Financial Aid Policies and Procedures

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.

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 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. It is anticipated that a student who matriculated as a dependent student will remain dependent for financial aid purposes throughout their enrollment at Colgate.

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. 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. The student must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The exception is for a Federal Pell Grant when students can be enrolled less than half time. In addition, students must 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.

Colgate is embracing a no-loan initiative for students with a total family income up to $125K, to be implemented in the fall of 2020. 

No-Loan Initiative Details 

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.

Financial aid awards for the first year are binding once your enrollment deposit is received. If the information reported on your application is not reflective of your current circumstances, and/or if you have questions or concerns regarding the amount offered, please contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible so we can address your concerns before the deposit is paid.  

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.

Students who have concerns about their awards should contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible after receiving notification of the award, and at least one week prior to the enrollment deposit deadline. A Request for Review form will be sent upon request; the form must be completed and returned with the applicable supporting documentation before a review can be conducted. Generally, reviews can be considered only before the deposit has been paid. A student who wishes to decline any part of an award must do so in writing to the Office of Financial Aid.

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. 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 aid upon admission are not eligible for aid in subsequent years.

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

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. 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.

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.