Financial Planning

Continuing in 2014-15: Save by Studying Abroad in the Fall! To help balance enrollments on campus in the fall and spring semesters, Mount Holyoke will again offer incentives for students who study abroad for one semester to do so in the fall.  In 2013-14 and continuing in 2014-15, we will waive the administrative fee, and, for students awarded Laurel Fellowships, replace campus earnings with grant instead of loan for students who study abroad in the fall semester only.  These benefits also apply to students who participate in MHC's own programs in 2013-14 and 2014-15 that are offered only in the spring semester (Monteverde and Shanghai).

All students need to know a few basic financial facts about study abroad, whether or not they receive financial aid at Mount Holyoke. 

  • Students pay the tuition and fees of their program or host university, not Mount Holyoke tuition (except for some reciprocal exchanges). 
  • Most study abroad programs, including Mount Holyoke’s own programs abroad, cost less (often much less) than studying here on campus.
  • Students who receive no financial aid generally will find that study abroad costs less than Mount Holyoke. Many students who receive some aid here will find that their own resources (family contribution, federal aid, etc.) will be sufficient to cover the cost of their program. 
  • Most outside aid (including federal direct student loans, Pell Grants, some state aid, and outside scholarships), parent loans, and payment plans will travel abroad.
  • Mount Holyoke financial aid does not travel abroad automatically. Students who receive need-based financial aid are strongly encouraged to apply for Laurel Fellowships, which substitute for the need-based aid they would have received here. We typically fund more than 90 percent of all qualified applicants each year, for a wide range of programs.  Eligible students who are selected for most Mount Holyoke programs or exchanges are guaranteed Laurel Fellowships, provided that they apply by the deadline. 
  • Mount Holyoke charges each student studying abroad an administrative fee, currently $850 per semester (this fee will be $900 per semester beginning in Fall 2014). This fee contributes directly to the support of study abroad. For students who are awarded Laurel Fellowships, the fee is taken into account in determining the amount of the award.
  • There is no direct correlation between cost and quality in study abroad, and program costs vary widely.
  • Some programs have inclusive fees that cover everything except personal expenses; others list only the tuition charge; most fall somewhere in between. Students should ask for information about costs not covered in the basic fee to determine the total cost of a program.
  • The McCulloch Center is committed to helping students find affordable ways of studying abroad, regardless of whether they receive financial aid here.

MHC Financial Aid (Laurel Fellowships)

Laurel Fellowships substitute for the need-based aid that students receive for study at Mount Holyoke. 

  • Eligible students who are selected for most of Mount Holyoke’s own programs and exchanges are guaranteed Laurel Fellowships provided that they apply by the deadline.Programs and exchanges for which Laurel is guaranteed are: 
    • Mount Holyoke programs
      • Monteverde, Costa Rica  
      • Montpellier, France
      • Shanghai, China 
    • Mount Holyoke exchanges
      • Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), France
      • University of Hong Kong
      • Ewha Womans University, Korea
      • Sookmyung Women's University, Korea
      • Japan Women’s University
      • University of Essex, UK
      • University of Kent, UK
      • Royal Holloway University of London, UK
      • University of Sussex, UK
      • University of York, UK
      • University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Students selected for exchange with the University of Bonn, the University of Leipzig, Berlin School of Economics and Law (all in Germany), the University of Costa Rica, the University of Cordoba (Spain), or Universidad Hurtado (Chile) receive tuition waivers and/or stipends from the host universities, and will be eligible for Laurel if those benefits, plus their own resources, do not cover their need.
  • Mount Holyoke Leadership Awards, other merit awards, town grants, and employment-based aid (such as tuition exchange) generally do not travel. Students who would be eligible for need-based aid if they were not receiving these awards may apply for Laurel Fellowships.
  • Students may use Mount Holyoke Leadership Awards, 21st Century Scholarships, and Tuition Assistance Grants to participate in certain reciprocal exchanges in which they would pay Mount Holyoke tuition. These exchanges are:
    • Ewha Woman's University, Korea
    • Sookmyung Women's University, Korea
    • Japan Women's University
    • University of Hong Kong
    • Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), France
  • Students applying for non-MHC programs and exchanges are also eligible to apply for Laurel.  Typically we approve more than 90 percent of all qualified Laurel applicants each year.
  • Students approved for Laurel will be expected to make the same family contribution as if they were here, and to carry the appropriate outside loans and grants for which they are eligible. As with Mount Holyoke financial aid, Laurel Fellowships are intended to cover the difference between a student’s own resources and the cost of her program, up to the amount of aid that she would have received for study on campus. A student may not receive more aid to study abroad than she would have received here.
  • The amount of the Laurel Fellowship award is based on the student’s demonstrated need according to the program budget. The budget will include tuition and other required program fees, room, board, allowances toward airfare, books, and personal expenses, and Mount Holyoke's administrative fee.
  • Students approved for Laurel will receive detailed information along with their letter of approval. General procedures for transferring Laurel and outside aid are outlined in the Aid Transfer Procedures section of our website.
  • All students applying for Laurel Fellowships are expected to apply for financial aid/scholarships from their program (if available) and for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for Undergraduate Study Abroad (if eligible). Program scholarships and outside scholarships do not reduce the student’s family contribution, but help Mount Holyoke stretch its Laurel Fellowship dollars to fund more students.
    • Program scholarships will reduce the program budget and therefore reduce the student’s grant eligibility dollar for dollar.
    • Outside scholarships (such as the Gilman) will be treated according to the usual policies, and will first be used to reduce the student's need-based loans. If the outside scholarship exceeds the amount of the need-based loans, the remainder reduces the College grant dollar for dollar. Students should not underestimate the value of receiving an outside award even though it will not necessarily increase their resources toward the program abroad: an outside award will reduce the student’s loan, and will also enhance her resume.