Tuition + Supplies

The majority of students finance their year at Conway through some form of financial aid. Conway will work with you to determine your eligibility for federal loans and for Conway School need-based tuition grants. Dedicated to small class sizes and one-on-one faculty and student interactions, Conway focuses on providing the best possible education for students while also keeping tuition as financially feasible as possible. For the 2023-2024 academic year, students who qualify for the full need-based tuition grant are eligible for the net tuition of $31,498; tuition for students who do not qualify for any need-based tuition grants is $38,998. Tuition will not be raised during the academic year.

The grand view.

Tuition: This payment covers costs incurred for operation of the school including adjunct faculty, visiting lecturers, use of school computer stations, some computer software, printing and drafting supplies, graphic reproduction costs, printed materials, reading materials, and transportation costs for field trips. Conway does not offer dormitory housing or meal plans.

Each participant agrees to pay tuition according to the following payment schedule:

  • Deposit: $750 non-refundable deposit upon signing enrollment agreement (the deposit is applied toward the first tuition payment)
  • First payment: amount due on or before September 30
  • Second payment: amount due on or before February 1

Equipment and supplies: A list of equipment and supplies that will need to be purchased is given to enrolled students. Each student is required to have their own laptop computer.

If you have questions about tuition and financial aid, please contact:
Bruce Stedman, Executive Director
Phone: (413) 203-6797

Living Expenses

Living expenses vary from student to student and are derived from student surveys completed at the end of each academic year. In addition to housing and food expenses, students need to budget for other personal living expenses including transportation, health insurance (coverage is required in Massachusetts), telephone, drafting equipment, and other supplies. Expenses beyond tuition for the Master of Science in Ecological Design program average $18,000 (ranging from $15,000 to $30,000).

Housing: Conway does not have dormitories. Most students rent rooms, apartments or houses in the area for the year. The school maintains a list of available rentals, many of which have housed Conway students for years. Students make their own arrangements, usually during the summer before school starts. Contact the school for more information.

Transportation: Access to a vehicle throughout the year is helpful. However, many apartment rentals, grocery stores, restaurants, bookstores, and pharmacies are within walking distance of the school.

Health Insurance: Massachusetts law requires that all full-time college students participate in a health insurance plan that meets the state’s mandatory health insurance requirements. Contact Conway for more information.

Need-based Grants

Starting with the Class of 2013, the Conway School has offered need-based tuition grants to incoming students. Over time, the school’s ability to offer grant aid has gradually increased. As Conway raises funds from generous donors, including many alums of the school, we’ve been able to offer more grants. These grant awards are available to students who are financially eligible; the school determines eligibility by reviewing FAFSA applications from domestic applicants. For international applicants, the school will request submission of several documents that describe the applicant’s financial status. Please contact admissions for further information.

The Conway School follows a need-blind admissions process: a prospective student’s financial aid status will not be a factor considered during the admissions decision.

Federal Loans

The Conway School participates in the U. S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program. Stafford and Direct PLUS loans are available through this program.

  • Stafford unsubsidized loans can fund up to $20,500 toward the cost of graduate education. These government loans are offered at fixed interest rates and repayment may be deferred while in school; loan payments need not begin until six months after graduation. Interest accrues on Stafford unsubsidized loans while a student is enrolled in school. The interest can be capitalized and deferred until repayment begins.
  • Direct PLUS loans are available up to the total cost of attendance less any other financial assistance, including Stafford loans. These loans have an interest rate slightly higher than the Stafford loans and are subject to a credit check. Repayment of these loans begins as soon as the loan is fully disbursed; however, you may automatically apply an in-school deferment of your loan as long as you remain enrolled. There is no grace period on these loans when you stop attending school; however, you can request a six-month deferment from your graduation date. Both Stafford and Direct PLUS loans have a standard 10-15 year repayment term.
  • Alternative or private student loans may also be available. It is important to keep in mind these factors:
    •  Alternative loans are usually credit-based and many loans require a co-signer.
    •  The interest rate is often based on your credit rating.
    •  Fees vary among programs.
    •  There is no federal interest subsidy on an alternative loan.
    •  Not all alternative loan programs have a grace period.

