We understand that these are particularly difficult times in many ways and realize that among all the challenges, financial matters may be of great concern. 

As with the Healthy.Brown.edu site, these FAQs will serve as an evolving resource as the University continues to develop the protocols and practices to ensure the well-being of our community during the 2020-21 academic year.  This page was updated as of November 18, 2020.

Federal COVID student aid funding (March 2021)

Award and Aid

Date Sensitive & Enrollment Plans

Room, Meals  

Books & Other Miscellaneous Topics

Work-Study/Campus Employment                                                                                                                           

Award & Aid Eligibility

Q. My fees have been adjusted, how does this impact my financial aid?

A.  Since your current cost of attendance reflects adjustments based on the recent announcement regarding the elimination of the annual $66 activity fee and $286 recreation fee for the 2020-21 academic year: your award has subsequently been reduced by the corresponding amounts as well. Undergraduate students will not be charged these fees this academic year. Note: If you were enrolled for the Fall 2020 term, your financial aid award was previously adjusted to reflect the elimination of a portion of these fees and has now been adjusted for the full aid year. For specific questions related to the fees visit the Bursar’s website.

Q. Why did my fees change?

A. As the University continues to support students during the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as it did for the fall semester, the University will waive the Recreation Fee and Undergraduate Activity Fee for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please note that these adjustments are temporary.  Please review Student Financial Services Spring FAQs for more information.

Q. Where can I view/review my current financial aid eligibility?

A. You may review our determination of your financial aid eligibility by visiting Banner Self-Service.  If we still require additional information or clarification from you in order to complete an initial review, these necessary items will be noted.

Q. My award lists a Student Responsibility? I thought that was being waived this year.

A. Typically, as part of the Family Responsibility portion of your financial aid package, there would be a minimum Student Responsibility amount for summer earnings that students are expected to earn over the summer before coming to Brown. In consideration of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is providing a one-time waiver of the standard summer earnings expectation ($2,700 for freshmen and $2,900 for upper-class). In the event that your earnings resulted in an expectation above the standard, your Student Responsibility was reduced by that standard. Please note that this does not affect the student contribution from the assets portion of your Student Responsibility. In future years, the standard summer earnings expectation amount will be included in your financial aid package as part of the Student Responsibility along with any asset contribution.  For more information on the Student Responsibility portion of your financial aid package, please see that section in Understanding My Financial Aid.

Q. How does the Brown three-term calendar for 2020-21 affect my aid award?

A.  Students will generally only be allowed to enroll in two of the three terms. Your financial aid is based on two terms within the three-term model. Institutional Scholarship will not be available for a third term of enrollment in the adjusted 2020-21 academic year. 

Q. I am planning to do remote learning (not attend in-person classes) for one or both terms. How will my aid change?

A. Your current financial aid package is based on a residential (on-campus) cost of attendance, which includes support for travel to/from campus as well as the full costs of on-campus housing and a comprehensive meal plan. 

If your residency plans change (e.g., you opt to study remotely, outside the Providence area, at a later date), an adjustment will be made to your travel allowance. However, the full cost of on-campus room and meals will continue to be included in the cost of attendance as a housing and meal allowance for students who opt to live off-campus (with permission) or to study remotely outside of the Providence area. Including these expenses as an allowance within the cost of attendance helps us estimate and support costs that will still be incurred for meals, housing, and other related expenses such as internet service that are provided with on-campus housing.  Only students living on campus will be charged for room and meals.  Please see the Bursar website for additional tuition and fee information. 

Please note though that, if the University decides at any point in time (e.g. due to public health guidance) that it is necessary for one or more semesters to be offered fully online through remote learning only, your financial aid award may be modified due to changes in your room and meal allowance, as well as any other changes to the overall cost of attendance.

Q. My family's finances have been impacted by COVID19. Can I appeal my financial aid?    

A. Yes. However, in order for us to conduct a full review, we will require 2020 income information. In most cases, completed 2020 tax returns will be required. If you feel you and your family have had a significant change, you can submit the appeal form with all supporting documentation.

Q. How do I find the messages in Banner Self-Service that are associated with my award?       

A. After logging into Banner Self Service, you can review your individual messages under Current Award Information or you can access them through the Financial Aid tab and choose Undergraduate Students. In addition, you can find general messages by choosing the "view general messages" option under your Current Award Information.


 Date Sensitive & Enrollment Plans

Q. I'm taking a Leave of Absence for a year/term. How will my financial aid be impacted?

A. A student taking a Leave of Absence is a relatively common occurrence here at Brown. Please refer to the General Questions section of our website for full details. If you chose to take a leave of absence, you may be required to return unearned aid and still may owe funds to the University.

