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Considering going to Bentley University? Attending Bentley can help you attain your educational and career pursuits. But this private college located in Waltham, Mass., doesn’t come cheap, so you may need Bentley University financial aid.
For the 2021-2021 school year, Bentley University tuition and fees alone add up to $53,790, and the total cost of attendance is estimated at over $72,000. Luckily, Bentley University financial aid can help cover these costs through scholarships, grants and student loans.
Use this guide to paying for Bentley University to figure out the steps you need to take to access this college funding and assistance.
How to apply for Bentley University financial aid
To get student aid at Bentley University, you’ll need to complete two different aid applications: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.
Filing out the FAFSA
The FAFSA is the application you need to submit to access student aid, such as federal grants, work study and student loans.
You’ll need to head to FAFSA.ed.gov to start the process. You can file your FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 for the following academic year. Because some funds are first-come, first-served, you’ll likely want to submit your application in a timely manner.
If you’re under 24, you may need to have a parent complete and submit a portion of the FAFSA. You’ll also need to indicate the schools you want your FAFSA information shared with — make sure you add Bentley University (Its FAFSA code is 002124).
Submitting a CSS Profile
The CSS Profile is a separate and supplemental aid application that is administered by the not-for-profit organization, the College Board. Many private scholarship programs and colleges, including Bentley University, require students to complete and submit a CSS Profile to be considered for a variety of need-based scholarships and grants offered by the college itself.
The CSS Profile will cost $25 to complete and submit to one college, with a $16 fee for each additional school with which you wish to share your CSS Profile, although this fee can be waived for some students with financial hardship. You can add Bentley University with its CSS code 3096.
Students should be aware of Bentley University deadlines to file aid applications, which apply to both the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
- Nov. 15 for early decision applicants
- Jan. 7 for regular decision application
- April 1 for transfer students
Note that you must submit these forms by these dates to be considered for Bentley’s institutional aid. However, you might still be eligible for state or federal aid even if you miss the above deadlines.
You should also check out Bentley University’s list of supplemental aid forms to see if you need to file any of these additional documents.
Financial aid options for Bentley University
Here are your options in terms of getting financial aid for Bentley University. They are listed roughly in order of preference, though what’s best for one student might not be best for another, to be sure to review all options and make an informed decision.
Grants for Bentley University students
Bentley University uses the information you provide through the FAFSA and CSS Profile to evaluate your eligibility for student aid. You’ll receive aid based on your family’s ability to afford and pay for the expenses of attending Bentley.
One of the best kinds of need-based aid is grants. A grant is gift aid, which is basically money you’re given to pay for college that won’t need to be repaid. This type of aid is funded by a variety of organizations, from federal and state college grants to institutional grants offered by colleges themselves.
Here are some of the top Bentley University grants:
- Bentley University Grants are available to cover any portion of a student’s financial need not covered by other forms of gift aid, such as other federal grants, state grants or Bentley scholarships.
- Donor-Sponsored Grants: A grant award you receive from Bentley may include one of funds provided by alumni, family and friends of the college. There is no need to formally apply for this grant; the Bentley University financial aid office will determine if you are eligible. If you do get the award, you must complete a student profile form in order to receive the funds.
- Falcon Grants are awarded to student athletes who demonstrate a financial need (basketball and ice hockey athletes might also receive merit-based aid).
- State grants and scholarships are offered to undergraduate students who are residents of Massachusetts and meet the need-based eligibility requirements. One of them is the MASSGrant for Massachusetts residents. Students who file a FAFSA and are Massachusetts residents are automatically considered for a MASSGrant by Bentley. If you live in another state, your own state-aid program may be portable. Our complete guide to state financial aid grants can give you additional information.
And don’t forget the federal grants available for all U.S. students, including Bentley University students:
- Federal Pell Grants: Undergrads with demonstrated financial need may be eligible for Pell Grants. The award amount can be as much as $6,345.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): Students can earn up to $4,000 a year based on financial need.
Scholarships for Bentley University students
Scholarships are another form of gift aid that helps lower the net costs of attending Bentley University.
Unlike grants, which are primarily need-based, scholarships might be awarded based on need or merit, or sometimes both. Merit-based scholarships might be given to students who have high academic performance, outstanding athletic abilities, involvement in extracurriculars or meet other criteria.
Finding and applying for scholarships can help you get hundreds or thousands of dollars in funds to use for college. Some good places to start your search include Bentley’s own site, which posts a list of outside scholarships.
Now here are a few of the top Bentley University scholarships:
- Bentley academic scholarships are merit-based awards. First-year applicants are automatically considered for these merit-based scholarships, based on their academic achievement. Transfer students may also receive an academic scholarship.
- The Women’s Leadership Award is granted to first-year female students entering the Center for Women and Business program who demonstrate high leadership achievement. This scholarship requires completing a separate application. Recipients must participate in the Women’s Leadership Program and can get $10,000 per year.
- Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships award $5,000 to transfer students. Applicants must be active members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
- Raise.Me Scholarships: This micro-scholarship program can start as soon as the freshman year of high school, with eligibility based on GPA and school attendance. Students from any U.S. high school may be eligible. If you are admitted to Bentley, the micro-scholarship amounts raised during your time in high school may be used as a minimum of grant and/or scholarship aid you may receive from the school.
- Bentley also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program in support of veterans and their families. Ten eligible students each year may receive $5,000 for undergraduate studies, and four graduate students may receive $4,000. You must complete the Yellow Ribbon application to apply.
Federal work study
The final non-loan form of student aid is federal work study, which as the name implies, allows students to earn student aid funds through work. A student interested in this program should indicate so when submitting the FAFSA. If eligible, work study will be listed as part of their aid package in their financial award letter from Bentley University.
Recipients of a work-study award must apply for a qualifying work opportunity through Bentley’s Student Employment Office and will be given preference in consideration for these jobs.
Bentley students with a work-study award are given preference when it comes to applying for on-campus positions, and some select off-campus jobs. However, you don’t have to get a federal work-study award to apply for on- or off-campus jobs. Holding a part-time job can be a great way for students both to generate additional college funds and to gain valuable work experience.
Federal student loans
Before considering loans, students should max out all opportunities to fund their college costs through grants, scholarships, work-study and other part-time jobs, and their own college savings. But with the high price of attending Bentley, these sources might not be enough to cover all educational expenses.
In these cases, the next option for many students might be to borrow for college. Federal student loans provide an easy and inexpensive way to do so, and they come with a number of important benefits:
- Income-driven repayment: If you have a low income after graduation, you might qualify for a repayment plan based on your earnings, allowing you to make manageable payments without falling behind.
- Deferment and forbearance: With federal student loans, you may qualify for deferment and forbearance if you run into economic hardship.
- Fixed interest rates: Federal loan interest rates are set each year, and remain fixed for the whole loan term.
- No credit check: For most (although not all) federal loans, you don’t have to go through a credit check to qualify.
- Potential for federal loan forgiveness: Programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and forgiveness while on income-driven repayment plans, as well as access to state-level forgiveness programs, can provide a way to discharge some of your federal debt.
Options for federal loans include:
- Direct subsidized loans: These are need-based loans that are available to undergrads. The government covers interest charges while you’re in school, during your grace period and during any periods of deferment.
- Direct unsubsidized loans: Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for direct unsubsidized loans, regardless of their financial need. You’ll pay interest while loans are deferred, including while you’re still in school.
- Direct PLUS loans: Graduate students and parents can qualify for PLUS loans, but unlike with other direct loan programs, you can’t have bad credit. Interest isn’t subsidized on these loans.
- Direct consolidation loans: These loans allow you to combine all your federal loans into one loan with one servicer.
There are annual and aggregate limits on federal loans, which you can find here.
Bentley University student loans and payment options
Outside of federal student loans, students have some other options they might consider. One is enrolling in a Bentley University payment plan, which breaks up the educational costs of a semester and spreads them out over five months. Making smaller payments can be easier and more affordable for many college students and their families.
Students should also see if they qualify for the Massachusetts No Interest Loan. This loan program allows students with a demonstrated need to borrow between $1,000 and $4,000 per academic year with 0% interest. Students who submit a FAFSA are automatically considered for this loan.
Private student loans for Bentley University
Even after exhausting federal student loan options, it’s possible that some students will still need additional financing to pay for their education at Bentley. In such a case, private student loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders can be a good option.
Taking out a private student loan is more difficult than getting federal student loans. Applicants will need a good credit history and other sound financials to get approved. Some college students won’t qualify for a private student loan on their own and will need the help of a cosigner to borrow this way.
Private student loans can also vary widely in their costs, with each lender offering different student loan rates, fees and terms. They can be a more expensive way to borrow than federal student loans, although you also may be able to get a lower interest rate, depending on your financial profile. Private loans may also not offer the same borrower protections, such as the option to change repayment plans or pause payments through deferment or forbearance.
Bentley University students should carefully weigh the pros and cons of private student loans to decide if they are a wise financing option for them. If you choose to apply for private student loans, make sure to research and compare several lenders to find the best private student loans for meeting your needs.
Final thoughts on paying for Bentley University
There are many sources of student aid and funds that can help cut your costs as a Bentley University student.
Start first with finding, applying for and securing as much gift aid as possible. Take advantage of federal and state college grants, as well as private and local scholarships.
You may also use student loans to help you pay for Bentley University. Borrow with need-based student loans first if you can, such as the Massachusetts No Interest Loan or the direct subsidized loan, and supplement these with other federal or private student loans.
By looking ahead and starting to manage costs now, you can chart a path to pay for Bentley University without sacrificing your financial future. If you have any questions about paying for Bentley University, you can contact student financial services at 781-891-3441.
For additional help, please see our guide to paying for college and how tuition works.
Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.
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