Financial Aid & Scholarships
Hebrew College’s financial aid program is designed to ensure that, to the extent possible, financial need is not a barrier to study here. Regardless of your family income, please consider applying for financial aid. We take many factors into consideration, not just financial need. The only way to know if you will be eligible for grants, loans, fellowships and scholarships is to apply for aid.
Preference in financial aid decisions is given to those who return their completed application by the March 1 deadline. Financial aid decisions are based on both need and merit and reflect the college’s commitment to admit students regardless of financial need.
All matriculated students must reapply for financial aid each year. The entire application is due on March 1, including Hebrew College’s Application for Financial Aid and the student’s FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov). We cannot base any financial aid decisions on incomplete applications. Applications received after the March 1 deadline will still be considered, but there may be less money available for distribution.
Those students wishing to apply for fellowships and other merit-based funds only should complete the Hebrew College Financial Aid form and note on the form that you do not wish to be considered for need-based or federal aid. If this is the case, you do not need to complete the FAFSA Application.
To learn more about our merit-based fellowships, please click here.
Qualifying for Financial Aid
To qualify for financial aid, the application must meet the following criteria:
Be a matriculated student in one of the College’s degree programs or be in the process of applying for admittance to one of the degree programs.
- Be enrolled in enough credits during the semester to be considered at least a half-time student. (While the number of credits required to be counted as attending half-time may vary by program, generally this means taking a minimum of six credits during the semester.)
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the student’s course of study.
No one who owes a refund on a federal grant or is in default on a federal educational loan will qualify for aid.
Any award is subject to revision if the student changes the number of credits he/she is taking, or if the student’s financial situation changes. The college will also make adjustments if there are discrepancies between the financial aid application and supporting documentation.
Hebrew College reserves the right to withhold financial support from any student who has not met his/her financial obligations to the college.
How to Apply
All students must complete both the Hebrew College Financial Aid Application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Hebrew College’s FAFSA code is #002157. NOTE: International students need not complete the FAFSA. For academic year 2018-2019, please use the 2022-2023 Hebrew College Financial Aid Application.
The FAFSA application may be completed online at the FAFSA website, https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Awards are based on your federal tax returns. Applications for the 2022-23 academic year are based on your 2020 federal returns (those due in April 2021). You will be asked to use the IRS Data Retrieval System available on the FAFSA website. Full information is available on the FAFSA website.
Continuing matriculated students must reapply each year for financial aid. Applications are due by March 1 to receive full consideration. Applications will be accepted after that date, but late applicants run the risk of receiving less funding.
Students applying for admission should complete their aid application at the same time they complete their admissions application or as soon as they are accepted. Should you defer admittance for a year, your application for financial aid will be due by March 1 before your entry date (in July or September).
After all of your application materials have been submitted and reviewed by our office, an offer of financial assistance will be sent to you outlining the financial aid that you are eligible to receive for the specified academic year. Your offer will come with an acceptance form — you may accept or decline all or part of the aid package.
The form must be returned to our offices. No aid will be disbursed until the signed and completed form is returned. No offer of aid will be made before the student has been accepted into a certificate or degree program at Hebrew College.
Reporting Outside Assistance
If you will be receiving any forms of assistance not listed on your offer (such as a scholarship from an outside organization), you must notify us of this additional resource. All aid you receive from the school and outside sources must be accounted for so you do not end up having to return some funds because of over-awarding. This is especially true if you receive any federal funding.
Reduction in Enrollment
Your offer of aid is based on the expectation that you will take a certain number of credits each semester. A reduction to your course load may result in a reduction or cancellation of your aid. An amended offer of financial aid will be sent to you stating the new amount(s) you will qualify for after a change in course load. You will be expected to return to our offices the Acceptance of Amended Aid form before any aid is disbursed.
Disbursement of Funds
Most aid is disbursed term by term — the same way you pay tuition. In most cases, you must be attending school during a particular term to receive a disbursement. No aid is given out until after the Add/Drop date of each semester has passed and we have verified the number of credits for which you have registered.
Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans are low-interest loans offered to you through the U.S. Department of Education. Terms for these loans are generally more favorable than consumer loans or credit-based educational loans. These loans are subject to federally mandated regulations regarding student eligibility, interest rate, repayment, and refund rules. To be offered the option of taking a federal loan, you must
- submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
- be a US citizen (or hold a permanent resident Visa),
- be in good academic standing,
- be enrolled at least half-time (as determined by your program of enrollment), and
- not be in default on your former education loans.
Federal loans are obtained through the college, and if you are qualified, they will be offered to you as part of your financial aid package. There are no credit checks for these loans. You are not obligated to take out a student loan.
Eligible Hebrew College students are encouraged to take full advantage of federal loan programs with the understanding that loans must be repaid. You should, therefore, calculate your repayment ability in relation to your total debt projections and anticipated future earnings. More specific information on the Federal Student Loan Programs can be found on the federal website. This website includes information on the terms, limits and eligibility requirements for Direct Unsubsidized and for GradPlus loans.
To help you anticipate what you might experience, here is a summary of Hebrew College’s 2019 graduates.
- 56% of total graduates and 67% of ordination graduates took federal student loans to help them pay for their Hebrew College tuition costs
- Of these borrowers, the average student took over $67,000 in loans to cover their Hebrew College tuition costs (slightly higher amounts for ordination graduates)
- Of these borrowers, the average student graduated with an outstanding loan debt (including undergraduate loans) of over $80,000 (slightly lower amounts for ordination graduates)
The 3-year, federal loan default rate was only 3.3% for students graduating in 2015.
Student Loan Disbursements
Federal student loans are disbursed per semester. No funds will be disbursed until after the Add/Drop date has passed each semester. When the semester’s disbursement arrives at the school, it is placed into the student’s account and the student is notified. The student then has 14 days to change his/her mind about the loan and notify the school. If the school does not receive notification that the student wishes to decline receipt of the disbursement, the money is applied to any outstanding tuition and fees, and any leftover funds are refunded to the student by check. The check is mailed to the student. If you wish to pick up your refund, you must make arrangements with the Bursar’s Office.
Students who are new to the school and are receiving federal student loans through us for the first time will receive their first loan disbursement after the fourth week of classes during the first semester that they receive student loans. All other disbursements will be done as explained above.
Students who are studying abroad should make arrangements with the Financial Aid Office as to where they want their disbursement checks sent (to a relative or friend in the U.S. so it can be deposited in the student’s bank account, or to the student in the foreign country).
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Undergraduate students are required to maintain a minimum of a 2.7 GPA (C plus); graduate students must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (B minus). Merit-based scholarships may require a higher GPA for renewed consideration. All students must make continuous progress towards completing their degree within the timeframe stipulated by the degree program — generally three to six years for a full-time program and 10 years for a part-time program. Multiple leaves of absence can bring you out of compliance with the satisfactory academic progress requirement and may limit your eligibility for federal, state or institutional aid.
Federal Verification Process
Approximately one-third of all financial aid applicants are selected by either the U.S. Department of Education or Hebrew College for verification of the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. We will notify you if you have been selected. If you are selected, any offer of aid you have received will be tentative pending the completion of the verification process. No aid can be disbursed until verification is complete.
Should the verified financial information differ significantly from the original information provided on the FAFSA, your offer of aid may have to be amended. Please be sure to respond to requests for follow-up documentation in a timely manner to avoid delays in applying your financial aid as a credit to your student account.
You will be required to complete the verification worksheet and provide a copy of your federal income tax transcript and/or tax return forms. Upon receipt of the required materials, we will finalize the review of your application for financial aid.
If documentation is not received by the established deadline, your offer of assistance could be canceled.
Rights and Responsibilities
- Complete and submit application materials to the appropriate agencies within required or recommended timeframes.
- Read all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office and other agencies awarding you aid. Read, understand, and keep copies of all forms you sign.
