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Financing Options for Non-Admitted Students

If you have not been admitted to a degree or premedical program, you are not eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional aid. However, financing options are available to support your education at Harvard Extension School. Here you’ll find information about funds for non-admitted students.


Limited scholarship funds are available for non-admitted students at Harvard Extension School.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Scholarship

Harvard Extension School awards a limited number of PTK Scholarships to community college graduates who are PTK members and wish to join the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) degree program. You are eligible to apply if, as a PTK member, you are also a US citizen or eligible non-citizen, can qualify for financial aid, and have earned your associate’s degree with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. Further, you must meet the initial admission eligibility requirements for the ALB degree, including the expectation that your high school diploma or its equivalent must have been earned at least five years prior to enrolling in any ALB degree-applicable courses.

Awards are based on the following:

  1. Financial need
  2. Past academic performance
  3. Scholarship application essays
  4. Results of the HES Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills (CRWS)
  5. An interview

Preference is given to associate’s degree graduates who primarily studied the liberal arts. The scholarship covers tuition for the three undergraduate degree courses required for admission to the ALB degree program.

To apply for a PTK Scholarship, complete the following between May 15 and June 15 for fall term enrollment and September 1 and October 1 for spring term enrollment:

  • 2021-2022  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online. Enter the Harvard Extension School federal code, E00209, in the school section of the FAFSA.
  • Financial Aid Application Supplement. The Fall/Spring aid application supplement is found in the Financial Aid Portal available through MyDCE  .
  • PTK Scholarship application. The application is available on our website (under “How to Apply”).

Student Financial Services may ask you to submit additional supporting documentation (e.g., proof of citizenship or verification worksheet) before your scholarship application is considered complete. Student Financial Services will contact you directly if additional documents are required.

If you are a scholarship recipient and you do not complete the admission courses in the initial award year, you must submit a new financial aid application to receive the remaining PTK scholarship funds for a subsequent academic year.

Review our PTK site for more information.

Lowell Scholarships

Lowell Scholarships enable middle school and high school teachers to take one Extension School course per term (fall and spring) at half the regular tuition rate (for undergraduate or graduate credit only). The number of scholarships is limited, so teachers should apply early in the registration period. Scholarships cannot be used for January session or summer courses.

Lowell Scholarships are also available for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade high school students in Boston-area schools. Please see below for more information about our Lowell Student Scholarships.

Lowell Teachers Scholarship

To apply, submit the following with the course registration form:

The scholarship form must be signed by the school principal and must include the principal’s phone number.

Lowell Scholarships cannot be used for internships, independent studies, practicums, master’s theses, or capstone projects, nor can they be combined with any other scholarships. For more information, call (617) 495-4293.

Lowell Student Scholarships

To apply for a Lowell Student Scholarship, please review all of the information noted below:


  1. Review the Lowell Student Scholarship Information Packet in its entirety BEFORE STARTING YOUR APPLICATION.
  2. Review the course catalog to determine which course that you would like to register for during the fall term. Please note that students can only use the Lowell Student Scholarship (if awarded) to register for (1) undergraduate-level course, with the exception of Management courses. Students cannot use the scholarship towards any Management or graduate-level courses at Harvard Extension School.
  3. Log into your MyDCE student account and register for your desired fall term course. Please review page 2 of the Lowell Student Scholarship Information Packet for instructions on how to access MyDCE for both new and returning students.
  4. Access the Student Finance Portal from your MyDCE student account dashboard to make the payment for your course. Undergraduate-level courses are $1,920 for the 2021-22 academic year, and students are responsible for paying for 50% of the total course cost ($960). The scholarship will cover the remaining $960 owed for the course if a student is awarded it. All course payments must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, August 9 for a student to still be considered for the scholarship for the fall term.
  5. Complete and submit your scholarship application by the application deadline – Monday, August 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be no exceptions made to this deadline. No late applications will be accepted.


After you have reviewed the Lowell Student Scholarship Information Packet in its entirety, you can start your scholarship application.


Thursday, July 15

  • Scholarship application open to all eligible students. Pre-registration begins today (accessible on your MyDCE dashboard). Please see page 2 of the Lowell Student Scholarship Information Packet for more information about the pre-registration process. You must complete pre-registration before being able to register for courses when course registration opens up to all students on Monday, July 26.

 Monday, July 26

  • Fall term course registration opens up to all students at 9:00 a.m. eastern time

Monday, August 9

  • All scholarship applications due by 11:59 p.m. eastern time. You must have also registered for your desired course and made the $960 payment for your course by this deadline in order to be considered for the scholarship. No late applications will be accepted.
  • If English is not your native language, then you will need to submit proof of English Proficiency to Harvard Extension School before being permitted to complete pre-registration and to register for your desired fall term course. Learn more about how to meet the English Proficiency requirement.

