Financial Aid

Frequenty Asked Questions - Current Students

Applying For Aid

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

A:  Reed requires two forms to apply for financial aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal application required from domestic students only. Students who wish to be considered for Reed assistance must also complete the College Board CSS Profile. More specific instructions for continuing students can be found here.

Q: Why does Reed require the CSS Profile?

A:  Reed uses the College Board CSS Profile because it produces a more refined and accurate assessment of a family's need and their requirement for funding from Reed.

Q: Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

A:  Yes. Your eligibility for aid is re-evaluated on an annual basis. You will need to complete both the CSS Profile and FAFSA (for domestic students only) each year. However, IDOC and the CSS Profile for noncustodial parents (if applicable) are only required the first year.

Q: When are the applications due?

A:  The current students deadline is April 15. More details, including our FAFSA and CSS Profile school codes can be found here. The deadline for students applying for readmission is also April 15.

Q: How can I find out if my application is complete?

A:  You can see whether you have any outstanding financial aid requirements by logging into Banner Self Service.

Q: I am a current Reed student/student applying for readmission. Are there consequences if I miss the deadline?

A:  Yes. You do have a two-week grace period after the April 15 deadline. However, applications received after May 1 through July 1 are subject to a 10% - 40% reduction in Reed grant. Applications received after July 1 will be awarded federal aid only and no Reed grant.

Q: Due to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn't able to meet the application deadline. Is there anything I can do?

A:  Submit your applications as soon as possible along with a statement petitioning to be considered an on-time applicant. Your petition should include a detailed explanation of the circumstances that prevented you from meeting the priority deadline. Petitions are reviewed on a case by case basis.

Q: Can I apply for financial aid if I haven't had aid in the past?

A: If you are a domestic student who did not apply or did not receive financial aid in previous years, you can apply for financial aid in subsequent years by submitting your FAFSA and CSS Profile by the published deadlins. If you are an international student who did not apply for aid during your first year, you are not eligible to apply for aid in future years.

Determining Aid

Q: What does it mean to meet "demonstrated need"?

A: Demonstrated need is determined by Reed’s financial aid office using nationally standardized formulas, as well as institutional policies, to assess the information families submit on the CSS Profile and FAFSA forms and income tax returns. Need is determined by subtracting the student's expected family contribution (EFC) from the cost of attendance; need is met with a combination of grant, student work, and loan.

Q: How is my expected family contributions (EFCs) calculated?

A:  Many factors are taken into consideration in both the federal and institutional formulas used to calculate your expected family contribution. Primarily, though, the formulas are looking at parent and student: income, assets, family size, and number of siblings in college. Lots of detail about the formulas can be found under the Expected parent contribution section of our website.

Q: What all is included in the cost of attendance?

A:  The cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room and board (if you live on campus), indirect living expenses (if you live off campus) as well as an estimated amount for books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses.

Q: How do you calculate off campus living expenses?

A:  The amount considered in the cost of attendance is determined using student surveys, the Consumer Price Index, and other publicly available data. The amount is reviewed annually and adjusted based on the data. The average cost of living office campus for the 2019-2020 academic year is $11,550.

 Q: Will my financial aid package change after my first year?

A:  Reed is committed to being affordable and meeting the full demonstrated financial need of students for all four years of attendance. In most cases, we will attempt to keep aid awards as consistant as possible in subsequent years. However, as significant changes in a family's finances occur, an aid award may also change to reflect those circumstances. Students can also expect their loan amounts to increase in subsequent years along with our cost increase. In most cases, student loans will increase by about $1,000 each year.

Q: My Reed grant is lower this year. How do I find out why?

A: Check the "Messages" tab in your Banner Self-Service account to find out why. Typically grant decreases are the result of a reported increase in family income and/or assets. Grants may also decrease if your parents are supporting fewer siblings in college. Also, your grant may be lower if you are attending a lower cost Study Abroad program or have had a change in your living arrangements from the prior year.

Q: How come my Federal Pell Grant is lower/or missing this year?

A: Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the federal government and is based on your Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC). An increase in your Federal EFC will lower your eligibility for this federal grant.

Special circumstances

Q: There's been a pretty big change in my family's financial situation. Can Reed consider these changes and increase my financial aid?

A: If you have already received your financial aid package, you and your parent can complete a "Request for Reconsideration" form. Detailed information on the process and the types of changes that may be considered can be found on our website.

Q: I have an immediate financial concern. What should I do?

A: The best place to start is with the financial aid office. The aid staff will be able to assess your situation to first determine if there are additional aid options available to you. If your concerns falls outside of the scope of what financial aid can cover, staff will direct you to other potential resoures (emergency grant, emergency loan, etc.)

Q: What do I do if I run out of board points during the semester?

A: You are responsible for monitoring your board points and understanding how to resonably budget them for each semester. Board point balances can be checked through IRIS - Board and Commuter Balances. You may add board points to your account at the Cashier's Window in Eliot Hall. If you deplete your board points before the end of the semester and are unable to purchase more points, further assistance may be available. Contact in the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Q: My parents have decided they won't help pay my educational expenses. Will Reed increase my grant to cover their parent contribution?

A: The formulas used to calculate expected family contributions do not take into consideration whether or not a parent is willing to contribute. To be fair and equitable to all students, contributions are based on a parent's ability to contribute (not willingness). Reed grants will not be increased in these cases.

Q: How can I be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes?

A: For the 2019–20 academic year, you will be considered to be an independent student, for the purpose of determining eligibility for institutional financial aid (grant), if you meet one of the following two conditions: 1) born before 1/1/1994 or 2) ward of the court or both parents are deceased. For federal aid purposes, there are several conditions, but most commonly, you are considered independent if you meet one of the following conditions: 1) born before 1/1/1996; 2) are married, 3) have children who receive more than half of their support from you, 4) both your parents are deceased, you were in foster care or were a dependent/ward of the court, etc. More information about federal dependency status and a full list of the qualifers can be found here.