Returning U.S. Students

Returning US Citizens and Eligible Non-Citizens

Financial Aid Application Deadline: May 1st

All students must reapply for federal and institutional financial aid (grants, scholarships, work study and loans) every year. All Returning US students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to meet this requirement.

  • FAFSA (
    • The FAFSA is the application to receive federal and institutional financial aid to attend MSM.

Financial Aid Process and Procedures

The financial aid process can be intimidating, especially when you have no idea where you are in the process, what else needs to be completed, or when you will find anything out. This section is to help you understand the financial aid process and time frame from start to finish.

Complete the Applications

Prior to May 1, the financial aid application priority deadline, be sure to complete the FAFSA. Before you actually start to complete the renewal application be sure to have your (and your parents, if a Dependent undergraduate student) prior year’s tax information easily accessible. Complete the appropriate year’s application based on fall semester of the upcoming school year.

Have questions during the completion process?

Tips for completing the online application:

  • Make sure you list Manhattan School of Music on the application; otherwise we will not receive your application or be able to view it
  • Make sure to electronically sign and fully submit the application.
  • Even if your taxes are not finalized by March 1, complete the application using estimated income. It is better to have estimated data than no data at all. 

If you are worried that you made a mistake or filled out something incorrectly, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and we will check on your application for you. Please allow 3-4 business days after you submit your application for processing before we will receive it.

Review of the Applications

During the months of May and June the Office of Financial Aid will be completing a review of your financial aid application and prior year academic transcripts. It is during this time that we are analyzing the information to determine both the types and amounts of financial aid you are eligible to receive. These types of aid include grants, scholarships, work study, and loan options. Returning students are typically notified by mid-June of their financial aid eligibility for the upcoming academic year.

If you have not received the Financial Aid Notification Letter by email by mid-June, something might be missing or was not received that is preventing us from creating your financial aid package. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine what is needed.

Notification of Aid

I have received my Financial Aid Notification Letter. What is next?

Now is decision making time. What aid is best; what are the terms of the loans; how much loan money do I need; what can I contribute from savings, can we make payments? All of these questions require important decisions and are often best discussed with your parent(s) or guardian(s).

For a detailed description and definition of the types of aid you might be eligible for, look into our Types of Aid on our website. This is a great starting point when figuring it all out. Then, contact us. The Office of Financial Aid is here to speak with you so you can get the answers, options, and processes for every type of aid.

Getting Ready for the School Year

We have now made our decisions and know the types and amounts of aid that we want to accept. Now what do we do?

First return a signed copy of the Financial Aid Notification Letter that was emailed to you to accept the types, amounts, and conditions of your financial aid awards.

If you are accepting grants, scholarships, or work study, the signed Letter is the only thing that we require.  If you will be requesting your student loans to help finance your education, there are a few additional steps that are required:

  • To accept the Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans
    • Go to and complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
      • Entrance Counseling explains your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower
      • The MPN promises you will pay the loan back under those terms
  • To accept the Direct Parent or Grad PLUS loans
    • Go to and complete the PLUS Request/Application Process and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
      • The PLUS Request/Application Process collects your information and runs a basic credit check on the borrower. Click here for the credit requirements for a PLUS loan
      • The MPN promises you will pay the loan back under those terms
  • To accept the Federal Perkins Loan
    • Nothing needs to be done over the summer.  During orientation you will be given the loan documents to complete while on campus.

In some instances a student is selected for a process called Verification. This process requires additional documentation where the Office of Financial Aid confirms, or verifies, that the information submitted on the FAFSA is accurate. In this case the student (and parent if applicable) will need to complete a Verification Worksheet and have the prior year tax information verified. Click here for the specifics about Verification, how you will be notified of the requirement, and what to do if selected.

Financial Aid on My Bill

Financial Aid will only be able to be applied to your bill if all of the above steps have been completed for each type of aid.  Your financial aid will be posted as "Anticipated" financial aid on your student Billing Worksheet found at> College Student > My Info.

Please...ask questions about anything you do not understand about any part of our application process or your financial aid. We understand that the scholarship/financial aid process can be, at times, frustrating and intimidating. We want to assist and support you from start to finish. It is our goal to make applying for scholarship and financial aid as pleasant and painless as possible. If you have suggestions or comments, or if you experience problems, please call our office at 917-493-4809. Financial Aid counselors are available to assist you.