Award Packages

Once the level of need is determined, we prepare a financial aid package according to the student's need. Need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. The award is called a "package" because it contains three 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);
  • grant assistance (outright gifts that are not repaid).

A student loan and a job opportunity, referred to as "Self-help," are the first components of an aid package followed by grant assistance. 

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 award 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 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.

A sample award package for a first-year student:

Cost of attendance $72,218
Parents' contribution* $12,500
Student's assets* $200
Total family contribution $12,700

Student's financial need (Cost of Attendance less Total Family contribution)

Federal Direct Student Loan $5,500
Work-study opportunity $3,300

Merit Scholarship


Hampshire Grant $15,518

Total award package


* These calculations are determined with the data provided for your aid application.