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About Your Award

I received more financial aid from another school. Will Macalester match their offer?

We recognize that most students are considering a wide variety of net prices when they make their college selection. At Macalester, our goal is to provide financial aid that makes affording Macalester feasible, but we understand that we are not always the lowest price option. Although we do our best to take into account each family’s special circumstances, we do not adjust Macalester packages based on the amount of financial aid offered by another school. Occasionally, families see a variety of financial aid results because the information in their financial aid application was interpreted differently by each school. If you think this is the case, let us know. We’ll be happy to talk with you if you have questions about how your application was analyzed.

Under what circumstances should I request reconsideration of my financial aid application?

Domestic students: If your family’s financial circumstances have changed significantly since you applied for financial aid, or if your family has circumstances that were not presented in the original aid application, it may be necessary to ask for reconsideration. Job losses and major medical expenses are examples of circumstances that are often grounds for reconsideration.

International students receive a four-year financial aid package. International students are not asked to take any steps to renew their financial aid each year. In extremely challenging circumstances (death of a parent/guardian, dramatic unrest in a student’s home country, et al), international students may request review of their financial aid eligibility for future academic years. A committee that includes financial aid staff members and International Student Programs staff will review requests and allocate a limited budget of additional financial aid to respond to the most challenging circumstances.

We are always happy to talk with you about how your financial aid application was analyzed. Please contact us if you have questions about your circumstances and how to request reconsideration based on new or additional information.

See also: process for requesting reconsideration

What is Macalester’s approach to awarding merit scholarships?

All non-need-based (merit) scholarships are awarded at the time of admission. Students who are awarded a merit scholarship will receive a merit scholarship award letter at the same time they receive their offer of admission. Macalester does not award additional merit scholarships after the time of admission. There is no process to request an increase in the amount of Macalester’s merit scholarships.

When will I receive my financial aid result?

If you complete your financial aid application on time, your financial aid application result will be posted at the same time that your admission decision is posted (with the exception of students admitted under the Early Action plan — financial aid results for Early Action students will be posted in mid-January). If your financial aid application is completed after your admission, we should be able to send you a result within about one week.

If I receive an outside scholarship, will my financial aid package be reduced?

Outside Scholarships will affect need-based grants from Macalester College, as described in our Outside Scholarship Policy.

When will I receive a bill for tuition and fees?

Macalester bills twice per year. Fall semester bills are delivered electronically in mid-July with payment due in mid-August. Spring semester bills are delivered in mid-December with payment due mid-January.

What should I do if I have questions about my financial aid eligibility?

If you have questions about how your own financial aid eligibility was calculated, or if you have special circumstances that you think we should know about, please contact us. We’ll be happy to talk with you.

Am I eligible to receive aid when I participate in a study away program?

Students who participate in Macalester-approved programs may apply for and receive financial aid. Macalester is committed to providing financial aid to ensure that students who want to participate in off-campus study programs may do so, regardless of family finances. [more]

How does student employment work?

Students who have received a financial aid package that includes student employment will be placed in a job for the first year. The four largest campus employers are the library, athletics, food service, and facilities management. Many students are placed with these employers in the first year. After the first year, students may seek employment with any campus employer or apply for an off-campus community service position.

Students typically work 9 to 11 hours per week to earn the full student employment award. You’ll be paid on a bi-weekly basis. If you would like to have your wages applied to your tuition bill, you may do so through an agreement with Macalester’s Student Accounts Office.

Students who do not receive financial aid may participate in the student employment program, but employers are asked to give priority to students who have been awarded student employment as part of their financial aid package. Students who do not have a student employment award are not automatically placed in a job.

Will my financial aid change in subsequent years?

Students must reapply for need-based financial aid each year, but in most cases the process is less complex than the first year. There are two events that are the most common cause for a change in a student’s financial aid eligibility from one year to the next:

  • Siblings who leave or begin undergraduate study;
  • Significant changes in family income (like promotions, job losses, increased business income, lottery winnings).

In lieu of these changes, Macalester students can expect that need-based financial aid will renew at approximately the same amount. It is not unusual for a student’s need-based grant to increase slightly, but in most cases the increase will not be enough to offset the typical increase in tuition and fees. Student loan eligibility and student employment earnings limits also tend to increase modestly.

Changes in the undergraduate enrollment of siblings and significant changes in family income may alter financial aid eligibility in subsequent years.

Merit scholarship are renewable for eight semesters. There are no minimum GPA requirements for renewal of merit scholarships. Click here for more information about merit scholarship policies.

What Should I Do Next?

  1. Review Your Financial Aid Eligibility
  2. Ask Questions
  3. Make Your Enrollment Deposit.
  4. We’ll ask you to make decisions about student loans and employment during the summer.