- Know and comply with the rules governing the aid you receive. These rules include but are not limited to:
- You must not be in default on any prior educational loan
- You must not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant due to repayment
- You must provide additional documentation, federal tax transcripts, federal tax returns, W-2s, verification documentation and any additional information if requested by the student financial aid office
- You must comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign, including repaying your student loans
- You must complete the registration process each term by the end of the Add/Drop period to ensure availability of all student aid funds you have been awarded
- You must use student financial aid proceeds solely for direct educational costs and related living expenses
- You must maintain satisfactory academic progress
- You must report private sources of student financial aid to the student financial aid office
- You must report any changes in your marital, academic, enrollment, residential or name status
- You must keep your local and permanent addresses current with the Hebrew College registrar
All records and data submitted with your application for financial aid will be treated as confidential information, as prescribed by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All students have the right to:
- Have an explanation of the award process
- Be notified of changes in your financial aid status and the reasons for those changes
- Know the conditions of any loan you accept
Code of Conduct
The Office of Student Financial Aid has adopted the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct (pdf), which helps to guide financial aid professionals in ensuring transparency in the administration of student financial aid programs. In addition, the student financial aid office follows legislated requirements prohibiting a conflict of interest regarding the administration of Title IV student loans and the responsibilities of an agent of the college.
- Employees shall not solicit or accept any gift having a monetary value of more than a nominal amount from a lender, guarantor, or servicer. Certain items are not considered gifts, such as training materials, meals at training events, and philanthropic contributions not related to student loans. Employees may also be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.
- Employees shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender where the lender provides or issues a Title IV loan to the student or student’s family in exchange for the school recommending the lender or the lender’s loan products in exchange for a fee or material benefit including profit or revenue sharing that benefits the school or a school’s employee or agent.
- Employees shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- The college shall not request or accept funds from any lender for private education loans including funds for an opportunity pool loan to it students in exchange for the school providing promises of a specified loan number or volume or a preferred lender arrangement for educational loans.
- Employees shall not assign, through award packaging or other methods, a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refuse or delay processing of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender or guarantor.
- Employees shall not accept or request any assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing from any lender except as allowed by law.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory academic progress is defined as the measure of progress toward the completion of a course of study according to the standards of Hebrew College and as required by federal regulations.
The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) apply to all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans and Grad PLUS Loans, as well as any assistance received from the state and from Hebrew College. SAP standards apply to all students: full-time, part-time, degree and certificate candidates, even if they are not receiving aid.
A graduate student’s satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed based on the following standards:
For qualitative purposes, satisfactory academic progress requires a cumulative Quality Point Average of 3.0 or better. The qualitative standard will be reviewed annually. Students who fail to meet this standard will not be eligible for federal aid until the cumulative 3.0 QPA is achieved.
Students must also meet two quantitative requirements to retain their eligibility for financial aid.
- Credit Completion Rate: The Financial Aid Office measures a student’s quantitative standards by reviewing completed credits as a percentage of attempted credits. Students must earn at least 50 percent of their cumulative attempted credits to maintain satisfactory academic progress. To calculate this number, all attempted hours will be totaled and multiplied by 0.50 to determine the number of credit hours a student must have earned in order to continue to receive financial aid. *See example below.
- Maximum Time Frame Standard: Students will not be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted more than 150 percent of the normal credits required for their degree or certificate program.
*Example: Andrew and Marie enroll in 16 credits per semester for the first year. At the end of the second semester, Andrew has earned a total of 20 credits and Marie has earned a total of 30 credits. To be making satisfactory progress, they must have earned 67 percent of the credits attempted by the end of each increment. By the end of the second semester, they must have earned 22 credits (67 percent x 32). Marie is meeting SAP, but because Andrew only earned 20 credits, he is not.
The following are considered when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress:
- Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I) and (PI), no grade (NG) and failures (F) are considered attempted but not earned hours.
- Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
- Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours. A student is allowed to repeat a course only twice. No federal aid is allowed to be given for courses that are passed and then repeated only to get a better grade.
