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  Aug 14, 2020
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Financial Aid



To qualify for financial aid, graduate students must be enrolled as degree or eligible certificate seeking students on at least a half-time basis of 4.5 credit hours per semester (minimum six hours per semester is required for assistantships and fellowships). Eligibility for grants and loans requires United States citizenship or permanent resident status. It should also be noted that federal and state legislation frequently modifies requirements and eligibility standards for financial aid.

Application Procedures

Because financial aid is awarded on an annual basis, these procedures must be followed each year. While admission is not required to initiate an application for financial aid, new students will not receive confirmation of their status until the Office of Financial Aid is notified that the admission process is complete.

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed as soon as possible after January 1, but not later than March 1, preceding the academic year for which assistance is requested. Students are requested to file the FAFSA on the internet at Electronic filing is an accurate and fast means of filing for financial aid.
  • Upon request, applicants must submit all pages of completed tax forms for verification by the Office of Financial Aid.

Conditions of Financial Aid Awards

  • All aid is awarded on an annual basis and aid amounts are credited to student accounts for each semester’s charges.
  • Refunds of any excess credit will be made approximately halfway through each term through the Student Services Office. Refunds are generated when the student account reflects a credit balance resulting from direct payments and/or the posting of financial aid.
  • Since aid is awarded on the basis of annual financial information from students, and college costs change each year, financial aid awards may vary depending on the changing circumstances.
  • Outside sources of assistance - such as private scholarships and Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) - must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. Financial aid already awarded could be modified as a result.
  • All awards of federal or state aid are tentative, pending approval and receipt of funds from the source.
  • Costs on which financial aid eligibility is calculated include direct expenses such as tuition and fees and indirect costs such as books/supplies, personal expenses, transportation and at-home maintenance.

Sage$en$e Online 

Sage$en$e Online is the financial aid portal at The Sage Colleges;  giving  students access to financial aid information on a 24/7 basis. Sage$en$e Online is also an interactive financial planning tool. Student financial aid will not be posted to a student’s student account until the student has accepted their awards through Sage$en$e Online and completed all relevant tasks associated with their awards.

Sage$en$e Online is accessible for students through Sage Advisor. Students will use their Sage Net login and password for Sage Advisor. From the Student Menu ,under Financial Information, simply click on the Sage$en$e Online link.

Students may authorize third party access by following the simple insctructions for this process.

Federal and State Sources of Financial Aid

Student Loans

Beginning with the summer of 2010, The Sage Colleges will be participating in the William D. Ford Direct Loan program.  Student borrowers will receive funding for their federal student loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education rather from private banks and other lending institutions as they do now through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). 

Direct Loans are federally insured low-interest education loans for students and parents.  These include the Direct Subsidized Loan, the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) and the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan programs for graduate and professional students.

Direct Subsidized Loan:

Graduate students may borrow up to $8,500 per year, not to exceed their cost of attendance. Insurance and origination fees are approximately one percent and are removed from the gross amount prior to disbursement. For students demonstrating financial need, the loan is subsidized, with interest paid by the Department of Education during school enrollment. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%, effective July 1, 2010.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Graduate students may borrow up to $12,000 per year, not to exceed their cost of attendance. This loan does not require the student to demonstrate need.  The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%, effective July 1, 2010. Insurance and origination fees are approximately one percent and are removed from the gross amount prior to disbursement.

Direct Graduate PLUS

Direct Graduate PLUSLoan programs for graduate and professional students are available, students do not need to demonstrate need and cannot exceed their cost of attendance. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9% effective July 1, 2010.   Insurance and origination fees are approximately three percent and are removed from the gross amount prior to disbursement. Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and complete entrance counseling. 

Veterans Administration Benefits may be available to those with at least 180 days of continuous active duty between 1955 and 1976. The assistance is in the form of monthly stipends and is dependent on enrollment status. Details are available from the Office of the Financial Aid and on the Financial Aid webpages under Student Services.


When reasonable efforts through other channels have not resolved a dispute or problem regarding federal education loans, students can contact the Student Financial Assistance Ombudsman. The U.S. Department of Education’s Ombudsman Office can propose solutions that may help students and other parties come to a final agreement, although an ombudsman can’t reverse a decision or take sides. Reach the ombudsman at:

Office of Ombudsman
Student Financial Assistance
Room 3012, ROB #3
7th & D Streets, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYHESC) administers programs of assistance for children of deceased or disabled veterans, and of deceased corrections officers and fire fighters. Direct grants are available to Vietnam-era veterans. New York State also provides grants and scholarships to students who concentrate in specific fields of study, including education, nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Information may be obtained on the HES website at

Assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships

Sage Graduate School is committed to an equitable, supportive and professional environment for graduate education. Graduate assistantships and fellowships provide financial support while helping students develop independent judgment, intellectual breadth, professional and personal accountability, and the ability to communicate effectively.

Graduate Assistantships provide tuition waivers and a stipend for working in an academic or administrative office, assisting faculty in research, or in limited instances, teaching undergraduate classes. For each three-credit tuition waiver plus $1000 stipend, a student works 150 hours or teaches one three-credit course equivalent. Assistantships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic ability.

