diverse crowd of students at orientation

Only a few colleges in the country can say what we can say about financial aid.

Our admission process is need-blind for all students, domestic and international. We admit extraordinary students from around the world, and then we make every effort to ensure that Amherst is affordable for each one of them.

  • We meet 100% of our students’ calculated need—for domestic and international students.
  • We were one of the first colleges in the country to adopt a no-loan policy. We replaced loans with scholarships, so our students can graduate with little or no debt.
  • We’ve been providing need-based financial aid since our founding in 1821. Supporting students from all walks of life has always been at the core of who we are.

Students leave Amherst with an extraordinary education, a long list of exceptional accomplishments—and the freedom to build their future without the burden of student loan debt.

This approach makes us distinctive. We’re proud to say it also makes us a leader.


of our students received financial aid in 2023-24


was the average financial aid award in 2023-24

$76 M+

was awarded in Amherst scholarships 2023-24

Amherst Within Reach

80% of U.S. households qualify for substantial aid:

Students from 80 out of 100 U.S. households receive at minimum full tuition. Students from 50 out of 100 U.S. households receive full tuition, housing, and meals

*Families below the 80th percentile of U.S. household income of $141,000  
** Families below the median U.S. household income of $67,500

diverse group of students sitting on the grass on a sunny day on the quad with mountains in the distance

The Numbers

Every number tells a story. The story these numbers tell is: Money need not come between you and an Amherst education. We’re here to help students do their best work—and graduate with a liberating sense of possibility.

2024-2025 Costs

Each year, Amherst calculates and publishes the comprehensive cost of attendance. When we calculate financial need and determine a financial aid offer, we use a student expense budget (cost of attendance) that includes expenses that are billed by the college (direct expenses) and expenses incurred by most college students (indirect expenses). The level of the expected family contribution will determine what portion of the total (direct and indirect) expenses will be the responsibility of the family or will be paid by financial aid funds.

For 2024-2025, the typical student expense budget and charges include:

Direct Costs (Billed to all students) Amount
Indirect Costs (Estimated based on periodic survey of all students)Amount
Personal expenses$1,800
Travel/TransportationDomestic average: $640
International average: $1,220
Additional Expenses (Billed to all students, but waivable)Amount 
Health Insurance

$3,203 (full year)

$1,334 (fall only)
$1,869 (spring only)

Tuition Insurance $125 per semester

The College annually evaluates its comprehensive and other fees, and makes adjustments when necessary. Financial aid offers will always be based on the costs in effect during the year of award. Students who require financial aid because of changes in costs may apply for assistance in any academic year.

It should be noted that the comprehensive fee covers only a portion of your educational expenses at Amherst. A year of education at the College actually costs approximately $134,000, but income from the College's endowment and from gifts and grants supplies the difference between that amount and the amount students are charged.

A graduation cap on top of a pile of coins

Three Sample Financial Aid Offers

We created three sample financial aid offers—including cost of attendance and cost to families—for three students with different financial needs applying to Amherst College. See the breakdown for each student.

My Intuition Quick College Cost Estimator

Quick Cost Estimator

The My inTuition tool will give you an early cost estimate using six basic financial questions. 

También está disponible en español.

Tools & Information

  • Quick Pass Application Fee Waiver Are you a QuestBridge candidate, a first-generation student, a student from a family with very limited income, a veteran, or currently serving in the US Armed Forces? Complete our fast-and-easy Quick Pass questionnaire to see if you qualify for our application fee waiver.
  • My InTuition Quick Cost Estimator Get an early cost estimate using six basic financial questions. También está disponible en español.
  • Financial Aid Calculator Input your family’s financial information to determine what your financial aid award may look like.
  • Tuition, Fees & Other Costs See a breakdown of the total cost of attending Amherst.
  • Office of Financial Aid  Learn more about Amherst financial aid, outside scholarships and student employment.

“We can do this, together.”

A conversation with Gail Holt, Dean of Financial Aid

There’s a national conversation about the cost of college. How do you talk with families about the cost of Amherst?

It’s interesting: Families understand the value of Amherst. They see the faculty, the history, the facilities, the alumni, the programs, the students—and they understand that these things have tremendous value, tangible value, in the short term and in the long term. But many families see cost as a mountain they can’t get over. And we’re here to say: Don’t hold back from applying. Don’t count yourself out before you’ve started. We can do this, together.

What does Amherst do? 

We admit students without regard to their financial situation. We meet 100% of an admitted student’s calculated need—and we do so without loans, using only grants and work-study, so it’s possible to graduate from Amherst debt-free. But that’s just part of the story.

What’s the rest of the story?

The rest of the story is the story that each family shares with us. Our approach to financial aid is highly individualized. We take in as much information as possible, and we put together aid offers that speak directly to each family. Plus, we determine need on an annual basis. So if your financial situation changes from one year to the next, we can respond with an appropriate aid offer. The numbers start the story; the family finishes it.

What’s the best advice you can give to a family looking at Amherst?

Let us show you what we can do. When you line up the financial aid offers from the colleges you’ve applied to, you’ll see that we’re exceptionally generous. That doesn’t mean that we won’t ask you to make sacrifices. We extend ourselves for our families—and we ask them to extend themselves in return. Amherst is a shared investment—a world-class, lifelong investment. It’s an extraordinary opportunity. It’s real; it’s possible; you only have to have the courage to begin.