Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

Prospective students will be considered for Colgate's need-based aid only when they apply for financial aid before an admission decision is made. Domestic students receiving financial aid must reapply annually to continue to be considered for assistance. International students currently receiving financial aid do not need to reapply for aid annually.

Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for federal student aid such as Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Work Study. Institutional aid eligibility (for Colgate Grant and Colgate Work Study) is determined by the CSS PROFILE.

Institutional aid eligibility is limited to eight semesters for students who enter as first-year students, regardless of whether or not they were aid recipients in any given term. 

Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance at Colgate University and the expected family contribution. The expected family contribution is calculated by taking into account your family's financial circumstances such as income, assets, the number of siblings enrolled in programs leading to a first undergraduate degree, and the cost of a sibling's educational program.

Students applying for institutional aid are automatically considered for all sources of financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional grants, loans, and employment. The composition of an aid award depends on several factors, including the extent of a student's financial need, eligibility for other aid resources, the availability of funds, and the date of application. 

Need-based financial aid awarded by Colgate is considered supplemental to the resources of the family, including the student. Colgate University does not offer financial assistance based on students having voluntarily declared themselves independent of their parents, nor are we able to offer additional assistance if parents are unwilling to support their child at Colgate. Students under age 27 are considered dependent by Colgate University and parent information is required. It is anticipated that a student who matriculated as a dependent student will remain dependent for financial aid purposes throughout their enrollment at Colgate.

For students planning to complete coursework during the summer, Colgate does not process summer financial aid. 

Colgate knows that each family’s situation is unique, and does its best to understand a family’s financial circumstances during the initial review of the financial aid application. If you have special circumstances that do not seem to have been accounted for, or if your family’s financial situation has changed since the financial aid applications were submitted, reach out to the Office of Financial Aid.

Special circumstances may include, but are not limited to, change in employment, one-time income, medical expenses, or if you have been impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, etc. Examples of circumstances that are not taken into consideration to determine financial aid eligibility include parent unwillingness to contribute to educational expenses, graduate school costs for siblings and/or other family members,  financial aid offers from other schools, elder care, high consumer/personal debt, and expenses or events that have not yet occurred.  

Recently Admitted Students

Financial aid awards for your first year at Colgate are binding once your enrollment deposit is received. To discuss your financial aid offer, it is important that you contact the Office of Financial Aid before your deposit is paid.

Current Domestic Students

After you receive your financial aid notification, if you have any questions or concerns, contact the Office of Financial Aid. Enrolled students may contact the Office of Financial Aid throughout the academic year if unusual circumstances arise. 

To be eligible for Federal Student Aid, dependent students and their families or independent students, must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at and meet all other federal eligibility requirements. Students must submit all required documents to verify federal aid eligibility. The student must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen and must be an undergraduate/graduate enrolled at least half-time as a matriculated student at an eligible institution. Enrollment in a Colgate study group or approved program is considered enrollment at Colgate University for the purpose of applying for Title IV aid.

The exception is for a Federal Pell Grant when students can be enrolled less than half time. The Federal Pell Grant amount is prorated based on a student's enrollment at the conclusion of the semester add/drop registration period.

In addition, the student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students must also not be in default or owe a refund for any Federal Title IV aid at any institution and be registered, if applicable, with the Selective Service. The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) confirms eligibility and awards, if applicable, and the amount is based on federal regulations in effect for each federal program.

Every year, the Department of Education selects a number of students' FAFSA applications for a process known as verification. If a student is selected for verification, the required documents that must be submitted to complete verification will be listed on the student's Colgate portal under their financial aid requirements. Financial aid will not display as an anticipated credit on the student's account, nor will it be credited to the student's bill at the usual time of disbursement (at the end of the Drop/Add Period), if the student does not complete the federal verification requirements. Late submission of required documents will result in late disbursement of financial aid. Failure to submit documents could result in a student's ineligibility for financial aid.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Application Procedures: Applicants must apply annually to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), Albany, New York 12255. The application deadline for the current academic year is June 30. Students can begin the TAP application process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at, or by completing the TAP application directly at

The Higher Education Services Corporation determines the applicant’s eligibility and notifies the applicant indicating the amount of the grant. The postsecondary institution may defer payment on the basis of receipt of the award certificate. Actual payment is received after the school certifies student eligibility.

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)  is an entitlement program for legal residents of New York State who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens. Other eligibility requirements are listed on the HESC website. The amount of the award is dependent on state legislation and can vary from year to year.

Students must be in good academic standing and enrolled full-time in courses that apply to their degree program to be eligible for their NYS award. Enrollment in three course credits constitutes full-time enrollment. Students may not be enrolled in repeat courses unless one of the following conditions apply: the student is repeating a failed course; the student is repeating a course in which the grade earned would ordinarily be passing but is a failure in a particular curriculum; the student is repeating a course where credit will be earned each time.

