Office of Financial Aid

Enrollment Status

Financial Aid Eligibility 

Students who matriculate as first-year students may apply for assistance for eight semesters (10 semesters for double-degree students).

Transfer students' eligibility will be prorated based on their class standing at the time of matriculation. They must be enrolled in an academic program leading toward an undergraduate degree (or degrees, if enrolled in Oberlin's Double-Degree Program), and they must show satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements as determined by the Academic Standing Committee of each division and outlined in the Course Catalog .

All aid awards will be based on full-time enrollment unless the Office of Financial Aid has received notification that the student is enrolled part time. If the student has received approval for part-time status, financial aid will be reduced by the amount the tuition is reduced. The aid reduced is in the form of a grant.

Students planning to take second-module courses should register for them by the end of the add/drop period. It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid of this registration. Failure to do so will result in aid not being increased.

If a student receives any aid during a given semester, it is counted as one semester of eligibility.

To be eligible for federal and state financial aid other than the Federal Pell Grant, students must be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours. The Federal Pell Grant will be reduced according to the number of hours for which a student is enrolled.

Students who enroll for only one semester will have their aid eligibility determined as follows:

One Semester's Cost of Attendance
 Half-Year Parent Contribution
 Full-Year Student Contribution

= Financial Aid Eligibility

Full-time enrollment is 14 to 20 credits per semester in the College of Arts and Sciences; 16 to 24 credits per semester in the Conservatory of Music; and 16 to 26 credits for double degree.  If you carry an overload, you will receive an additional tuition charge. The Office of Financial Aid can sometimes provide loan assistance for this additional charge. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to request assistance.

Students taking either a Personal Leave or Medical Leave will be reported as withdrawn to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) and the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). During the academic year, Oberlin submits enrollment information monthly to the Clearinghouse, and lenders use this information to determine a student’s loan status. Federal law requires the College to report the status of any student who is not enrolled as “withdrawn.” This is not a change in how Oberlin views your enrollment plans. The College continues to view you as a student who plans to return. If you are a Federal student loan borrower, there is a “grace period” between when you are no longer enrolled and when you are required to begin making loan payments. Loan servicers will calculate the grace period and repayment dates beginning from the last date that you attended Oberlin as a student and begin counting the 6 months. If you return to Oberlin within that grace period, you will not go into repayment. If you are out longer than 6 months, you will go into repayment on your loans. Should you return to Oberlin again at least half time, your loans will be put back into in school deferment and you will be able to stop making payments while enrolled. Students who are considering withdrawing from Oberlin College should begin the process by contacting the Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC). Financial aid counselors are available to help with questions about how a withdrawal will affect financial aid.

Students who withdraw or take a medical or personal leave of absence during a semester may receive a tuition refund according to the refund policy published in the Course Catalog . Any financial aid received during a semester will count as one of your 8 semesters (10 for double-degree students) of financial aid.

Federal regulations require that Oberlin reduce a student's Federal Student Aid if the student withdraws before completing more than 60 percent of a semester. The percentage of Federal Student Aid that must be returned is equal to the number of days remaining in the semester at the time of withdrawal divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than four consecutive days are excluded from the denominator. Federal Student Aid includes the following:

  • Federal PLUS Loans,
  • Federal Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized),
  • Federal Perkins Loans,
  • Federal Pell Grants, and
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG).

Aid from state agencies other than Ohio's will be returned to the state agency according to that state's return policy.

Financial aid from Ohio and financial aid from states that do not have a policy on return of funds will be returned at the same rate that tuition is refunded. For example, if a student receives a 60 percent refund of tuition, then 60 percent of that student's state aid will be returned.

Financial aid from Oberlin will be reduced so that the student's total financial aid (excluding work awards and unsubsidized loans) is reduced at the same rate that the student's tuition is reduced. For example, if a student receives a 60 percent refund of tuition, Oberlin will first reduce Federal Student Aid and state aid as described above. Then the student's Oberlin financial aid will be adjusted so that the remaining total financial aid (excluding work awards and unsubsidized loans) is equal to 40 percent of the original total.

How do I know how much I have borrowed?

To determine how much you have borrowed from Federal Direct Student and/or Parent loans, go to and log in with your FSA ID and password. This is the same logon you use to file the FAFSA. Once there you can select Manage My Loans. This will allow you to see your total indebtedness, find out who your servicer is, see repayment options, as well as determine if you would like to apply to consolidate your loans into one loan. What is a Servicer?

The Servicer is the company the federal government assigned your loans to for purposes of managing repayment. It is important to make sure you know who the servicer is as that is who will be contacting you about repayment. Each servicer has their own website, where you can create your access and communicate with the servicer about things like repayment, deferment, forbearance, possible loan forgiveness, etc. You should also make sure the servicer has your current contact information, such as accurate address, email and phone number. Student Loan Relief due to COVID

The federal government has enacted some student loan relief due to COVID. Full details can be found here

Briefly, the relief allows for: On March 20, 2020, the Secretary of Education directed the office of Federal Student Aid to provide the following relief on ED-held federal student loans: ● suspend loan payments ● stop collections on defaulted loans ● set interest rates to 0% for a period of 60 days This executive order has been extended until August 31, 2022 by President Biden. For more information, please seek the guidance of your servicer.