Federal Aid

Federal aid is evaluated based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal aid is primarily need-based and eligibility is determined by several factors. These include the expected family contribution (EFC), receipt of the FAFSA by our preferred filing date, and timely submission of all documentation requested for verification. Below is a listing of funds students may qualify for through the FAFSA.

Federal Pell Grant

All students who complete a FAFSA are considered for the Pell Grant.  This award does not need to be paid back and is considered gift aid. Grant amounts may be up to $6,095 annually in 2018–2019. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This grant is awarded based on a review of the FAFSA and the availability of funding. You must be eligible to receive the Pell Grant in order to also be eligible for SEOG. Similar to the Pell Grant, it does not need to be repaid. Grant amounts range from $100 to $1,500 annually.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Stafford Loans are long-term, fixed-interest rate federal student loans awarded based on a review of your FAFSA, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and your enrollment status. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling session online at studentloans.gov.

Repayment of Stafford Loans begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status (six credits). There are two types of Stafford Loans:

  1. Subsidized: no interest accrues until you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. 
  2. Unsubsidized: interest begins to accrue upon disbursement.

The 2018–2019 undergraduate interest rate for both is 5.05 percent.

Based on the most recent available data, the average student loan debt upon leaving Berklee College of Music is $26,375.

Please review Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers

Direct Stafford Loan Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

YEAR OF STUDY* DEPENDENT STUDENT AMOUNT INDEPENDENT STUDENT AMOUNT
First year (0–29 credits) $5,500 (max $3,500 Sub.) $9,500 (max $3,500 Sub.)
Second year (30–59 credits) $6,500 (max $4,500 Sub.) $10,500 (max $4,500 Sub.)
Third and beyond (60+ credits) $7,500 (max $5,500 Sub.) $12,500 (max $5,500 Sub.)
Aggregate Total Loan Amount $31,000 (max $23,000 Sub.) $57,500 (max $23,000 Sub.)

*Year-of-study credit level is based on enrollment in an undergraduate degree program. Tiered eligibility differs for undergraduate diploma students.