/ Financial Aid

Your Financial Aid Award

As you review your financial aid award, it is important to remember the following information:


  • Your financial aid award package is based on your enrollment as a degree-seeking, full-time student.
  • Your housing arrangements may impact your eligibility for financial aid. If you change your status from on-campus resident to commuter at any time, your aid eligibility will be reviewed and your aid package may be adjusted.
  • In order to continue receiving financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Failure to meet the terms of the SAP Policy may result in cancellation of your aid.
  • In accepting our offer of financial aid, you authorize the Office of Financial Aid to discuss your awards with other agencies from which you might receive assistance. You also authorize us to release your cumulative GPA to other Hope College offices and/or outside agencies that are considering you for additional financial aid.

Renewal of Aid and Continued Eligibility

To be considered for need-based financial aid, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to Hope College by the stated deadlines each year. Renewal of your aid will be determined after your academic record has been reviewed and you have submitted all necessary applications and requested documentation.

Awards normally remain constant if your financial need remains similar from year to year. Occasionally, however, a student’s financial aid eligibility changes from the previous year.

Common factors that can reduce your eligibility from the previous year are:

  • An increase in your income or your parents’ income
  • A decrease in the number of family members supported within your household or your parents’ household
  • A decrease in the number of family members in college
  • An increase in your assets or your parents’ assets

Renewal of Hope merit scholarships is determined at the close of the spring semester of your sophomore year and again at the close of each spring semester thereafter. Your original scholarship letter included specific renewal criteria, such as required cumulative GPA and award duration.

Negotiation Policy/Appeal

While some colleges engage in the practice of negotiation for additional assistance, Hope College does not negotiate financial aid packages, including the use of comparison financial aid award letters from other colleges.

If, after you file your financial aid application, you experience unexpected changes that significantly alter your family’s financial condition, please contact the Office of Financial Aid immediately. Such changes include the death of a parent, divorce, loss of untaxed income (for example, Social Security benefits or child support) or involuntary loss of employment. Your family’s situation will be reviewed, and your aid package may be adjusted accordingly.

Important Federal/State Requirement

You are required to report to Hope College any scholarships, grants, loans or tuition benefits not already reflected in your award notification that you receive to assist in paying your educational expenses during the academic year. An adjustment to your aid may be necessary to keep your total assistance within your financial aid eligibility.

If you receive such assistance at any time during the academic year, you are required by federal and state law to notify the Hope College Office of Financial Aid. Please send a copy of either the award notice or award check to the Hope College Office of Financial Aid.

Types and Sources of Aid

Financial aid funds come from a variety of sources, including Hope College, federal and state government programs, and private organizations.

  • Grants/Scholarships: Awards that don't have to be repaid —
    often called “gift aid.”
  • Work Study: Money that can be earned by working on campus and
    can be used to pay your college costs. Student work-study opportunities are often posted on hope.edu/handshake (Hope email credentials required).
  • Loans: Funds that you must repay after you stop attending college or drop below half-time status.

The Federal Direct Loan Program includes both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans.

Facts About Federal Direct Loans

  • Subsidized loans have no interest charged while you are enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need. 
  • Unsubsidized loans accrue interest on the principal amount of the loan from the date of disbursement until the loan is paid in full. You have the option of either paying the accruing interest while in school or deferring the payment of interest.

Repayment of principal (and deferred interest) begins six months after you leave school or drop below half-time status. Information regarding repayment options, current interest rates and fees is available at studentaid.gov

First-time borrowers are required to complete the Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentaid.gov.

In combination, your subsidized and unsubsidized loans may not exceed the following undergraduate annual limits:

  Dependent Students Independent Students
Freshman $5,500 for the year
(maximum $3,500 subsidized)
$9,500 for the year
(maximum $3,500 subsidized)
Sophomore $6,500 for the year
(maximum $4,500 subsidized)
$10,500 for the year
(maximum $4,500 subsidized)
Junior / Senior $7,500 for the year
(maximum $5,500 subsidized)
$12,500 for the year
(maximum $5,500 subsidized)
Aggregate Limit $31,000
(maximum $23,000 subsidized)
(maximum $23,000 subsidized)