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There are two primary types of financial aid:
Need-based aid, which determines financial need by calculating the difference between total educational costs and the student’s financial resources. In order to be eligible for federal aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Need-based financial aid includes work-study programs; private and federal and state loans; grants and fellowships; and tuition remission programs offered to employees by their employers, or to students by the professional or graduate school. Amherst College has a fellowship program--please contact the Fellowships Office in 213 Converse Hall for more information or applications.
Merit-based aid is awarded on the basis of academic achievement, talent, or promise. Forms of merit based aid include:
- Assistantships: the most common type of graduate financial assistance, and is usually awarded in the form of teaching, research, or graduate assignments. Early contact with the department is critical in obtaining assistantships.
- Grants and Fellowships: Grants are sums of money awarded for specific activities on a project basis. The funding may come from a variety of sources, including government agencies, corporations, or foundations. Fellowships are a prestigious and competitive form of financial assistance. See information at the Fellowships Office for more details. There is also a number fellowships to which you can apply to directly for funding. Click here for a listing of current fellowship opportunities.