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Understanding Your Financial Aid Statement


Types of Financial Aid Statements

  • Tentative statements of financial aid are issued to incoming students and represent an initial offer that is pending receipt of other required financial aid application materials (i.e., federal tax return, sibling enrollment verification form, etc.). Students will receive an email from the Office of Financial Aid if additional materials need to be submitted.

  • Final statements of financial aid 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 statement of financial aid supersedes any previously issued statements.


Cost of Attendance (COA)

  • Billable costs include tuition, room, board and the student activity fee. These direct costs are also known as the comprehensive fee and will be paid directly to Hamilton College.
  • Additional indirect costs include books/supplies, miscellaneous personal expenses and a travel allocation. 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 is considered tentative until the Board of Trustees establishes the comprehensive fee each spring for the following year. The final statement of financial aid will reflect the new COA for the year that corresponds with your Offer of Financial Assistance.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • The EFC is determined after considering all information submitted to complete your financial aid application, and reflects a calculated parent contribution as well as a student contribution.
  • In the case of divorced, separated or parents who never married and do not live together, the non-custodial parent contribution will be combined with the custodial parent contribution and listed as Parent Contribution.
  • Admitted students' EFC may change after reviewing tax information, which is due May 1, and any other outstanding financial aid application materials.
  • For upperclass students, the EFC 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

  • Demonstrated financial need is defined as the total cost of attendance (COA) minus total expected family contribution (EFC).
  • 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 or grant, loan and campus employment).
  • Need-based financial aid eligibility is subject to change annually based on required financial aid application materials.


Offer of Financial Assistance

  • 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.
  • Loans must be repaid. A link to the Student Loan Form can be found on your Final Statement of Financial Aid. All other documents required to accept your loan will be emailed to students, 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 applied to non-billable expenses.


Financing Options

  • Hamilton offers an interest-free installment payment plan through CASHNet for a per semester fee of $35.
  • Some families choose to take federal and/or alternative loans to finance a portion of their expected contribution. Additional information may be found by reviewing our Loans for Parents webpage.


Additional Information

  • 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 must only submit the FAFSA and are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • Financial aid notification for upperclass students will be sent via email.
  • Students randomly selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called verification will be notified via email from our office.
  • Recently, in an effort to help families compare financial aid awards among colleges, New York State has required all New York State Colleges to provide incoming students with a standardized financial aid award called the New York State Financial Aid Award Information Sheet. All admitted students who qualify for need-based financial aid will receive their personalized copy of Hamilton's New York State Financial Aid Award Information by mail.

COVID-19 Update

Financial Hardship Requests

We realize you and your family may be experiencing or anticipating financial hardship due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If your family’s financial situation has changed, Hamilton’s financial aid team wants to hear from you, and will do our best to assist you through these uncertain times.

Contact Information


Office of Financial Aid

800-859-4413 315-859-4962 finaid@hamilton.edu
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