The College helps to meet your financial need with an aid offer outlined on the Financial Aid Offer page of the Financial Aid Portal. Financial aid offers include self-help (student employment) and gift aid (scholarship and grant). The self-help component of the aid offer provides an opportunity to work to pay for your personal educational expenses. Gift aid (scholarship and grants) does not require work or repayment. Gift aid is applied to the student account each semester to reduce direct charges billed by the College.

Financial aid amounts shown on your Financial Aid Offer reflect actual 2024-2025 expenses. Any need resulting from a budget update is met by an increase in gift aid to continue to meet 100% of your calculated financial need. 

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Gift Aid

Scholarships and grants - gift aid - may be included in your financial aid offer if you have remaining need after student employment (self-help) is subtracted from your need. Here are some commonly awarded gift aid categories:

Federal Pell Grant

If your financial aid offer includes a Pell Grant, we anticipate that you are eligible for this need-based federal grant. It is your responsibility to apply for a Federal Pell Grant by filing the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA).

State Scholarship or Grant

If your financial aid offer shows an amount for a state scholarship or grant, we estimate that you are eligible for your state’s assistance program. If you are not financially eligible for a state grant, the amount will be replaced by grant aid from the College.

It is your responsibil­ity to apply for a state scholarship or grant if you are a resident of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, or Vermont. You should complete and file the appropriate application forms before the state program’s dead­line. In most of these states, the FAFSA is used to apply for state scholarships or grants, but some states have additional application requirements.

Scholarships and Grants Administered by Amherst

If you have remaining financial need after subtracting self-help, Pell and state grants, and “outside” scholarships, that need will be met with scholarships and grants administered by the College such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportu­nity Grant (SEOG) and Amherst College Scholarship.

Outside Scholarships and Employer’s Benefits

We remind you that you must notify the Office of Financial Aid if you receive any outside assis­tance, regardless of the amount, from organi­zations outside of the College. The College al­lows outside scholarships and/or employer’s benefits to replace the work portion of the financial aid offer. If outside scholarships completely replace work aid, any remainder will re­duce Amherst College scholarship aid, so talk to our office about deferring use or using outside funds to purchase a computer with the sponsor's permission. Outside scholarships and employer benefits cannot be used to replace your family contribution; they must be taken into account in the financial aid offer.


Self-help aid includes work opportunities and loans, and is called self-help because the individual takes responsibility for receiving this type of aid. 

Academic Year Employment

The expectation is that a student will be able to earn about $1,800 from academic year em­ployment. This employment opportunity represents about four to five hours a week of work on campus. The student employment website is a great resource.

Student Loans 

Although the College does not initially package student loans in financial aid offers, there may be circumstances in which a student may request a student loan


Students with questions concerning their financial aid offer should contact the Office of Financial Aid. Appeals for reconsideration of an aid offer must be made in writing. The letter (or financial aid appeal form) should address special or unusual circumstances, unusual expenses, changing financial situations, or additional information not already presented in the financial aid application.

In some cases, new or more detailed explanations regarding your family’s financial situation can be considered and may result in an adjustment to your family contribution and aid offer. Appeals are reviewed by the deans, who give careful consideration to individual family circumstances while also maintaining equity in our treatment of all aid applicants.

Appeals regarding a decrease in income are considered by the submission of “recent year” tax forms and W-2s. For 2024-25, the “base year” is 2022; the “recent year” is 2023. Appeals regarding renewal aid offers will be considered after initial offers for renewal applicants are completed.

In cases where we are unable to make an adjustment to your family contribution, we can advise you of family financing options available to you and your family.

Federal Verification Required

If you have a message on the financial aid portal that says “Verification Required,” your financial aid application was selected for federal verification process of the data reported on the FAFSA.