Getting to Know Simmons!

Investing in Your Future


Part I: Simmons Offers a Powerful Return on Your Investment
You can afford Simmons. It's true. Contrary to what you might think, attending a top notch private college like Simmons doesn't have to be as expensive as it first appears. That's because the "sticker price,"the amount we publish as the cost for tuition, room and board, and fees, will probably differ from the amount you actually pay. In the end, finding the right college--not the one that at first appears most affordable--should be your top priority.

Simmons Financial Aid counselors work with students to explain tuition, payment plans, loans, and scholarships, and help them to manage the cost of college. Our diverse student body represents a healthy mix of socio-economic backgrounds--approximately 80 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance.

More than anything, college is an investment in you. Remember that no matter what college you choose, you should base your decision on value--the combination of cost, aid, scholarships, and expected return on your educational investment. Don't sacrifice your dreams, career and earning potential, and satisfaction in life by choosing a college based on cost alone. It's your future, and you're worth it.

Why Adult Women Choose Simmons - Key Value Points:

  • One year after graduation, over 97% of class of 2010 graduates were working or attending graduate school, of which 83% were employed full time and 14% were part time.
    Results from a Career Education Center (CEC) Poll conducted in May 2011
  • Dynamic internships that prepare you for where you want to go in life: Many Simmons students intern at Boston's world-renowned research and teaching hospitals, businesses, museums, and schools.
  • Cutting Edge Career Preparation: The value that Simmons has always placed on professional success is reflected in new programs developed by the Career Education Center (CEC). At Simmons, students begin preparing for their careers in their very first semester! Each student is also assigned a Career Coach, a professional staff member from the CEC, who acts as an advisor for all career-related issues and planning.
  • A diverse and inclusive community offering a personalized approach to education and a commitment to the success of every student.
  • Resources - both academic and personal - are in place to ensure each student achieves her highest potential. Simmons offers comprehensive academic support, which includes: The Center for Academic Achievement, Personal Tutoring, and The Writing Center. The College also understands the challenge of returning to school late in life requires particular support systems.
  • Superb faculty who are passionate about teaching and invested in their students' success. Watch a video with recent Dix Scholar alum Karen Mackenzie discussing her favorite part of Simmons--her passionate and committed professors!
  • Strong alumnae network to help you as you begin and advance in your career and life.

Part II: Applying for Financial Aid in Just 3 Steps

  1. Complete "The Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA)
  2. Submit the "Simmons Student Information Form"
  3. Provide additional documents that the Office of Student Financial Services may request from you.

More detailed information »

Dan Forster, Associate Dean of Student Financial Services, explains the financial aid process.

Watch the video »

Part III: Understanding the Language of Financial Aid
Navigating the financial aid process means learning a new--and sometimes confusing--lingo. Hopefully the following information will help clear up any confusion surrounding the new terms and acronyms you'll encounter when applying for aid. Understanding these new terms will make the process much easier. Remember, you can always get in touch with our helpful financial aid counselors if you have any questions by calling 617-521-2001 or emailing

Let's start with the FAFSA. Filling out the FAFSA is the first step you should take, and the term--an acronym--is a good indication of what's to come--more acronyms! FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. And it's just that--a free application that you must fill out in order be considered for financial aid.

Now, just how much aid will you receive? Understanding how much aid you will receive involves first understanding your EFC. Your EFC--Expected Family Contribution--is a figure that is calculated with information from your FAFSA. This is the amount of money the government thinks that you and your family should be able to contribute to your education each year.

After your EFC has been calculated, Simmons Financial Services considers the EFC carefully. They use this government recommendation to determine how much you and your family can contribute to your Simmons education. The family contribution that Simmons determines is then subtracted from the COA--Cost of Attendance--yes, another acronym. The COA is also known as the budget, and it includes tuition and fees, estimated living expenses, allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses.

Simmons Cost of Attendance - Family Contribution = Financial Need

After calculating your financial need, the Office of Student Financial Services then creates an award package for you. Your award may consist of 3 types of financial aid: grants, loans, and work study.

A grant is financial aid that does not have to be paid back--typically based on financial need--while a loan must be paid back. An unsubsidized loan is one that accrues interest while you are attending school, while a subsidized loan does not accrue interest until 6 months after you graduate or drop below 2 classes. The Federally sponsored Work-Study (FWS) program provides undergraduate students with school-year part-time employment. The Federal Government pays some of the student's salary, which helps departments and businesses pay for and ultimately hire students. Eligibility is based on financial need.

As part of your financial aid package, you will receive a $3,400 Dix Scholarship--which is paid out to you over the course of two semesters, $1,700 per semester. A scholarship, like a grant, does not require repayment or employment.

To learn more terms, visit the Student Financial Services Glossary of Terms.

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