Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Application Fee (non-refundable) $60
Registration Fee $35 per semester
Graduate Student Activity Fee $55 per semester
Tuition (MA & MS) $725 per credit
Tuition (MPA) $775 per credit
Tuition (MFA) $8,250 per semester
Residency (MFA) $1,075 per semester
Graduation Fee $160
Transcript $5
Promissory Note Fee $40
Returned Check Fee $30

The University's Trustees reserve the right to change tuition rates and the fee schedule and to make additional changes whenever they believe it necessary.

Full payment of tuition and fees or designated payment method must accompany registration for summer sessions and intersession. For the fall and spring semesters, payment must be received by the initial due date.

Transcripts and diplomas will not be issued until students have met all financial obligations to the University.

Monthly Payment Plan

During the fall and spring semesters, eligible students may utilize a monthly payment plan for tuition. Initially, the student pays one-third of the total tuition due plus all fees and signs a promissory note to pay the remaining balance in two consecutive monthly installments.

Failure to honor the terms of the promissory note will affect future registration.

Reimbursement by Employer

Many corporations pay their employees' tuition. Students should check with their employers. If they are eligible for company reimbursement, students must submit a letter on company letterhead acknowledging approval of the course registration and explaining the terms of payment. The terms of this letter, upon approval of the Bursar, will be accepted as a reason for deferring that portion of tuition covered by the reimbursement. Even if covered by reimbursement, all fees (registration, processing, lab, or material) are payable by the due date.

Students will be required to sign a promissory note acknowledging that any outstanding balance must be paid in full prior to registration for future semesters. If the company offers less than 100-percent unconditional reimbursement, the student must pay the difference by the due date and sign a promissory note for the balance. Letters can only be accepted on a per-semester basis. Failure to pay before the next registration period will affect future registration.

Refund of Tuition

All requests for tuition refunds must be submitted to the appropriate dean's office immediately after withdrawal from class. Fees are not refundable. The request must be in writing and all refunds will be made based on the date notice is received or, if mailed, on the postmarked date according to the following schedule. Refunds of tuition charged on a MasterCard, Visa, or American Express card must be applied as a credit to your charge card account.

Note: Online course refunds are calculated such that each calendar day, beginning with the first day of class, is considered a scheduled class meeting.

10-15 Week Courses

Official Withdrawal Date Refund % of Charge
7 days before first scheduled class 100
6 days or less before first scheduled class 80
Before second scheduled class 60
Before third scheduled class 40
Before fourth scheduled class 20
After fourth scheduled class 0

6-9 Week Courses

Official Withdrawal Date Refund % of Charge
7 days before first scheduled class 100
6 days or less before first scheduled class 80
Before second scheduled class 40
Before third scheduled class 20
After third scheduled class 0

1-5 Week Courses

Official Withdrawal Date Refund % of Charge
7 days before first scheduled class 100
6 days or less before first scheduled class 80
Before second scheduled class 40
After second scheduled class 0

Refunds take two to three weeks to process.

University Merit or Need-Based Aid Policy for Withdrawals

Students are approved for voluntary or medical withdrawal by taking the appropriate steps as prescribed in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. Students that are receiving University financial aid will have their University need-based and merit-based aid prorated based on the following schedule:

Official Withdrawal Date % of University Aid Earned
Before first scheduled class 0
Before second scheduled class 40
Before third scheduled class 60
Before fourth scheduled class 80
After fourth scheduled class 100

Note: For courses meeting for less than a full semester (15 weeks), financial aid entitlement will be adjusted accordingly.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term. Federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.  You must begin enrollment in the semester in order to be eligible for a federal student aid disbursement.  Withdrawal before the semester start will result in cancellation of federal aid. 

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term, the Financial Aid Office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula: percentage of payment period or term completed equals the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: aid to be returned equals 100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed, minus the percentage of earned aid, multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds, and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 180 days of the student's withdrawal. The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal. Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required
  6. Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a return of funds is required
  7. Federal TEACH Grants for which a return of funds is required
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a return of funds is required

Financial Aid


A limited number of part- and full-time University graduate assistantships are available to assist promising and deserving students. Assistantships are awarded for one semester only and students must reapply each semester for renewal of an assistantship award. Renewal of an award is based on academic performance and previous service performance, and is at the discretion of the hiring department. Graduate assistantship information can be found online.

Federal Direct Loans

Under this program, graduate students may apply for up to $20,500 per academic year, depending on their educational costs. Beginning July 1, 2012, interest payments are no longer subsidized by the federal government during graduate student enrollment.

When a loan is unsubsidized, the student is responsible for the interest and may pay the interest on a monthly basis or opt to have the interest capitalized and added to the principal. There is a six-month grace period following graduate or withdrawal before loan payments begin. For information on current interest rates and loan origination fees, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.


Step One:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, indicating your attendance at Fairfield University (Title IV code 001385).

Step Two:

  • Complete the required Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) online.

Step Three:

  • Financial Aid administrators at Fairfield University will process your loan when your file is finalized, entrance counseling completed, and the MPN is signed.
  • You will be notified of the approval of the loan via the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement.

Loan Disbursement

  • If you are a first time borrower at Fairfield University, your loan will not disburse until you have completed the required entrance loan counseling.
  • Your loan will be disbursed according to a schedule established by Fairfield University and federal guidelines. It will be made in two installments for the year and transferred electronically to your University account.
  • The total amount of the funds (minus any origination fees) will be outlined in the Notice of Loan Guarantee and Disclosure Statement sent to you by the Department of Education.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 203-254-4125 or

Alternative Loans

These loans help graduate and professional students pay for their education at the University. For more information, please visit our website.

Tax Deductions

Treasury regulation (1.162.5) permits an income tax deduction for educational expenses (registration fees and the cost of travel, meals, and lodging) undertaken to: maintain or improve skills required in one's employment or other trade or business; or meet express requirements of an employer or a law imposed as a condition to retention of employment job status or rate of compensation.


Veterans may apply educational benefits to degree studies pursued at Fairfield University. Veterans should consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding the process and eligibility for possible matching funds through Fairfield's Veterans Pride Program. Information about the program, including free tuition for some veterans, is available on our website. The University Registrar's office will complete and submit the required certification form for all VA benefits.

Consumer Information

Fairfield now offers Gainful Employment Disclosures for certificate programs as required. This information can be found on our website.