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Financial Aid Policies & Disclosures

Financial Aid Renewal Policy

All financial aid recipients, including those receiving only NEC funds, must reapply for financial aid annually. Financial Aid applications for returning students are usually available in December for aid to be awarded in the next academic year.

Normally, financial aid awards will remain the same dollar amount for each student from year to year. However, changes in income, degree program, household size, family members’ college enrollment, credit-load, etc. may affect a student’s financial aid. To be eligible for renewal, students must meet NEC’s academic standards, be registered,and reapply for financial aid on time with minimal changes to his/her financial situation.

Please note: Returning students who began their academic program prior to Fall 2012 will be subject to the renewal policy that was in place as of their enrollment date.

Students who are returning from inactive status are included in the renewal policy, provided they have notified the Dean of Students of their return, have completed the financial aid process on time. Students returning from suspension, or who have been on academic probation for two consecutive semesters, are not eligible for financial aid until they return to good academic standing. Current NEC students who are applying to another degree program (e.g. Bachelor’s students who reapply for graduate programs) are subject to the deadlines and policies set for new students.

Financial Aid decisions will be made in accordance with the applicant’s strengths and financial need relative to the pool of new applicants. This policy includes current Master’s students applying for a second Master’s degree in another major.

Scholarship renewal in the case of program extension is not guaranteed and funds may be reduced.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

All appeals for additional financial assistance must be made using the web-based Financial Aid Appeal Form and be supplemented by appropriate documentation, as described on the Form. All appeals should also specify a dollar amount of funding requested. Due to budget constraints, not all appeals will be approved. If approved, appeal awards generally range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Appeals are reviewed continually and responses emailed shortly after the Scholarship Committee makes its decision, with close attention paid to students’ NEC decision deadlines. Faculty letters/recommendations are not necessary for appeals; the Financial Aid Office will consult with faculty as needed.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To qualify for continued financial assistance, students must be making satisfactory academic progress, which NEC defines as the successful completion of at least 67% of all credit hours attempted over the course of the semester, as well as any promotional evaluation. Additionally, undergraduates must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 while graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for NEC’s full Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Academic Probation

When a student has been on academic probation for two consecutive semesters, he/she will be ineligible to receive financial aid in the third consecutive semester, whether it be continuous, or upon return from suspension. If, by the fourth semester, the student has regained satisfactory academic status, he/she will also be returned to an eligible status for financial aid.

Example: Jane Doe is placed on academic probation for the Fall 2008 semester. She remains on probation for the Spring 2009 semester. If she returns for Fall 2009, she will not be eligible for aid during that semester. If she is instead placed on suspension for the 2009-10 academic year, she will not be eligible for aid during that year and will also be ineligible for aid during the first semester that she returns (in this case, Fall 2010). In either case, if, by Spring 2011, she has returned to satisfactory academic standing, she will again be eligible for financial aid.

Withdrawal Policy

The Conservatory will administratively withdraw students who enroll in, or matriculate at, another institution, no matter what their previous status. Those wishing to withdraw from NEC should indicate their request in writing to the Dean of Students.

Refund Policy

The Conservatory uses federal guidelines to determine refunds for new and returning students, as assessed by the Business Office and disbursed by the Financial Aid Office. New and returning students who petition the Dean’s Office in writing by noon on the dates below are eligible for refunds (as stipulated: see "Tuition and Fees" in Academic Catalog).

RefundFall 2017Spring 2018
100%through 6 Septemberthrough 16 January
90%through 18 Septemberthrough 29 January
75%through 2 Octoberthrough 12 February
50%through 27 Octoberthrough 12 March

Return of Financial Aid Funds Policy

A pro-rated refund calculation will be applied to Federal Student Aid recipients at NEC who become inactive or stop attending classes before completing 60% of the semester. Title IV (federal financial aid) refunds will be calculated according to the number of days the student has attended classes, or the date on which he/she became inactive, divided by the total number of days in the semester (up to 60%). NEC (and the student, where applicable) will be required to return to the federal aid programs the amount of aid received that was in excess of the aid earned for the time period that the student was enrolled.

