Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA is the only form required to apply for federal financial aid. If you are a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States, its territories, or associated states (Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau), you must complete the FAFSA to be considered for federal student aid. The FAFSA may be completed online.

The federal student financial aid cited in your financial aid offer anticipates that you will qualify for such aid. The U.S. The Department of Education officially determines your eligibility for federal financial aid based on the information reported on the FAFSA form. FAFSA information will be sent to us when you list Amherst College in the list of schools. The College’s federal school code for the FAFSA is 002115.

Federal tax information is reported on the FAFSA by granting approval and consent for the IRS to disclose Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly to the Department of Education, as per the FUTURE Act.

Part of Amherst’s individualized need analysis takes into account your family’s unique or changing circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA. We use our Institutional Methodology (and professional judgment on a case by case basis) to determine eligibility for Amherst College institutional funds. We garner additional information from families by having all financial aid applicants complete the CSS Profile.

FAFSA Simplification

There are several changes to the federal application process for 2024-25 resulting from FAFSA Simplification:

  • FAFSA income data will be populated by transferring Federal Tax Information (FTI) from the IRS via the Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to your FAFSA with your and other contributors’ consent.
  • FSA ID All students and contributors must create a account to complete the FAFSA form online. If you or your contributor already have an FSA ID, you will use your existing FSA ID. Students and contributors will use their FSA ID account username and password to log in to their accounts. Even if a parent or spouse contributor does not have a Social Security Number, they can still get an FSA ID using their ITIN to fill out their portion of the student's FAFSA form online.
    • Contributor refers to anyone asked to provide information on a student's FAFSA form, i.e., the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse (stepparent). 
  • Student Aid Index The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024-25 award year. The SAI is a number used to determine eligibility for federal need based aid. It is calculated using information provided on the FAFSA form. A student’s SAI can be a negative number as low as -1500.
  • Your federal calculated financial need is: Calculated Need = Cost of Attendance (COA) – Student Aid Index (SAI) – Other Financial Assistance (OFA)
  • Professional Judgment Financial aid professionals have flexibility in adjusting a student's eligibility for financial aid due to special or unusual circumstances.

The CSS Profile

Complete the CSS Profile form and submit it to the College Board. Amherst College’s CSS Profile code number is 3003.

If your parents are separated or divorced, both of the student's biological/adoptive parent(s) will complete their own CSS Profile. Each parent will access the CSS Profile with different log-in credentials. Parent 2 will need to create a College Board account before providing their information. It's highly recommended that the student and parent of financial record (Parent 1) start the CSS Profile first, as parent 2 can't submit information until the student selects a school that requires the submission of Parent 2 information.

If you have no contact with Parent 2, or if it is unsafe or otherwise unreasonable for you to be in contact with Parent 2, you may request institutions to waive this requirement. The Parent 2 (Non-Custodial) Parent Waiver Petition requires statements or other documentation (court orders, etc.) to support the Petition. Submission of the Petition does not guarantee that a waiver will be approved. Petitions are usually not approved if a parent refuses to complete the CSS Profile or if a divorce decree states that a parent is not responsible for the student's educational expenses.

International students must also complete the CSS Profile and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.

Income Documentation

We will notify you by email if your financial aid application is incomplete. Applicants should check the status of their aid application on the Financial Aid Portal to determine if additional materials are needed. Please submit missing material as soon as possible so that we may confirm our analysis of your family’s resources. Financial Aid Offers cannot be finalized until all required docu­mentation is received.

US citizens and permanent residents who file the CSS PROFILE will receive an email from the College Board detailing the Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) which Amherst College uses to securely collect all tax and supplemental application information. Additional Information is available at

The following income documentation materials are required for 2024-25 aid applications:

  • Signed and dated copies of both your parents’ and your own 2022 federal income tax returns (all pages)
  • Copies of income state­ments for 2022 (e.g., W-2 forms)
  • If your parents hold an ownership interest in a business corporation, a copy of the corpo­rate tax return
  • If your parents have income from a partnership, a copy of the 2022 partnership return and/or a copy of your parents’ Schedule K-1
  • A non-filing statement is required If no income tax return will be filed and is not required to be filed by you or your parent(s).

Canadian and other international applicants should upload tax information to Amherst College directly via the Financial Aid Portal and not to IDOC.

Copies of all tax forms and other materials submit­ted must be signed and dated.

Amherst Application for Renewal of Financial Aid

Students must reapply for financial aid each year, whether a first time applicant or an upper class student applying for the first time. A student is eligible to receive financial aid at Amherst for a total of eight semesters, providing the following requirements are met:

  1. An Amherst Application for Renewal of Financial Aid, the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA forms, income tax returns, and other documents that are posted on the Financial Aid Portal. Students complete the Amherst Application for Renewal of Financial Aid online at the Financial Aid Portal. From the menu, select Apply Online to complete the renewal application.
  2. Continued demonstration of financial need, as evidenced by information submitted in the renewal application.
  3. Satisfactory academic progress, as evidenced by the ability to continue in enrollment at Amherst. Students' academic records are reviewed each semester by the Committee on Academic Standing in accordance with the academic standards defined in the Amherst College Catalog. For the purposes of federal financial aid, a student may not receive assistance for more than one semester while on academic probation and may not receive assistance if his or her cumulative grade point average is less than “C.”

The Application for Renewal of Financial Aid is due March 1st of each year. 

Federal Verification Required

If your financial aid messages include “Verification Required,” your financial aid application was selected by the Department of Education for federal verification of data you reported in the FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid is required to collect supporting documentation from you. No federal grants or federal loans may be approved, and no employment under the Federal Work-Study Program may be authorized until the federal verification process is complete. 

If verification is required, please promptly complete and return the required documents to the Office of Financial Aid. Required documents will be listed and may be accessed through the financial aid portal