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Fellowships, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

View our Application and Fellowship deadlines. 

Available summer 2021 residency/fall semester:

The Kurt Brown Fellowship for Diverse Voices

Through the generous support of Laure-Anne Bosselaar (wife of the late Kurt Brown) and family, Lee Hope, and the Solstice Institute, the Solstice MFA Program is able to award The Kurt Brown Fellowship to support an incoming student of diverse background or experience who also demonstrates financial need. The Fellowship provides $1,500 to a first-semester student who begins the program during the summer residency/fall semester.

Writers of all genres are welcome to apply. The Kurt Brown Fellowship especially seeks to support individuals from cultural, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds who otherwise might not be adequately represented in the program. If you wish to be considered for this Fellowship, please include with your complete application a brief (1 – 2 pages, typed, double-spaced) essay explaining of how you meet the Fellowship’s criteria (above) and why the Fellowship would meaningfully support your pursuit of a degree in Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program. The Fellowship is awarded based on the applicant’s writing sample, his/her 1-2 page essay, and financial need demonstrated by way of a FAFSA* form.

*For more information about the FAFSA form, scroll further down this page.

The Francis L. Toner Fellowship for Veterans

Established by Solstice MFA Program student Mark Jednaszewski, the Francis L. Toner Fellowship for Veterans honors the memory of LTJG Toner, USN, who in 2011 was awarded the Silver Star (posthumously) for his service, gallantry, and self-sacrifice on behalf of his fellow officers in Afghanistan. The Fellowship provides either a $1,000 tuition wavier toward the recipient’s first semester or free room & board on campus for his/her first year in the Solstice MFA Program. (Take a look at Lt. Toner’s Silver Star citation.)

The Monica Hand Fellowship for Nontraditional Students

Established by Solstice MFA Program graduate Ann Breidenbach, the Monica Hand Fellowship for Nontraditional Students honors the memory of its namesake poet, playwright, and scholar, who ramped up her writing career after working for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years. The award of $1,000 will be given to a first-semester student age 40 or older who begins the program during the winter residency/spring or summer/fall semester. Writers of all genres are welcome to apply. Applicants who wish to be considered for should submit the general application form and indicate interest in this fellowship.

Genre-Based Fellowships

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Solstice offers two $1,000 genre-based fellowships for students entering the program in the summer/fall semester:

  • The Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction
  • The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent

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Available winter residency/spring semester 2022

Genre-Based Fellowships

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Solstice offers twp $1,000 genre-based fellowships for students entering the program in the winter/spring semester:

  • The Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction
  • The Martin B. Bernstein Fellowship for Poetry

*Applicants who wish to be considered for any of our genre-based Fellowships should submit the general application form. View our deadlines. We will notify the winner only in November.

Available year-round:

Writers Helping Writers/Need-Based Scholarships

“The Writers Helping Writers Scholarship offered me the opportunity to pursue my dream as a writer. I was raising a family with occasional contract work, but my bright world felt gray-tinged: I was no longer writing.

When Solstice offered me a Writer’s Helping Writer’s Scholarship, I realized I could pursue my dream, despite the words of the peanut gallery….I had found an affordable program with a scholarship, and gained more than I could purchase with all the funds in the world: Community.

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It is the Solstice community that sustains me as I pursue this life-long dream. As a post- graduate student, the phone rings, letters and emails fill my mailbox, and I meet a local writer friend for coffee, really a dose of inspiration. Colleagues write to exchange work and check in. The Director and Assistant Director connect, and my mentors continue support me on the days I feel like the obstacles of an unknown path drag me down.”

– Solstice Graduate, Jenn Strattman

Writers Helping Writers Scholarships are funded with help from Solstice Program alumni and friends and based on financial need. MFA applicants who wish to be considered for a Writers Helping Writers scholarship must:

1) Apply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA (see instructions below). This is a separate process from the admission application. Roughly twenty percent of our students receive Writers Helping Writers scholarships.

2) After completing your FAFSA, wait three business days, and then call Susan Gonzales at 617-731-7129 or email her at Let her know you are applying to the Solstice MFA’s Need-Based Scholarship Program; she will ask for your social security number, which she will use to research your FAFSA information. Ms. Gonzales will then report your FAFSA information to the Solstice MFA Program staff within one to two days.

3) We recommend that you apply for financial aid either before or at the same time that you apply for admission; however, you must be accepted for admission before you will receive a formal financial-aid award, including a Writers Helping Writers scholarship. If you complete steps 1 and 2 (above) before applying or when you apply, we should be able to let you know the status of your request when we respond to your application.

