Financial Policies

Bursar General Policies

Bills and Payments

Billing information is available in Self Service under the finance tab when students register for classes for a given semester. Students are encouraged to review their bill after making changes to their schedule to see if they have incurred any additional charges. 

It is the student’s responsibility to forward the bill to the person(s) responsible for his or her financial affairs. Payments are due August 1 for the fall semester and around January 8 for the spring semester. Exact dates will be published each term. Balances not fully cleared will be considered late, and a late payment fee of $205 will be assessed.

For an account to be considered cleared, the Conservatory must receive payment by check, credit card/debit card, money order, cash, wire transfer via Flywire and/or have expected funding lined up, such as a current Tuition Management System (TMS) monthly payment plan, approved student or parent loans, notice of a private scholarship, documented federal or state aid, and/or proof of expected payment from a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan. Payment can be made in any combination of the accepted payment methods and all arrangements must be completed by the above dates.

Outstanding Balances 

Unpaid balances can result in not being able to register for future semesters. It will also prevent you from receiving your grades, diploma, and official transcripts. In addition, if a balance remains after the semester is over, you will be subject to the collection process.

The college will, at first, make three attempts to advise students of unpaid balances and try to work with them to resolve the debt. These letters will be mailed to the student’s current address on file. If all attempts fail, the account will be turned over to one of the college’s outside collection agencies. Once the account is turned over to an outside agency, you will work with them to pay the debt and any additional fees they will charge. Their fees can range from 33 percent to 50 percent of the debt owed.

No student with an outstanding balance, including library fines, will be allowed to participate in commencement. No student may withdraw from the Conservatory in good standing or graduate from the Conservatory unless all current obligations to the Conservatory are paid in full. Any student who does not fulfill the financial commitments to which they agreed may be subject to the Administrative Withdrawal Policy.

Bursar Refund Policy

Withdrawal from Enrollment

A student withdrawing from Boston Conservatory at Berklee must do so in writing to the Registrar. In the event of withdrawal, leave of absence, or dismissal, charges will be determined based on the official date of withdrawal as determined by the Registrar's Office.

Fall and spring semester refunds are calculated using the following schedule
DATE REFUND PERCENTAGE
Before the first day of classes 100%
Within 10 class days 80%
Within 15 class days 60%
Within 20 class days 40%
Within 25 class days 20%
After 25 class days 0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer semester refunds are calculated using the following schedule
DATE REFUND PERCENTAGE
Before the first day of classes 100%
Within 3 class days 80%
Within 4 class days 60%
Within 5 class days 40%
Within 6 class days 20%
After 6 class days 0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any additional charges related to courses exceeding the maximum credit load (please refer to your individual advising manual) will be refunded according to the above refund schedule.

The application fee and deposits (for tuition, room and board) are not refundable. No fees (e.g., comprehensive fee) are refunded after the start of classes. The refund policy, as stated above applies to tuition, room and board charges only.

Refund for Conservatory Housing and Meal Plans

The refund policy described above also pertains to room and board charges for a student who is withdrawing from the Conservatory. Students who withdraw only from Conservatory housing and/or meal plans, and are not withdrawing from the Conservatory, are not eligible for a room and board refund. In addition, students who are removed from the residence halls for disciplinary reasons are not eligible for a room and board refund.

Tuition Refund Appeal Process

Students who withdraw from the Conservatory and have been subject to the aforementioned refund policy may submit an appeal through the Tuition Refund Appeal Process. The Tuition Refund Appeal Committee will review an appeal received no later than 120 days from the date on which the student withdraws from the course(s). Any appeal must be submitted in writing to the Bursar and include supporting documentation (e.g., copies of registration forms, drop/add forms, medical documentation, military activation papers). Since the information concerning procedures, dates for drop/add and/or course withdrawal are widely publicized, the Tuition Refund Appeal Committee will not consider an appeal that is not filed in compliance with these guidelines.

An appeal will be considered for the following reasons:

  • Death of the student or death in the student’s immediate family (parent, sibling, offspring, spouse, domestic partner or guardian).
  • Voluntary or involuntary medical withdrawal.
  • A medical emergency in the student’s immediate family (parent, sibling, offspring, spouse, domestic partner or guardian).
  • Military activation.
  • Special circumstances as deemed appropriate by the Committee.

