Office of Financial Aid

How Is My Financial Aid Award Determined?

Oberlin awards financial aid to meet 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of students, as calculated by our Office of Financial Aid.

When you complete the College Scholarship Service [CSS] PROFILE, the CSS sends Oberlin a complete copy of all your information.  The staff in our Office of Financial Aid then analyzes that information and establishes a family contribution amount for you.  This amount will include contributions from both you and your parents.

Your demonstrated need is the difference between this family contribution and the cost of attending Oberlin.  Families who do not receive direct financial aid from Oberlin can still take advantage of several financing options for managing the cost of an Oberlin education.  These include payment plans and long-term loan options and are discussed throughout the site.

The Financial Aid Package

Financial aid is generally awarded in a three-part package that includes grants, low-interest student loans, and money earned through student employment.  Oberlin is committed to keeping the 'self-help' portion of aid packages—the loan and work-study components—as low as possible. Typically between 70 percent and 80 percent of a student's award is made up of grants, with the balance composed of work-study and low-interest loans.

Oberlin has a number of scholarship funds from which it awards grants as part of financial aid packages.  The college also includes Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Pell Grants, and certain state grants for eligible students.  Oberlin also sponsors a limited number of merit-based scholarships in both the College of Arts and Sciences and Conservatory of Music.  Last year the college awarded almost $59 million in grants, the majority of which were need-based and represents nearly one-quarter of Oberlin's operating budget.

Learn about scholarships

Two long-term, federal student loan programs—the Federal Perkins Loan Program and the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program—offer low-interest loans. Students must begin repaying these loans once they are no longer enrolled as a student at least half time. Parents of undergraduate students may also apply for loans under the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program or through one of several educational loan programs offered by private lending institutions. Loans must be repaid.

Learn about loans

Student Employment jobs are open to all students (with the exception of the Community Partnership positions which are subsidized by the Federal Work Study funds; therefore, require the student to have a Federal Work Study Award). Most financial aid packages include employment during the academic year.  For more information please visit the Student Employment page.