Prospective students applying for Writers Helping Writers scholarships are encouraged to submit their materials well in advance of the application deadline, regardless of whether they are applying for a summer residency/fall semester or winter residency/spring semester start. Admission to the program is run on a rolling basis, and so our limited number of Writer Helping Writers scholarships are awarded to eligible students until funds for each enrollment period are dispersed. It is therefore very important that students hoping for a Writers Helping Writers scholarship apply early.

Each Writers Helping Writers Scholarship totals $2,000, allotted in $500 increments (applied directly to each tuition bill) per semester over the course of four semesters. No scholarship award is provided for the fifth, graduating residency.

Please note: Applicants are welcome to apply for both Writers Helping Writers scholarships and the Kurt Brown Fellowship for Diverse Voices or for a genre-based fellowship simultaneously. However, fellowships will be awarded following the application deadline for the semester in question; Writers Helping Writers scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligibility for Veterans’ Educational Benefits

The Department of Veteran Affairs has confirmed that eligible student veterans and their family members may use their VA educational benefits to attend the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College. For more information, contact Jeff Mei, registrar, at 617-731-7170 or email him at

Note that general information and resources for student veterans can also be found at Affordable Colleges Online: Higher Education Affordability for Veterans and Accredited Schools Online.

Applying for Federal Direct Student Loans  Financial Aid

It is important to apply for financial aid every year and complete all requested forms as soon as possible.
The financial aid application process can be completed in four steps:

Step 1:

Create a FSA ID (formerly the Federal Pin #).

Students must request their own personal FSA ID in order to electronically sign the FAFSA and federal loan promissory notes.

Step 2:

Complete the FAFSA online.

FAFSA School Code for Pine Manor College is 002201

 *Make sure you complete the correct form:

Spring 2021 (Winter/spring) = 2020-21 FAFSA

Summer 2021 (Summer/fall) = 2021-2022 FAFSA

Step 3:

Submit Verification Forms (If selected for verification)

Verification is the process required to check the accuracy of the information that a student provides when applying for financial aid.

If selected for verification the following information must be submitted: Signed federal Tax Transcript for both parent(s) and student, along with all W-2(s) Federal Verification Worksheet.

Other documentation as requested by PMC: Please click on the following link below for a brief tutorial and guide: FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval tool YouTube video

Step 4:

Complete Student Loan Entrance Counseling and sign Master Promissory Notes (MPN).

The Entrance Loan Counseling provides your rights and responsibilities as Federal Stafford Loan borrower.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is the promise to repay the loan. Your Federal Stafford Loan funds cannot be disbursed to your student account until these items have been completed. You can login to the site with your federal FSA ID.

It is recommended that you print your MPN and keep a copy for your records. Should you have any difficulties with these steps, you can reach Direct Loan Servicing at (800) 848-0979.

What happens next?

In approximately one to two weeks, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via e-mail from the federal processor. Review your SAR carefully. Any necessary corrections can be made online. Pine Manor receives your FAFSA information electronically.

Once you have been accepted into the program, your financial aid application will be reviewed, and we will send you notification of your loan eligibility. In order for us to disburse your Federal Direct Student Loans, please complete the following steps:

Online Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling

  • Click here.
  • Under Manage My Direct Loans, select the “Sign In” button.
  • After signing in, scroll down to Counseling and select “Complete Entrance Counseling”.

Online Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

  • Click here.
  • Under Manage My Direct Loan, Select the “Sign In” button and fill in valid information.
  • Scroll down to Master Promissory Note and select “Complete MPN”
  • Select “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” Do not select “Grad PLUS”
  • Be sure to print a copy of your MPN for your records.
  • An electronic confirmation will be transmitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Should you have any difficulties, please contact Direct Loan Servicing at (800) 848-0979, or the PMC Office of Student Financial Services at 617-731-7129 or by email at

MFA Loan Request Form

Please fill out and fax or mail the MFA Loan Request Form pdf to Susan Gonzales.
(Contact information at bottom of page.)

Financial Aid Application Deadlines

If you are planning to apply for Federal loans, the FAFSA can be filled out any time during your application process.

Per above, we recommend students fill out the FASFA in tandem with the MFA application. Sooner is always better than later.

Questions about financial aid should be directed to:

SUSAN GONZALES, Assistant Director of Financial Aid


(T) 617-731-7129

Financial Aid Office
Pine Manor College
400 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467