How Aid Works

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 your family can contribute each year — what we call the “family contribution.” In determining the family contribution, various factors are considered, including the parents’ and the student’s respective income levels and assets, the number of dependents in the household and the number of dependents attending undergraduate institutions in the U.S. 

Visit the Student Financial Services website to find out more about eligibility and policies regarding financial aid.

Limits to financial aid

Resident students who enter as first-time, first-year students receive a maximum of eight semesters of financial aid from Mount Holyoke. Students interested in pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for financial aid from the College.

Aid for transfer students, including Frances Perkins (FP) students who live on campus, is limited, based on the total number of credits accepted for transfer at any point.

Funding Maximums: Transfer & on-campus FP students

Credits Transferred Semesters of Institutional Aid Eligibility Remaining
12 - 27 7
28 - 43 6
44 - 59 5
60 - 64 4

Financial Aid FAQ

Is Mount Holyoke College “need-aware”?

The College is committed to meeting the full calculated need of every enrolled student. The Admission office makes most, but not all, of its admission decisions without regard to a family’s financial resources, or “need.”

Will my family contribution change every year?

Possibly. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, the family contribution is calculated each year, based on the financial aid application submitted. If there are no significant changes in family income/assets, or the number of household dependents or the number of dependent children attending undergraduate institutions, then the family contribution will be similar from year to year.

The family contribution of international students — who apply for financial aid only once, at the time they apply for admission — will stay the same. 

Note: Student loans increase annually by approximately $1,000.

Will I get less aid if I apply Early Decision?

No. The amount of financial aid is the same whether a student applies for Early or Regular Decision.

Is my financial aid package negotiable?

We do not negotiate financial aid packages. However, if there is a change in your family’s financial circumstances that was not considered during our original review, you may submit a Request for Reconsideration.

My parents are divorced/separated. How do I apply?

We require information from both the custodial and noncustodial parents, and stepparents if the custodial parent is remarried. Please see our policies on divorced and separated parents for more information.

What is MHC’s policy on domestic partners?

Dependent students’ biological and adoptive parents’ domestic partners, and independent students’ domestic partners, should also submit financial information to Student Financial Services for the purposes of determining eligibility for institutional need-based aid.