Student Financial Services Updates Concerning COVID-19

How To Reach Us

We are working remotely Monday through Friday, from 9am to 4pm. If you have questions or require assistance, we encourage you to reach out to us by email at (for inquiries related to financial aid) or (for inquiries related to student accounts and billing.) If you’d like to schedule a phone call or virtual appointment, please email our office and we’ll work with you to schedule a phone call, Zoom meeting or Google Hangout.

How to Submit Documents to Our Office

Families applying for Bates financial aid for 2020-21 can securely upload any requested documents, including tax returns and other materials, to IDOC, the College Board’s Institutional Documentation Service. We do not recommend mailing documents at this time. Additional information and instructions for using IDOC can be found here.  If you are an international student providing application materials for 2020-21 or a currently enrolled student submitting a loan authorization for 2019-20, please send these materials as an attachment to


What is the Federal CARES Act?

The Federal CARES Act provides emergency financial aid assistance to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus as stipulated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) ACT signed into law March 27, 2020.

Who is receiving emergency financial aid grants made possible by the Federal CARES Act?

Eligible students are those who applied for Bates financial aid, are Title IV-eligible, and have a calculated Bates expected family contribution (“EFC”) of less than $15,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

How much money will eligible students receive?

Grants of $400, $600, and $800 will be provided to students with Bates EFCs of less than $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 respectively. 

When can eligible students expect to receive their emergency financial aid grants?

Emergency financial aid grants will be paid by direct deposit into student bank accounts on Monday May 18. A check will be mailed to the home address if an eligible student is not signed up for direct deposit through Garnet Gateway.

How can I learn more about these emergency financial aid grants?

The IRS has posted specific information regarding these emergency financial aid grants; among other FAQ, the IRS has indicated these payments are not taxable. Bates’ report to the Department of Education regarding payments made from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) can be found on the Bates College Accounting page.

Student Employment

Will students be able to work and be paid for their work-study jobs?

Yes, jobs that can be performed remotely, and have been identified as critical to the operations of the college, will continue through the academic year.  

Who should I contact to find out if my job can be performed remotely?

Students should contact their supervisor to determine if their job can be performed remotely. 

Are student jobs available?

Yes. While the number and variety of roles have been significantly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as new jobs become available they will be posted on Handshake.

How will students receiving financial aid meet their work component for the spring semester?

Students offered student employment or Federal Work-Study as part of a financial aid award who were employed on campus during the winter semester and unable to continue working will receive an emergency financial aid grant based on earnings-to-date for the semester through the March 20, 2020, pay period. 

These emergency grants will be direct deposited into student bank accounts on Friday, April 17. Students who receive a grant payment may continue to work any existing jobs, or apply for any additional jobs as they become available.

Why didn’t I receive an emergency grant?

Grants are being provided to students who were awarded student employment or Federal Work-Study as part of a need-based financial aid package and who worked during the winter semester. Students who were not working during the winter semester are not eligible for this grant, nor are students who do not receive need-based aid from Bates.

2020 Winter Semester Room and Board Refunds

March 20, 2020 Letter From Geoffrey Swift, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Treasurer
Will I receive a refund?

Yes. If you were living on campus and on the meal plan during the winter semester, you will receive a credit on your student account for the unused portion of your room and board. Students who were on only housing or the meal plan will receive half of the refund to reflect the portion they had paid. Credits will be applied first to outstanding student account balances.

How much is the refund?

The refund amount is based on the length of time that remained in the winter semester when students departed, and is prorated according to your family’s contribution to the single fee. The minimum credit for a student living on campus will be $1,150, and the maximum credit will be $2,300.

The Bates amount seems low; why isn’t it larger?

It is important to note that Bates started the winter semester on January 11, 2020, earlier than many other colleges, and completes the semester on April 18, 2020. Bates students had thus completed two-thirds of the winter semester where other colleges may not have been as far into the semester.

How did you calculate the refund?

The refund is based on looking at the total room and board amount within the single fee and providing a refund based on the days remaining in the semester. The refund amount is based on the length of time that remained in the winter semester, and is prorated according to your family’s contribution to the single fee. The minimum credit for a student living on campus will be $1,150, and the maximum credit will be $2,300.

Can I get a refund for Short Term?

Students who were registered for Short Term for spring 2020 will have the opportunity to complete their required Short Term credits next year or after, depending on their current class year. Bates requires two short terms for graduation and students will have the opportunity to complete their second short term next year for rising seniors and in subsequent years for other students.

The college will work individually with any student who needs to complete a Short Term this spring to fulfill their short term graduation requirements. Short Term classes for this limited group of students will be offered remotely. If you are one of these students, you will see an additional credit on your student account.

When and how will I get the refund?

We plan to have refunds applied as credits to student accounts by March 31, 2020.

Why am I not receiving a refund for tuition?

The college is continuing to deliver its academic program and student support services through remote learning for the remainder of the winter semester.

How do I request a refund?

If you have a credit balance on your student account, you can request a refund by completing the refund request form on the Garnet Gateway. While refunds are normally issued once per week, the college will issue refunds on a daily basis beginning March 31, 2020 to assist students and families. Here are precise instructions for requesting your refund on Garnet Gateway:

  • Select “Refund Request” under the Tuition menu
  • A box will appear with your available student account credit balance
  • Fill in the amount you wish to request as a refund in the request box

If you are a student who requests a refund to be sent to you, your refund will be issued as a direct deposit to your bank, provided we have that information on file. You will receive an email confirmation when the direct deposit has occurred. If you do not have a direct deposit account on file, or if you have asked for a refund to be sent to a parent or other individual, your refund will be sent in the form of a check.

Some families have asked whether they may use their refund to make a gift to the college to help Bates offset the many unexpected costs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. If you wish to have your credit directed as a gift to the college, please select the third option “Send to someone else” and indicate Bates College as the recipient. We will send a gift acknowledgement for your records.

We recommend that you communicate with family members or others with access to your student account before submitting this form, particularly if those individuals have made payments on your behalf. It is your responsibility to coordinate refunds with family members or others, as necessary.

If I need to cancel or adjust my monthly payment plan with TMS, how do I do this?

If you need to adjust the amount of your monthly payment or cancel your plan, you may do so by contacting TMS at 800-722-4867. If you are uncertain of how your planned payment may affect your student account, please know that we will send you an updated account statement in mid-April that will reflect refund credits and TMS payments made by your family. If a payment you make creates an account credit, you will be able to request a refund.

Is there a way for me to appeal my financial aid decision?

Bates understands that your family may have financial concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we will continue to answer your questions and provide as much information as possible. Changes to your 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. Additional information concerning our financial aid reconsideration process can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.