Q. I will be taking a Leave of Absence (LOA) from Brown University. Can I receive financial aid to help cover my living and/or personal expenses?       

A. When a student is on a LOA from Brown University you are not actively enrolled as a student, therefore you are not eligible for any financial aid options that are available to actively enrolled students.

Q. What are the billing dates and when will I receive my bill for each term?   

A. Billing and student account statements will be sent to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students by December 5th with a January 1, 2021, due date. Details on fees, the Installment Payment Plan, and spring and summer billing can be found on the Student Financial Services website


 Room, Meals  

Q. I am living off campus in or near Providence. Will my financial aid award change?

A. Living off-campus does NOT affect your financial aid award. Your scholarship is not adjusted based on your decision to live off-campus. Our office assumes that you will spend the same amount of money living off-campus as you would on-campus. Important note: Students interested in living off-campus must apply for approval through the Office of Residential Life.

Q. My financial aid award includes room & meals but I'm not living on campus and/or taking meal plan.  Will I be charged for it? 

A. A student's COA will include an allowance towards Room and Meals regardless if you are on campus or off campus.  This allowance is reported on your financial aid award.  Students will need to review their Student Account Statement to determine if they have been charged for Room and/or Meals.  Not having the room charge and/or the meal plan charge will decrease the amount that you owe on your student account.

 Books & Other Miscellaneous Topics

Q.  I have been notified that I have been selected to participate in the Book/Course Material Support (BCMS) Pilot Program. I will be Remote Learning for the academic year/one semester. How will I receive my books?           

A. Your books and course materials will still be provided to you from the Brown Bookstore. You must make your purchases or rentals of books/materials at the Brown Bookstore website using your Banner ID Number and choosing “student charge” as your payment option. Please review your BCMS Canvas course for more details.  

Q. If I am in an “off” semester, how will that affect my student loan repayment?

A. For additional information about student loans, please consult the Loan Office

Q. If I am on a “leave”, how will that affect my student loan repayment? 

A. For additional information about student loans, please consult the Loan Office.

Q. I am a new student starting in the spring and have an outside scholarship that I already reported to Brown. I also notified the funding agency what my enrollment plans were for the upcoming year. Do I need to do anything now that my enrollment will be delayed?

A. If you have already reported to Brown that you anticipate receiving an outside scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year, we will assume that those funds should be applied to the terms you are enrolled in. In the case of a new student, that will be the spring and summer terms. You only need to notify our office if that changes. You should update the funding agency with your enrollment changes especially if you previously reported something different.

Q. I am a new student starting in the spring and would like to use my outside scholarship for a one-time computer purchase. When should I purchase it? When can I get reimbursed?

A. Since your outside scholarship is awarded based on the terms in which you are enrolled, we recommend waiting to purchase your computer until then. You will not be able to be reimbursed until you are enrolled. Please submit the computer receipt to our office at [email protected]

 Work-Study/Campus Employment

Q. How can I earn the Federal Work-Study (FWS)/Campus Employment portion of my financial aid offer?

A. Your 2020-2021 financial aid award includes a work component regardless of your Location of Study (on-campus, off-campus, or remote).  Federal Work-Study (FWS) or Campus Employment provides you the option to earn funds to help cover the personal/miscellaneous expenses you will incur during the academic year.  Both in-person and remote student positions are available. Students who are studying outside of the Providence area are eligible to work in positions that can be fulfilled remotely.  Students who are approved to return to campus have the option to secure in-person or remote jobs.

Student positions are posted in Workday and are updated frequently as departmental needs change and evolve. Instructions detailing how to view these postings in Workday are available on the Student Employment website.   Questions related to Workday and/or securing a Brown student position may be directed to [email protected].

Utilizing the work component of the financial aid award is optional and is not required for aided students. If students opt not to work a campus job (ie: secure non-Brown part-time employment or use savings or other means to cover personal expenses) the financial aid award is not affected in any way, and students are not required to notify the Office of Financial Aid.  As always, students also have the option to replace Federal Work-Study or Campus Employment with either a federal or private loan.  For information regarding loan eligibility, please email [email protected].

Q. I am having trouble finding a campus job.  What should I do?

A. Students having difficulty finding employment are encouraged to set up an appointment with Student Employment staff for assistance. Please email [email protected] and visit our website.

Q. I've secured a Brown student position but I am being told I need to complete a Form I-9 before I can begin working.  How do I do that?

A. Please visit the Quick Links section of the Student Employment website for detailed instructions on completing this form.   Questions may be directed to [email protected].

Q. I will be on a leave of absence for the fall, am I eligible to be hired for a "remote" campus job during the fall term? 

A. Enrolled undergraduate students are eligible to apply to student positions. If a student is on a leave of absence, they are not eligible to work in a student position.