Tuesday, August 9-Sunday, August 15

  • Scholarship committee reviews all student applications and makes scholarship decisions for students

Monday, August 16

  • Scholarship decisions emailed out to all students by 5:00 p.m. eastern time


Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the scholarships committee continues to work remotely at this time. As a result, no scholarships-related documents should be mailed in to Harvard Extension School at this time, as our staff members are unable to report back to our offices to collect any mail that we receive from students right now. Students are able to upload all of their required scholarship application documents electronically while working on their scholarship applications.


If you have any questions or concerns about the Lowell Student Scholarship, please contact the Office of Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 or via email at Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET.

  • If emailing, please use the subject line “Lowell Student Scholarship” so that we can respond back to your email as soon as possible.

Poetry in America Teachers Scholarship

Poetry in America (PiA) Teachers Scholarships enable middle and high school teachers to take one of the PiA courses per semester, for a reduced tuition cost of $250. The number of scholarships is limited. Teachers should apply early in the registration period. Scholarships may not be used for other courses

To apply for a PiA Teachers Scholarship, complete the following:

  1. Create a student account in MyDCE
  2. Register for your course online
  3. Pay $250
  4. Submit the scholarship application form, signed by your school’s principal. Please note you may submit an email from your school’s principal providing the required information if you are unable to obtain a signature. Please forward your principal’s email along with the application form to:
  5. The Application cycle for the 2021/2022 year is now open. Complete all the steps by:
    • Fall 2021: completed application must be submitted by August 9, 2021
    • Spring 2022: completed application must be submitted by January 3, 2022

For more information, contact Student Financial Services at (617) 495-4293 or

Community Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available for Cambridge Rindge and Latin students, Cambridge city employees, and Allston-Brighton residents. Scholarships cannot be used for January session courses.

Cambridge Rindge and Latin students. A limited number of tuition scholarships are awarded to eligible 12th grade students at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. For information please contact Enrollment Services at (617) 495-4024 or

Allston-Brighton residents. The Allston-Brighton Community Scholarships cover tuition for any course taken for noncredit, undergraduate, or graduate credit by residents of Allston and Brighton. Five scholars are chosen each term by the Allston Civic Association. For information about these scholarships, please visit the Harvard Ed Portal.

For information about these scholarships, call the Honan Library, the Allston branch of the Boston Public Library, (617) 787-6313.

Cambridge city employees. The Leonard J. Russell Scholarship covers tuition for one Graduate Program in Management course for up to three City of Cambridge employees each term. Interested Cambridge employees may download an application and submit it to Student Financial Services before August 1 for fall semester courses and January 1 for spring semester courses.

Private Student Loans

You may consider applying for a credit-based private student loan to assist you in financing the courses required for admission to a program. To receive a private loan, you will need to 1) complete a private loan application, and 2) have your loan certified by student financial services.

Private Loan Application

Each year, Harvard seeks proposals from lenders offering non-federal education loans through an RFI to provide Harvard students with information on private loan products. Students are not required to use these lenders, and domestic borrowers may qualify for federal loans with better terms.

Private Loan Certification

Once your loan has been preapproved by the lender of your choice, it must be certified by Student Financial Services. Certification of private student loans is based on the cost of attendance for your enrollment and is limited for non-admitted students to a maximum of three semesters, not to exceed $25,000.

Private student loans are primarily intended to cover tuition and fees, books and transportation, and are designed to be a supplement to your other financial resources.

Private student loans may not be certified for students who are not in good academic standing.  Non-admitted students intending to pursue admission to a degree program and who have earned any grades below B at Harvard Extension School or Summer School are strongly encouraged to request their GPA through online services (Degree Program Admissions menu) to discuss admission eligibility before requesting certification of a private loan.

To have your loan certified, you must:

  1. Complete a request for private loan certification form and submit it to Student Financial Services
  2. Receive confirmation from Student Financial Services regarding the loan amount that will be certified

The loan certification process may take up to two weeks. Additional processing time may be required by your lender. To use private student loan funds to register, you must have all of the above application items completed by the first day of classes. If you do not have a loan certified by the first day of classes, you will need to make other payment arrangements to register. You should review your student account in MyDCE to determine if your loan has been certified by Student Financial Services. If a loan has been certified, the funds appear as either an account credit or an anticipated credit, which allows you to register without using another form of payment. You should also review the lender notification regarding the disbursement of your loan funds to Student Financial Services.

Student Financial Services certifies the following for your lender:

  • Your enrollment plans
  • That the amount you requested fits within the standard cost of attendance for your planned enrollment

When determining the cost of attendance for students enrolling half time or more (at least 8 credits per term for the fall or spring), Student Financial Services considers the following expenses:

  • Tuition and registration fee
  • Housing and food
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal
  • Transportation

When determining the cost of attendance for students enrolling less than half time(6 credits or fewer per term for the fall or spring), Student Financial Services considers only the following expenses:

  • Tuition and registration fee
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation

If Student Financial Services has certified a private student loan for you and you change your enrollment, all or a portion of the loan funds may need to be returned to your lender.

Other Sources of Funding

In addition, check the following sources of funding on Tuition, Costs, and Payment:

  • Harvard University Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP)
  • Veterans Administration benefits