Your Financial Aid Offer

Once you have completed the necessary financial aid application and any supporting documentation requested; the level of need is determined. The Hampshire College Financial Aid Office will prepare a financial aid offer in accordance. Need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The financial aid offer may contain these different types of aid:

  • a student loan recommendation (a federal loan that must be repaid after enrollment ceases);
  • a work-study employment opportunity (income received by the student in exchange for work at the College); and/or
  • grant assistance (outright gifts that are not repaid).

Student loans and work-study are referred to as "self-help."

Grant assistance, referred to as "gift aid," includes federal, state, and Hampshire grants including Hampshire merit scholarships and parental and/or student-employer tuition benefits. For most students, their initial total amount of gift aid remains the same throughout the academic year, so a change in the amount of any of the other gift aid components will result in an adjustment to the Hampshire Grant. For example, if the Federal Pell Grant is increased, the Hampshire Grant will be decreased by the same amount; if a student is awarded a Merit Scholarship through the admissions office, the Hampshire Grant will be reduced by the amount of the Merit Scholarship. Students will receive a revised financial aid offer letter if any changes occur.

The suggested loan level will increase each year as students advance toward their degrees. Students may decline the loan portion of their awards, but the Hampshire Grant will not increase to compensate for the declined loan. Students who decline the recommended loan are not eligible for other kinds of Hampshire grant assistance including any additional aid awarded as a result of an appeal. 

Work study represents working eight to ten hours per week in an on-campus job. Students may decline the work opportunity, but the Hampshire Grant will not increase to compensate for it. 

Total aid including grants, outside scholarships, parent tuition benefits, work study, and loans cannot exceed the student's cost of attendance.