Financial Aid

Contact

Sharon Berry
Student Financial Services Manager
Tel: 802 258-3197
Email: finaid@sit.edu

SIT is committed to ensuring you have the information you need to successfully access funding for your graduate education. SIT’s Financial Aid 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:

For information on the Alumni Advantage, Vermonter, Northern Neighbors, and other SIT scholarships please contact Sharon Berry at finaid@sit.edu or contact your admissions officer.

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.

SIT Financial Aid Process

Once the Financial Aid Office has received your FAFSA you will be notified via email that your award is ready to view on Web Advisor. Please note, the SIT Financial Aid Office will use your SIT email address for all financial aid communications.

You must return the Loan Request Form, indicating whether you are accepting or declining the aid offered and the amount(s) you wish to borrow.

Financial Aid Refunds
Loans are processed weekly, and students generally have access to funds within two weeks after completing all of the required paperwork.

Withdrawal Process
If a student is receiving federal financial aid and withdraws before completing greater than 60% of the period of enrollment, the Financial Aid Office will perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation to determine the amount of federal aid the student did not earn. These requirements are based on federal law and there is no provision for a waiver.

The student will be notified by mail of the unearned amounts returned to the financial aid programs. The student may be responsible for reimbursing SIT Graduate Institute for any funds returned on his/her behalf. Until the student’s debt is paid, he or she cannot register for classes in future semesters and/or have his or her official academic transcripts released.

Students must complete an exit interview, which outlines rights and responsibilities in repaying their student loan if they have received a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan or Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan during their attendance at SIT Graduate Institute.

SIT Graduate Institute will report a student’s withdrawal (official or unofficial) to the loan servicer and to the National Student Loan Data System. The student may receive further information from his or her student loan servicer regarding repayment of the loan and may be required by the servicer to immediately repay additional unearned amounts due.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

If you are an international student, please visit the International Student Services section of this website to learn how to apply for financial 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 2021 or fall 2021, please complete the 2021–22 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.

SIT Grants & Scholarships

Accepted students who have applied for financial aid will be automatically considered for an eligible SIT scholarship. No additional application is required.

Scholarships from External Foundations

External Sources of Funding for Prospective International Students

SIT has identified a list of organizations that provide scholarships for graduate study in the United States. If you feel you may qualify for any of these scholarships you should contact that particular organization.

Scholarships for Women

100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives Scholarship Program
This scholarship is open to Syrian women who have demonstrated exemplary social service with leadership, academic excellence, and civic responsibility, who have characteristics reflecting the importance of empathy, humility, courage and resilience, and who have potential to serve as global leaders.

Alpha Delta Kappa Foundation
1615 West 92nd Street
Kansas City, MO 64114
816 363-5525

American Association for University Women (AAUW)
1111 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Scholarships available for full-time study for women with the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree.

Canadian Federation of University Women
251 Bank Street, Suite 600
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada KZP 1X3

Fellowships and partial scholarships to Canadian women.

College Women’s Association of Japan
CWAJ Center
2-24-13-1202 Kami-Osaki,
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0021
Telephone: 3491 2091
Fax: 3491 2092

Supports graduate study at English-speaking universities and research institutions abroad for women who are nationals or permanent residents of Japan.

Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund
The World Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
202 473-8751

This fund provides financial assistance to women from developing countries during their studies in the United States or Canada.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund
P.E.O. Executive Office
3700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Phone: 515 255-3153
Fax: 515 255-3820

The International Peace Scholarship Fund, established in 1949, is a program which provides scholarships for selected women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada. Members of the P.E.O. believe that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding.  

Other Scholarships

Aga Khan International Scholarship Programme
Scholarships are awarded on a 50 percent grant/50 percent loan basis through a competitive application process that takes place once a year in June or July. The Aga Kahn Foundation accepts applications from countries where it has branches, affiliates, or other Aga Kahn Development Network agencies that can help process applications and interview applicants. At present, these countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, France, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, and the United States.

