Financial Aid

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).

Click on the links below for more information.

  • Running Start and Similar Programs

    Students who earned credits from Running Start (either Washington’s Running Start or a similar program from another state) will choose one of the following two options...

  • Filing Deadlines

    Students should file a Profile and a FAFSA according to the schedule below. If you are late applying for financial aid, you could be put on a waiting list for scholarship.

  • Financial Aid Probation

    In order to receive financial aid funds from Whitman College, the federal government, and the state of Washington, students must maintain good academic standing and must make satisfactory progress toward graduation.

  • General Whitman Scholarships

    Whitman scholarships, awarded by the college (one-half each semester), are gifts which are credited to the recipient’s tuition, room, and board charges.

  • Other Gift Aid Available

    The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Pell Grants, and Washington State Need Grants are gift aid provided by the federal and state governments. All programs are based on financial need, and none require repayment.

  • Loan Opportunities

    Several types of loan funds are available through the college. Those, including the Perkins Loan and the Stafford Loan, are regulated by the federal government.

  • Employment Opportunities

    All Whitman students who apply for financial aid and have need are offered employment opportunities. The offer of federal work-study opportunity often gives a student priority treatment in acquiring part-time work; however, jobs are not guaranteed.

  • Named Scholarship Funds

    Thanks to the generous support of Whitman alumni and friends, the college awards more than $23 million annually in scholarship assistance to its students.

  • Special Scholarship Programs

    Alexander J. Anderson Scholarships, Walter Brattain Scholarships, Campbell Music Scholarships, Paul Garrett Scholarships for Men, Lomen-Douglas Scholarships...

  • Student Awards

    Janice and Kim Abraham Student-Faculty Research, Abshire Research Scholar Award, Bates Foundation Award – Wind Ensemble, Sheila Berger Prize in 3-2 Engineering...