All students who are considering applying for financial aid must complete the Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Student Aid Report (SAR) generated from the FAFSA application will be used by the school to help determine loan eligibility. FAFSA can be done online any time after January 1.

Loans can be originated by the school only after a student has been accepted, confirmed attendance by coutersigning and returning the enrollment agreement, returned the signed financial aid award letter received from the school, completed the on-line financial aid entrance interview, and completed a Master Promissory Note(s).

To ensure that loan funds will be available when school begins in September, applicants can and are strongly advised to start financial aid applications at the same time they apply for admission.

For more information, see the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020 “to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses [including schools] affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.” The CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to assist colleges and universities (including the Conway School) with emergency financial aid to students whose lives and education were disrupted by the pandemic.

The information below is provided for students, families, and Conway’s community.  Please contact Bruce Stedman, Executive Director if you have questions.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grants to Conway School

Grant Award and Use: The Conway School was awarded $6,692 by the US Department of Education from the HEERF for grants to support students with Covid-19 related expenses and for institutional support. Conway received $3,346 (50%) of the awarded HEERF grant to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students, and $3,346 of the awarded HEERF grant for institutional support, which was used to pay for printer/scanners for student use to facilitate remote learning.

Student Eligibility: Conway School awarded the student portion of the HEERF funding provided to Conway equally among all Title IV eligible students requesting the funds, who provided the required documents, and who were not in some way ineligible for other reasons.

Required Public Reporting on Federal CARES Act:

Distribution of Funds:

  1. The Conway School was awarded $3,34 by the Department of Education from the HEERF for grants to students and for institutional support, after Conway signed and returned the department’s Certification and Agreement.
  2. Conway received $3,346 (50%) of the awarded HEERF grant to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  3. As of June 30, 2020, Conway has distributed $3,346 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18994(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  4. 16 students at Conway were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18994(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  5. 14 students received Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act (two students chose not to accept the grant).
  6. Conway used the following method for determining which students would receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act: Conway School will award the total HEERF funding provided to Conway ($3,346) equally among all Title IV eligible students requesting the funds, who have provided the required documents, and who are not in some way ineligible for other reasons.
  7. Conway instructed that students were being awarded the grants to help defray costs they incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic, including during the school’s transition to remote learning.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grants to Conway School – FIPSE

FIPSE Grant Award and Use: The Conway School was awarded $493,308 in FIPSE designated funds by the US Department of Education from the HEERF for grants to address Covid-19 related expenses and for institutional support.

FIPSE Use Plan: Conway School intends to use the FIPSE funds to support salaries and contractor fees for faculty and staff. Additional uses may be determined in the second half of Conway’s fiscal year and will be reported here.

Conway School Financial Aid Procedure

Download the Conway School Financial Aid Procedure (Click Here) for detailed information about tuition and living expenses, loans, how to apply for financial aid, a budget planner, and living expenses reported from recent students.

Download the Conway School Return to Title IV Policy (Click Here) for detailed information about how the Conway School determines the amount of federal student financial aid (Title IV) program assistance that has been earned if a student withdraws from school

Yestermorrow Grant

Students who have completed a course at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School may apply for a $2000 grant to attend Conway’s Master of Science in Ecological Design program. Read more


As pursuant with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, a covered individual will be permitted to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance.  A covered individual is defined as any individual who is entitled to education assistance under the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch.31), or Post 9/11 GI Bill®  (Ch. 33) benefit.

The Conway School’s billing adheres to the requirements of and complies with S2248 PL 115-407 Section 103. The Conway School will allow GI Bill and VR&E beneficiaries (Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 beneficiaries) to attend a course of education for up to 90 days from the date the beneficiary provides a certificate of eligibility, or valid VAF 28-1905. This allows a student to attend the course until VA provides payment to the institution. During this time period, the Conway School will not impose a penalty or late fee, deny access to facilities, or require the beneficiary to borrow additional funds to cover tuition and fees due to late payments from VA. Section 103 requires a State Approving Agency (SAA), or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when acting in the role of the SAA, to disapprove certain courses of education. VA can grant a waiver to these requirements. The VA must make payments to schools no later than 60 days after receiving the tuition and fee certification from the school, and they would have to report semiannually to Congress any cases in which VA fails to make such payments within 60 days of certification.

