Understanding Your Financial Aid
Initial financial aid offers are issued to accepted students and represent an offer that is pending receipt and review of additional required financial aid application materials or until the comprehensive fees have been set by the College. Students will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid if additional materials need to be submitted.
- Final financial aid offers are issued to all incoming students after all required financial aid application materials have been submitted, reviewed and processed by the Office of Financial Aid and after the College’s comprehensive fees are determined by the Board of Trustees in the spring. A final financial aid offer supersedes any previously issued offers.
- Billable costs include tuition, housing, meals, and the student activity fee. These direct costs are also known as the comprehensive fee and will be paid directly to Hamilton College.
Additionally, all students are required to carry adequate health insurance, and costs may be incurred for some families.
- Additional indirect costs include books/supplies, miscellaneous personal expenses, a travel allocation, and loan fees, if applicable. These expenses will not appear on your bill.
- The COA (from which financial aid eligibility is determined) considers billable direct costs and additional indirect costs.
- The COA reflects the current or prior year's costs until the Board of Trustees establishes the comprehensive fee each spring for the following year. The final financial aid offer will reflect the new COA for the year that corresponds with your Offer of Financial Assistance.
- The TFC is calculated after considering all information submitted to complete your financial aid application, and reflects a parent contribution as well as a student contribution.
- In the case of divorced, separated or parents who never married and do not live together, both parent contributions will be combined and listed as Parent Contribution.
- Admitted students’ TFC may change after reviewing tax documents and any other outstanding financial aid application materials.
- For upperclass students, the TFC may vary from one academic year to the next as a result of a change in circumstances (i.e., income or asset fluctuations, the number of siblings enrolled as undergraduates, or number of individuals living in the household, etc.).
- Demonstrated financial need is defined as the total cost of attendance (COA) minus total family contribution (TFC).
- For students who qualify for financial assistance, Hamilton meets 100 percent of their demonstrated financial need through a combination of Hamilton need-based financial aid (scholarship/grants, student loan and campus employment).
- Need-based financial aid eligibility is considered annually and may change based on income fluctuations (or other new information) reported on required financial aid application materials.
- Scholarship/Grants, Student Loans, and Campus-Employment are the types of financial aid available to students.
- Scholarships or grants are need-based and do not have to be repaid.
- Student Loans must be repaid. Documents required to accept your loan will be emailed to students during the summer, and may also be found on the Financial Aid website.
- Campus Employment/Federal Work-Study refers to on-campus jobs where students earn bi-weekly paychecks to help pay for educational costs. The Student Employment Office assists students in finding on-campus employment opportunities and hosts a job fair at the start of each academic year.
- Scholarship/grants and student loan disbursements will be applied directly to the student’s bill. Campus Employment/Federal Work-Study will be paid directly to the student via a paycheck with the intent that it will be used for non-billable expenses.
- Hamilton offers an interest-free installment payment plan through CASHNet for a per semester administrative fee.
- Some families choose to take additional student or parent loans to finance a portion of their family contribution. Additional information may be found by reviewing our Loans for Parents webpage.
- Students must apply for financial aid annually by the stated deadlines to be considered for financial aid for the next academic year.
- U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens who wish only to be considered for federal financial aid (Pell grants, Direct Loans, etc.) only need to submit the FAFSA and are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid.
- Financial Aid notification for upperclass students will be communicated by early summer.
- Students randomly selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called verification will be notified via email from the Office of Financial Aid.
Financial Hardship Requests
In the event that your family's financial situation has changed, Hamilton's financial aid team wants to hear from you, and we will do our best to assist you.