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.  Once aid is awarded, any out of pocket expense not covered by aid may be covered in a variety of ways, including loans and payment options which may be viewed here.

Federal financial aid eligibility is determined by the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 

The Financial Aid Package

Financial aid is generally awarded in a three-part package that includes grants/scholarships from all sources, low-interest student loans, and money earned through student employment. 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 awards students both merit scholarships and need-based grants from it's own institutional resouces. Merit scholarships are awarded based on the students admission application and are renewed each year assuming the student is in good academic standing. Need-based Oberlin grants are awarded based on the financial aid application and the students financial need each year.  The college also evaluates the eligibility for and awards Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Pell Grants, and certain state grants for eligible students.  Last year the college awarded almost $100 million in grants, the majority of which were need-based and represents nearly one-quarter of Oberlin's operating budget.

Learn about scholarships

The Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans are available to eligible students each year. Students enter their grace period on these loans once they are no longer enrolled as a student at least half time and will enter repayment after 6 months unless they return to at least half time attendance. Parents of undergraduate students who are enrolled in at least half time credits each term 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.