Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Financial and General Information

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Costs and Financial Assistance

Tuition is calculated on a per-unit basis at a rate reduced from that of the undergraduate program. For the 2017-18 academic year, the semester MALS tuition rates are as follows:

1/2 unit $2,380
1 unit $4,760
1 1/2 units $7,140
2 units $9,520
2 1/2 units $11,900
3 or more $14,280

Listed below are supplemental programs to assist students in meeting the costs of the program:

Federal loans:

Students enrolled at least half time (1.5 units in the fall or spring terms, 1.0 unit in the summer term) are eligible to participate in the Direct Loan program. Only courses at the 500-level and courses that count towards MALS degree requirements may be used to meet financial aid eligibility. Students may petition the MALS office to create a 500-level graduate course from an upper-level undergraduate class. It is up to the individual instructor and student to determine what, if any, additional expectations are appropriate and required to change the course to the MALS graduate level. Additional information and the required petition form are available from the MALS office.

Students wishing to borrow under the Direct Loan program must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, for each semester that a MALS student is interested in borrowing a federal loan, the student should provide the Reed financial aid office with the following information: a letter stating the semester of attendance (fall, spring, or summer), the course titles, and the number of units per course. New borrowers at Reed must also complete a loan entrance session.

The FAFSA is available online at The Reed College code for the FAFSA is 003217. The maximum subsidized Direct Stafford Loan available to a graduate student is $20,500 per academic year. The maximum unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan available to a graduate student is $12,000 per academic year. The exact amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility is based upon the number of units the student is enrolled in at Reed each semester.

Graduate students may, in some circumstances, borrow under the Graduate PLUS loan program to cover educational expenses. Eligibility for the Graduate PLUS program is credit-based and students wishing to borrow under this federal program must file a FAFSA. Generally, a student may borrow sufficient amounts under the Direct Student Loan program to cover educational expenses; therefore, it is unlikely that a MALS student will qualify for the additional funding through the Graduate PLUS loan. Loan terms for the Direct Loan are more favorable than the Graduate PLUS loan, and students should always borrow under the Direct Loan before considering the Graduate PLUS loan. New federal loan borrowers at Reed also must complete Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

For financial aid purposes, the academic year at Reed begins in summer, continuing through fall and spring. More information on financial aid at Reed may be found at

Monthly payment plan:

A Reed College monthly payment option, administered by Tuition Management Systems, offers a flexible alternative to semester payments to the college. You may set up a plan to pay in six, five, or four equal payments which would start prior to the beginning of the desired term. The cost is a $55 enrollment fee per semester. Please call TMS at 800-722-4867 or visit for information about this program and to enroll. The Reed business office also can work with students on an individual basis to set up a payment plan. For information about payment methods and to contact that office, please visit the Business Office web payment page.

Menashe Scholarship:

The MALS program sponsors a small scholarship each year to help defray tuition costs for two or three students. Recipients are chosen by the Committee on Graduate Studies based on an application process that takes into account primarily financial need (as calculated from the FAFSA form), but also academic and personal merit. Generally, the committee will call for scholarship applications in the spring and make a final decision on awards no later than fall of the new academic year.