Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you might have questions about financial aid, so we’ve compiled a list of the questions we’re asked most frequently. If you have other questions or if we can help you in any way, please feel welcome to contact our office.

+Does Bates meet full financial need?

Yes. Bates meets 100 percent of calculated financial need through a combination of grant aid, student loans and student employment. We use Institutional Methodology to calculate a family’s contribution toward college costs and determine eligibility for Bates institutional grant aid.

+Does Bates offer merit aid?

No. Bates does not offer any merit or athletic financial aid. Our entire financial aid budget supports students with demonstrated financial need. Nearly half of our students receive financial aid, and we provide more than $40 million in need-based grant aid to our students every year.

+Will I receive financial aid for four years?

Financial aid at Bates is renewable for up to eight semesters, provided that application materials are submitted on time and your family continues to demonstrate eligibility for aid based on federal and institutional guidelines. Families applying for renewal of financial aid must complete the PROFILE and FAFSA and provide copies of income tax returns and other materials annually. The amount your family is expected to pay each year can change if your family’s income increases, or if you have a sibling who graduates from college while you are enrolled at Bates. Whether your family’s contribution increases or decreases, we will meet 100 percent of your calculated financial need each year you are enrolled at Bates.

+Does applying for Early Decision affect my financial aid package?

No. If you are admitted to Bates through Early Decision, you will receive a financial aid package that is comparable to what you would receive as a student admitted through Regular Decision. The package you receive will be tentative based on estimated data you provide on the College Board PROFILE and prior year tax returns. Bates will verify your eligibility when your family’s current year tax returns become available, and we’ll adjust your award to reflect your family’s actual income, if necessary.

+What happens to my financial aid package if I receive an outside scholarship? Will you adjust my financial aid?

Bates has a generous outside scholarship policy. Outside scholarships can be used to lower or replace the loan and/or work portions of your financial aid package or supplement your family’s calculated contribution toward costs. We adjust Bates Grant only when the combination of scholarship aid from all sources (Bates, federal, state or other) exceeds a student’s calculated cost of attendance.

+How much will I be expected to borrow through student loans? How much loan debt do Bates students graduate with?

While a student loan and the option to work are typically included in financial aid packages we offer, entering students are asked to borrow no more than $2,000 in the first year. Loan amounts offered as part of the financial aid award increase by $500 each year – students who borrow amounts recommended by our office will graduate with $11,000 of federal student loan debt. The average federal student loan debt for the class graduating in May 2023 was $14,508.

+Can I apply for financial aid after I’ve been admitted?

No. To be considered for Bates financial aid, you must indicate your intent to apply for financial aid on the admission application — no consideration for institutional financial aid can be given after admission decisions are mailed. Students can apply for federal financial aid, in the form of student loans or work-study assistance, at any time during the school year.

+Is there a way to appeal my financial aid decision?

Our goal is to provide a financial aid award that best reflects the information submitted in the financial aid application. If the information you provided has changed, or if the information was submitted incorrectly, your parents may request reconsideration of the new information. All requests for reconsideration of need-based financial aid are carefully reviewed within our established guidelines and must be supported by documentation. 

A financial aid review committee meets regularly to discuss requests for reconsideration of financial aid application information, and we will respond to requests within a 2-3 week period of time. Please note that reconsideration requests for continuing students will be reviewed after July 15, 2024.

Circumstances that may be taken into consideration 

  • Significant loss of income due to change in employment or prolonged job loss (changes to employment or income must be in effect for at least 2 months before a request for reconsideration can be filed.)
  • Death of a parent
  • High medical/dental expenses paid by family
  • Loss of untaxed income (social security, pension, child support, etc.)
  • One-time or non-recurring income
  • Incorrect financial information on application

Circumstances that cannot be taken into consideration 

  • Fluctuations in the value of stock or investment assets
  • Inability to liquidate assets
  • Consumer or education debt
  • Parent refusal to help cover education expenses
  • Financial aid offers extended by other colleges

Changes to family income or employment status that are just now occurring or that are predicted to occur may not result in an immediate change to your financial aid decision, but our process for reconsideration allows you the opportunity to share those concerns. We may be able to suggest a financing strategy to supplement your existing financial aid. 

+How does Bates take my sibling’s college enrollment into consideration?

Having one or more siblings enrolled in an undergraduate program is a significant factor in our calculation of your financial need. Specifically, the calculation of the parent contribution takes into consideration the financial burden placed on a family when more than one sibling is attending college at the same time. For this reason, we require students to provide verification of sibling enrollment during the fall semester.

+My sibling is attending a graduate degree program, is this included in the parent contribution calculation?

No, graduate students are not included in the number in college calculation for institutional aid purposes.

+How do I provide verification of my sibling’s enrollment?

In the fall, we may request enrollment confirmation for each sibling reported to be enrolled on your financial aid application. Your sibling(s) will be asked to take our Sibling Enrollment Verification Form to their institution’s financial aid office or registrar to certify their enrollment status. If enrollment is not verified by the due date indicated on the form, the institutional financial aid you received may be removed from your student account until verification is completed.

+What happens to my financial aid if my sibling graduates from college or is no longer enrolled in their undergraduate program?

The amount your parents are expected to contribute toward your college costs will most likely increase when your sibling is no longer enrolled. It is not unusual for the Bates parent contribution to double in the year following a sibling’s graduation from college.

+What if my sibling will not be enrolled for the fall semester but plans to enroll full-time for the winter/spring semester?

If you told us your sibling would be enrolled for the academic year and they do not enroll during the fall, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. If you are able to provide sibling enrollment verification for the winter semester, your financial aid eligibility can be reevaluated.

+Will I receive more financial aid from Bates if I earn good grades or play sports?

No. All financial aid at Bates is awarded on the basis of financial need.

+If I decide to study abroad, can I still receive financial aid?

Financial aid is available to eligible students who enroll in approved off-campus study programs and is awarded based on the actual cost of these programs. Programs eligible for financial assistance include both semester and year abroad programs and the Bates Fall Semester Abroad Program. Financial aid is also available for eligible students who enroll in extra-cost Short Term programs during April and May.