The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the ONLY form used to determine eligibility for the approximate $5.5 million federal dollars administered each year by Amherst College. The CSS PROFILE form is used to determine eligibility for all Institutional sources of assistance, which total more than $52 million last year. 

To be considered for Amherst College financial aid for the 2016-2017 academic year, residents of the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico must submit the following materials (listed in the order they become available each year):

CSS Profile

  • CSS PROFILE code number: 3003

Complete the Financial Aid PROFILE form for 2016-2017 and submit it to the College Scholarship Service (CSS) of the College Board. Amherst College’s CSS PROFILE code number is 3003. Registration guides and worksheets are available from secondary schools or the Office of Financial Aid.

If your parents are separated or divorced, the PROFILE form should be completed by you and the parent with whom you live (i.e., your "custodial" parent). Your other parent (i.e., "non-custodial" parent) must complete the CSS Non-Custodial Parent PROFILE.   

If you are married, or have dependent children of your own, you must complete an Independent Student Supplement and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You may obtain a Supplement from the Office of Financial Aid.

International students must also complete the CSS PROFILE for 2016-2017 and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Federal school code: 002115

US Citizens and Permanent Residents ONLY:  To be considered for federal student financial aid, complete the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1, 2016. We recommend that you complete your 2015 federal tax return before completing the FAFSA. You can complete the FAFSA on the web or by paper process. The federal government will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). Check all pages for accuracy and resubmit corrections if necessary. Amherst College's federal school code is 002115. Your eligibility for all federal aid will be based on the reults of your processed FAFSA.

Data retrieval Tool to Access IRS Information.  We strongly encourage you, in completing the FAFSA, to use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to bring information from your income tax return directly from the Internal Revenue Service to the FAFSA.

During completion of your FAFSA on-line you will be given the opportunity to link to the DRT –

  • Enter your FSA ID and click Link To IRS. You will not be asked to enter your FSA ID if you entered an FSA ID to begin your FAFSA.
  • Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  • On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information.
  • Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS Web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS Web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
  • If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

The DRT cannot be used by: someone filing as head of household; by those filing as “married, filing separately”; by someone filing an extension or amended return; or a resident of Puerto Rico or the associated states.  You can access DRT about two weeks after filing an electronic income tax return or six weeks after filing a paper return.  If you submit the FAFSA before filing income tax returns, you may later update the FAFSA information by following the FAFSA correction procedures to access your income information from the IRS using the Data Retrieval Tool.

Canadian and other international students do not complete the FAFSA.

Federal Tax Returns

Your and your parents' 2015 US, Canadian, Puerto Rican, or other government's income tax return(s). All schedules and attachments must be submitted. Copies of appropriate earnings statements (e.g. W-2 or 1099 forms) also must be submitted. If a return has been filed electronically, please transcribe that information onto standard forms for submission to the College Board. Amherst College uses the College Board's Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) to collect all tax information associated with applying for financial aid at Amherst.

If you or your parents did not and will not file an income tax return for 2015, this non-filing should be certified on the IDOC cover sheet; copies of earnings statements (W-2 forms) for any earnings should be included.

If your parents own an interest in a business corporation, submit a copy of the corporate tax return (and/or a copy of your parents' statement of "Shareholder's Share of Income, Credits, Deductions, Etc.," IRS Form 1120S, Schedule K-1). If your parents have income from a partnership, submit a copy of the partnership tax return (and/or a copy of your parents' statement of "Partner" Share of Income, Credits, Deductions, Etc.," IRS Form 1165, Schedule K-1).

U.S. Department of Education rules stipulate that you cannot receive federal student financial aid unless proper tax forms (and appropriate filing status) have been filed with the Internal Revenue Service if required. Because of parity of treatment of all aid applicants, these rules also apply to institutional aid. More details are available here.


If 2015 federal tax returns are not yet available, please submit 2014 federal tax returns (signed, all schedules, attachments and W-2 or 1099 forms) to the Amherst College Office of Financial Aid directly: by e-mail to; by fax to 413 542 2628; or by standard mail to PO Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002 USA. 

Applicants should submit 2015 federal tax documents to IDOC once they are available.


Submission Dates PROFILETax ReturnsFAFSA
Early Decision November 1 November 15 After January 1st
Regular Decision February 15 March 10 After January 1st
Fall Transfer March 15 April 10 After January 1st
Spring Transfer November 1 November 1 November 1
Returning Students  All materials due by April 25th

* Note that applications for financial aid will be accepted through February 12 of each academic year. 

IF YOU WILL BE SEEKING ONLY U.S. FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID, such as a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS (parent) Loan, please submit the following:

  • Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2016-17, which may be completed on-line at after January 1, 2016.  Amherst’s FAFSA code number is 002115.

Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC)

US citizens and permanent residents who file the CSS PROFILE will receive an e-mail from the College Board on behalf of Amherst College.  This e-mail will outline the Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) which Amherst College uses to collect all tax information and supplements associated with applying for financial aid at Amherst.

Canadian and other international applicants should submit tax information to Amherst College directly and not to IDOC.

IDOC Processing Tips

All documents should be submitted to the College Board as one complete packet and must have an IDOC cover sheet.  Tax returns must be signed.  Duplicate cover letters and cover sheets are available from the College Board's website (

In the case of divorced or separated parents, you may submit your non-custodial parent tax information with your IDOC packet to the College Board. Alternatively, you may forward a copy of the IDOC cover sheet to your non-custodial parent to be completed and submitted directly to the College Board along with your non-custodial parent 2014 federal tax return (including all schedules, attachments, and W-2 or 1099 forms).

This page was last updated February 5, 2016.