Financing Policies for International Students
Welcome to Mount Holyoke College! The College has a long tradition of supporting international students with need-based financial aid. The following is designed to provide you with specifics about our financial aid policies for international students.
To be considered for financial aid, an international applicant must apply for financial assistance at the same time as she applies for admission. The intent to apply for financial aid must be indicated on the admission application. Students who do not indicate on the admission application that they are applying for financial aid will not be considered for aid after they have been accepted to the College nor will they be eligible for financial aid in subsequent years. Application requirements are found under “Application Forms” and “Deadlines.”
The Parent Contribution
The parent contribution is based on an assessment of the parents’ income and asset information and verified with additional documentation such as certified letters from parents’ employers and bank statements. An international student’s parent contribution is determined when she first applies to the College. The same parent contribution will be required each year until graduation. Due to limited funding, requests for reconsideration of the parent contribution cannot be considered once the student enrolls, regardless of changes in individual circumstances. While students are enrolled at Mount Holyoke, a student contribution may also be assessed based on student earnings from the prior calendar year.
The Financial Aid Package
Financial aid eligibility is determined by subtracting the parent contribution (and student contribution, if applicable) from the cost of attendance. The cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, room and board, a small student government association fee, and in some cases, a health insurance fee. These costs are posted on the website. Admitted students with financial aid eligibility receive a financial aid notification at the time of admission. A typical financial aid award consists of a fixed-interest student loan, a campus job, and grant aid, but financial aid awards vary considerably depending on eligibility. Please note: International students are responsible for all visa fees, travel expenses and in some cases a health insurance fee, in addition to the parent contribution.
Grant aid is drawn from College funds and does not have to be repaid. Mount Holyoke need-based grants are supported in part through the generous gifts of alumnae and parents. Please note: according to U.S. tax regulations, any portion of a grant that covers all or part of residence hall and meal costs may be taxable and may also be subject to tax withholding charged to the student’s Mount Holyoke College bill. (Any portion of a grant covering tuition is not taxable.)
A Mount Holyoke College Global Loan is included in the financial aid package to assist in meeting billed costs. The packaged loan amount increases approximately $1,000 each year. Total estimated student loan debt over four years ranges from $20,000 to $30,000.
The Global Loan is a College loan with an eight (8) percent interest rate. Interest on this loan accrues when repayment begins, which is six months after graduation, withdrawal, or a nonacademic leave of absence. Unlike grant funds, loan funds must be repaid, usually within the first ten years after leaving the College.
Campus employment may also be included in the financial aid package. To earn this income students work on campus approximately ten hours a week throughout the academic year and are paid biweekly. Earnings from campus work are not applied directly to the tuition bill; rather, it is expected that students will use their first $100 in earnings each semester towards payment of each semester’s bill and use the remainder for books and personal expenses.
Student jobs are available in residence halls, administrative offices, academic departments, the library, and the facilities management department. Students are responsible for securing a campus job and may do so using the Student Employment Database (JobX). Students receiving financial aid are given priority in hiring and many campus jobs are only available to students who have work study as part of their financial aid package. Generally, international students are limited to working on the Mount Holyoke campus, with the exception of certain types of off-campus employment related to their studies and authorized in advance. During the academic year (which does not include January Intersession and summer), students may earn a maximum of $2,100. This limit is strictly enforced. Students should not expect to use wages to cover the family contribution or provide support for family at home.
Payment of Bill
The student bill is viewed online. Students are notified monthly via their Mount Holyoke College email when the bill is ready to view. Students are encouraged to enroll parents and other sponsors so that they may view the bill online and will be emailed bill notifications. Payment for tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees is due July 31 for the fall semester and in January 5 for the spring semester. Students cannot move into a residence hall or register for classes until all semester fees have been paid (or until provisions for payment plans or loans have been approved). Campus charges for books, health services, parking, equestrian center, and other fees such as library fines will be included on the bill as they occur. Payment is due at the end of each month.
International students are required to carry the comprehensive health insurance policy provided by the College. International students should be prepared to cover the cost of the health insurance premium in addition to their family contribution.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations allow foreign citizens on student visas to work on campus only. There may be opportunities to do research and work with faculty on campus during the summer. Most students working on campus in the summer must use earnings to pay for summer housing and food. Students should not expect to earn enough in the summer or during academic breaks to manage their family contribution or provide support for family at home.
Students are responsible for funding expenses incurred during semester breaks in November, late December to early January, and March. While international students may be housed on campus during breaks, dining halls are not open and students must have available funds to buy meals.
Certification of Finances
All foreign citizens must complete the Certification of Finances provided by the College before Mount Holyoke can provide an I-20 form, which is necessary in order to obtain a visa.