    Undergraduate students may generally receive TAP awards for eight semesters of study.

    For application procedures and selection criteria for other New York State Awards, visit the HESC website

    The following are considered NYS awards (for a full listing, visit the HESC website):

    • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
    • Memorial Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased Police Officers, Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers
    • Regents Awards for Child of Deceased or Disabled Veteran (CV)
    • Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship
    • Veterans Tuition Awards
    • New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence
    • New York State Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarships
    • World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
    • Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship
    • American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship
    • Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute - MERIT Scholarship
    • State Aid to Native Americans
    • New York State Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship

    Source and contact for programs described above: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12255, 888-697-4372,

    Students are required to be enrolled in a certain amount of course credits to be eligible for different types of aid. Below are the definitions of what constitutes each enrollment level for undergraduate and graduate students. 


    Undergraduate Enrollment Level Course Credit Number
    Full-time* 3 course credits
    3/4 time 2.5 course credits
    1/2 time 1.5 course credits


    Graduate Enrollment Level Course Credit Number
    Full-time* 3 course credits
    3/4 time 2.5 course credits
    1/2 time 2 course credits


    *Please see the "State Aid Eligibility and Requirements" section above for additional requirements that must be met to be considered full-time for New York State Aid. 

    Enrollment in repeat courses can affect full-time enrollment status, even if a student is enrolled in 3 course credits. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions on how enrolling repeat courses may affect your aid eligibility. 

    Effective for the fall of 2023, domestic students with a total family income of up to $175,000 (and assets typical for that income range), will be eligible for the Colgate Commitment.


    Steps to Apply:

    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Request your loan eligibility on your Financial Aid Portal by completing the "Federal Direct Student Loan Request Form" on the Supplemental Forms page.
    • First-time borrowers must log onto to complete the required Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). 

    For students awarded a loan as part of their award package, Colgate University does not automatically offer the maximum amount of Federal Direct Loans for which a student may be eligible. Federal Direct Loan amounts will increase each year, depending on institutional packaging policies and federal guidelines. The Department of Education allows eligible students to borrow up to $5,500 in their first year, $6,500 in their sophomore year, and $7,500 in both their junior and senior years. 

    If a student wishes to decrease the loan amount already offered in their financial aid package, they may do so by logging in to their Financial Aid Portal and submitting the adjustment to the amount on the "Accept Awards" page. If a student wishes to increase a loan amount already offered in their package, first, accept the original loans offered as part of the package. Then complete the "Federal Direct Student Loan Request Form" on the Supplemental Forms page in the portal.

    More information on federal loans can be found at Types of Aid

    Grant awards are automatically accepted on the behalf of the student. Other awards, such as loans and work-study must be accepted by the student on their Financial Aid Portal. Students accept their awards by logging in to their Financial Aid Portal and accepting their awards under the "Accept Awards" page. Awards can also be declined on the same "Accept Awards" page on the Financial Aid Portal.

    Colgate reserves the right to modify the financial aid listed in an award upon receipt of information affecting eligibility for financial aid. This can include, but is not limited to, changes in government funding, receipt of awards from other sources, verification of the number of siblings enrolled in undergraduate programs, or any new information received after the initial calculation of financial aid eligibility.

    Entitlement awards from state or federal sources -- including veteran's benefits -- as well as tuition subsidies based on a parent's employment reduce the Colgate Grant dollar for dollar.

    Unless otherwise noted, the amount(s) listed in the aid award are annual awards, with one half applied to the student account each semester. As long as all financial aid application requirements have been completed and processed, aid will disburse within a week of the end of the drop/add period. Work study is not credited to the student account; instead, biweekly pay is issued for the hours worked. 

    All financial aid funds from either Colgate or outside agencies are processed as received. Prompt application for loans and other outside awards insures availability of funds, generally by the third week of each semester. However, students should be prepared to utilize personal funds to meet necessary initial expenses such as books and supplies. If a student does not have the funds needed to purchase books, a payroll advance against future work-study earnings can be arranged through the Office of Student Accounts; or, if the student has no work-study award, the student should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss alternatives.

    Domestic students (U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens) need to reapply for financial aid annually by our published deadline, November 30. Changes in your demonstrated need will impact the amount and types of financial aid available each year. If there are significant changes in your family's financial situation, please contact our office so that your change in circumstances can be taken into consideration when reviewing your financial aid eligibility. A Colgate Grant is not guaranteed for late applicants.

    International students who receive financial aid for their first year do not need to reapply for aid annually. International students who become U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens during their enrollment will thereafter be treated as domestic students and must reapply for aid annually. International students who did not receive Colgate Grant upon admission are not eligible for Colgate Grant in subsequent years.

    Federal Aid Renewal:

    Students must meet federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements in order to remain eligible for federal (Title IV) aid.