This appeal process pertains to tuition charges only. Fees are non-refundable, and room and board charges are refunded according to the refund policy, publicized in both the Student Handbook and on the website. A tuition refund appeal for any student who has financial aid is subject to guidelines and/or restrictions set forth by federal/state agencies. The Committee may decide that the credit balance, which results from a refund of tuition, will remain on the student’s account and be applied against future charges when he/she returns to the Conservatory.   

The Committee will issue its decision within four weeks of receipt of all necessary documentation. The Committee’s decision is final.

Refund of Credit Balances

Credit balances from Federal Title IV funds (Pell Grants, SEO Grants, Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans): When Federal Title IV funding is received and posted to the student’s account creating a credit balance, refund checks will be ready for pick up or mailing no later than 14 days after the funds are posted to the student's account. For funds disbursed on the standard schedule, refund checks should be available two to three weeks from the close of the Add/Drop Period. All refunds are issued to the student unless one of the following situations applies:

  • The Title IV authorization form, completed by the student, specifies the credit balance should remain on the student account;
  • If there is a Parent Plus loan, the refund is issued to the parent. The parent may instruct the Financial Aid or Bursar’s Office in writing to issue the refund to another party, leave on the account or return to the lender.  

Pell eligible students who are expecting a Title IV refund will receive a book stipend no later than seven days after the beginning of the semester. A Title IV Refund is made up entirely of federal funds (Pell, SEOG, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and PLUS Loan).

Checks not picked up by the student within 14 days of processing will be mailed to the address on file. If the student or parent cannot be located, the funds must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program.

Credit balances from all other funds (cash payments, scholarships, grants, Prepaid Tuition 529 Plans, TMS monthly payments): Refunds from credit balances from all other funds will be issued to the student upon request in writing to the Bursar’s Office. It can take up to 14 business days from the receipt of the refund request to the issuance of the refund check.

Credit balances from withdrawal or leave of absence of a student: A credit balance created from a refund issued to a student who is withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from Boston Conservatory will be processed and mailed to the student once the Registrar’s Office has officially changed the student’s status and the Financial Aid Office has completed any necessary adjustments. If a student has federal aid, the school has 14 days from the date the Financial Aid Office does a Title IV refund calculation to process and make available for pickup/mail a refund check.

Acknowledgment of Responsibility for Collection Expenses

Before enrolling at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, students are required to sign the Conservatory’s Acknowledgement of Responsibility for Collection Expenses form. The signed form certifies his or her agreement to pay any and all collection expenses, including attorneys’ fees, incurred by the Conservatory relating to amounts owed by the student to the Conservatory. Students are liable for any and all costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, incurred by the Conservatory in connection with any and all collection or attempted collection of monies due and owing the Conservatory.

Financial Aid Policies

Boston Conservatory at Berklee Financial Aid Office administers a variety of assistance programs to help students finance their education when their own and their families’ resources are inadequate for that purpose. It is a fundamental principle of financial aid that the students must first depend on their own resources and those of their family before asking the Conservatory for assistance. Scholarship and financial aid resources may be awarded individually or in combination, depending on the applicant’s need and qualifications. While the Conservatory is unable to meet the financial needs of all who apply, every effort is made to distribute funds as equitably as possible so that the greatest number may benefit.  

Students who wish to apply for federal financial aid, must fill out the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA deadline for incoming students is March 1 and May 1 for returning students. Federal financial aid consists of the Pell Grant, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (aka Stafford Loans), Grad and Parent PLUS Loans and Work Study. Students, who miss these deadlines, will miss the opportunity to receive the SEOG, Work Study and the Boston Conservatory Grant. For information about these and other types of financial aid offered at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, please visit the Financial Aid section of our website.

The Financial Aid Office sends hard copy award packages to  incoming students in March and April. Incoming students are notified about Net Partner, the Online Financial Aid system in June. Returning students are notified that their award packages are available on Net Partner by June 15. All students must provide requested documentation by the stated deadline or a late payment fee may be assessed.

