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Financial Aid Applications and Loan Information:

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Is there a separate application for merit-based scholarships?

Yes and no. If you qualify for an academic award, there is no separate application process; simply applying for admission to Houghton College is your scholarship application. There are, however, additional opportunities for merit-based and need-based aid that involve a separate application. In particular, the Excellence Scholarships, James S. Luckey Scholarship and scholarships awarded through the Honors Program interview process involve an additional application. This information will be posted on the admission site including the qualifying standards for those wishing to be considered for additional merit-based aid. 

Is it worthwhile to complete the FAFSA even though we know we won’t qualify for federal or state need-based aid?

Yes, at least for the first year.  The FAFSA is required for Houghton need-based scholarships, some other Houghton scholarships as well as for federal loans.

Do I need to fill out a separate form for Houghton, or does the FAFSA cover it?

In most cases, the FAFSA is the only financial aid form you’ll need to complete.  View our Applying for Aid webpage for complete details.

What's the timeframe for applying for financial aid?

Students can begin filing financial aid applications on October 1, after the previous year's taxes are completed.  The priority application deadline is March 1.  Estimated financial aid award letters are sent beginning in November. Final financial aid award letters are sent beginning in March.  May 1 is when you’ll need to notify colleges whether or not you are accepting their offer of admission and financial aid.  

How do I accept my federal direct student loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized)?

To accept your federal student loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), you will log in to with your FSA ID. There, you will complete a master promissory note (MPN) and loan entrance counseling. These only need to be completed the first time you accept your loans, unless you have a large gap in your enrollment.

Can I work on campus to help pay my expenses?

Nearly half of our students participate in the federal work-study program.   Some common on-campus employers include the admission office, campus store, custodial, maintenance, food service, and the library, to name a few. Students generally work 5-8 hours per week and use their pay toward books and living expenses.

Can I use financial aid when studying abroad?

You can receive your Houghton College financial aid (Excellence Scholarship, Houghton College Grant, etc.) only when studying abroad on a Houghton College program.  These include the Houghton Honors Program (East Meets West), Houghton in Tanzania, Balkans Semester, Go ED, Houghton Down Under, and City Semester.  Discover more about off-campus study opportunities at Houghton.

Enrollment in a program of study abroad approved for credit by Houghton College may be considered enrollment in Houghton College for purposes of applying for federal student financial aid.

What are the payment options?

Your bill can be paid online with a checking or savings account, a monthly payment plan through Tuition Management Systems, or by mailing a check or money order (see Payment Information for additional info).  You can also cover the remaining balance with a PLUS or Alternative loan.

What if my family has unusual or unexpected financial circumstances?

You can complete our special circumstances form, found on our applications and forms page, to inform us about any unusual or unexpected financial circumstances.  We will take this additional information into account when completing your financial aid award letter.

Do you negotiate financial aid packages?

Our goal is to provide the best financial aid package the first time.  We can re-evaluate your financial aid package if new information arrives, such as new SAT/ACT scores, loss of a job, change in financial situation, etc.

Houghton College Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals

An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity.  In doing so, a financial aid professional should:

  • Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
  • Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
  • Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
  • Refrain from directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications.
  • Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
  • Refrain from accepting call center or financial aid office staffing assistance.
  • Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
  • Refrain from contracting any arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender.
  • Disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.