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What is financial aid?

Financial aid represents those funds made available in the form of grants, scholarships, work study, or loans to assist eligible students and their families in meeting the costs of a college education.

Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid and so are called gift aid. Work study is money that a student earns by working in an on-campus job while enrolled in college. A loan is money that a student borrows which must be paid back, usually after leaving college. Work study and loans are referred to as self-help aid.

The federal government, the state government, Hope College, and other public and private organizations, like clubs, churches, and corporations, are all sources of funds to help students pay for college.

Need-based financial aid is based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Hope College Supplemental Application for Financial Aid (SAF).

Merit-based scholarships are based on a student's academic performance or artistic abilities rather than on financial need. As part of its commitment to academic and artistic excellence, Hope College seeks to recognize students who present the strongest admissions files and also those who demonstrate outstanding ability in the arts. Financial need is not a criterion in the awarding of merit scholarships and artist awards funded by the college. For most scholarships the application for admission also serves as the application for the scholarship. In those few instances where additional materials are required, a request will be sent to the students under consideration for specific scholarships. Students whose applications for admission are received at the Hope College Office of Admissions by February 15 are assured consideration for Hope College merit-based scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has sole control of the National Merit Scholarship and has its own set of deadlines. Hope is a sponsoring college of National Merit Scholars.

A number of artistic awards are available in art, creative writing, dance, music and theatre. Primarily designated for students intending to major in the arts, the application process for these awards is determined and coordinated by the respective departments. Chairpersons of the appropriate departments (Art, English, Dance, Music and Theatre Departments) may be contacted for more detailed information.

Other than Federal Work Study, financial aid funds are applied to the student's account each semester they enroll. See Paying Your Bill for more information.

Approximately 59% of Hope's students receive some form of need-based financial assistance to help meet college costs. Almost 91% of Hope's students receive some form of financial aid (need-based and/or merit-based.)