Composition of Aid Award

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. Students who have applied for aid are automatically considered for all sources of financial aid, including federal, state, and institutional grants, loans, and employment.

Types of Aid

Financial need

The difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

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.

Student Contribution

An expected student contribution is based on the student's current assets and earnings from an earlier tax year. A minimum contribution is expected of all students.

Parent Contribution

An expected parent contribution is calculated from the CSS Profile and other documents submitted to apply for financial aid. Parent income, assets, the size of your household, and number of siblings enrolled in undergraduate degree programs are taken into consideration. In the case of divorced or separated parents, both parents must submit a CSS Profile and each parent's information will be used in the assessment calculation of the total family contribution.

Students are billed on a per semester basis. When reviewing the overall family contribution, please keep in mind that this may be going toward billed and/or non-billed expenses for the academic year. Billed expenses may not be even between the fall and spring semesters due to transcript fees, health insurance, study abroad charges, etc. Our Financing Options page discusses ways to meet the family contribution.

Estimated Costs

The estimated costs used in determining financial aid eligibility are based on an estimate of a student's fixed, on-campus expenses (tuition and activity fee); an estimate for room and meals; and estimates for those variable expenses incurred but not billed to the student account (books, supplies, domestic travel, and personal needs). Estimated costs do not include a one-time transcript fee and health insurance, both of which are required for all Colgate students. If not already covered by health insurance, the student will be billed for health insurance coverage through Colgate; in either case, families need to cover that cost. Students who feel they may need assistance with the cost of Colgate's health insurance should contact the Office of Financial Aid. No provision is made for expenses that are not directly related to college attendance.

Off-Campus Study

Colgate Grant recipients can receive additional assistance for one Colgate-directed/approved off-campus study group and one Colgate-directed extended study program. A Colgate Grant is awarded to meet extra off-campus-study costs after loans have been increased by $1,500. If you borrow the maximum in federal loan eligibility for purposes other than the extra cost of your off-campus study program, your Colgate Grant will not be increased beyond the standard level.

Further information about off-campus study costs and financial aid can be found on the Off-Campus Study page.