Many students wonder if they can afford a private, highly selective liberal arts college such as Colgate. However, need-based financial aid is meant to help bridge the gap between the full cost of attendance and what a family can afford.
To see if you may be eligible
for need-based aid, try our Net Price Calculator
. Please note:
- The calculator works only for domestic students. It does not take into account the exchange rate and cost of living in countries other than the U.S.
- The calculator also works best for students applying for aid as incoming first-year students. While the family contribution will be similar regardless of a student's year in school, job and loan levels vary based on circumstances not addressed by the calculator.
What's in a Financial Aid Award?
For students who receive financial aid during their first year at Colgate, awards typically consist of a Colgate Grant, a modest student loan, and a work-study opportunity. The largest portion of the award is typically in the form of grant.
Grant aid is sometimes called "gift aid," in that it does not need to be either earned or repaid. Unlike merit scholarships, grant aid is based on need alone and, at least at Colgate, does not carry with it any extra requirements (regarding minimum GPA, etc.) beyond those that apply to all students. The goal of Colgate grant aid is to help students who have demonstrated need to meet their educational expenses without having to take on unmanageable levels of student debt.
Aid packages will usually include a modest Federal Direct Loan. Certain students may instead be offered a Federal Perkins Loan. The type of loan received depends on a student's federal eligibility and on the availability of funds.
Regardless of the type of loan, though, Colgate students tend to borrow considerably less than their peers nationwide. The Class of 2015, for example, had an average debt load of $16,000 as compared to the national average of more than $35,000.
Many students will also receive a work-study opportunity in their aid awards. This allows students to invest in their own educations without having to take additional loan while also gaining valuable work experience, which can pay dividends when applying for positions during the summer and after graduation. The work-study earnings target can generally be earned by working between ten and twelve hours a week, which should still leave sufficient time for academics and activities. MORE ABOUT EMPLOYMENT
Students who do not
receive aid during their first year at Colgate but who become eligible for assistance in a subsequent year generally receive loans and a job first, then grant to meet remaining need, if any.