International Students

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 financial aid while enrolled at Mount Holyoke regardless of changes in financial circumstances. This policy also applies to applicants who indicate on the admission application that they plan to apply for financial aid but subsequently notify the Office of Admission or Student Financial Services that they no longer intend to apply for aid.

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 tax returns or certified letters from parents’ employers, and bank statements.

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 education are not eligible for financial aid.

The family contribution that is finalized at the point of enrollment will be the same each year until graduation regardless of changes such as changes in family financial circumstances, currency fluctuations, or a younger sibling enrollment in college. Annual costs to the student in addition to the calculated family contribution include the cost of the annual student health insurance premium (approved health insurance is required of all students attending college in Massachusetts), travel costs, and, for those receiving a financial aid package, the difference between the standard work study offer of $2,400 and the estimated personal and book expenses of $2,000. (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 need based grant aid, a fixed-interest student loan and campus employment. Due to college financial aid policies, some aid packages may not include the maximum amount of student loan or campus employment each year. Please expect the student loan component of the package to increase at least $1,000 a year. 

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 subject to tax withholding charged to the student’s Mount Holyoke College bill. 

Student Loan

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 8% 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 employment are not applied directly to the tuition bill; rather, a paycheck will be issued for the hours worked and 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

If there are unanticipated, permanent, and significant changes in family financial circumstances, a request for reconsideration will be considered. Additional documentation will be required in support of the request.

Please note: requests for reconsideration cannot be considered, regardless of changes in family financial circumstances, if a student did not initially apply for financial aid before being admitted to the College.

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 a class year in order to graduate sooner, the student cannot receive financial assistance if the student decides to re-classify back to the original class year. Credits transferred to the College earned during a semester or year of study abroad or earned during an academic or non-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 available online. Students, and any authorized users that they have set up, are notified monthly via email from Student Financial Services when the bill is ready to view. Students are encouraged to enroll parents/sponsors as authorized users. Notification for the fall semester tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees is emailed in early July and the bill is due July 31. The notification of spring semester charges is emailed in early December and the bill is due January 5. The health insurance fee is charged entirely with the fall semester bill 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, the equestrian center, the library, and course materials will be included on the bill as they occur. Payment is due at the end of each month.

Additional Expenses

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.

Student Visa

Costs associated with obtaining the student visa. In general, international students 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 Mount Holyoke so that the College can issue the required I-20 form.

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

A student's financial aid package 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 the 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 Catalog.   

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 for insufficient satisfactory academic progress

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:

Non-Need Based Mount Holyoke Scholarships, Grants and Awards

Please review the policy information for non-need based aid awarded by the College.

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