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Hamilton meets the full demonstrated financial need of all accepted students through a combination of scholarship, loans and/or work-study. Families apply for financial aid each year so that changes in circumstances can be considered.

Yes. Hamilton is need-blind for first-year domestic applicants, meaning a U.S. student's financial need will not be a factor in the admission decision. Currently, the College is need-aware for international applicants and transfers. In addition, Hamilton promises to meet the full demonstrated need of each accepted domestic student. International students and transfers who are accepted to Hamilton and qualify for financial aid will still have their full need met by the College.

Hamilton discontinued offering merit scholarships with the class that entered in the Fall of 2008. At that time, we decided that the primary focus and top priority of our financial aid program was to need-based aid. This decision allows us to continue honoring our long-standing commitment to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all students we admit as well as make Hamilton accessible to talented students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Most Hamilton students would qualify for merit scholarships at many other colleges. They choose Hamilton because they recognize that an education here is well worth the investment. As a result, you'll be learning and living with other strong students who also appreciate the value of a Hamilton education and are committed to joining this enduring community of scholars.

Hamilton includes loans that will not exceed $3,500 for first-year students. Sophomores will receive a maximum of $4,500, and Juniors and Seniors will be capped at $5,500. U.S. citizens are eligible for federal loans and international students, including Canadian citizens, may be awarded an institutional loan at the same levels. Depending on eligibility, additional loans may be borrowed to offset the expected family contribution.

In recent years, the average total student indebtedness for Hamilton graduates has ranged from $17,500 to $20,500, and Hamilton’s current default rate is 0%. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, the current national student loan debt average is $28,400. The national default rate is 7.3%.

Hamilton College does not offer pre-reads. It is highly recommended that families use our net price calculator tools for an estimate of their total family contribution (TFC). Please note that the actual TFC generated by the Hamilton College Financial Aid Office may be different than that provided via the net price calculator. If you have questions or would like to discuss your net price calculator results, please reach out for a financial aid consultation with a member of the financial aid team.

Since Hamilton meets full demonstrated financial need, a student who applies Early Decision will receive the same financial aid award that they would have received had they applied Regular Decision.

The decision to apply Early Decision may only be answered by each individual family. Our net price calculator may give you a broad assessment of what your financial aid package could look like and might be helpful to your family in determining whether or not you can make this commitment. Early Decision is designed for students and families who have done their research, know that Hamilton is their top choice and have been thoughtful in considering their college options (academically, socially, financially and otherwise).

While Early Decision at Hamilton is binding (meaning that, if admitted, all other admission applications will be withdrawn), we will release admitted students from this agreement if they determine Hamilton is not affordable for their families. In such cases, however, given that the financial aid package will not change at the point of Regular Decision, these students are withdrawn from Hamilton's admitted pool and do not have the option to consider Hamilton in the spring.

Hamilton requires the FAFSA and the CSS Profile for all U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. The FAFSA is now available; however FAFSA data will not be released to Hamilton until March. We will be able to estimate an award based on the information available to us in the CSS Profile. Awards will be finalized after fees are set for the upcoming year and FAFSA information is received and federal aid eligibility determined. You will not be at a disadvantage and are encouraged to contact our office if you have questions or concerns. Because international aid applicants do not file the FAFSA, they will not be impacted.

Fee waivers for the first-time filers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be granted automatically for those who qualify based on the parents' reported income, assets and household size. The goal is to ensure that fee waivers are distributed equitably to students from families with the fewest financial resources and an inability to afford the fee. Orphans and wards of the court will be automatically eligible for fee waivers if they are first-year students who are filing for the first time. CSS grants up to six fee waivers per student who meet certain economic guidelines. Should you not automatically receive a fee waiver when completing the CSS Profile and paying the fee would be a hardship to your family, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

In the case of divorced, separated or parents whom never married, we expect the parents will share responsibility for financing their child's education. Required application materials for both households will be found on the student's personalized financial aid checklist.

A waiver of the non-custodial contribution may be granted if a letter from a guidance counselor, principal, member of the clergy, or attorney attests to the fact that the non-custodial parent has not been in the student's life for a number of years.

Community Advisors receive the "Community Advisor Benefit," which is equal to their room charge. The Community Advisor Benefit will be treated as a resource available to you to pay your Hamilton fees, and will impact each award differently based on your unique circumstances. We encourage you to be in touch with the Financial Aid office to understand how your award may change if this is a factor in your decision to apply or accept a position.

Yes, a student/family may request an “appeal” of the student’s eligibility for financial aid, after they have received and reviewed the initial financial aid award. The appeal process is for families who have extenuating circumstances, or who have recently experienced a financial hardship, and who do not feel that the student’s financial aid award provides sufficient support. For more information and instructions on the process of appealing a student’s award, please visit Hamilton’s Financial Aid Appeal page.

Eligible students with demonstrated financial need can have their financial aid “travel” with them as they participate in Hamilton (New York City, Washington, D.C., France, Spain, and India) and other approved off-campus study programs. For more information, please refer to our Off-Campus Study page.

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Application Codes

FAFSA: 002728
College Board CSS Profile: 2286
NYS Residents Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): 0270


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