How Aid Works
Everyone’s financial situation is unique, and we’re here to make sure cost does not get in the way of an exceptional education.
Eligibility and the family contribution
Financial aid eligibility is determined by taking the difference between your total cost of attendance (e.g., tuition, room and board, fees, estimated books and personal expenses) and how much we determine your family should contribute each year — what we call the “family contribution.” We consider a variety of factors when we determine the family contribution, including:
- The parents’ and the student’s respective income levels and assets.
- The number of dependents in the household.
- The number of dependents pursuing undergraduate education at a four year institution in the U.S.
The amount that is left after subtracting your family contribution, as calculated by Mount Holyoke, from the cost of attendance is your financial need. If we determine you have financial need, you will receive a financial aid package.
- For U.S. students, that package typically consists of a combination of grant, loan, and work-study aid.
- For international students, the package typically consists of a combination of need-based grants, student loans and campus employment earnings.If you are an international student, your family contribution is determined at the time of admission. You will not need to reapply for aid in subsequent years.
Review the types of financial aid
Will financial aid cover 100% of the cost of attendance?
Financial aid generally covers the difference between Mount Holyoke’s costs minus your family contribution. In most cases, a student and their family will have some responsibility for costs billed by the college (such as tuition, fees and room and board) and other educational costs that are not billed by the college (such as books, personal expenses and travel).
When comparing college costs, it is important to always be aware of the bottom line — meaning the money you pay after financial aid.
Direct expenses at Mount Holyoke include tuition, fees and room and board. To determine how much you’ll need to pay the College, add up those direct expenses, then subtract all grants and loans you’ve been offered, and the remainder is approximately how much you will need to pay. You will be billed twice a year — half for the fall and the other half for the spring semester.
If you’re left with a balance to pay, consider one or more of the following options to help you manage the amount owed:
- Apply for outside scholarships,
- Pay your balance by enrolling in our payment plan,
- Apply for a supplemental loan that will allow for you and your family to finance the remaining cost of attendance, or
- Seek on- or off-campus employment.
We invite you to speak with one of our financial aid counselors to have a more detailed conversation about your financial obligations and best practices for covering outstanding expenses.
Who is eligible for financial aid?
You will be eligible for financial aid if your family contribution is less than the cost of attendance. If your family contribution is determined to be higher than the cost of attendance, you are not eligible for need-based financial aid.
Students interested in pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for financial aid.
Learn more about how financial aid eligibility is determined.
Is there a limit to how much financial aid I can receive?
Students can receive a maximum of eight semesters of financial aid from Mount Holyoke, and the total amount of aid for any semester can not exceed the cost associated with attendance.
Aid for transfer students and Frances Perkins Scholars who live on campus is limited, based on the total number of credits accepted for transfer.
Learn more about funding maximums.