Belgian American Education Foundation
Egmontstraat 11 Rue d’Egmont – 1000 Brussels – Belgium
Tel: + 32(0)2 513 59 55
Fax: + 32(0)2 672 53 81
Email: mail@baef.be

Pays for tuition, stipend, and health insurance for Belgian citizens to study in US graduate programs.

Civil Society Leadership Award
The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provide fully funded master’s degree study to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities. The awards are available to citizens of the following countries:  Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Open Society Foundations
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
United States

212 548-0600

De Karman Fellowships
Supports one year of graduate study in the United States in any field, with special consideration to candidates in the humanities. Available only to juniors already enrolled in a U.S. undergraduate institution.

El-Hibri Foundation
Offers three $5,000 graduate scholarships for first-year U.S. or international graduate students enrolled in a US program to study peace education, conflict resolution and related fields, and the annual Peace Education Prize to an outstanding scholar, practitioner or policymaker in the amount of $30,000

ITO Foundation for International Education Exchange
BABA Bldg. 5F, 3-8-4 Nishi-Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023 JAPAN
Tel: 03 3299 7872
Fax: 03 3299 7871

Awards scholarships for Japanese students to study abroad in a master’s course at a graduate school.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program
Scholarships are awarded to college seniors or recent graduates to attend graduate programs. The scholarship awards will provide funding for tuition, room and board, books, and other required fees for the length of the graduate degree program, up to six years. The amount and duration of awards will vary by student, based on the cost of attendance and length of the program as well as other scholarships or grants received.

The maximum award per student is $50,000 per year. Candidates for this scholarship must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Faculty Representative at their undergraduate institution.

OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
PO Box 995, A-1011
Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 515 64 0
E-mail: info@ofid.org

Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations award grants, scholarships, and fellowships throughout the year to organizations and individuals who share Open Society values. We look for grantees who have a vision and whose efforts will lead to lasting social change. We award a limited number of grants to individuals, primarily through scholarships and fellowships. Individuals may apply for multiple grants at once. Scholarships are awarded to a qualified person to attend or affiliate with an accredited university. Fellowships are awarded to a qualified individual to work on a project in a field aligned with Open Society values over a fixed period of time.

Organization of American States
17th Street and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20006-4499
United States of America
202 370-5000
Fax 202 458-3967

Point Foundation Scholarship
Point Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.

The Rowe Fund
The Rowe Fund is an educational loan program of the Organization of American States (OAS) that helps citizens from Latin America and Caribbean OAS member states finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States by awarding interest-free loans of up to $15,000 dollars. Fellowships available for citizens of OAS member countries.

Division of Cooperation for Development of Human Resources
1776 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20036

Rotary International Foundation
1600 Ridge Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

You must contact a local Rotary club in your home country.

Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
(between 37th and 38th St.)
New York, NY 10016
212 879-9779

A variety of scholarships are offered to students from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

Soros Foundation Network Scholarship Programs
The Soros Foundation
400 W. 59th St.
New York, NY 10019
212 548-0175
scholar@sorosny.org

The Big List of Scholarships for International Students
This is a list of scholarship opportunities for international students, along with suggestions and tips for the scholarship application process and other helpful links.


External Sources of Funding for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

The SIT Financial Aid Office has assembled the following list of organizations that provide scholarships for graduate study in the United States. If you feel you may qualify for any of these scholarships, you should contact that particular organization.

Yellow Ribbon Program for US Veterans

Awards for Affiliated Organizations

SIT Graduate Institute has affiliations with more than 20 organizations. Read more about the possible opportunities that could be available to you if any you are associated with any of these organizations.

Student Loans

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 https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates for 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. 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 – Please refer to https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/interest-rates for 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.


Financial Aid Forms
Appeals Process

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. 

Appeal Requirements
For ALL Students:

  1. Submit a signed, detailed letter describing the reason for appeal

For US Citizens and Permanent Residents:

  1. If the FAFSA includes estimated tax information, the student must do one of the following:
    1. Update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or
    2. Provide a tax return transcript
  2. 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