Separate calculations will be done to determine how much institutional financial aid a student is eligible to retain. For students who go inactive/withdraw before completing 60% of the semester, NEC will remove all funding from the student's overall financial aid award. Upon re-entry, students will be reconsidered for NEC funding on a funds-available basis.

Computer, Internet Use and Account Policy

Many users share the computing facilities at New England Conservatory. These facilities must be used responsibly by everyone, since misuse by even a few individuals has the potential to disrupt Conservatory business or the work of others. All students are therefore required to exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using the Conservatory’s computing facilities and services.

1. Students must not share account or password information or authorize anyone to use their computer accounts for any reason

  • Treat computing resources and electronic information as a valuable Conservatory resource. Protect your data and the systems you use.
  • Students are responsible for all use of their accounts and information contained within. Students must take all reasonable precautions, including password maintenance and file protection measures, to prevent use of their account by unauthorized persons.
  • Those accounts determined to be the source of any misuse are subject to immediate and indefinite suspension, pending final decision by the Dean of Students and/or Director of I.T.S.

2. Students must not tamper or modify any data and telephone hardware, jacks and/or wiring

  • Do not install or connect any hubs, switches, wireless equipment or any personal computer equipment to the N.E.C. network. This includes, but is not limited to, any removable storage device such as USB key drive, wireless device, image capture device, and personal computers (desktop or laptop).
  • Network services and wiring may not be extended beyond the port provided. Retransmission or extension of network services is prohibited without explicit permission. This includes the installation of hubs, switches, wireless equipment and/or any/all personal computer equipment. Do not disconnect any N.E.C. owned device and/or use the connection for your personal computer equipment.
  • All IP addresses, both static and dynamic, are the Property of NEC.
  • The network may not be used to provide computer services or Internet access to anyone outside of NEC for any purposes.
  • Activities that would jeopardize the Conservatory’s tax-exempt status are prohibited.
  • Persons are not permitted to engage in consulting or other business ventures using the NEC network.

3. Students are authorized to use public kiosks, the Computer Lab systems, and wireless access to the Internet only

  • Students must use only those computer resources they have been authorized to use by the Conservatory. NEC does not support any type of personal computer use. Network wiring may not be modified or tampered with. This applies to all network wiring hardware and jacks. The unauthorized use of computer resources, as well as the providing of false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining access to computing facilities, are prohibited and may be regarded as a violation of this policy and treated accordingly by the Conservatory. You must not use Conservatory computing facilities to gain unauthorized access to any other computing facilities, including (but not limited to) those of other institutions, organizations, or individuals.
  • Wireless access is available for all full-time students of the College who have a current, active network account. Students are responsible for obtaining and installing their own computer and wireless network card. Any unauthorized use of the wireless service, including but not limited to providing false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining access, is strictly prohibited. Any attempt to use Conservatory computing facilities, including but not limited to those of other institutions, organizations, or individuals, is strictly prohibited.

4. Students must use the Conservatory’s computer resources only for the Conservatory-related purposes for which they were authorized

  • As with all Conservatory equipment, use of the computer facilities, including the Campus Network, for private or commercial purposes is prohibited, except as expressly authorized. You must not use the Conservatory’s computer resources for any unlawful purpose, such as the installation or distribution of fraudulently or illegally obtained software. Use of external networks connected to the Conservatory’s networks must comply with the policies of acceptable use of the organizations responsible for those networks.

5. Students must not install, copy, borrow, or steal software, electronic records or data files

  • You must not access, alter, copy, move or remove information, proprietary software or other files (including programs, data, and electronic mail) without prior authorization from the appropriate responsible party. You must not copy, distribute, display, or disclose third-party proprietary software without prior authorization from the licensor. Proprietary software must not be installed on systems not properly licensed for its use.

