soon as funds are disbursed. Learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans.

How much am I eligible for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

There are limits on the unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). Most graduate-level students are potentially eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year from the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Learn more about graduate annual loan limits.

How do I apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

To apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will also need to complete Entrance Counseling and electronically sign the Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at Studentaid.gov

What is the current Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate?

If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. Interest is paid to the lender as a cost of borrowing. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount. Unlike other forms of debt, such as credit cards and mortgages, Direct Loans are daily interest loans, which means that interest accrues (accumulates) daily.

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan interest rate is determined on an annual basis for loans disbursed on or after 7/1 of the current year, and before 7/1 of the following year. Learn more about interest rates on the Federal Student Aid website.

Are there any loan fees for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received. Learn more about fees associated with federal student loans.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

What is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a federal loan that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay education expenses in addition to the Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Learn about Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.

Do Direct Graduate PLUS Loans affect my aggregate loan limit?

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

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

A credit check will be conducted when applying for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. In addition to the federal student aid eligibility criteria, applicants cannot have an adverse credit history.

What are the eligibility and credit criteria to apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

In addition to meeting all basic eligibility criteria for federal student aid, applicants cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check will be performed when applying. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if you meet additional requirements. Learn more about Direct PLUS Loans.

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

If approved for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to the cost of attendance as determined by Emerson.

When can I apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

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

How do I apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

To apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan by completing the credit application on the Federal Student Aid website. If approved, complete the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Agreement Master Promissory Note on the Federal Student Aid website.

What are my options if I’m denied the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

If you are denied, you may reapply with an endorser, someone who agrees to repay the loan if you do not repay it. Or begin the credit appeal process and complete PLUS Credit Counseling on the federal student aid website.

What is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan current interest rate?

If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. Interest is paid to the lender as a cost of borrowing. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount. Unlike other forms of debt, such as credit cards and mortgages, Direct Loans are daily interest loans, which means that interest accrues (accumulates) daily.

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan interest rate is determined on an annual basis for loans disbursed on or after 7/1 of the current year, and before 7/1 of the following year. Learn more about interest rates for federal student loans.

Are there any additional loan fees for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received. Learn more about fees associated with federal student loans.

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 loan(s).

Your Direct Unsubsidized 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 (ED) offers multiple options for repayment.

When your loan enters repayment, your servicer will automatically place you on the Standard Repayment Plan; however, you may request a different plan at any time. Learn more about federal student loan repayment options.

How can I estimate my repayment amount?

Use the Loan Simulator to estimate how much you would pay monthly and overall.

Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?

Yes, if you have multiple student loans you may be able to combine them into one loan with a fixed interest rate. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to combine multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans.

When completing the free Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note, you will confirm the loans that you want to consolidate and agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation.

What are the federal student loan forgiveness options?

In certain situations, all or a portion of your federal student loans may be forgiven, canceled, or discharged. If you’re no longer required to make payments on your loans due to your job, this is generally called forgiveness or cancellation.

If you’re no longer required to make payments on your loans due to other circumstances, such as a total and permanent disability or the closure of the school where you received your loans, this is generally called discharge.

Outside of the circumstances that may qualify you to have your loans forgiven, canceled, or discharged, you remain responsible for repaying your loan, per the Master Promissory Note you signed. Learn more about federal student loan forgiveness programs.

Military Education Benefits

How do I apply for military education benefits?

To begin the process of applying for eligible military education benefits, visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website. Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the VA at 888-442-4551.

What documents are required to process military education benefits?

Visit VA.gov to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, related benefits, and to find the Education Benefits form. Completion of the form generates a request for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE is mailed to you within six to eight weeks from submitting the form. A copy of the COE must be provided to the Office of Veterans Affairs.

Will my military benefits cover the entire cost of the program?

Visit the GI Bill comparison tool to find out what your VA benefits will cover at Emerson.

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

You may be eligible for this VA-administered program if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 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 is the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit calculated at Emerson?

Our certifying official will submit certifications to the VA immediately after the close of the add/drop period in both fall and spring semesters (approximately two weeks after the start of each semester). For other billing for financial aid deadlines, refer to the Office of Financial Aid.

What is the deadline to apply for VA education benefits?

It is highly recommended that students submit their benefit-specific documentation prior to the start of the semester.

What is the current rate of benefits, including the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)?

The tuition and fee payment rate and MHA are determined at the beginning of each military academic year on August 1. The current rate table is located on the VA website’s Education and Training page.

Because Emerson is a private college, students who receive Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are subject to a maximum tuition and fee reimbursement per academic year (August 1 through July 31). The amount of the national cap changes each year on August 1 and is available to be used from August 1 to July 31 of the following year. When VA benefits are calculated, the amount of this national cap must be expended before Yellow Ribbon Program benefits can be awarded, if applicable.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual national maximum cap per military academic year. Participating institutions choose their contribution amount, and the VA matches that amount and issues payment directly to the school.

Veterans who are utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and who are entitled to 100 percent of their benefit may be eligible. For additional information on the Yellow Ribbon Program, visit the VA website.

Does Speech@Emerson participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Emerson College participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and does not cap the number of students who may receive YRP funds. YRP funds can only be granted to a student once all Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill funds have been exhausted for the academic year. The YRP award will cover any remaining tuition and fees charged to the student (excluding room and board). In most cases, a student will receive YRP funds only in the spring semester. YRP funding is not guaranteed during the summer semester. Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program at Emerson.

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

For questions regarding your military benefits, you may contact Jackie Pastor by phone at 617-824-8928, ext. 8928, or via email at jaclyn_pastor@emerson.edu. You may also visit the Emerson Veterans Benefits page or email veterans@emerson.edu.

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. Emerson College is unable to provide tax advice. We urge you to contact your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800-829-1040 or on the IRS website 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 IRS to report the amounts billed to you for qualified tuition, related expenses, and other related information. The primary purpose of the 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 in the previous year to students enrolled in courses at Emerson College for which they receive academic credit. The information reported on Form 1098-T helps students evaluate whether they are eligible for an educational tax credit.

How do I obtain my 1098-T form?

Heartland/ECSI, our third-party vendor, will mail a copy out to those who are eligible to receive one. The IRS Form 1098-T will also be available to print from Heartland/ECSI’s website.

  • Go to Heartland/ECSI’s website and select “Students & Borrowers,” then “Register or Sign In.”
  • In the middle of the page, you will see “Tax season is here. Want to view your tax form?” Select “Click here.”
  • This will bring you to the page “Search for your tax document.” Under “School Name,” begin typing in Emerson College. You will then need to click on “Emerson College” and click “Submit.”
  • Now enter your first name, last name, Social Security number, and the Zip code on file with the school. Be sure to check the “I’m not a robot” box, and click “Continue.”
  • On the next page, go down to the 1098-T Statement, and on the right-hand side, click the plus sign.
  • Your tax information will be shown. On the right-hand side of that screen, you will see a link to “View or Print Your Statement.” Click on this, and your Form 1098-T will pop up. Save it as a PDF or print it out.

Revised: March 2020

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