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HGSE Financial Aid -- How does it work?

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When you receive the financial aid letter from HGSE, it can come with a whole bunch of components.

1. HGSE Grant (need-based)

2. Other Grants (merit or restricted)

3. Work Study

4. Subsidized loans

5. Unsubsidized loans

6. Maybe there's more -- who knows?

Repeatedly, on the application, on the letter, and on the website, it says that outside funding needs to be reported because it will reduce the financial aid that you are provided. My question is "how does that work?" In specific, say I get 10K from an outside scholarship or 10K from my employer or 10K from my mother and I report it -- what happens?

Do they reduce my need-based scholarship by that amount? If so, what's the point?

Do they simply reduce the loan for which I am eligible? In which case, that's great. In what order to they eliminate these things? Is it worth it to look for additional monies?

Any insight will be helpful. Thanks!

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From my understanding it is only reduced if that outside scholarship + your financial aid exceeds the projected 60k+ in estimated expenses. Though I may be wrong.

I also believe they will reduce "less desirable" aid i.e. loans, first.

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While I can't speak to Harvard specifically, for federal aid purposes, you cannot receive a total financial aid package that exceeds cost of attendace (tuition + living expenses). Generally, if you receive new sources of grants/scholarships, financial aid offices reduce the amount awarded for your least favorable loans first (Grad Plus in most graduate school instances).

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For me it's simple, I have some merit-based grant money, some need-based grant money, and then federal loans.

Does that mean that federal loans go first?


At most schools (and presumably Harvard), that would be the case (and to the extent that you have different types of federal loans awarded, then the ones with the worst terms, e.g. highest interest/unsubsidized, would be the first to go).

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