Eligibility and Policies

Important Information for Applicants

  • Carefully review the application requirements 
  • Indicate your intention to apply for financial aid on your admission application. If you do not you cannot be considered for financial aid while you are enrolled at Mount Holyoke regardless of changes in your family's financial circumstances.
  • Apply on time. Late applications are accepted however you may not receive information about your financial aid eligibility with your admission decision if you apply late.
  • Contact us with any questions you may have. We're happy to assist you.

The Family Contribution

An international student’s family contribution is determined when she first applies to the College. The family contribution is calculated based on an assessment of the family’s income and asset information and verified with additional documentation such as certified letters from parents’ employers and bank statements.  Per College policy, requests for reconsideration of the family contribution cannot be considered, regardless of changes in individual circumstances.

The same family contribution initially calculated will be required each year until graduation however, it is important to note the family contribution shown on Financial Aid Online does not include all costs that will be owed toward College billed charges. The cost of the annual student health insurance is in addition to the calculated family contribution. (Approved health insurance is required of all students attending college in Massachusetts.) Also, based on the way the work-study portion of the financial aid package is processed, the annual cost will be $500 higher than the calculated family contribution. This is because packaged work-study of $2,400 cannot be deducted from the bill. Work-study is earned throughout the academic year and is intended to cover the estimated personal/books expenses of $1,900, as shown in the financial aid package. Since the packaged amount of work-study is higher than the personal/book estimate, the difference between the packaged work-study and the personal/books estimate will be in addition to the calculated family contribution. (Note: The personal/book estimate as well as the packaged work-study is subject to change based on College policy.)

The Financial Aid Package

After a review of the financial aid application, if it is determined that the family contribution cannot support the full cost of the education, the student will be eligible for financial aid. Students whose family contribution is determined to be higher than the cost of of the education will not be eligible for financial aid. A typical financial aid package consists of a fixed-interest student loan, a campus job, and grant aid. Due to college financial aid policies, some financial aid packages may not include all three types every year. However, as tuition and other educational costs increase in subsequent years, additional types of aid may be used to fill the institutional financial aid eligibility. A student will be notified of her financial aid eligibility with her admission decision.

Grant Aid

Grant aid, which does not have to be repaid, is drawn from College funds. Students should note that, 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.)

Student Loans

A Mount Holyoke College Global Loan is included in most financial aid packages. 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.

Student Employment

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 earnings will be used 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. 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.

Requests for Reconsideration

Due to limited funding, requests for reconsideration of the family contribution cannot be considered regardless of changes in individual circumstances.

Funding Limitations

Institutional funding for international students entering as first year students is limited to eight semesters. In addition, if an international student re-classifies by moving up her class year in order to graduate sooner, she cannot receive financial assistance if she decides to re-classify back to her original class year. It is important to note that for matriculated students, credits transferred to the College due to study abroad or academic leave will count toward the eight semester funding limit, whether of not financial aid from the College was provided for these credits.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Eligibility for financial aid for undergraduate students is contingent upon maintaining a satisfactory academic record according to the standards described in the Mount Holyoke College Bulletin and Course Catalogue.   

Students are expected to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and make consistent progress toward the degree by earning an adequate number of credits each semester. Students placed on academic probation are eligible for institutional aid the first and second semesters of academic probation. Students will not be eligible for institutional financial aid if they remain on academic probation for a third semester. Students will regain institutional funding after achieving satisfactory academic progress and removal from academic probation.  

Appeal process: Students who lose financial aid due to not making satisfactory academic progress may appeal to have the aid reinstated.
The appeal must include:
1. An explanation for not achieving the required GPA or earning the attempted credits.
2. A detailed plan listing how the required GPA and the attempted credits will be reached.
3. Support for the student's plan provided by an academic dean or the student's advisor. 

Please email the appeal and supporting documentation to SFS@mtholyoke.edu.

Payment of Bill 

The student bill is only available online; students are notified monthly via Mount Holyoke College email that the bill is ready for viewing. Students are encouraged to enroll parents and other sponsors to receive the viewing notification. Students and enrolled parents/sponsors will be able to view and print the bill. Student Financial Services sends the notification for the tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees in July for the fall semester and in December for the spring semester. The health insurance fee is charged in the fall and covers a full twelve month period. Students cannot move into residence halls or attend 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, library, and course materials will be included on the bill as they occur. Payment is due at the end of each month.

Additional Expenses

It is important to understand that the family contribution does not represent the family’s comprehensive cost. Whether or not there is financial aid eligibility, the family will also be responsible for additional expenses as follows:

Health Insurance

International students are required to carry the comprehensive health insurance policy provided by the College. The cost for the insurance coverage is determined annually. 


Any costs associated with travel to and from campus are the family’s responsibility.

Student Visa

In general, all foreign citizens must obtain a visa status that permits them to engage in baccalaureate-level study in the United States, obtain a U.S. Social Security Number, and work on campus.  To obtain a visa, all foreign citizens must complete the Certification of Finances provided by the College so that Mount Holyoke can issue the required I-20 form, and any costs associated with obtaining the visa are the family’s responsibility.

Summer Plans

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.

Semester Breaks

The student budget does not include funds to cover expenses during semester breaks in November, late December and January, and March. While opportunities are available to remain on campus during breaks, a student is expected to provide funds to cover her expenses during those periods when dining services are not available.

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.

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