    State Aid Renewal:

    A student must maintain good academic standing to remain eligible for their New York State (NYS) awards. To maintain good academic standing, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and pursuing the program of study. Note that satisfactory academic progress for NYS awards differs from federal satisfactory academic progress. Good academic standing for NYS awards are evaluated each semester in which a NYS award is received.

    For pursuit of the program of study, students must enroll in a certain number of credit hours each semester and complete a specific number of credit hours for that semester. For the first year an award is received, a student must complete 50% of the minimum full-time course load for each term. For the second year an award is received, this is increased to 75%, and it increases to 100% in each term of the third year and subsequent semesters an award is received thereafter. Courses assigned grades of W, I, and NG are not considered to have been completed and do not count towards the pursuit of program requirement.

    For satisfactory academic progress, students must maintain a specified grade point average and a pace leading to completion of their degree within a specified time period. The table below illustrates the specific requirements needed to receive NYS scholarships and awards for satisfactory academic progress. The number of course credits that must be accrued depends on the number of award payments the student has received, not on the year of enrollment. Visit the HESC website for full information.

    The minimum standards of eligibility for undergraduate students are listed in the chart below:

    Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Purpose of Determining Eligibility for State Student Aid

    Before being certified for this payment










    A student must have accrued at least this many course credits










    With at least this grade point average









    Students who have received the equivalent of two or more full years of state-funded student financial aid must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of C (2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale) or better to be eligible for continued state-funded assistance.

    Responsibilities of Recipients: Recipients must be in good academic standing in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations and must not be in default of a loan guaranteed by the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). A statement of good academic standing, which is established by each institution in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, may be obtained from the institution’s financial aid office. Under certain circumstances, defaulted borrowers can be reinstated for TAP eligibility by HESC.

    TAP Waiver Policy:

    Students who are not considered to be in good academic standing for their NYS award may be granted a one time "waiver" to reinstate eligibility for one semester, even though they are not meeting the academic requirements. The waiver is not automatic, and may only be granted in extraordinary or unusual circumstances which are beyond the control of the student. There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future requirements. Students must be able to document that there were "circumstances beyond their control" which contributed to, or caused, the academic difficulty. Copies of supporting documentation should be submitted.

    Students who have received the equivalent of two or more full years of state-funded student financial aid must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of C (2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale) or better to be eligible for continued state-funded assistance. Students can submit a request with supporting documentation to waive the C average requirement due to undue hardship based on extenuating circumstances; a waiver is not automatic.

    The Office of Financial Aid will notify students who have failed to meet the standards required to receive the next payment of their NYS award. Instructions on how to submit a written request for a waiver will be included in the notification. If granted, the waiver becomes part of the student's financial aid record and the student is expected to meet good academic standing requirements thereafter.

    Students found ineligible to receive their next NYS award payment can reestablish eligibility for future payments by successfully meeting the award requirements by the end of the next semester.

    If the total resources applied to the student account exceed a student's charges, a refund may be due. Credit refunds resulting from financial aid (as opposed to family payments) will be issued automatically, each term, approximately one week after the end of the drop/add period. Students with an anticipated credit may request an early release of their credit for purchase of books only; any credit beyond that will be released after the add/drop period. Students can email the Office of Student Accounts at to request an early release of their credit for books.

    If later in the semester a credit appears on the account as the result of disbursement of federal funds, a refund will be made automatically, within two weeks of the disbursement. Credit resulting from non-federal funds will be applied toward a future semester unless the family requests that the funds be returned to the student or parent instead. Refunds required as a result of withdrawal or leave of absence will be made in accordance with the policy outlined in the Colgate University Catalogue.  Students will receive any refunds more quickly if they sign up for electronic (ACH) transactions directly through Colgate's TouchNet billing system.

    Off Campus Study Programs

    Students receiving institutional financial aid are eligible to receive financial aid towards one long off-campus study program (i.e. Study Group or Approved Program) and one short program (i.e. Extended Study). The additional cost of the program compared to an on-campus semester is first met with a $1,500 loan, regardless of initial financial aid awarded. The remaining additional cost is met with an increase in Colgate Grant.

    If the cost of attending your program is less than the cost of an on-campus semester, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to verify how your aid may be adjusted in that circumstance. 

    Community Leaders (CL)


    Students offered a community leader (CL) position will be issued a room credit as compensation. The CL housing credit will be included as a resource in the financial aid package. Financial aid policies at Colgate allow students to receive the maximum possible financial benefit from the CL position by first reducing family contribution. If the CL housing credit exceeds the family contribution (as calculated by the Financial Aid Office from financial aid application materials you submit) then other sources of financial aid will be impacted. When this occurs, the CL credits will first offset loan and work study, then, if necessary, grants or scholarships will be adjusted to comply with federal and institutional regulations. 


