Plan and Estimate Your Share of College Costs

This calculator is a tool that can help you determine how college financial aid and education loans are awarded. Do you qualify?


Start the Calculator! 

This calculator works in Windows with Internet Explorer, Netscape or Firefox.* You must have Java installed for the calculator to work. Click here to see if you have java.

Note: Pop-up "ad" blocking software must be turned off (it will block functionality).

Note: Do NOT close this screen while using this software (or it won’t work).

*A Mac-compatible calculator will be available soon.

Developed by Think Ahead, Inc. © 2005, All rights reserved.

Keep in mind the following:

  • This calculator provides estimates of need-based aid. All financial aid at Amherst is based on demonstrated financial need. There are no merit-based or athletic awards.
  • The contribution estimated here is only as reliable as the data you enter.
  • The family contribution (FC) may vary among colleges according to their own institutional policies and professional judgments. Amherst College uses the basic guidelines of the College Scholarship Service's Institutional Methodology to determine family contributions.
  • The Office of Financial Aid is the final authority on your exact FC. This estimate should provide an approximation of your expected contribution.
  • Special circumstances are treated on a case by case basis. This information should be communicated in writing directly to the Office of Financial Aid at the time of your application.

This software is intended to estimate a family contribution for U.S. Citizens and permanent residents. It does not apply to Canadian or other international students.

Enter your income and asset data. Here's what the financial aid calculator can do:

  • Estimate the Family Contribution (FC) using both federal and institutional methodology,
  • Project an inflation-adjusted FC any number of years into the future,
  • Show financial-aid-What If (inheritance, bonus, moving, etc.) instant answers,
  • Compute education loan payments for Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, and others,
  • Print your own FC Report for future reference (financial aid explanations included).

We provide easy-to-understand help messages next to every data entry field. For privacy, your record will automatically be deleted when you exit.

In the case of divorced or separated parents, you should run separate calculations with each parent’s information. The combination of the two results will be the total expected parent contribution. Note that if either parent has remarried, your stepparent's information should also be provided. The calculated parental contribution will be based on both incomes; however, Amherst’s final calculation will be based on the proportion of your mother’s or father’s income relative to the total income of your parent and stepparent. For example, if your parents are divorced and your mother has remarried, the contribution calculated from your mother and stepfather's information will be adjusted in proportion to the ratio of your mother's income to her and your stepfather's income. If your father has remarried, a similar adjustment would be made to your father's and stepmother's calculated contribution.