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City Vision University: Financial Aid, Federal Loans & Grants

For all Financial Aid questions, contact Ann Marie Cameron-Thompson (617) 282-9798 x108, financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu

Federal Student Aid: Loans & Pell Grants Procedures

City Vision University has been approved by the US Department of Education to participate in Title IV federal student aid programs for those in our degree programs.  Students may qualify for Pell grant and/or federal loan programs. For students who qualify for the current maximum Pell grant ($5,775 for the 2015-2016 aid year), an institutional scholarship will be given to cover their tuition costs for full-time attendance. 

Note: New students will not be awarded Federal Student Loans until they have successfully passed at least one term.

Also note that the Pell grant has the following requirements:

  • There is no age limit for federal student aid
  • Students must be pursuing their first bachelor's degree. 
  • Males must be registered with Selective Service.
  • Individuals with a student loan in default or have a balance at another school that is past due will not qualify.
  • Lifetime Pell Eligibility: The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding (i.e., 600% of one year's maximum Pell award). See more details here.

Step 1: Complete FAFSA Application

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the school year in which you plan to attend.

If you have already completed a FAFSA, update it to add "City Vision University" to your list of colleges. Our School Code is 041191 

After completing the FAFSA, you will be given the amount for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Please note: if your EFC is above 5157 you will not qualify for the Pell grant. Anything above 0 but less than 5157 means that you will receive a partial Pell grant and will be expected to contribute some of your own funds toward your tuition expenses.

Also note that you will be required to complete a Master Promissory Note if you wish to receive federal student loans. This is available at

Students can estimate their financial aid at: Some students use the following estimates for other expenses for their estimate: off-campus room and board $7,000; other $500.

For Federal Student Loans, students will initially be offered a loan equal to the direct cost of attendance for the school - that is, the cost of course tuition plus $100 for textbooks. 

Step 2: Submit Required Documents (if selected)

After completing your FAFSA, you will be notified whether there are additional documents will be required or you will receive a financial aid award email letter. If you receive an award letter, you can skip to step 3. If additional documents are required, you can download them at Financial Aid Verification Documents. Once you have downloaded the required documents, you can submit them following one of the following options:

  1. Scan and email to financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu (subject: Financial%20Aid%20Documents)  or
  2. Fax to (816) 256-8471 or
  3. Mail to City Vision Financial Aid, 48 Pleasant Street, Dorchester, MA 02125.

Instructions for Specific Documents

  1. Tax Documents. If selected for verification, you must provide your tax transcript(s) and your spouse's tax transcript, if married. If available for you in the FAFSA site, the easiest way to fulfill the requirement for is by submitting using FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Alternatively, you may order a copy of your Tax documents from the IRS. To request a copy of your IRS Tax Transcript, please go to or call the IRS directly at 800-908-9946 or 800-829-1040. If you have amended your tax return, you will also need to submit an IRS Account Transcript. You must always have your latest tax return for a given year, for example for the 2014-15 financial aid year, you must submit your 2013 Taxes
  2. Determining Independent Student vs. Dependent Student. If you are older than 24 you are considered an independent student. If you are under 24 please, see the section below the required documents to determine if you are an independent or dependent student. Dependency is a technical definition determined by the government not by City Vision University. For a full list see page 3 of this document. Students are considered dependent of their parents unless they meet at least one of the criteria listed in the linked document. Note that parental income is factored into the student’s estimated family contribution for dependent students.Below is a summary of the most common criteria to be an independent student, but there are a few others. 
  • Being born before January 1, 1992 (for 2015-2016 academic year)
  • Married or separated (but not divorced)
  • Student has a child and the child receives more than half of their support from the student
  • In foster care, ward of the state, or both parents were deceased any time after the age of 13.
  • Student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (See link for full definition)

If you have questions please refer to the linked document and/or contact the financial aid department. 

Step 3. Receiving Award 

To receive your award, you must enroll in City Vision University and register for courses.  

  • In order to remain eligible for federal student aid, you must comply with the university's policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • New students will not be disbursed Federal Student Loans until they have successfully passed at least one term (8 weeks).
  • For second-term and later students, Financial Aid funds will only be awarded after completing at least the first 5 weeks of an 8-week term. Completing the first 5 weeks requires submission of assignments, as per our Attendance Policy.
  • Half-time students will only receive half of their Pell grant award
  • Once you have enrolled and registered for courses, the funds for tuition will be sent directly to the university.
  • To be considered full-time, a student must participate in 30 credit hours in a calendar year - or two courses in each of the five terms. Those who take one course per term qualify as half-time students. 

