All financial aid at Amherst is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. You demonstrate financial need if the resources that are available to you are not sufficient to cover your student budget. The College expects that your parents will assist to the greatest extent their income and assets will permit and that you will share in the cost of your education through working, borrowing, and saving.
Financial need is determined from information that you and your parents supply to the College. Amherst uses the CSS PROFILE to estimate the amount that you and your family may reasonably be expected to contribute toward your student budget. Within the resources of the College, the amount of financial aid that you will be offered is equal to the difference between the determination of your family contribution and your student expense budget.
Except in unusual situations, the College will not award financial aid to you without taking into consideration your parents' financial circumstances. In the case of divorced or separated parents, each parent is expected to provide financial information.
A part of your family's contribution toward your student expense budget is your responsibility. The College expects you to contribute from your summer earnings (if you are employed on campus or under the practical training provisions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service), your past savings, and any other resources that are available to you. The summer earnings expectation is adjusted from year to year according to prevailing wage rates. In addition, about a third of your past savings and other assets is expected to be available to help defray your expenses.
If you will receive benefits from a government agency or from any other organization, these benefits must be included in your resources. In summary, your financial need will be calculated by subtracting your total resources from your student budget.
Student Expense Budget
- Contribution from your parents
- Contribution from your income (typically from summer earnings)
- Contribution from past savings and other assets
- Contribution from governmental agencies and other sources
= Demonstrated Financial Need