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Financial Aid at Hamilton College - $200,000+

GreyishLampPostGreyishLampPost Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
I entered our info on the Hamilton Net Price Calculator and it said that we're not entitled to any financial aid. However,
we visited the school and picked up a financial aid brochure which said 41% of families making between $200,000 and $299,000 get about $20,000 aid on average. And those making over $300,000 get about $8000 on average. Are there any scenarios that I might not be thinking about that would make us eligible for aid? Or is the net price calculator pretty accurate? We have no unusual circumstances like farm, business, second home, or divorce. One child in college next fall. About $234,000 AGI, $300,000 in non-retirement assets (529 included, does that count in assets?), $450,000 in home equity (200,000 mortgage).

Replies to: Financial Aid at Hamilton College - $200,000+

  • LuckyCharms913LuckyCharms913 Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    Perhaps many/most of those families have at least two students in college in the same year.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 3,061 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    The Hamilton NPC is fairly accurate, given a family financial situation that doesn't include any curve balls. The difference that you see between the NPC result and the financial aid brochure may be due to your non-retirement assets, which will include parent and/or student-owned 529 accounts (both are assessed as a parent asset). Hamilton is one of a small number of schools that does not consider primary home equity when calculating need-based aid. Compared to other NESCAC schools, it is a very generous institution when it comes to need-based aid. If my guess is right that your non-retirement assets are causing the $0 NPC result that you are seeing, there is of course a chance that will change as assets/529 accounts are spent down to pay for college.

    Edited to add: try running the NPC with lesser amounts of assets and see what you get.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,221 Senior Member
    Make sure you read the fine print- does it specify that these are institutional dollars?

    My kid had an outside scholarship from an employer..... but if the college had counted him in the "look who is getting aid" calculation (which I believe is customary) it would have looked as though you can get big dollars even at a relatively high income level.

    This was an employer sponsored program, open to all employees. So there would indeed be families making over 300K who get counted as getting "scholarships" at the various college's their kids attend, despite not being eligible for aid from the particular college.

    And agree that having multiple kids in college is a very likely explanation for what you are seeing at Hamilton.
  • KKmamaKKmama Registered User Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    Merit scholarships may account for that. They are not based on income. Also, perhaps federal loans are counted as aid.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 6,041 Senior Member
    Those families likely have multiple children in college.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,970 Senior Member
    edited June 2017
    Between your income, non-retirement assets...and 529 accounts (yes those count as assets)...I can't imagine you will qualify for need based aid with one kiddo in college.

    Your $300,000 in non-retirement savings alone would add $15,000 plus to your family contribution. Your income is high...that would net about a $50,000 or more to your family contribution...all annually.

    Add in th 529.

    Do you need financial aid?

    If so, your student might want to look at colleges where merit aid is a significant possibility. That won't look at your income or assets...at all.

    @KKmama Hamilton does not give merit awards.
  • GreyishLampPostGreyishLampPost Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Thanks for clarifying everyone. Perhaps we may qualify when younger child attends at the same time--they overlap for 2 years. Meanwhile, also looking at LAS that give merit aid.
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