    Veterans Administration (VA) Educational Benefits *

    1. Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance (Chapter 32)
    2. Dependent and Survivors Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
    3. Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
    4. Vocational Rehabilitation for Service-Disabled Veterans
    5. Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserves Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1606)
    6. Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

    * Application Procedures: Application forms, information, and assistance in applying for benefits are available at

    If admitted, students who enroll at Colgate will need to submit a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Office of Financial Aid. 

    Yellow Ribbon

    Colgate participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a component of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Eligible military veterans can learn more at Please note that veterans must be entitled to the maximum benefit rate in order to be — or to have their dependents be — considered for the Yellow Ribbon program. 

    Classes are held in residence on the Colgate University campus located at: 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, New York 13346. Students receiving veterans benefits that include a housing allowance will have their housing allowance determined by the campus zip code. If studying abroad, the housing allowance may be determined by the study abroad location.

    The Yellow Ribbon program is a non-need-based award. The Yellow Ribbon program covers tuition and fees in full. Students also receive an allowance for books paid directly to them. A housing allowance is also paid directly towards the student and may be used towards housing and food charges. The amount of the housing allowance is determined by the VA each year. The Yellow Ribbon program does not cover the additional expense of a Colgate directed off-campus study or extended study group, or a Colgate approved program. Federal loans may be available to help cover these additional costs.

    Career Outcomes

    For more information regarding career and continuing education outcomes, visit Success after Colgate

    Degree Attainment

    More information on requirements needed to complete a student's educational program and graduate from Colgate can be found in the Colgate catalog. Enrolled students can also monitor their progress on Degree Works.

    Adjustment of Awards

    Entitlement awards such as VA educational benefits reduce Colgate Grant awards dollar for dollar. 


    Veteran's benefits are awarded based on anticipated full-time enrollment. Enrollment is verified at time of certification and re-checked and verified after the semester drop/add period ends. Repeat courses cannot be certified except under special circumstances, and otherwise do not count towards full-time enrollment. Dropping below full-time enrollment will also cause a drop in a student's estimated eligibility.

    Students should contact the Financial Aid office immediately should they plan to drop below full-time enrollment, or enroll in any repeat courses, to discuss what changes they can anticipate.


    For assistance with financial questions, contact the Financial Aid Office at 315-228-7431 or send email to

    For assistance with health and wellness, advising and student support, and residence life, go to the Dean of the College webpage for links to campus resources, or contact your Administrative Dean at 315-228-7368, 315-228-6131 or

    For academic support, accessibility resources, or disability services, go to the Office of Disability Services webpage for links to campus resources, call Evelyn Lester, Director of Disability Services at 315-228-7375 or send email to

    Code of Conduct

    Colgate, as a participant in federal loan programs, is required to develop, administer, and enforce a financial aid code of conduct (PDF) applicable to the university’s officers, employees, and agents.

    Colgate University (the “University”), as a participant in federal loan programs, is required to develop, administer and enforce a financial aid code of conduct applicable to the University’s officers, employees, and agents. The code of conduct requirements are set forth in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (“HEOA”) signed into law on August 14, 2008. This Colgate University Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities (the “Code”) fulfills these requirements and applies to certain transactions and activities related to student lending and financial aid matters.

    The HEOA program participation agreement, which must be executed by all institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs, including student loan programs, requires a code of conduct with which each institution’s officers, employees, and trustees shall comply. The code must prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an officer, employee or trustee with respect to education loans. The law further specifies that the code shall be displayed prominently on the institution’s website and that all institutional officers, employees and agents with responsibilities related to such loans be annually informed of the provisions of the Code. Colgate University also adheres to the Student Lending, Accountability, Transparency and Enforcement (SLATE) Act under New York State law, which applies not only to the University’s officers, employees and trustees, but also to the University’s agents and contractors (collectively, the University’s officers, employees, trustees, agents and contractors are referred to in this Code as “Covered Persons”).

    The University hereby adopts the following provisions from the HEOA, codified at 20 USC § 1094(e), as its Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities and will annually inform all Covered Persons of the provisions of this Code. Where appropriate, the statutory language has been adjusted to reflect the specific context of the University. In addition, where New York law under the SLATE Act is stricter than federal law, the provisions of 20 USC § 1094(e) have been revised, replaced and/or supplemented as appropriate in order to comply with both federal and state law. For purposes of this Code, the term “Lending Institution” means any entity that itself or through an affiliate makes educational loans to pay for or finance higher education expenses or that securitizes such loans; any entity, or association of entities, that guarantees educational loans; or any industry, trade or professional association or other entity that receives money, related to educational loan activities, from any of the aforementioned entities.


    All financial records are protected in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended.

    Consumer Information

    Consumer information as required by the Higher Education Act (HEA) can be viewed here