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Student Financial Services Manager
Tel: 802 258-3197
Email: [email protected]
SIT is committed to ensuring you have the information you need to successfully access funding for your graduate education. SIT’s Student Financial Services Office provides guidance on all aspects of graduate financial aid throughout the application process and during your time as a student.
SIT students finance their degrees through a variety of resources, including but not limited to:
- SIT scholarships
- SIT partnership and affiliate program awards
- Student loans
- Personal and family funds
US students and permanent residents are encouraged to learn about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and income-based repayment plans offered through the Federal Student Loan program, studentaid.gov.
If you are an international student, please be sure to review the information found in the International Students section of our website, here.
Applying for Federal Student Aid
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll need to include SIT’s Federal School Code on your application, which is 008860.
For more information on how to complete a FAFSA application, watch this instructional video.
If you are applying for programs starting in summer 2023 or fall 2023, please complete the 2023–24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
To access all Federal Student Aid sites, you will need to create an FSA ID. Your FSA ID will also serve as your legal signature.
Once the Student Financial Services Office has received your FAFSA you will be notified via email that your award is ready to view on Colleague Self-Service. Enrolled students please note, upon being issued your SIT student email address, the SIT Student Financial Services Office will use your SIT email address for all financial aid communications.
SIT Awards & Scholarships
All accepted students with demonstrated qualifications will be automatically considered for available awards. No additional application is required.
Yellow Ribbon Program for US Veterans
SIT Graduate Institute proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, making it possible for U.S. veterans and their dependents to earn a degree.
Awards based on the strength of your application your SIT Graduate Institute program.
The Alumni Advantage, is an $10,000 award for alumni of The Experiment in International Living, SIT Study Abroad or International Honors programs, to enable alumni to continue their learning journey within the SIT and larger World Learning community.
The SIT Partners award honors our relationships with partners. This $10,000 award is available to current employees of partners to the SIT Graduate Institute and sending schools to SIT Study Abroad. SIT has nearly 300 partners around the world. To see if you are eligible for the SIT Partner Scholarship, submit an inquiry here.
The Vermonter, is an $8,000 award for applicants living in Vermont, where SIT’s campus has been based since the early 1960’s, when it was founded as a training center for Peace Corps. As a proud member of the Vermont community, SIT is dedicated to strengthening the Vermont workforce, advancing leadership skills within the state, and providing global opportunities for Vermonters.
The Northern Neighbors award seeks to extend SIT’s global opportunities for state residents neighboring SIT’s historic campus in Vermont. This $5,000 award is for applicants residing in New England outside of Vermont, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, as well as New York State, and it is focused on supporting globally minded citizens in these states.
Tuition discounts are not applicable for SIT’s Doctorate in Global Education (EdD).
Eligibility for one of the larger tuition discounts may limit access to additional merit-based scholarships. For additional questions regarding financial aid, please contact Sharon Berry at [email protected] or your admissions officer
In addition to the scholarships offered by SIT, US citizens and permanent residents may be eligible for federal student loans. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan are programs a graduate student may consider if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Federal Loans for US Citizens and Permanent Residents
Watch this instructional video about what to expect when repaying your federal student loans.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized 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 – Please refer to the current interest rate on Federal Direct Student Loans.
- Origination Fee – An origination fee of 1.062 percent 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 U.S. Department 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. 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 – Please refer to the current interest rate on Federal Direct Student Loans. Interest starts accruing on this loan at the time of disbursement.
- Origination Fee – An origination fee of 4.248 percent will be charged. The fee goes to the federal government to help reduce the cost of the loans.
- Credit Check – Borrowers 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 Department 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. Should you be denied a Federal Grad PLUS loan and be subsequently approved by the Department of Education through an appeal process or with an endorser, you will be required to complete additional financial awareness counseling.
Private Education Student Loans
Private educational student 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 educational student loans.
When considering whether to apply for a private educational student 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 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 is permitted in Federal Consolidation Loans and private loans are not.
Approval for private educational student 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.
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 student 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.
Online Links & Resources
Financial Aid Applications
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Federal Student Aid FSA ID
- General Information About Federal Student Aid
- Federal Direct Grad PLUS Application and Promissory Note
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan Promissory Note
- Entrance Counseling for First Time Federal Student Loan Borrowers
- Federal Loan Interest Rates
- Repayment Plans and Calculators
- Loan Forgiveness for Teachers
- Loan Forgiveness for Public Service
- Loan History Look up
Scholarship Search Links
Financial Aid Forms
Financial Aid Refunds, Withdrawal & Appeals, Processes
Financial Aid Refunds
Loans are processed weekly, and you will generally have access to funds within two weeks after completing all the required paperwork.
If you are receiving federal financial aid and withdraws before completing greater than 60% of the period of enrollment, the Student Financial Services Office will perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation to determine the amount of federal aid you did not earn. These requirements are based on federal law and there is no provision for a waiver.
You will be notified by mail of the unearned amounts returned to the financial aid programs. You may be responsible for reimbursing SIT Graduate Institute for any funds returned on your behalf. Until your debt is paid, you cannot register for classes in future semesters and/or have your official academic transcripts released.
You must complete an exit interview , which outlines rights and responsibilities in repaying your student loan if you have received a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan or Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan during your attendance at SIT Graduate Institute.
SIT Graduate Institute will report your withdrawal (official or unofficial) to the loan servicer and to the National Student Loan Data System. You may receive further information from your student loan servicer regarding repayment of the loan and may be required by the servicer to immediately repay additional unearned amounts due
Appeal Process/Special Circumstances
Due to varying circumstances, students often find the information they provided on the FAFSA no longer realistically reflects their ability to provide educational support. When this happens, students may choose to submit a Financial Aid Professional Judgment Appeal to our office requesting that their situation be reviewed.
SIT strives to provide individual consideration of each student’s circumstances to the extent possible. Appeals will be reviewed by the director of Financial Aid. Additional information may be requested if necessary. Letters of appeal may be submitted at any time throughout the academic year. Please allow three weeks after submitting all requested documentation for appeal results.
For ALL Students:
- Submit a signed, detailed letter describing the reason for appeal
For US Citizens and Permanent Residents:
- If the FAFSA includes estimated tax information, the student must do one of the following:
- Update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or
- Provide a tax return transcript
- Submit other requested documents, depending on the circumstances of the appeal.
If an appeal is approved, SIT will reevaluate the student’s eligibility. No additional aid is guaranteed with a successful appeal, and any potential increases in aid eligibility are subject to fund availability.
Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The student’s spouse is paying off his or her own educational loan(s) that is not in deferment
- The student has incurred extraordinary medical/dental expenses
- The student has separated or divorced
- The student no longer receives untaxed benefits, such as child support, or other sources of income
- The student has received a one-time disbursement of funds (severance package, bonus, etc.)
- The student’s spouse has passed away