To be eligible for assistantships, students must follow the financial aid application procedures described above, including submission of the FAFSA after January 1. Students also must complete by an Application for Assistantship form available from the Sage Graduate School web page (Academics, Forms). Preference will be given to students who complete this process prior to March 1 of the year preceding the assistantship award.

Upon receipt of FAFSA information, which identifies the level of federal and state aid for which the student is eligible, the Office of Financial Aid determines whether or not the student is also eligible for a graduate assistantship . Beginning on March 15 of each year students will be notified of their eligibility for an assistantship award.

Students enrolled for six hours per semester, including the summer term, may receive no more than two tuition waivers plus stipend per year. Students enrolled for nine or more hours may receive one tuition waiver plus stipend each semester, including the summer term, but no more than three tuition waivers plus stipend per year.

An assistantship award means that the student is eligible to apply for the open assistantship positions posted at or available in the Graduate School office. Job descriptions allow students to match their skills and experience to the openings. These may be in academic departments or administrative offices; selection is made by the individual supervising the graduate assistant. When a selection has been made, the student assistant receives a contract of employment which must be returned within two weeks of the issue date. If the contract is not returned, the assistantship is released for award to another student.

Student assistants may be asked to perform only duties that are contained in the job description for the position they occupy; they may not be asked or required to perform inappropriate services (e.g., child care, pet care, or other personal services) as part of their responsibilities. Student assistants are expected to be accountable and professional in carrying out the duties of the position; less than satisfactory performance may result in the termination of an assistantship award.

The typical appointment periods are as follows:

Fall term September 1 through December 15
Spring term January 2 through April 30
Summer term May 15 through August 15
Academic year September 1 through April 30
Fiscal year May 15 through April 30

Graduate stipends are paid twice each month, on the regular pay dates for salaried employees. A form I-90 or other proof of eligibility to work in the United States must be provided to the Office of Human Resources before compensation may begin.

Teaching assistantships may be available to a limited number of students in post-master’s programs who have already earned master’s degrees and who are otherwise qualified to deliver undergraduate instruction. Such awards are contingent on departmental need for such instruction. Teaching assistants are assigned to a departmental faculty mentor who provides supervision and feedback during the teaching assignment. Teaching assistants, as with other instructional faculty, receive course evaluations from students and a final written evaluation from the faculty mentor.

Graduate assistantships are renewable each year for up to four years of study, contingent upon the maintenance of academic good standing in the student’s program of study and satisfactory performance in the assistantship position. To renew an assistantship each year, the student must file the FAFSA between January 1 and March 1 and complete the Application for Assistantship form. In addition, the supervisor must complete the Assistantship Renewal Request Form. Both are available on the Sage Graduate School web page (Academics, Forms) or in the Graduate School office.

Broughton Graduate Fellowships provide funding to selected graduate students who demonstrate excellence in research in their fields of study, without regard to financial need. To be eligible for a Fellowship, a student must have completed at least 18 hours of graduate coursework at Sage with a minimum B average and have the recommendation of the research advisor. The Fellowship is intended to create opportunities for advanced scholarly work for graduate students doing creative, advanced study and research, including preparing a thesis or final project for a master’s degree, at Sage Graduate School. Students in all graduate programs are eligible. The criteria for selection of Broughton Fellows are: a record of outstanding academic achievement and evidence of creative and imaginative problem solving. All Broughton Fellows present the results of their research at the Sage Research Symposium in the spring of each year. Applications may be downloaded from or obtained in the Sage Graduate School office.

Awards are made three times a year: in the fall (October 21)for students working on fall projects to be presented in the spring; in the spring (February 15) for students working on spring projects to be presented in the spring; and in the late spring (April 15) for students who will be working on their projects during the next year and who will be presenting the following spring.

Endowed Graduate Scholarships

The endowed scholarships listed below are awarded to graduate students. These awards are restricted as noted and are not available every year as they may be fully awarded to continuing students. For information, contact Office of Financial Aid.

Daniel A. Cowan Scholarship For a student at Sage Graduate School who is an entrepreneur or owns their own business and is paying for his or her own education.

Elizabeth M. Desch, RSC ‘36, Physical Therapy Scholarship To female Physical Therapy students who are attending or have graduated from Russell Sage College with financial need.

George I. Alden Trust Endowed Scholarship To students from Massachusetts.

Helen Webb Mancheski Scholarship For physical therapy students

Linda Thomas Franklin, RSC ‘78, Scholarship in Nursing To a student enrolled full time in the Nursing program with preference given to minorities and then single parents.

Louis & Hortense Rubin Community Fellows Program This is a cooperative venture among the faculty of Sage, RPI, HVCC, Emma Willard, and participating agencies of Rensselaer County, administered by Sage. The fellowship provides for faculty to strengthen the participating agencies in the region, as well as for part-time consulting. In the fall of each year there is an informational forum followed by an application process. For more information on the Rubin Community Fellowship Program visit

Marjorie A. Mellor Nursing Scholarship To Nursing majors with financial need.

Please refer questions to the Office of Financial Aid at (518) 292-1783