6. Be sensitive to the needs of others, and use only your fair share of computing resources

  • The network is a shared resource, thus network or application inhibiting or interfering with the use of the network and services by others are not permitted.
  • NEC does not tolerate propagation, intentional or otherwise, of malwares. A “malware” is defined as a piece of software whose operations and method of propagation are intended to render harm or reduce the computing capacity of other networked devices. A malware can include, but is not limited to, viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, joke programs, file-sharing programs such as KaZaa, or any other software designed to disrupt the normal operations of other networked hardware or software. Any use or distribution of any malware constitutes a violation of Conservatory policies.
  • Do not use any technology-related device irresponsibly or in a way that might needlessly interfere with the work of others. This includes transmitting or making accessible offensive, annoying, or harassing material, or materials such as chain letters, unauthorized mass mailings, file sharing, or unsolicited advertising; intentionally, recklessly, or negligently damaging any system, material, or information not belonging to you; intentionally intercepting electronic communications or otherwise violating the privacy of information not belonging to or intended for you; intentionally misusing system resources or making it possible for others to do so; or loading software or data from untrustworthy sources, such as freeware, onto administrative systems.

7. Abide by all applicable laws

  • Respect the privacy and personal rights of others. Do not access or copy another user’s electronic mail, data, programs, or other files without permission.
  • Abide by all applicable copyright laws and licenses. Both Conservatory policies and the law expressly forbid the copying of software that has not been placed in the public domain or distributed as “freeware” or “shareware.” Reproduction of copyrighted material is subject to the Copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.). Infringement of copyright may subject persons to fines and penalties.
  • Employ appropriate standards of civility when using computer systems to communicate with other individuals.
  • Sending data over the campus network and/or NEC computer systems and identifying yourself as anything but your assigned username is strictly forbidden.

8. Report any violations

  • You are encouraged to report any violation of these guidelines by another individual and any information relating to a flaw in or bypass of computing facility security to the Dean of Students and the Information Technology Services department.

9. The following activities are specifically prohibited:

  • disclosing your password to others
  • using somebody else’s password to gain access to NEC’s system, including wireless service
  • using illegally obtained software on the system
  • copying, altering or deleting someone else’s files without that person’s permission
  • forging messages
  • cracking passwords and systems
  • sending harassing or threatening messages
  • sending unauthorized anonymous messages
  • sending bulk unsolicited messages
  • reading someone else’s files without permission
  • coordinating system attacks
  • denial of services
  • connecting non-Conservatory owned devices to any NEC network, and/or other malicious uses of the network and system


Failure to comply with the above Conservatory policy constitutes a violation and may lead to disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. Individuals are encouraged to report information concerning instances in which the above guidelines have been or are being violated. In accordance with the established Conservatory practices, policies, and procedures, confirmation of inappropriate use of NEC technology resources may result in termination of access, expulsion from the Conservatory, termination of employment, legal action, or other disciplinary action.

Notice to Students Concering Penalties for Drug Violations

This notice provides information on the penalties associated with drug-related offenses under section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act. It also provides notice on how to regain eligibility after conviction of a drug-related offense.

NEC will provide a timely notice to each student who has lost eligibility for any grant, loan, or work-study assistance as a result of penalties under 484(r)(1) of the HEA and will advise the student of the ways in which to regain eligibility under section 484(r)(2) of the HEA.

Suspension of Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses

A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the intervals specified below.

If convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, the period of ineligibility is as follows:

  • First offense: 1 year
  • Second offense: 2 years
  • Third offense: Indefinite

If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, the period of ineligibility is as follows:

  • First offense: 2 years
  • Second offense: Indefinite


A student whose eligibility has been suspended under paragraph (1) may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period determined under such paragraph if (A) The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that (i) Complies with such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this paragraph; and (ii) Includes two unannounced drug tests; or (B) The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

Transfer Credit

Undergraduate Students

Auditions determine students' studio level and ensemble requirement. Placement exams and evaluation of transcripts decide class year and the number of semesters required to complete the program. When there is a discrepancy between studio level and academic level, transfer students may be required to accept either a lower studio level or a lower academic level. International students may transfer credit if they have met NEC's English language requirement. Transfer credit grades are not calculated in cumulative grade point averages.

