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Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office helps qualified applicants who without assistance would be unable to pursue a college education. For 166 years, Oberlin alumni and friends have generously assisted needy students through gifts and permanent scholarships.

Oberlin's historic dedication to an economically diverse student body results in nearly all funding through our Office of Financial Aid being committed to students and families in financial need.

More than one-fifth of Oberlin's annual budget goes to scholarship assistance. During the 2000-2001 academic year, Oberlin College provided more than $32 million in need-based financial aid. Almost two-thirds of students received more than $42 million in aid from Oberlin College, federal, state and private sources.

Application Process

Financial-aid applications for new and transfer students are included in Oberlin College's admissions materials mailed to all prospective students.

The PROFILE form of the College Scholarship Service (CSS) is used to calculate family contributions for all first-time aid applicants. Students may register for the PROFILE in the fall preceding the academic year for which they are applying for aid.

The Oberlin Office of Financial Aid carefully reviews each PROFILE, frequently revising the CSS evaluation, with particular attention paid to such factors as income and business losses, other family members attending college and family assets.

All students must also complete the confidential Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1.

Applications for currently enrolled students are available through the Office of Financial Aid in December and are due by April 15.

Returning students not currently enrolled or in residence should write to the Office of Financial Aid for an application. Applications from returning students, including the FAFSA, are due by April 15 for the fall semester and by November 1 for the spring semester.

Students must apply each year for renewal of financial aid. The amount of awards through four years (five years for double-degree students) will reflect changes in Oberlin's costs as well as changes in the financial profile of the student and family.

The Funding Package

Oberlin evaluates the PROFILE, tax returns and other information to determine financial need, which is the difference between the total cost of attending Oberlin and the ability of the family to contribute to those educational costs. Oberlin College costs are tuition and fees charged to all students, double room and dining, plus an allowance for books and supplies, estimated personal expenses and limited travel.

Oberlin College calculates the amount a family can contribute to a student's education by examining

  1. parental income and assets;
  2. benefits, such as those from an employer;
  3. awards from outside agencies; and
  4. student assets and expected savings from summer employment.

Financial aid is usually awarded to students in a three-part package which consists of:

  1. money earned by the student from campus employment;
  2. education loans taken out by the students or family; and
  3. outright gifts or grants of scholarship money.

Eligibility for Scholarship Aid

Students may apply for assistance for eight semesters (10 semesters for double-degree students). The eligibility for transfer students will be prorated based on their class standing at the time of matriculation. They must be enrolled in an academic program leading toward their undergraduate degree (or degrees, if part of an Oberlin program leading to a double degree), and show satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements, as determined by the Academic Standing Committee of each division.

Other Sources of Funding

Eligible students can avail themselves of the National Merit Scholarships, the National Achievement Scholarships, the Ohio Choice Grant and other outside scholarships offered by local foundations, clubs and business organizations.

Oberlin College sponsors a number of National Merit Scholarships, in amounts ranging from $750 to $2,000. Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program competition are eligible for consideration for Oberlin-sponsored National Merit Scholarships if they (a) declare Oberlin as their first-choice college; (b) have filed applications for admission to Oberlin College; and (c) have not been selected as winners of other Merit Scholarships.

Scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid.

Combining Sources of Assistance

Various kinds of financial assistance from agencies other than Oberlin College are considered in calculating a student's financial award to ensure availability of assistance to as many eligible students as possible. Consequently, all students are asked to apply for all federal and state grants for which they may be eligible. Should they receive assistance from public or private agencies, students must notify the Oberlin Office of Financial Aid. This applies even if assistance is received after the financial-aid application is completed or after an Oberlin award is made.

Parent Loans

Loans to parents, including the Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), are available. Information about these loans, which usually carry low interest rates, may be obtained from banks, savings associations and other lending agencies in most communities.

International Applicants

Oberlin is a leader in offering financial aid to the most highly qualified international applicants. The amount of aid is determined solely on the basis of the student's financial need. Before a visa is issued, all international students who request financial aid are asked to show evidence of having resources equal to the difference between Oberlin's cost and the financial-aid package for each year they will be in the United States.

For additional information on financial aid, please contact the Office of Admissions or the Office of Financial Aid at Oberlin.

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