Private Loans and Payment Plan
If your financial aid package and your family resources are not enough to cover your costs to attend Berklee, education loans may be an option to supplement your resources.
You apply for a loan after applying for federal aid, Berklee scholarship, and private scholarships, and prior to receiving a Berklee bill. You can request a supplemental loan up to the amount of your Cost of Attendance, less financial aid.
Supplemental loan are provided by the federal government and private lenders. The lenders establish eligibility criteria that will include a review of the borrower's credit score.
Your options for supplemental loans are either parent loans, meaning the parent is the primary borrower, or supplemental student loans, meaning the student is the primary borrower. Student loans generally require a cosigner.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents: Parents of dependent students (as determined by the FAFSA) have the opportunity to apply for a federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The PLUS program is a non-need-based federal loan program that offers a fixed interest rate. To apply for a PLUS, complete the Federal Direct Plus Loan for Parents application at www.studentloans.gov
MEFA: The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority offers parent loans with a fixed interest rate, as well. More information regarding eligibility, loan terms, repayment options, and application instructions can be found at mefa.org.
Private Student Loans
The Office of Financial Aid does not recommend one specific lender; it is your responsibility to compare loan options and determine which loan will best fit your needs.
For students and parents who need financing beyond what is available through the federal loan programs, we offer the recommendations listed in our Loan Guide at berklee.edu/forms, or you can go to elmselect.com and select Berklee.
While we are pleased to offer you this list of recommended loans and lenders, you are in no way limited to those on our list. Berklee will process an alternative or supplemental loan from any lender, and it is your right to apply for loans through the lender of your choice.
Amount to Borrow
Students and parents may borrow private loans to cover their entire cost of attendance (less any other aid received). A student's cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, and living and personal expenses. Please review a comprehensive list of attendance costs to calculate how much is required to send a student to Berklee.
Once you have determined a student's cost of attendance, subtract any other aid the student will be receiving. This includes all federal, state, private and institutional grants, loans, and scholarships. The amount that you have left over is the maximum that you can borrow for an academic year.
To keep your debt load as low as possible, you should only borrow for what you need—do not borrow the maximum unless you absolutely must do so.
Since 1990, Berklee has contracted with the company Tuition Management Systems (TMS) to provide students and parents with an interest-free payment plan. TMS allows students to pay for the cost of a school year (excluding health and accident insurance, the laptop purchase, and summer charges) over two five-month periods, as opposed to making payment in full at the start of each semester. There is an annual fee of $75 (or a single-term fee of $60) to sign up for TMS.
For the fall semester, students must sign up for TMS no later than June 1. For the spring, students must sign up by November 1. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in the student owing one or more up-front payments when signing up for TMS.
To sign up for TMS, please visit afford.com. Additionally, students may contact the Office of the Bursar for more information. They may be reached via email at email@example.com, on the phone at 617 747-2610, or by visiting the second floor of the 921 Boylston Street building.