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How Aid Works

All financial aid awarded by Student Services at Boston College is need-based.

Need-based aid assumes that the parents and the student are responsible for the cost of education to the extent of their abilities and that financial aid will be used to supplement the effort of the family. It also assumes that need can be calculated with uniformity and equity, meaning that income and assets are defined in the same way for everyone and all allowances are nondiscretionary in nature.

Boston College uses two separate aid formulas to determine eligibility for financial assistance. The Federal Methodology is used to determine a student’s eligibility for all federal and state aid, including the Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Eligibility is determined from the data provided on the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Boston College does not use the federal expected family contribution (EFC) determined by the FAFSA to award institutional need-based grants/scholarships.

The Institutional Methodology is used by Boston College, as well as many other private universities, to determine family’s eligibility for university funds. Boston College is committed to providing funds to meet the full demonstrated institutional need of every student applying for financial aid on time. The institutional expected family contribution is determined by the data provide on the Profile form (through College Scholarship Services) and appropriate tax documents. Eligibility for need-based institutional aid requires that the student be fully eligible for federal and state aid. The Profile is not required to determine eligibility for federal and state aid.

Financial aid awards for future years will be based on the application materials for that year. In general, the family contribution will not change dramatically unless there is a change in income, family size, number of children enrolled in undergraduate education, assets, or other application figures used in the analysis of a family's financial strength.

How Boston College Determines Your Financial Aid Eligibility

Boston College remains committed to the practice of admitting students solely on the basis of the strength of their academic and personal accomplishments, and without regard to financial need. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who are not in default on a federal student loan, and who demonstrate financial need will be assisted in meeting that need through one or more of the following: federal and state grants, employment opportunities, loans, and Boston College grants/scholarships.

Criteria for Determining Eligibility:

Financial aid eligibility is based on a family's demonstrated need. Boston College is committed to meeting your demonstrated need with different forms of financial aid funds. Your demonstrated need is the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution:

   Cost of Attendance
– Family Contribution (parent and student)
= Demonstrated Need

Criteria for Determining the Amount of the Award:

Boston College awards institutional financial aid on the basis of demonstrated institutional financial eligibility (need) rather than on merit. Federal aid programs are awarded on the basis of demonstrated federal eligibility (need). The amount of aid awarded depends on the level of eligibility (need).




If you would like a paper copy of this webpage, please contact the Office of Student Services' Communications team at or the Office of Student Services.