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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) Scholarships

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. Interviews
  3. Past academic performance
  4. Scholarship application essays
  5. Results of the HES Test of Critical Reading and Writing Skills (CRWS)

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 by June 15 for fall term enrollment and October 1 for spring term enrollment:

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.

Email the Admissions Office at 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

More information about our Fall 2021 Lowell Student Scholarship will be posted here in July.

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, 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.

Poetry in America Teachers Scholarship

Poetry in America (PiA) Teachers Scholarships enable middle and high school teachers to take one of the fall 2020 PiA courses (listed below) 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.

Eligible PiA courses:

  • ENGL E-182a Poetry in America: From the Mayflower through Emerson
  • ENGL E-182h Poetry in America: Whitman and Dickenson

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

  1. Create a student account in online services
  2. Register for your course online
  3. Pay $250 before August 6
  4. Submit the scholarship application form, signed by your school’s principal, before August 6. 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. 

For more information, call (617) 495-4293.

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 6, 2020.

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