After receiving your TC award letter, it is necessary for you to indicate which types of financial aid you want to accept. Below are instructions for accepting your financial aid.
2020-2021 Award Offers: You may accept your aid now.
2021-2022 Award Offers: You may begin accepting your awards as early as July 2021. Before accepting your aid, we recommend for you to complete Fall registration and anticipate your financial needs first before accepting any federal aid offers.
Note: You are required to accept the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan before you accept the Graduate PLUS Loan.
STEP 1: Accept the desired amount for the year in the TC Portal.
You may choose to accept or decline the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan on the dropdown menu. Select "Accept" and then click the "Submit Decision" button to accept the full loan offer. If you only plan to accept a partial amount of the loan, manually enter the desired amount in the corresponding text box and choose "Accept". The accepted amount will be split evenly between the terms listed.
Making Changes to your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: All subsequent changes (increase, decrease, or decline) must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by completing a Federal Loan Change Form specific to the year that you are making changes.
STEP 2: Complete the Entrance Counseling at studentaid.gov. Students who have borrowed federal loans at TC in a previous aid year can skip this step.
Only one entrance counseling session is required for both the Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans. The completed requirement will automatically renew from year to year and does not need to be repeated. When you submit the completed counseling session, be sure to enter TC's School Code (G03979). View the navigation bar on the website to find the link for entrance counseling under "Complete Aid Process". It will appear as "Complete Entrance Counseling".
STEP 3: Complete the Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) listed as "Subsidized/Unsubdized MPN" for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Previous student borrowers within the last 10 years at TC can skip this step and this requirement will automatically be linked after accepting this loan offer in the corresponding aid year.
First-time Unsubsidized Loan borrowers at TC will need to complete a Federal Unsubsidized E-MPN at studentaid.gov. Once completed/satisfied, this requirement will automatically renew for up to ten years. When completing the session, be sure to enter TC's School Code (G03979). View the navigation bar on the website to find the link to complete your E-MPN under "Complete Aid Process". It will appear as "Unsubsidized Loan MPN" under "Complete Master Promissory Note".
STEP 4: Allow 5-10 business days for your loan requirements to show up as completed in your TC Portal. Note that your loan requirements will only link to your TC Portal after you have accepted your loan offer.
Note: If you have been offered the Graduate PLUS Loan, you are required to accept the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan before you accept the Graduate PLUS Loan. You CANNOT accept the PLUS Loan on the TC Portal because it requires an approved credit check. See below for instructions.
STEP 1: Complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Application/Credit Check to request a Direct PLUS Loan on studentaid.gov. Continuing students must complete this for the new aid year, regardless of whether or not they have an unexpired credit check on file from the previous year.
Specify the exact amount you wish to borrow for the year. Please note that we are unable to process your Graduate PLUS Loan request if you do not indicate a specific amount. You may also choose to borrow the maximum amount by checking the statement, “I want to borrow the maximum Direct PLUS Loan amount for which I am eligible, as determined by the school.” The requested amount will be split evenly between the academic term(s) you are enrolled in. Then, specify the requested loan period:
Proceed through the application and verify that all information, including your address, is correct. You will receive an immediate credit decision thereafter - only "Credit Approved" Graduate PLUS Loan applications will be processed by the Office of Financial Aid. Details for Grad PLUS credit denials are below.
Note: A renewed credit check is required for every new academic year AND for any changes to the PLUS Loan amount during a given academic year if the credit check has expired after 180 days of the initial request.
STEP 2: Complete the Federal Graduate PLUS Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN). Previous student borrowers within the last 10 years at TC who do not have a credit denial history can skip this step and this requirement will automatically be linked after accepting this loan offer in the corresponding aid year.
First-time PLUS Loan borrowers at TC will need to complete a Federal Graduate PLUS E-MPN at studentaid.gov. Once completed/satisfied, this requirement will automatically renew for up to ten years. When completing the session, be sure to enter TC's School Code (G03979). View the navigation bar on the website to find the link to complete your E-MPN under "Complete Aid Process". It will appear as "Grad PLUS MPN" under "Complete Master Promissory Note".
Once you have completed the steps above for your PLUS Loan, the Office of Financial Aid will receive your credit decision from the U.S. Department of Education within 5-10 business days. If approved, your Graduate PLUS Loan status on your TC Portal will change from "Offered" to "Accepted." If you are denied, the status will change to "Deny."
