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Financial Aid Programs

Bridgewater State University participates in a wide variety of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid programs. These programs can be grouped into three categories: Grants/Gift Aid, Work-Study and Loans. Once your FAFSA is processed and BSU awards you financial aid based on your eligibility you will receive an award letter. 

Please keep in mind that your enrollment as a student matters when you need financial aid to help pay for college. For financial aid purposes, the term “undergraduate course-work” refers to students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Enrollment levels are as follows: full time: 12 or more credits; three quarter time: 9 to 11 credits, half time: 6 to 8 credits; less than half time: 1 to 5 credits. Always reach out to the financial aid office if you are not going to be full-time. The award letters only reflect full-time and when you are below 12 credits for a semester your financial aid and billable costs reduce.

How to Apply for Federal Student Aid       After the FAFSA: What Happens Next?

The Financial Aid Process

If you plan on attending Bridgewater State University, then you'll need to visit and fill out the FAFSA Form to apply for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is available on October 1st of each year and is free to complete. So long as BSU is selected as one of the colleges on your FAFSA, we'll be able to use the information you provided to determine how much aid you'll receive. For this reason, it's important that the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date, but if needed, you can go back and make changes.

Once you've completed the application you'll receive an award letter from BSU detailing all the Financial Aid options we're able to offer you. Generally, these options fall into three categories: Grants, Work-Study Programs, and Loans.

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Grants are a type of financial aid that is gifted to you, and generally do not need to be repaid. Grants for BSU students can come from a variety of sources, including the federal government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, BSU itself or a private or nonprofit organization. It's important to do your research on grants you are interested in, and their eligibility requirements, as if you are unable to meet those requirements after receiving a grant, you may have to pay the money back. Grants often don't cover the full amount of a college education, though, and you may need additional assistance.

Learn More about Grants offered at BSU »

Work-Study Programs

Work-Study Programs provide part-time jobs for both undergraduate and graduate students that can not only help you pay for college while you're still enrolled, but also provide valuable work experience that can help you in your future career. It's available to both full and part-time students and there are many options available to you, both on and off-campus. Regardless of the field you are studying or the program you select, the hours you work cannot exceed the total amount you've been awarded, but your class schedule and academic progress will be considered when those hours are assigned to you.

Learn More about Work-Study Programs offered at BSU »


Loans are different from grants and work-study programs in that the money is only being borrowed, meaning you'll need to pay it back. It's important that you only borrow what you need, because a student loan is the same as any other loan and will have to be paid back with interest. It's crucial that you do plenty of research before accepting a loan so that you understand what you are agreeing to.

Student loans at BSU, usually come from one of three sources: the federal government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and private institutions, such as banks or lenders. Federal and state loans usually have more benefits than private loans, and are often more flexible. And in some cases, based on your employment or line of work, your federal loans may be forgiven entirely. Some benefits federal and state loans often offer include:

  • Lower fixed interest rates or no interest at all (in the case of the Massachusetts No Interest Loan)
  • Customized repayment plans
  • Adjusting loan payments based on income
  • Deducting student loan interest from your taxes
  • Consolidating eligible federal student loans into one monthly payment

Learn More about Loan Programs offered at BSU »

Responsible Borrowing

College is an important step for many, and there are a lot of options to help you pay for it, but grants, work-study programs, and/or scholarships may not be enough to cover the cost. This is where student loans come in. Getting a loan is a big decision, as you could be paying it back for a decade or more, so it's important to do your research and accept only what you need, since you'll need to pay that money back, often with interest, once you graduate.

If you are borrowing, here are two tips to keep in mind:

  • The amount you need will often depend on where you're located. State schools and community colleges in located Massachusetts often cost less for residents of the state.
  • Get a sense of how much you could expect to make once you graduate. Starting salaries vary wildly depending on your chosen field or career, so it's worthwhile to think about how much your loan will affect your finances in the future. Your loan payments should only be a small portion of your salary once you graduate.

Once you've decided how much you'll need to borrow, you'll need to sign a promissory note: an agreement to repay your loan. It's crucial that you keep a copy of this document for your records. Once it's time to begin paying back your loans, you'll want to keep in touch with your loan servicer so you know how to make payments. Most lenders offer a variety of options to pay them back, and should have a way to contact them either online, by phone, or by email if you need further assistance or have any questions.



(To change closed captioning language on the video, click on Settings, Subtitles/CC, Auto-translate, and choose the appropriate language.)