When we calculate financial need and determine a financial aid award, we use a student expense budget (cost of attendance) that includes expenses that are billed by the college (direct expenses) and expenses incurred by most college students (indirect expenses). The level of the expected family contribution will determine what portion of the total (direct and indirect) expenses will be the responsibility of the family or will be paid by financial aid funds.
For 2020-21, the typical student expense budget includes:
- Comprehensive fee (tuition, room and board): $75,800
- Other student fees (student activities, campus center programs and residential governance): $1,000
- Health insurance* (may be waived): $2,358
- Tuition insurance (may be waived): $118 (per semester) ***
- Books and supplies (estimated): $1,000
- Personal expenses (estimated): $1,800
- Travel/Transportation** (estimated; varies by location): $50-$2,500
- Cost of attendance: $82,008 – $84,458
* Amherst College requires that all students participate in the College’s health insurance plan or have comparable medical insurance. All students will be billed this amount. For students not covered by family insurance and receiving financial aid, a Health Scholarship is available.
** Estimate of costs for transportation within the U.S.—usually two round-trips home—is included above.
*** Tuition insurance is not included in the cost of attendance used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine aid eligibility. The charge is included in each semester bill, but is able to be waived.
The College annually evaluates its fees and makes adjustments when necessary. Financial aid awards will always be based on the fees in effect during the year of the award. Students who require financial aid because of changes in fees may apply for assistance in any academic year.
The College’s actual annual cost of educating a student at Amherst is approximately $109,000. However, income from our endowment and from gifts and grants subsidizes that amount significantly, even for students who do not receive financial aid. For students eligible for financial aid, scholarship grants further reduce the costs to students and their families.