Whitman College provides a comprehensive, diversified financial aid program — including scholarships, grants, employment opportunity, and loans — to assist in financing a college education. Awards take into account a variety of circumstances: some are based on need alone, some on merit alone, but most are based on a combination of both elements. The college spent approximately $23 million last year in support of student financial aid.
Many economists have pointed out the enormous potential return from an investment in an education at a top liberal arts and sciences college. At Whitman, we expect that students and families will consider the many loan programs that are available for financing this investment, without incurring excessive levels of debt.
Financial assistance for Whitman students derives from the resources of the college, outside private and corporate sources, and state and federal governments. Federal aid programs include Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, Stafford Loans, and Perkins Loans. The state of Washington offers State Need Grants, College Bound Scholarships, and state work-study program.
Awards to students with need are based on financial information provided on the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Dependent students must complete both the CSS Profile and the FAFSA. Independent students must only submit the FAFSA.
Financial aid awards are made for one academic year. However, if the student is receiving merit-based aid, that aid will be available in successive years. Students who receive need-based aid must reapply in subsequent years to determine their eligibility for all forms of financial aid. Financial aid is available for eight semesters at Whitman or, in the case of students transferring credits to the college, the equivalent of eight semesters when transfer credit and Whitman attendance are combined (regardless of whether or not financial aid was received at the previous institution). For financial aid purposes only, 15 credits is the equivalent of one semester. If a student is unable to earn the necessary credits to complete degree requirements in eight semesters, the student may petition the Admission and Financial Aid Committee for a ninth semester of financial aid (see Residence).
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