Once your financial need is determined, a financial aid award that is equal to your need will be offered. Notices of financial aid awards will be sent soon after admission letters are mailed to first-year and transfer applicants. The award is sometimes called an "aid package" because it may include both self-help (employment) and gift aid (scholarships and grants). Students with lower financial need will be offered self-help. Students with greater need will be offered a combination of self-help and gift aid. Amherst College has replace all initially packaged, need based student loans with grant assistance and also offers $2,000 in an employment opportunity.
Students may decide to borrow a student loan to purchase a computer, replace the summer savings expectation, or replace work with loan funds. Need-based student loans are interest-free while you are in school and low-interest during repayment after graduation. Any remaining need is met with scholarship - aid that does not have to be repaid.
You do not have to accept aid offered in the form of self- help in order to receive gift aid from the College. The College, however, will not replace the self-help component of your aid package with scholarship or grant assistance.