Intention to Apply for Financial Aid
An applicant must indicate the intention to apply for financial aid on the admission application (the Common Application). An applicant who does not indicate the intent to apply for aid cannot be considered for for financial aid while enrolled at Mount Holyoke regardless of changes in financial circumstances.
The Family Contribution
An international student’s family contribution is determined at the time of admission. An international student does not re-apply for aid in subsequent years. The family contribution is calculated based on an assessment of the family’s income and asset information and verified with 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.
After a review of the financial aid application, if the calculated family contribution is less than the cost of 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 are not eligible for financial aid.
The family contribution initially calculated will be required each year until graduation. There will be annual costs to the student in addition to the calculated family contribution. This includes the cost of the annual student health insurance premium, approved health insurance is required of all students attending college in Massachusetts, and for those receiving a financial aid package, the difference between the standard work study allotment of $2,400 and the estimated personal and book expenses of $1,900 (a difference of approximately $500). (Note: The personal/book estimate as well as the packaged work-study is subject to change based on College policy.)
The Financial Aid Package
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 of aid 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, such as student loan or campus employment assistance. A student will be notified of her financial aid eligibility with her admission decision if her financial aid application is complete.
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.)
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.
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.
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. While Mount Holyoke welcomes students interested in earning a second bachelor's degree, candidates are not eligible for financial aid from the College.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
In order to obtain the 1-20 form, necessary to obtain a visa, all incoming international students who matriculate must complete the Certification of Finances provided by Mount Holyoke College. The form is updated annually in mid-March for the upcoming academic year.
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.