NEC awards transfer credit to students previously enrolled in degree programs at other institutions after approval from their Academic Advisor, as agreed in writing. To apply for transfer credit, students must provide course descriptions and official transcripts. NEC will not accept Pass/Fail credits. Students who have attended foreign institutions must provide official transcripts with any necessary translations, as well as explanations of grades, class hours, and course descriptions.

Students may transfer no more than 60 credits toward the bachelor's degree or 36 credits toward the Undergraduate Diploma (see After Matriculation). Enrolled students who with to substitute transfer credit for required classes must have approval from the academic advisor and department chair. Credits awarded during previous enrollment at NEC or another instutition more than ten years prior to the request for credit transfer will be considered, but only under extraordinary circumstances (via petition to the Dean of Students and the relevant department chair(s)). Students transferring into the Conservatory should expect to lose credits.

Prior to Matriculation

Credit transfers to NEC's undergradute programs as follows:

  1. Studio credits transfer according to audition placement
  2. Ensemble credits transfer according to students' studio status. For example, transfers admitted to second-year studio will receive a maximum of two ensemble credits.
  3. Chamber music credits will be fulfilled at NEC; violin, viola, and cello majors admitted to third-year studio, however, may receive up to two credits.
  4. Music Theory credits transfer with grades of C or better, provided that the work compares to NEC courses, as determined by the department
  5. Music History credits transfer with grades of C or better, provided that the work compares to NEC courses, as determined by the department
  6. Liberal Arts credits transfer with grades of C or better. Writing courses with grades of B- or better may substitute for NEC's first-year writing course. The Liberal Arts department chair must approve substitutes for Freshman Seminars.
  7. Elective credits transfer with grades of C or better.

After Matriculation

Students may transfer from 4 to 16 credits, with grades of C or better (B- or better for writing courses) as follows:

  1. English-speaking students may transfer up to four credits for classes that do not duplicate NEC requirements. Students wishing to substitute transfer courses for departmental requirements need advance approval from their academic advsisor and department chair.
  2. Students may transfer a number of credits equal to those lost form failed or withdrawn courses, up to a limit of 12. In most cases, such credits count as general electives. Students must obtain advance approval from the academic advisor and department chair.

Undergraduates who change programs before graduation (bachelor's to diploma or diploma to bachelor's) may transfer all credits earned at NEC. All grades will figure into cumulative grade point average for the new program. Those who transfer credit after matriculation may not use such credits to accelerate in their program.

Graduate Students

Master's students may transfer up to four graduate credits (earned with grades of B or better in musical disciplines at other institutions) as electives in courses that do not duplicate NEC offerings. Graduate students may not use transfer credits to complete programs in fewer than the required minimum of full-time semesters. The Conservatory does not transfer studio, ensemble, or chamber music credits. Enrolled students who take courses elsewhere must obtain advance approval from the appropriate academic advisor and department chair. Graduate Diploma students must petition their Academic Advisor for transfer credit. Transfer credit grades are not calculated in cumulative grade point averages. Credits awarded during previous enrollment at NEC or another institution more than ten years prior to the request for credit transfer will be considered, but only under extraordinary circumstances (via petition to the Dean of Students and the relevant department chair(s)). Graduate students who change programs (from MM to GD or GD to MM) may transfer all NEC credits with grades of B or better to the new program, with approval of the academic advisor and department chair. Grades will figure into the cumulative grade point average of the new program. The DMA Committee reviews requests to transfer credit from other doctoral programs. If the request is granted, students may transfer up to a maximum of four credits of doctoral-level coursework with a grade of B or better, or its equivalent. Doctoral students may not transfer studio, ensemble, or chamber music credits, or credits for courses that replace required doctoral seminars. Transfer Credit will not be denied colely on the basis of an instituiton's accreditation.

(see Academic Catalog for more information)

Information for Students with Disabilities

It is the policy and practice of NEC to comply with the American Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, other federal mandates and local requirements regarding individuals and disabilities.  Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case by case basis.  Students requesting accommodations should provide medical documentation to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will then work with the student to establish appropriate accommodations for individual classes.  Students are asked to request such accommodations at the start of each semester.