Compliant with Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), the School does not charge qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms. All students are charged the same tuition rate.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill
The Conway School welcomes applications from military veterans and military-connected students.  We are committed to making our program accessible for veterans and their dependents.  Conway works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide one-on-one assistance to student veterans concerning GI Bill benefits, as well as other financial aid benefits and needs. Please contact us for more information.  We look forward to helping you understand and maximize your veterans benefits.

Yellow Ribbon Program
Beginning on August 1, 2019, the Conway School will additionally participate in the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Bill Education Enhancement Program, also known as the Yellow Ribbon Program. This participation permits the school and the VA to provide matching funds to cover all or a portion of the outstanding amount of established charges not covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Conway School will provide a contribution of $1,000 to each Yellow Ribbon participant during each academic year.

The Conway School’s billing will adhere to the requirements of and comply with S2248 PL 115-407 Section 103 no later than August 1, 2019.

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship for students training in high demand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.  The Rogers STEM Scholarship application is now available here. A list of STEM-designated programs can be found here.

Outside Scholarships

In addition to offering need-based grants and federal aid, Conway gladly assists students who are applying for other sources of scholarship funding. A list of outside scholarships is below.

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Typical application deadline: January 1 through March 31 for scholarships; June 1 through January 31 for loans.
Application materials required: Transcripts, financial information, application form, etc.
Award amount: Various up to $3,000.
Description: Thanks to the generosity of the donors in this region, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts administers, through one centralized application process, scholarship and interest-free loan funds. Last year alone, the program attracted around 2,500 applications and awarded approximately $2 million to over 700 recipients and is recognized as one of the largest programs of the 700 plus community foundations in the country. Most scholarships are for students living in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties, but some are also available to students living in Berkshire County and Hartford County in Connecticut. Loans are for students who currently live in Massachusetts and have done so for a minimum of five years.

The Garden Club of America Fellowship in Ecological Restoration
Typical application deadline: December 31st of the year preceding study
Application materials required: Contact program manager (see website)
Award amount: $8,000
Description: The purpose of this fellowship is to support specialized graduate study and research in ecological restoration, the “active healing of the land.” Ecological Restoration is further defined as “the process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity. Ecological integrity includes a critical range of variability in biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices.” The goal of this fellowship is to support research that will advance knowledge and increase the numbers of scientists in this important field.

The Garden Club of America Montine M. Freeman Scholarship in Native Plants
Typical application deadline: February 1st preceding the period of study
Application materials required: Contact the GCA (see website)
Award amount: A minimum of $3,000
Description: The purpose of this fellowship is to encourage the understanding, development and use of underutilized native plants. Established to encourage the development of research, documentation, and teaching skills in the field of horticulture.

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry
Typical application deadline: January 31st preceding the period of study
Application materials required: Contact the individual listed on the website (link above)
Award amount: $7,500
Description: The purpose of this fellowship is to advance the field of urban forestry by encouraging students to study the planning, management, horticulture and ecology of urban forests and the effect of healthy urban forests on people and  the environment.

Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts
Typical application deadline: March.
Application materials required: Transcripts, essay, letters of recommendation, etc.
Award amount: Contact Garden Club.
Description: The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. offers scholarships for graduate students who will be attending accredited colleges and universities. Applicants must have maintained a legal residence in Massachusetts for at least one year, have a minimum “B” average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), have good character, and have financial need. There are eleven (11) scholarships available. Only one application is required per student. It should be noted that the Ruth Cleveland Scholarship is available to graduate or undergraduate students pursuing the study of the arts and/or sciences and that three of the scholarships require that the student attend the University of Massachusetts. The GCFM Scholarship Committee determines a student’s eligibility based on a completed application package.

