Non-Need Based Scholarships, Awards and Grants

Students studying in the Octagonal Room on campus.

Mount Holyoke is pleased to offer a limited number of merit-based aid to first-year candidates who have an outstanding record of scholarship and co-curricular achievement in high school and who demonstrate noteworthy leadership skills. Questions regarding the selection of scholarship recipients should be directed to the Office of Admission.

Non-need based scholarships, awards and grants:

  • 21st Century Scholarship
  • Mount Holyoke Leadership Award
  • Global Perspectives Award
  • POSSE Scholarship
  • Tuition Assistance Grant
  • Trustee Scholarship
  • J. Chin Scholarship
  • MHC Microscholarships

Policies for Non-Need Based Scholarships, Awards and Grants

Our non-need based scholarships, awards and grants listed above are awarded at the time of admission to first year students for a maximum of eight semesters and are available only for full time, on-campus study at Mount Holyoke. One half of the annual award is granted each semester and disbursed to the student's tuition account. Students do not need to apply for need-based financial aid to be considered for or to renew a non-need based award. However, domestic students who wish to be considered for need-based aid must re-apply each year. Please note: for students who enter as first year students, our non-need based scholarships, award and grants are renewable for a total of eight semesters with the following exception: If transfer credits are accepted by Mount Holyoke after enrollment at Mount Holyoke, including credits from study abroad, a re-evaluation will be necessary and the number of semesters of eligibility will be reduced accordingly. (Note: Recipients of a non-need based scholarship or grant cannot also receive the Tuition Exchange, South Hadley Town Grant or Mount Holyoke College employee tuition benefit. If a student becomes eligible for one of these funds at a later date, the higher amount of scholarship or benefit will apply.) 

Award Renewal and Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Non-need based scholarships and grants are renewed automatically in subsequent semesters provided the student maintains satisfactory academic progress (SAP) which is reviewed each semester by the Academic Advisory Board. Students who earn 16 credits per semester with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher generally maintain SAP.

Students who are placed on probation will receive the scholarship or grant for one semester of probation. Should the student continue on academic probation for a subsequent semester, the scholarship or grant will be cancelled for that semester and all subsequent periods of enrollment.  In the rare case where a student is suspended for academic reasons, she will be ineligible for the scholarship or grant upon her return.  Students who lose eligibility for non-need based awards may still apply for need-based federal and institutional financial aid, subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress policies for need-based financial aid.

Medical Leave Policy:
If a student withdraws from all classes for medical reasons, a refund calculation will be done based on the standard refund schedule. The scholarship or grant will be prorated to match the same percentage as the revised tuition charged.  Any unused portion of her scholarship or grant can be applied toward an additional semester of study once the eight semester limit has been reached. A student who leaves after the 9th week of classes but before the semester is completed will not be eligible for an additional semester of funding even if she does not earn any credits during the semester she took the medical leave.

Study Abroad/Academic leave: 
Non-need based scholarships or grants cannot be used for study abroad or other academic leave with the following exceptions: foreign exchanges where Mount Holyoke College tuition is charged and Year 3 of the UMass Engineering program. (Study abroad and academic leave semesters count toward the eight semester limit even when the scholarship or grant is not available for those periods.) However, scholarship and grant recipients applying to programs where the non-need based aid is not transferable may apply for need-based aid for study abroad and for engineering study at Dartmouth, through the Laurel Fellowship program.

Students with non-need based aid who apply for need-based aid should be aware that the calculated family contribution, which will be used to determine aid eligibility for study abroad, is typically higher than the amount that the family typically pays toward billed fees at Mount Holyoke. In addition, funding is available only if the cost of attendance of the study abroad program exceeds the calculated family contribution as determined by Student Financial Services. Need-based student loans are packaged before determining any need-based grant aid eligibility. 

Behavioral Suspension: If a student is suspended for behavioral reasons, the student will no longer be eligible for non-need based scholarships, grants or awards from Mount Holyoke.

Honor Code Violation: A student may lose eligibility for non-need based scholarships, grants or awards from Mount Holyoke for an honor code violation.

Outside Scholarships: 
Outside Scholarships or employee benefits earmarked for tuition may not exceed tuition charges when combined with Mount Holyoke tuition-based scholarships and grants (Trustee, POSSE, Frances Perkins Scholarship, and South Hadley Town Grant). If the outside funding can be applied toward room and board or other direct costs, the Mount Holyoke tuition-based scholarship or grant will not be reduced. However, the total aid from Mount Holyoke College and outside sources may not exceed the total cost of attendance. If the outside aid does exceed the cost of attendance, the Mount Holyoke funding will be reduced.