The Financial Aid Office corresponds and makes regular announcements to students via their Boston Conservatory at Berklee email address. It is the student's responsibility to forward this information to their parents or to any other third party who is involved with the student's financial aid. If the student fills out the Authorization to Release Student Information form (aka Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) form), then we will discuss the student's financial aid with a third party. We will not, however, substitute any other email address to send announcements or correspondence.

Title IV Code of Conduct

Boston Conservatory at Berklee seeks to ensure transparency in the administration of its student financial aid program and to avoid the harm that may arise from actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest. In addition, the Higher Education Opportunity Act sets conditions for educational institutions to participate in Title IV (federal financial aid) programs and requires the development of and compliance with a code of conduct prohibiting conflicts of interest for its financial aid personnel [HEOA § 487(a)(25)]. To fulfill these institutional goals and to comply with federal law [HEOA § 487(e)], Boston Conservatory at Berklee has adopted the following code of conduct:

All Officers, employees and agents of the conservatory who have responsibilities with respect to student educational loans must comply with this code of conduct.

  1. Ban on revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender. Neither Boston Conservatory as an institution nor any individual officer, employee or agent shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
  2. Ban on receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer. No officer, employee or agent, or any of their family members, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans. For purposes of this prohibition, the term “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a minimal amount.
  3. Ban on contracting arrangements. No officer, employee or agent shall 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.
  4. Ban that prohibits steering borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications. Boston Conservatory at Berklee shall not assign through award packaging or other methods any first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender; or refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
  5. Ban on offers of funds for private loans. Boston Conservatory at Berklee shall not request or accept from any lender an offer of funds for private loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of Title IV loans made, insured or guaranteed a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement. An “opportunity pool loan” is defined as a private education loan made by a lender to a student that involves a payment by the institution to the lender for extending credit to the student.
  6. Ban on staffing assistance. The Conservatory shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.

Ban on advisory board compensation. No one employed in the financial aid office or that has any responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid shall derive any material benefit from serving on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor or group of lenders or guarantors. However, such individuals may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission, or group.

Withdrawal from Enrollment

A student withdrawing from the Conservatory must do so in writing to the Registrar. In the event of withdrawal, leave of absence or dismissal, charges will be determined based on the number of class days the student has attended.  We will use the date the written notice is turned in as a last date of attendance, but if we have knowledge that the student left earlier, we will use the earlier date.

Students are reminded that the refund policy on withdrawals, as stated in the Bursar’s Information section, is the official one, regardless of any payment arrangements.

Withdrawal and Institutional Financial Aid

Institutional financial aid is refunded using the same schedule as tuition refunds (see Bursar’s Information). For example, a student who leaves the school within 10 class days is charged 20 percent of his or her tuition and would be allowed to keep 20 percent of his or her institutional aid (Conservatory Scholarship, Boston Conservatory Grant, etc.).

Withdrawal and Federal Financial Aid

Students who receive federal financial aid have their refunds calculated in another way. The Financial Aid Office recalculates students’ eligibility for federal funds when they withdraw, are dismissed or take a Leave of Absence before completing 60 percent of the semester.

The recalculation determines how much federal aid a student has “earned” by dividing how many calendar days the student has attended class by the number of calendar days in the semester (excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more). This is based on the date of the official withdrawal received by the Registrar’s Office (or an earlier date if one can be verified). If no such official withdrawal exists, then the Financial Aid Office can use the 50 percent mark of the semester.

If the student has completed at least 60 percent of the semester, then he or she is said to have “earned” 100 percent of his or her federal financial aid and none of it need be returned to the federal Government.

Any “unearned” aid must be returned to the federal Government in the following order (each fund is fully refunded before moving to the next fund):

  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • PLUS Loan (Grad or Parent Loan)
  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEO Grant)

If the student has received a refund before withdrawing from school, then the student may be required to repay some or all of those funds. Any funds remaining after these restorations have been made will be refunded to the student within 30 days of the student’s withdrawal.

Exit Counseling Interview

Students who have taken out a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan(s) are required to fill out the Exit Counseling Interview when they withdraw, go on a Leave of Absence, drop below 1/2 time or graduate. The Exit Counseling Interview is located at www.studentloans.gov. Students will need their FSA ID to get into the website.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Please see Academic Policies and Regulations for the complete Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. This policy covers the institution's academic requirements and the requirements to keep federal and institutional aid.