National Garden Clubs, Inc.
Typical application deadline: February.
Application materials required: Written letter and other application materials.
Award amount: $4,000.
Description: One-year scholarships are available to graduate students pursuing a Master’s Degree. Annually up to forty-one (41) NGC Scholarships are available, each in the amount of $4,000. Applicant must be a US Citizen or Permanent Legal Resident of the United States.

Healthline and Feeding America Stronger Scholarship
Typical application deadline: March/April.
Application materials required: Transcripts, short essays.
Award amount: $5,000.
Description: For U.S. residents with demonstrated involvement in the advancement of nutrition and/or food security and access to nutrition.

Horace Smith Fund
Typical application deadline: March.
Application materials required: Transcripts, letters of recommendation, financial information, etc. 
Award amount: Contact foundation.
Description: In general applicants must be residents of Hampden County. If residency is in question, the Fellowship Committee reserves the right to make this decision. Awards are made to students pursuing a specific post-graduate degree. Awards will be made on the basis of all available information, including school records, recommendations and examination scores. Consideration will be given to both the merit and financial need of the applicant.

Houzz Scholarships
Typical application deadline: June and December.
Application materials required: Applicants are required to complete a survey about your education, career goals and an essay question. You will also be required to include a link to your Houzz profile, complete with images from your portfolio.
Award amount: $2,500.
Description: Three scholarships open to students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate design or architecture program.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is intended to provide support for those at the beginning of their graduate career and individuals seeking to reenter graduate studies following an interruption of at least two consecutive years. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. The GRFP provides up to three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

The Oregon Community Foundation 
Typical application deadline: March.
Application materials required: See foundation website.
Award amount:See foundation website.
Description: With 500 funds that make higher education and training more accessible through scholarships, OCF has one of the largest scholarship programs of its kind in the country. Every year, we award close to $10 million through 3,200 scholarships.

RevPart’s STEM Scholarship
Typical application deadline: December.
Application materials required: Transcript, short essay.
Award amount: $1,000.
Description: RevPart is proud to support the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students by providing a scholarship to a student demonstrating excellent promise in their area of study.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Minorities
Grant listings provided via

Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program
Typical application deadline: January.
Application materials required: Essay, letters of recommendation, resume, transcripts, course of study, financial information.
Award amount: $15,000 grants available.
Description: The goal of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program is to support highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies are directed toward improving environmental quality and who demonstrate the potential for leadership in their field. Individuals enrolled in one-year Master’s degree programs may apply prior to enrollment, but must be formally accepted into their program to be eligible for a Fellowship interview (held in May).

Vectorworks Design Scholarship
Typical application deadline: July.
Application materials required: Short essays and submission of a sample project.
Award amount: $3,000-$7,000
Description: The Vectorworks Design Scholarship is designed to meet the needs and qualifications of a variety of students. At the time of submission, scholarship applicants must: have graduated no earlier than 2015 with a design-oriented degree OR be 1) enrolled or accepted for enrollment in undergraduate or graduate studies for six or more credits at an accredited college or university, and 2) pursuing a design-oriented degree.

Veterans & Military Family Scholarship
Typical application deadline: June.
Application materials required: Essay, Transcripts.
Award amount: $1,000
Description: Twice per year this firm bestows a $1,000 scholarship upon a hard-working U.S. college student who is an active duty service member, a veteran, or a spouse or child of an active duty or retired service member. Graduate students are eligible.

Chairish Scholarship
Typical application deadline: January 1; June 30
Application materials required: Short essay.
Award amount: $2,500.
Description: “Design Your Future” essay contest; two students winners per year.

Financial Aid Search Tools

The College Board
(800) 927-4302 or (609) 921-9000

Fin Aid – The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid
Free source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.

Sallie Mae Student Loans
(888) 272-5543

Discover Student Loans

The College Grants Database

Accredited Schools Online
Making College Affordable for Minority Students: College Scholarships, Grants and Financial Aid for Minority Students. This resource provides information about opportunities for African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, LGBT students, and females.

FinAid (part of

The Foundation Center’s Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
Provides online access to accurate, up-to-date information on foundations that fund scholarships, fellowships, loans, and internships. Available as a paid subscription or for free at various public libraries across the U.S.