- Transfer credits are included in the credit-completion rate and maximum time-frame calculations, but not the GPA.
Appeals of Ineligibility Due to Nonsatisfactory Academic Progress
Students who appeal their ineligibility due to not making satisfactory academic progress have the right to have their situation reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. Approval of a student’s financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside the normal school activities that have an impact on the student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress. Cases to consider may fall into the following categories:
- Student becomes seriously ill. Spouse, child or other relative has medical emergency.
- Student is severely injured. Spouse, child or other relative has medical emergency.
- Student’s family member dies.
Other cases may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on a student. Each situation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These requirements, stating time-frame and consequences, must be submitted in writing by the student and documented in their file. A student’s eligibility for all aid will be lost in the next semester if the student does not meet the requirements in the period stated.
Students may regain eligibility for aid during the academic year if they reach the minimum standards of satisfactory progress within the same period of enrollment. Students may continue to attend courses without the assistance of federal, state or institutional funding. In addition, students may be able to attend classes elsewhere in order to demonstrate eligibility for reconsideration of aid.
Students are determined to be eligible for funds based on the timing in which they reach the minimum standards. The U.S. Department of Education’s standards outline different eligibility criteria for students who meet satisfactory progress standards within the current period of enrollment versus those who regain eligibility in a later period. The financial aid office will award appropriate aid as specified by the U. S. Department of Education.
The majority of financial assistance is need-based. The FAFSA form collects data primarily on your financial resources for the previous year or years. We realize that a family’s income is not always the same from one year to the next and that circumstances beyond a family’s control may inhibit its ability to contribute to educational expenses.
Changes in Financial Circumstances
We welcome the opportunity to discuss a substantial change in your family’s status since filing your aid application and the FAFSA. Such circumstances may include marriage or divorce, loss of income, high medical or dental expenses (not covered by insurance) or a catastrophic expense.
If you or your family experience a significant financial change (such as those listed above), you should submit a letter explaining the situation and any pertinent documentation to support an explanation of the situation. This documentation should be addressed to Office of Student Financial Aid.
The financial aid office will review the submitted documentation and determine if there can be a recalculation of your original EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). If there is a recalculation that results in a decrease in your EFC, additional aid will be considered on a funds-available basis.
Tax Credits and Deductions
There are a number of tax advantages related to educational expenses. The following is general information and not tax advice; we provide this information to educate you about what tax advantages may be available to you. You should consult a tax professional about your particular situation and follow that professional’s advice when filing your taxes and claiming any credits or deductions.
The American Opportunity Credit allows taxpayers to take up to a maximum credit of $2,500 for education expenses for each qualifying student. The full credit is available to individuals with a modified adjusted gross income of $90,000 or less, or $180,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. A taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income is greater than $90,000 ($180,000 for joint filers) cannot benefit from this credit. The tax credit can be applied towards four years of post-secondary education instead of two and adds required reading materials and a computer (if it is needed as a condition of enrollment or attendance at the educational institution) to the list of qualified expenses. You should check with your tax advisor for guidance and more complete information about the tax benefit.
Generally, to take the American Opportunity Credit for a student, all of the following must apply:
- As of the beginning of the tax year, the student had not completed the first four years of postsecondary education as determined by the eligible educational institution
- The student was enrolled during the tax year in a program that leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential
- The student was taking at least one-half the normal full-time workload for his or her course of study for at least one academic period during the tax year
- The student has not been convicted of a felony for possessing or distributing a controlled substance
If all of the above conditions are not met, you may be able to take the Lifetime Learning Credit for all or part of that student’s qualified education expenses instead.
A Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 can be claimed for qualified education expenses paid for all students enrolled in eligible educational institutions. It is most useful for graduate students, part-time students and those who are not pursuing a degree because there is no limit to the number of years the lifetime learning credit may be claimed for each student. The amount of the credit equals 20 percent of qualified expenses paid, up to a maximum of $10,000 of qualified expenses per return. The amount of your credit is gradually reduced if your modified adjusted gross income is between $50,000 and $65,000 ($100,000 and $130,000 if you file a joint return). You cannot claim a credit if your modified adjusted gross income is $65,000 or more ($130,000 or more if you file a joint return).
