Jul 14, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid

Austin 15B

978-837-5186 (phone)

978-837-5067 (fax)



Office Hours


8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


*Closed Fridays during summer.


General Information

Scholarship opportunities are available for graduate students at Merrimack College.


Students may apply for financial aid by completing a 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov.


The 2020-21 FAFSA is utilized for Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters.  Summer 2020 will require the submission of the 2020-21 FAFSA.


Graduate students enrolled at least half-time (a minimum of four credits per semester) may qualify for financial aid in the form of Unsubsidized Federal Direct loans.


For loans disbursed after July 1, 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year, Graduate Direct Unsubsidized loans carry a fixed interest rate of 6.08 percent. Origination fees for 19-20 are 1.062 percent for loans first disbursed prior to October 1, 2019 and 1.059 percent after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020.


Repayment does not begin until after a student falls below half-time or graduates. Half time is considered four total credits in a semester. Graduate students are eligible to borrow a maximum of $20,500 per academic year, or up to their yearly financial aid cost of attendance.


To ensure efficient processing, please complete your FAFSA prior to the start of the semester. Please be sure to add Merrimack’s school code, 002120, to ensure your FAFSA is received. 


If you have any questions on the application process or your eligibility, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 978-837-5186.


Other Requirements

Students receiving Federal Direct Loans for the first time at Merrimack College must complete an online Entrance Counseling session and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).  


Log on to studentaid.gov using your FAFSA credentials (FSA ID and Password) to complete this process.  In addition, there is a Title IV Credit Authorization form, which is available online, under our Forms section and on MyMack > Student Info > Financial Aid Portal > Documents and Messages.


Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards


Federal regulations require that Merrimack College measure a student’s progress towards the completion of their degree program, which is called Satisfactory Academic Progress. The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply to all Title IV, state, and some institutional funding.  You must meet both the qualitative and quantitative standards below.


Qualitative Standards: Satisfactory academic progress requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better by the end of each semester.


Quantitative Standards:  Students must successfully earn 50% of their cumulative attempted credits.  In addition, you will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid once you have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits required for your degree. For full-time students this means the student must complete their degree within 1.5 years. For instance, if your degree requires 30 credit hours, you may not attempt more than 45 credits to achieve this degree. 



  • All transfer, summer, and winter credits are calculated toward the satisfactory academic progress standard whether taken at Merrimack College or any other institution. 

  • Grades of F, U, W (including medical), unofficial withdrawal or N are considered attempted, but not earned credits.

  • Students can repeat courses as many times as required to pass the course. However, if a student wishes to repeat a course to improve their grade, they can only receive aid for courses repeated one time.

Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress


Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal and state financial aid will be reviewed for graduate students at the end of each semester.  If the cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum standard and/or the student falls behind in earned credits, the student will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid, and may appeal in writing by completing the required process below. Once the appeal is received, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student of future eligibility.


Note: The review of Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes is based on a student’s entire graduate record, even if the student did not receive financial aid during previous semesters of enrollment. This includes all prior coursework (including remedial courses) taken at Merrimack as a non-matriculated student. These courses will be calculated as part of the qualitative and quantitative calculations. If a student is placed on suspension, and wishes to appeal, they may provide documentation of coursework that is not applicable to their degree program, or is a result of changing their major, and these courses may be excluded from the SAP calculation.



Graduate students who do not meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for financial aid will be placed in a Warning status for one semester. Students are eligible to receive financial aid during their Warning term. Students who do not meet minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of their Warning term will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.



After a term on Financial Aid Warning, students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, as described above, will lose all eligibility for federal financial aid. Students will be notified in writing by the Office of Financial Aid if they have lost eligibility.



Students who do not meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for financial aid have the opportunity to appeal when special circumstances exist. Conditions when a student may appeal include death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or other extenuating circumstances.  In order to appeal, a student must submit a completed Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form, including personal statement and supporting documentation. In addition, the student must meet with The Center for Academic Enrichment or their Dean’s Office to develop an academic plan, outlining the steps required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.


If a student’s appeal is approved, they will be placed on financial aid probation, and will continue to receive financial aid while on probation. At the end of this probation period, the student’s academic record will be reviewed to evaluate progress and determine continued eligibility. 


Denied appeals will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid until minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are met.


Appeals will be granted only one time during your enrollment at Merrimack.


After an appeal is granted, if the student fails to meet the terms outlined in their academic plan, they will become ineligible for financial aid until the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are met. All courses, including summer and transfer courses, are calculated toward Satisfactory Academic Progress whether they are taken at Merrimack College or any other institution.


Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility:

A student may regain financial aid eligibility by successfully meeting the college’s SAP policy requirements or successfully meeting the requirements of an established academic plan.


Opportunities for International Graduate Students

International applicants may be eligible for merit based scholarships, depending on the strength of their application and the graduate program for which they are applying. In addition, some graduate programs offer graduate assistantship or graduate fellowship options, which help to absorb the cost of tuition.  International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but have the option of obtaining private loans and/or enrolling in an institutional payment plan


Changes to Awards

Enrollment is reviewed after the add/drop period of each semester.  If there is a change to your enrollment, your financial aid may be adjusted and a new award notification emailed. In order to be considered half-time, graduate students must enroll in a minimum of four credit hours per semester.


Disbursement of Funds

When does financial aid get disbursed?

Financial aid is disbursed after the add/drop period of each semester.


Once I get my award package, what then?

  • Read the materials over carefully, and make sure you understand all of the aid awarded to you.

  • Outline your direct costs to determine your out-of-pocket costs not covered by financial aid.  

  • Determine whether you want to pursue the college’s payment plan or supplemental loan options.

  • Complete any additional paperwork requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

  • If you are borrowing federal direct loans, complete 1.) Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov and 2.) A Title IV Credit Authorization worksheet, available on the forms section of this website and on MyMack in the Financial Aid Portal.

Will the financial aid money be given to me directly, and what happens to the excess funds?

All financial aid is disbursed directly to your student account at Merrimack to pay for tuition, fees and any other allowable charges. If the amount of financial aid and other credits on the bill exceed tuition, fees and other allowable charges, you may receive a refund to be used for off-campus living expenses or any other education-related expenses for the term. All refund requests are initiated through the MyMack portal, Student Account Center, once the funding has posted to your account. Refund checks are mailed, direct deposited, or picked up depending upon the arrangement made at the time of the request.

Can my refund check be deposited into my personal bank account?

Yes. This request is done with the Bursar’s Office. Please contact them at billmail@merrimack.edu or 978-837-5310 to set up direct deposit.


Where can I find more information on payment options, health insurance or other billing questions?

For answers to these questions and more, please contact the Bursar’s office at 978-837-5310, or click here.