Making Changes to your Graduate PLUS Loan: All subsequent changes (increase, decrease, or decline) must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by completing a Federal Loan Change Form specific to the year that you are making changes.
STEP 3: Allow 5-10 business days for your loan requirements to show up as completed in your TC Portal. Note that your loan requirements will only link to your TC Portal after you have accepted your loan offer and completed your credit check.
If you are denied the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan due to adverse credit history, you may (1) obtain an endorser, or (2) choose to document extenuating circumstances relating to the reason you were declined. Read the following information to learn how to gain access to a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. You may also contact Applicant Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, at 1-800-557-7394 to discuss denials, appeals, and endorsers. Note: Any student who is denied the Graduate PLUS Loan and chooses to appeal the denial or secure an endorser will also need to complete a Graduate PLUS Loan-specific credit counseling on studentaid.gov before the loan can be disbursed.
An endorser is someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if you do not/cannot repay. If you choose to obtain an endorser, the individual will complete the following steps:
You may provide satisfactory documentation to the U.S. Department of Education showing that the information causing the adverse credit decision is incorrect or has been corrected. You may also provide documentation to show that there are extenuating circumstances relating to the adverse credit history. (Note: Endorsers aren't eligible for this option.) After you submit your request to document extenuating circumstances, Applicant Services will contact you. After all documentation has been received, a determination will be made and provided to you within 7-10 business days.
You may begin the process of submitting this documentation in one of two ways:
Online: Visit studentaid.gov and select "Appeal Credit Decision" under "Apply for Aid" on the website navigation bar. You will be prompted to log in, complete the appeal request and Applicant Services will contact you with further instructions.
Phone: Contact Applicant Services between 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. They may be reached toll-free at 1-800-557-7394.
Studentaid.gov provides in-depth information on federal student aid programs, applying for financial aid, and repaying student loans.
These awards are automatically accepted for you. If you would like to change the distribution of scholarship points for the given terms within an academic year, you will need to submit a Scholarship Redistribution Form. You cannot transfer scholarship funds from one aid year to another.
Please review the terms and conditions associated with any scholarships you may have received from Teachers College.
You are able to accept or decline the TEACH Grant in the TC Portal using the corresponding drop-down menu. Note that the TEACH Grant amount is subject to final approval after the add/drop period ends for the given term. You are able to complete the TEACH Grant requirements, including the Agreement to Serve (ATS), now, but note that this fund will not disburse until after the add/drop period is over. Click here to complete the TEACH Grant ATS and TEACH Grant entrance counseling.
To accept your FWS funding, you must obtain a FWS position. Note that FWS positions are not automatically provided. Currently enrolled students are able to search for positions now as long as they have been awarded FWS. Review available positions on the TC Human Resources website. If you wish to decline your FWS funding, you can complete a FWS/TEACH Change Form for the year you wish to decline FWS.
For information on how to obtain a work study position and utilize your funds, please visit here.
Students can cancel all or part of their federal loan(s) by submitting the aid-year appropriate Federal Loan Change Form to the Office of Financial Aid within 120 days from the date of disbursement. If a refund has already paid to the student, the student may be required to return the funds back to the Office of the Bursar.
If loans have been processed and disbursed successfully, refund checks will be issued to students by the Office of the Bursar after the add/drop period. All questions related to refund checks must be directed to the Office of the Bursar. Also, consider browsing our page of Frequently Asked Questions.
This policy applies to students who complete 60% or less of the enrollment period (i.e., Fall, Spring or Summer session) for which they received Federal Title IV aid. A student who drops a class but still completes one or more classes does not qualify for the Return of Title IV Funds policy. The term “Title IV aid” refers to the following Federal financial aid programs: Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal Grad PLUS loans, and Federal TEACH Grant.
To conform with the policy, Teachers College must determine the student’s withdrawal date. The withdrawal date is defined as: 1. the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified Teachers College of their intent to withdraw; or 2. the last date of attendance at an academically-related activity by a student who doesn’t notify Teachers College. The calculation required by the federal government determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid based on the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student. The percentage of the period that the student remained enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period. Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.
Until a student has passed the 60% point of an enrollment period, only a portion of the student’s aid has been earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all awarded aid for the enrollment period. Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges. In addition, the College’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still owe the college for the course. For more information on the Teachers College withdrawal and institutional charges’ policies, please consult the Teachers College catalog.