For any questions, please contact Ann Marie Cameron-Thompson (617) 282-9798 x108, financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu

Step 4: For Students Receiving Federal Only

City Vision University strongly discourages students from taking student loans for the following reasons:

  1. Loans often become a significant barrier for people working in the most meaningful jobs such as those working in nonprofits and serving the poor.
  2. Most students do not realize that federal student loans will be with you for the rest of your life even if you declare bankruptcy. In other words, you should use the same caution in being offered a loan from a "loan shark" as you would a federal student loan because it will be with you for the rest of your life until you pay it off.  
  3. We have seen to many students not count the cost of the impact on loans later in life and abuse loans as if it were an addiction. Because of our focus on addiction recovery, we take this very seriously, and encourage that only students in the most extreme circumstances take student loans.  
  4. If a significant number of City Vision students do not pay back their student loans on time, then future City Vision University students may lose access to all student aid.

We believe strongly enough that students should try to avoid student loans that for all students that decline student loans, and qualify for the maximum Pell Grant, City Vision will also provide a No Loan Scholarship of $225.

Having said all that, we do offer federal student loans to students in circumstances that require them, and any student may request a loan. The process to request consideration for a Federal Student Loan is:

  1. Contact Ann Marie Cameron-Thompson (617) 282-9798 x108, financialaid [at] cityvision [dot] edu.
  2. If approved, receive a revised financial aid award letter.
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling Process at Federal Direct Loan at
  4. Sign your master promissory note at
  5. After leaving the school, complete Exit Counseling at Federal Direct Loan at

Veterans and Military Benefits and Discount

City Vision University is certified to receive veterans benefits and provides a 25% discount to all military and veterans and their dependents currently using VA benefits.  See our veterans and military benefits page for more information.

Other Forms of Financial Aid

Private Loans - Some students may be eligible for private programs.  See a list of available private student loan programs.

Payment Plans - In certain circumstances, students may arrange a payment plan with the business office.  Normally, this involves paying half of tuition at the beginning of the term and, then, paying the second half in the middle of the term. Contact the university for more information.

Internship Program -  We have a network of over seventy ministries throughout North America that host student interns. This includes many urban missions and youth programs. During their time of service and learning, these ministries provide housing free of charge and pay for students' City Vision University tuition for up to one year. Follow this link to learn more about the Internship Program.

Veteran's Educational Benefits -  The degree program is approved for educational assistance benefits for qualified veterans and their dependents under programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For application and enrollment procedures, call toll free at 1-888-GIBILL1 or visit the VA educational web site. Because it is a four-year educational institution, City Vision University does not participate in the V-RAP program for veterans.

Workforce Investment Act  - WIA is the nation’s principal workforce development program providing funds to address the employment and training needs of dislocated workers, low income adults and youth. The funding for WIA comes from the Federal Department of Labor. WIA provides support to participants to increase their education, training, employment, job retention. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the workforce, reduce dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the nation. Contact your local office to apply for WIA educational funding.

Vocational Rehabilitation  - City Vision University is a qualified institution for vocational rehabilitation in many states. Our admissions staff can work with your vocational counselor to have City Vision approved as a vendor in your state if we are not yet in their system. Contact your local agency for more information.

AmeriCorps Education Award - AmeriCorps Members who choose to take the education award can see instructions on how to use it to pay for City Vision University classes.

Tuition Discounts - We also offer various tuition discounts to qualified individuals, including students from AGRM member missions, City Vision internship sites, and students from developing countries. See our tuition discounts page for more information.

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Students who take out federal direct student loans may receive loan forgiveness of their remaining loan balance if they work at a 501c(3) registered nonprofit or a governmental institution for 10 years and make 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments. To maximize loan forgiveness under the PSLF Program, students should repay their loans on the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) PlanPay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan, which are three of the repayment plans that qualify for PSLF, and which generally require lower amounts to be paid back each month.

For more information about this program, visit Since many of our graduates work at urban ministries, addiction recovery programs, or rescue missions, this program could be a valuable asset for long-term financial stability.