Financial Aid


Office of Financial Aid
315-859-4962 (fax)

First-Year Students

While Applying for Financial AidBefore Applying for Financial Aid

Hamilton’s Financial Aid Policies

Hamilton is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all accepted students through a combination of scholarship and self-help (loans and work-study). Families apply for financial aid each year so that changes in circumstances can be considered.

Need-Blind Admission

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. The College is need-sensitive for all international applicants and transfers, but those who are accepted to Hamilton and qualify for financial aid will have their full demonstrated financial need met by the College.

Early Decision

If you are admitted to Hamilton under an Early Decision plan, the financial aid award you receive will be tentative based on the estimated data you provide. Final awards, which may differ from your tentative award, will be provided when the results of the FAFSA and other required documents are submitted to and reviewed by the Financial Aid Office. Since Hamilton meets 100 percent of demonstrated need, a student who applies Early Decision will receive the same financial aid award that they would have received had they applied Regular Decision.

Determining Financial Need

All of Hamilton's financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need, which is determined by calculating the difference between the expected family contribution and the cost of attendance.

Hamilton's net price calculator



Early Decision Plan 1: Nov. 15
Early Decision Plan II: Jan. 1
Regular Decision: Feb. 15
Forms and Deadlines

Merit Scholarships

Hamilton discontinued offering merit scholarships with the class that entered in the Fall of 2008 and will not match merit-based aid received at different institutions. In 2008 we decided that the primary focus and top priority of our financial aid program was to provide 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. Students 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.

International Applicants

If you are an international student, please refer to our International Students webpage for additional information about Hamilton's financial aid policies.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attending Hamilton College includes direct and estimated costs. These costs vary each academic year.

Direct costs are also known as “billable costs” or our “comprehensive fee”. The comprehensive fee is set by the Board of Trustees annually in the spring. These costs are the same for all Hamilton students when calculating financial aid, and include tuition, room, board, and a student activity fee. Students are charged these fees on their fall and spring semester bills.

Estimated costs are expenses incurred while attending Hamilton that are not directly charged by the college. These include books, supplies, travel, and other miscellaneous personal expenses. These costs are considered together with direct costs when calculating the financial need of families.

Please see our Tuition and Fees page for a breakdown of the various components of our comprehensive fee and estimated expenses.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is the calculated amount of money your family will contribute towards your annual college education costs. We use many different pieces of information to establish your EFC. Here is a quick summary of factors we do and do not consider when determining need-based aid (this list is merely a guideline, and is not all-inclusive):

Factors We Do Consider:

  • Siblings attending an undergraduate institution full time
  • Financial information from biological, adoptive, custodial and non-custodial parents
  • Income (adjusted gross income plus any untaxed income)
  • A minimum student contribution of $1500 is expected from most students
  • Business net worth, stock losses, depreciation, business losses, and the like
  • Student and parent assets (such as cash savings and investments)

Factors We Do Not Consider:

  • Equity in the primary home of residence
  • A family's individual debt levels
  • Retirement savings accounts
  • Siblings attending a graduate institution
  • Siblings attending a private secondary school
  • Parents attending an undergraduate or graduate institution


Hamilton will not provide financial aid “pre-reads.” The best way to determine your estimated EFC is to use our net price calculator. Please keep in mind that the net price calculator will only be an estimate. If you have questions about the results you receive, you should contact the Financial Aid Office.

In order to gain an accurate estimate of what your expected family contribution might be at Hamilton, you need to collect some relevant financial information. At the very minimum, you will need:

  • Most recent Federal Income Tax Returns for parents and student
  • Earnings statements (W2 forms, recent paycheck stubs)
  • Bank statements

Net Price Calculator

Please note: the net price calculator is intended for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are prospective applicants. If certain special circumstances apply to you, the net price calculator may not provide an accurate EFC. Examples include divorced families, business owners, and farm owners.

Forms and Deadlines

Once you have determined your expected family contribution, using the net price calculator, we encourage you to visit our Forms and Deadlines page. This page will help you better understand the documents and deadlines required to apply for need-based financial aid at Hamilton College.