Hamilton is committed to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all enrolled 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.
Hamilton discontinued offering merit scholarships with the class that entered in the Fall of 2008. 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.
If you are an international student, please refer to our International Student Frequently Asked Questions webpage for additional information about Hamilton's financial aid policies.
Hamilton meets the full demonstrated financial need of all enrolled students. But what does that mean?
When you apply for financial aid, the Hamilton Financial Aid Office will use a number of factors to determine how much money the student and the parents can invest in a Hamilton education. The parental contribution (including the non-custodial parent in a divorced family situation) and the student contribution will equal the family contribution. Your financial need will be the total cost of attendance minus the family contribution.
In order to estimate your financial need at Hamilton, you first need to know the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution (EFC). We’ll go over how to do that next.
For additional information on how we determine financial need, please visit our Financial Need page.
The cost of attendance is the annual cost of attending Hamilton College. This cost includes two components: direct costs and estimated costs.
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 (in the College residence halls), board (in the College dining halls), 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 EFC is the amount of money you will need to invest in a Hamilton education. 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):
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 addition to the net price calculator, it may also be helpful for you to review a few sample packages.
In order to gain an accurate estimation of what your estimated family contribution might be at Hamilton, you need to collect some relevant financial information. At the very minimum, you will need:
Please note: the net price calculator is intended for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are prospective applicants. If you qualify for need-based aid as an upperclassman student the types and amounts of aid you will be offered may vary from the result you receive from the net price calculator. Additionally, 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. You may also contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information if one of these special circumstances applies to you.
Once you have a sense of what you might expect from Hamilton financially, it’s time to begin thinking about applying for financial aid. While we will address this topic in more detail in the “While Applying” section of the timeline, you should begin looking at our Forms and Deadlines page now.