Vassar Vassar College

Types of Aid

Exterior view of Bridge for Laboratory Sciences building on Vassar Campus
A photo taken at night of the Volgelstein Center for Drama and Film, facing the north corner

Financial aid awards typically include grants and scholarships, campus jobs, and loans.

Grants & Scholarships

Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Vassar awards $72 million annually in scholarships, funded by Vassar’s endowment, fundraising, and gifts.

Pell Grants

  • Funds from the U.S. government
  • Eligibility is based on federal demonstrated need as determined by the FAFSA form.

Learn more about Pell Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

  • Awarded to students with exceptional financial need
  • Priority is given to students eligible for Pell Grants
  • Award amounts depend on the level of need and funding availability

Learn more about FSEOG

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

  • Eligibility is based on New York State net taxable income

Learn more about TAP

States Other Than New York

Please check with your home state’s higher education aid office for more information on grant options.

Outside funds can offer students greater financial flexibility by lessening employment obligations and/or reducing student loans.

Scholarship search resources include:

BigFuture: The College Board’s Scholarship Search

Campus Jobs

All financial aid recipients receive an allocation for either Federal Work-Study (federally funded) or Institutional Employment (Vassar-supplied employment funds).

Students with work-study awards receive priority in the job registration process. These awards may also apply for off-campus community service work-study (CSWS).

More than 1,600 students work on campus during the academic year. Many departments around campus hire students for a range of positions, from answering phones to providing tech support to conducting research and much more.

After the first month of each semester, remaining jobs are made available to non-financial aid students.

Students can earn up to $3,000 during the academic year, and most students work an average of seven hours per week.

Learn more about campus jobs at Student Employment

Loans and Lenders

Vassar will eliminate or reduce loans in the aid awards of students from low-income households.

Federal Direct Loans

  • Available to eligible students who complete the FAFSA form
  • Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student is enrolled in school
  • Unsubsidized loans do accrue interest, beginning from the time the loan is disbursed

Important Information:

  • Interest rate: 5.50% (fixed) for 2023-2024
  • Origination fee: 1.057%
  • Maximum annual limit:
    • 1st year: $5,500, up to $3,500 of which can be subsidized
    • 2nd year: $6,500, up to $4,500 of which can be subsidized
    • 3rd/4th year: $7,500, up to $5,500 of which can be subsidized
  • Repayment begins six months after a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment
  • Repayment period varies depending on the payment plan selected

Direct Parent PLUS Loans are government loans made available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. To qualify, a parent:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Must not have an adverse credit history
  • Must undergo a credit check
  • If the credit is denied, the parent may reapply with an endorser, or the student may borrow an additional subsidized loan for $4,000-$5,000

Important Information:

  • Interest rate: 8.05% (fixed) for 2023-2024
  • Origination fee: 4.228%
  • Maximum annual limit: total cost of attendance (budget) less any financial aid the student receives
  • Repayment begins once the loan is fully disbursed, with an option to request a deferment
  • Repayment period varies depending on plan selected

Alternative student loans are non-government loans from lenders such as banks, credit unions, and state agencies. The primary borrower can be the student, a parent, or a sponsor. When the student is the borrower, a co-signer is typically required. Before taking an alternative loan, we encourage families to exhaust all Federal Direct Student Loan options first.

Vassar College does not endorse or recommend any lenders in particular. Ultimately it is the family’s responsibility to research all options and select the one that best meets their needs. Visit ELM Select for a sampling of lenders used by Vassar students in recent years.

Interest rates, origination fees, and repayment terms vary across lenders. The maximum annual limit is the total cost of attendance (student budget) less any financial aid the student receives.

  • Apply for financial aid on Vassar’s Apply for Aid page
  • Eligibility for federal loans is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Avoid any scholarship/grant searches that require a fee. Look for free searches like fastweb
  • Visit your state’s education department website to find out what grant or state-backed loans might be available to you. Some states offer education loans for their residents that are less costly than alternative education loans from private lenders
  • Federal student and parent loans are less costly than alternative private education loans, and most of these loans require a co-signer if you want to reduce the cost of the loan. The Federal Parent Loan (PLUS) has a provision for loan forgiveness in the event that either the parent or student dies or suffers 100% disability. This is not offered by private student loans where a co-signer is required for the student

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