Prospective Student FAQ

Will my financial aid change so much during my four years at Mount Holyoke that I won't be able to stay at the College?
Each year for domestic students, parent and student financial data are collected and reviewed to determine the student's financial aid eligibility for the upcoming year. At a minimum, students should expect to have a similar parent contribution from year to year. However, when significant family changes occur - e.g., increases in income or assets, fewer dependents supported or fewer dependent children attending undergraduate institutions - the family contribution will increase. If significant decreases in income/assets or an increase in household size or the number of dependent children attending undergraduate institutions occur, students may request reductions in the family contribution. Regardless of the family contribution, students should expect the self-help portion (loan and work-study amounts) of the financial aid package to increase incrementally each year based on the federal government maximums and College policies.

Will I get a more favorable package if I wait and apply Regular Decision?
Mount Holyoke College meets 100 percent of demonstrated eligibility for those students who apply under both Early and Regular Decision. Therefore, the amount of aid awarded will not vary.

Does Mount Holyoke "gap"?
Mount Holyoke College currently meets 100 percent of a family's demonstrated eligibility for financial aid and does not gap.

Is my financial aid package negotiable?
Mount Holyoke College does not negotiate financial aid packages. However, if there is a change in your family's financial picture which was not considered during the original review, Mount Holyoke will reexamine the situation. The request for reconsideration process does not guarantee a revision in your package.

What is Mount Holyoke College's policy on divorced/separated parents?
The policy for determining the financial aid eligibility of students of divorced, separated, or never-married parents is based on the same principle used to determine eligibility for all of our students: parents bear the primary responsibility for educational expenses. This responsibility is not absolved by divorce, separation, or remarriage; thus, both the custodial and noncustodial parents must submit financial data and tax returns yearly. In extreme situations Student Financial Services may review a request to waive the noncustodial parent's information. Contact SFS for more information.

How can I be looked at as an independent student when being considered for financial aid?
Mount Holyoke's philosophy asserts that the family holds the primary responsibility of meeting the cost of a college education. In adhering to this philosophy, it is a rare exception that a student is granted independent status. If a student initially receives financial aid as a dependent of her parents, financial aid in subsequent years will be awarded on that basis regardless of changes in family relationships. Consequently, a student who chooses to become independent of parents or to marry while in college may not expect increased aid. Please contact Student Financial Services to discuss your unique circumstances.

What does it mean that Mount Holyoke College is "need-aware" or "need-sensitive"?
Need-aware, also known as need-sensitive, is a policy in which students' financial resources are considered along with other traditional admission measures in making decisions. Mount Holyoke College employs this policy only for those students who fall at the margin of the admitted applicant pool. Because there are occasions when the level of required institutional support must be considered, students must indicate their intention of applying for financial aid at the time they submit the Admission application.