Domestic Students

The Family Contribution from Year to Year

Following federal and College policy, a student must reapply for financial aid each year. If the family situation does not change, the determined family contribution (FC) will remain fairly consistent from year to year. When changes occur - e.g., family income, assets, number of dependents supported, or number of dependent children attending undergraduate institutions - the FC will be increased or decreased accordingly.

Requests for Additional Aid

Student Financial Services will accept requests for reconsideration of a family contribution under certain circumstances. These circumstances include financial support of an elderly parent, unreimbursed medical expenses, or long-term loss of employment. We will consider loss of employment that occurs during the year that the student is applying for aid during the second semester of the academic year. Any additional aid will be applied only to the second semester. We are unable to consider requests for reconsideration of the family contribution due to circumstances such as cash flow problems or consumer debt. See below for details regarding the need for financial aid beyond the standard funding limitations. Requests for reconsideration must be accompanied by documentation.

Reapplying for Aid

According to federal and College policy, a student must reapply for financial aid each year. Applicants recently accepted to the College will receive information regarding their financial aid eligibility with their letter of admission, if their financial aid file is complete. Upper class renewal applicants will receive eligibility information in late spring, if their financial aid file is complete.

Students who did not apply for aid are welcome to apply in subsequent years if their family circumstances have changed.

Students who applied for but were not eligible for need-based financial aid at the time of their admission to Mount Holyoke may reapply for aid each year.

are available in the Student Financial Services office. Renewal information is also mailed to the student's home address in January and posted on the SFS Updates page.

Funding Limitations

Resident students who enter as first-time, first-year students are limited to eight semester of aid. Transfer students will receive the equivalent of eight semester of aid. Off-campus Frances Perkins students are limited to aid for 128 attempted credits. Credits transferred in or earned count toward the eight semester and attempted credit limits, including study abroad credits, whether or not a student received need-based funding for study abroad or other earned credits. Students may request an extension of aid past the eight semester or 128 credit limit by emailing or writing Student Financial Services with the request and providing supporting documentation regarding the need for an additional semester. If an additional semester is needed because of an earlier medical leave, students should ask Health Services to email Student Financial Services with verification of the medical leave. Requests for additional aid that are not due to medical reasons must receive the support of the academic dean and the student’s advisor. Students should consult with SFS and academic dean if considering a request for an additional semester of aid.

Institutional funding for transfer students and on-campus Frances Perkins students is limited based on the total number of credits accepted for transfer at any point. The ranges of transfer credits which determine aid eligibility remaining are:

Credits Transferred Semesters of Aid Eligibility Remaining
12 - 27 7 semesters of institutional aid
28 - 43 6 semesters of institutional aid
44 - 59 5 semesters of institutional aid
60 - 64 4 semesters of institutional aid

Institutional funding for commuting (day) Frances Perkins students is limited to a cumulative total of 128 credits. This total includes transfer credits applied toward the Mount Holyoke degree. Frances Perkins students should plan their course of study with this in mind.

Independent Status

To qualify for federal financial aid as an independent student, you must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Be at least twenty-four years old by December 31 of the award year
  • Be an orphan or a ward of the court 
  • Be married 
  • Be a person with legal dependents other than a spouse 
  • Be a veteran of military service 

These federal regulations narrowly restrict the definition of independent students. The College is at least as restrictive.

Note: If a student enrolls as a dependent student, she will be considered a dependent for purposes of College financial aid, regardless of changes in her family situation, including time away from the College due to non-academic leave or withdrawal status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

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

Please note:
A student who desires consideration for institutional need-based grant aid in the first year at Mount Holyoke must indicate her plan to apply for financial aid with her admission application. No consideration for institutional aid will be given after admission decisions are mailed. If a student declares her intent to apply for aid after a decision has been rendered, her application will be processed for federal aid eligibility only. Students will not be eligible to apply for institutional need-based grant aid until the following academic year.