How does financial aid work at Georgetown University?
Georgetown determines financial aid by subtracting a student’s family contribution from their total cost of attendance. Family contributions are the amounts students and parents are expected to pay the university each year. Regardless of parent contributions, students are required to pay a minimum student contribution, which varies depending on class year. Student contributions are often covered by the income students collect by working over the summer, which is known as a student’s expected summer work contribution.
Georgetown covers students’ financial aid with the following forms of federal and Georgetown financial aid: federal grants, Georgetown scholarships, direct loans, outside scholarships and student employment. Student employment refers to a program known as federal work-study, in which students take part-time jobs on campus, with some off-campus exceptions, to contribute to their college expenses.
Students must reapply for financial aid every year, as their financial circumstances can change, which the university takes into consideration when calculating aid.
Why were students upset about their initial financial aid packages?
When financial aid packages were released for undergraduates July 31, many students were shocked by the increased family contributions, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many families’ finances. The increased family contributions left many students paying the same amount or more than previous years, despite the university’s decision to hold a virtual semester. The packages also did not include financial information for first-year students or students living on campus. The financial aid packages were released 10 days after the university announced a 10% tuition reduction for all students.
Will these financial aid packages be revised by the university?
According to a university spokesperson, Georgetown will waive all students’ expected summer work contributions entirely, which will reduce students’ expected family contributions. In addition, the 10% tuition reduction will allow that students with any amount of family contribution receive a tuition credit of up to $2,900. This tuition credit will not decrease the amount of financial aid students receive, according to Georgetown University Student Association Finance and Appropriations Chair Eric Bazail-Eimil (SFS ’23).
The university has not commented on whether students who have had their financial aid significantly decreased will have their aid completely restored to what they were paying in previous years.
When will the revised packages be released?
Georgetown is issuing revised financial aid packages on a rolling basis, according to a university spokesperson. All of the revised financial aid packages will be released no later than Aug. 26, the first day of classes. Revised packages will also be sent to first-year students, transfer students and students living on campus by this date, according to a university spokesperson.
Can students appeal their financial aid packages?
Yes. Students are able to appeal their packages if their circumstances change unexpectedly. The university had originally planned to not consider appeals related to family income changes until the end of 2020, according to Bazail-Eimil. The university will consider these appeals immediately, however, along with appeals related to changes in housing status and expenses, according to a university spokesperson.
How do outside scholarships impact students’ financial aid?
Outside scholarships include resources such as private scholarships, tuition benefits and veteran benefits. Depending on the situation, outside scholarships can reduce the financial aid students receive from Georgetown. These scholarships, however, reduce federal work-study and loan obligations before scholarships from Georgetown are reduced, according to Bazail-Eimil. Outside scholarships can also decrease students’ family contributions, according to a university spokesperson.
Will students still be expected to work to contribute to their aid this fall?
Students who received an offer of federal work-study will be expected to work this semester. The university will not pay out students’ federal work-study as it did for the spring semester, according to Bazail-Eimil. Georgetown has posted jobs on the Student Employment Office website and will continue to add more in the coming weeks, according to a university spokesperson.
If students were not able to work this summer, will they receive less aid?
No. Since students’ expected summer work contributions will be waived by the university, students who were not able to work this summer will not be penalized or receive less aid. The waiver, therefore, will reduce students’ family contributions.
Students and parents can direct financial aid questions to the Office of Student Financial Services by calling 202-687-4547 or emailing [email protected]. Billing questions may be directed to Student Accounts at 202-687-7100 or [email protected], where they can expect a response within one business day. If there is a question that you want answered in this FAQ, let us know at [email protected].