Generally, you may claim the Lifetime Learning Credit if you meet all three of the following requirements:
- You paid qualified education expenses of higher education
- You paid the education expenses for an eligible student
- The eligible student is yourself, your spouse or a dependent you claim as an exemption on your tax return
- Education credits are claimed on IRS Form 8863
Please note: You cannot take both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit for the same student in the same year. However, if you pay for qualified educational expenses for more than one student in the same you, you can choose to take the American Opportunity Credit for one student and the Lifetime Credit for the other student. You should consult a tax adviser for guidance on this and all other tax matters.
Taxpayers not eligible for the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credits may be eligible for a Tuition and Fees Deduction. The qualified expenses must be for higher education. This deduction, reported on IRS Form 8917, can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000.
Generally, the tuition and fees deduction may be claimed if you meet all three of the following requirements:
- You paid qualified education expenses of higher education
- You paid the education expenses for an eligible student
- The eligible student is yourself, your spouse or a dependent you claim as an exemption on your tax return
You cannot claim the Tuition and Fees Deduction if any of the following apply:
- Your filing status is married filing separately
- Another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. You cannot take the deduction even if the other person does not actually claim that exemption.
- Your modified adjusted gross income is more than $80,000 ($160,000 if filing a joint return)
- You were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes
- You or anyone else claims an education credit for expenses of the student for whom the qualified education expenses were paid
Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence
Students who need to withdraw or take a leave of absence may do so for academic, discipline, personal or medical reasons. If you are receiving federal financial aid and withdraw or take a leave of absence, you may be subject to the federal Return of Title IV Funds and state financial aid return policies. Students must notify the financial aid office about any change in enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence or withdrawal from Hebrew College. The withdrawal or leave must be done officially in writing using the appropriate form.
Nonattendance does not constitute official withdrawal. If a student stops attending class and does not officially withdraw, that student will fail to earn a passing grade in at least one course over an entire term. Hebrew College must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. For this purpose, nonpassing grades are defined as W, I, PI, NG or F. Unofficial withdrawals will be determined within 90 days of the end of the term. Federal financial aid recipients will have their awards reviewed and recalculated, causing a reduction in aid awarded.
Remember that if you are not enrolled at least half-time for more than six months, your student loans will go into repayment.
Federal Return to Title IV Aid Overview
The Office of Student Financial Aid is required by federal law to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a term. The student’s eligibility for the funds received from federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using a federally mandated formula.
Federal Return of Title IV Funds Formula
- Percentage of earned aid equals the number of days of the term completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total days in the term. For unofficial withdrawals, the withdrawal date used for aid recalculation is the midpoint of the term. Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.
- Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: Aid to be returned equals 100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed, minus the percentage of earned aid, multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the term.
- If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution and/or student will be required to return a portion of the funds that were disbursed to the student. Therefore, when it is necessary to return Title IV funds to the U.S. government, if the funds were already disbursed to the student, the student may be required to return those funds to the government. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement that must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.
Scholarships & Fellowships
Hebrew College, along with a number of partner philanthropic organizations, offer scholarships and fellowships to Hebrew College students. These awards significantly reduce the cost for new and returning students to enroll. In most cases, these awards are offered at the time of admission to Hebrew College based on the strength of the applicant’s credentials and/or based on program-specific criteria. To view more information about rabbinical and cantorial merit-based fellowships, please click here.
For more information about the scholarships and/or fellowships that might be available to you, please contact the admissions representative for your program of interest.
Rabbinical Program, Cantorial Program, and Jewish Studies
Rabbi Gita Karasov
Jewish Education Programs
- Learn about Rabbinical School Merit Scholarships
- Learn about Mid-Career Fellowships for Educators
Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act Sections 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion, and 18004(a)(3)
Hebrew College’s CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Student Aid Report
Senior Director of Institutional Research and Financial Aid
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