The Deadline Shifts for Class of 2028

A closeup of packet that admitted students receive from Amherst College.


Amherst announced today that it has extended its deadline for admitted first-year students to enroll at the College from May 1 to May 15 in response to known disruptions related to the U.S. Department of Education’s launch of the updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form this spring. Prior to this and also as a result of challenges associated with the revamped FAFSA process, Amherst had already shifted the due date for submission of the FAFSA itself from Feb. 15 to July 1.

“We are aware of the difficulties some students are facing in completing their FAFSA forms, as well as the delays that colleges and universities are experiencing in receiving data from the Department of Education,” explained Matthew McGann, dean of admission and financial aid at the College. “While we are confident that students admitted to Amherst will have all the information they need about their Amherst College aid offer, we know that students and families do not make decisions in a vacuum, and require time to fully consider offers from other schools to which they were admitted as well. It’s my hope that, given a response date of May 15, students will be able to make informed decisions about where they will enroll. It is also my hope that this extension will relieve a little bit of stress students are feeling as they head into the final stages of this year’s college admission process.” 

The Department of Education launched its new, streamlined version of the FAFSA at the end of 2023, for applicants in the 2024–25 educational year. Although the form has made applying for federal financial aid simpler for many students and families, there have been known challenges for others. In addition, the timeline has delayed the delivery of information to some colleges and universities, thereby delaying those institutions in releasing aid offers to students.

“The FAFSA challenges—though frustrating and anxiety-provoking—do not change the fact at Amherst that every admitted student with a complete aid application will receive an accurate aid offer along with their admission offer, which will meet their full calculated need with scholarships, grants and student employment,” said Gail Holt, dean of financial aid at Amherst. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to doing what we can to make an Amherst education as affordable as possible.”

Amherst is among the few liberal arts colleges in the country with a need-blind admission policy for both international and domestic students, as well as a financial aid program that meets the full calculated need of students and does not use loans in financial aid packaging. During the 2023–24 academic year, nearly 60 percent of students received aid from the College, and the average aid package was $66,000. 

This year, Amherst received approximately 14,000 applications for the class of 2028, and expects to release Regular Decision offers of admission later this March. As in previous years, the College will maintain some flexibility if students are unable to make a decision about which school to attend because of outstanding financial aid offers from other schools.