Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Financial and General Information

MALS photo

Costs and Financial Assistance

Tuition is calculated on a per-unit basis at a rate reduced from that of the undergraduate program. Please view the current tuition rates here, under the MALS column. Listed below are supplemental programs to assist students in meeting the costs of the program.

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.

MALS Student Work Position:

The MALS program accepts applications for a student work position when funding is available. Learn more about the MALS student work position here.

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- and 600-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.

The FAFSA is available online at The Reed College code for the FAFSA is 003217. The maximum unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan available to a graduate student is $20,500 per academic year. The exact amount of unsubsidized loan eligibility is based on the number of units enrolled at Reed each semester. New federal loan borrowers at Reed must also complete Loan Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

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.

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 monthly payment option, administered by Flywire, offers a flexible alternative to semester payments to the college. Participants may enroll in a semester plan and make four, five, or six equal monthly payments beginning May 15, July 15, or August 15. Please visit for information about this program. Families can also use Flywire to make payments using a credit card or with a direct deduction from a checking or savings account. A convenience fee is charged for using a credit card and there is no fee for a direct deduction.

Occasionally the Reed business office 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 Student Accounts payment page.