Applying for Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid from Lafayette?

You must file the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile and the FAFSA by the appropriate deadline. You may file the CSS Profile as early as Oct. 1. For detailed information, see Apply For Financial Aid. Remember, you must meet our filing deadlines in order to be considered for College-funded aid.

Are documents required in addition to filling out the CSS Profile and the FAFSA?

Yes. Students who are applying for need-based financial aid from Lafayette College will be prompted to provide additional documentation upon submission of the CSS Profile. You must send all required documents through the College Board’s IDOC service. Since each application is unique, instructions and requirements will be provided once you submit the CSS Profile.

How do I complete the financial aid applications if my parents are divorced or separated?

The FAFSA must be completed with information from your custodial parent only. The custodial parent is defined by the federal government as the parent who provided the greater portion of the student’s financial support during the 12 months immediately prior to filing the form.

The CSS Profile must be completed by the student and custodial parent (as defined above) using the student’s College Board login credentials.* The non-custodial parent will submit the CSS Profile for Noncustodial Parent by creating their own login credentials and application.

If your family unit includes a stepparent(s), the demographic and financial information of the stepparent(s) will be required where indicated on both the CSS Profile and the FAFSA. Rest assured that a contribution is not expected from more than two parents.

*If both of your parents have access to your College Board account, you should change your password so your parents’ financial information will remain private.

Does applying Early Decision to Lafayette College impact the amount of financial aid I might receive?

Lafayette College guarantees to meet the demonstrated financial need of all accepted students who submit the CSS Profile and FASFA by the appropriate deadlines regardless of whether the applications are submitted for Early Decision or Regular Decision.

What is the No Loan Initiative?

Beginning with students entering the College in the 2024-2025 academic year, we will replace offered federal loans with grant funding for domestic students with a total family income of $200,000 or less and with typical family assets for their income levels.

Total family income is calculated using taxable income, including wages, interest, and business income, plus untaxed income, like child support, social security, and pension distributions. Business income includes income generated from sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and rental income. Losses are added back into income, including business losses, capital losses, and depreciation on real estate and/or rental property.

Assets include: cash, savings, and checking accounts, investments, equity in your home and the net worth of your business. Retirement accounts are not considered.

Students who entered the College in the 2022-2023 or 2023-24 academic years fall under the previous No Loan Initiative, which replaces offered federal loans with grant funding for domestic students with a total family income $150,000 or less and with typical family assets for their income levels.


Will I qualify for financial aid if my parents’ income is high?

There is no automatic cutoff for financial aid eligibility since the analysis goes beyond income and asset information. Other factors that are considered include number of family members, number of siblings in college, medical/dental expenses, home mortgages, and any other special circumstances that are individual to your family. Typically, the higher your parents’ income, the lower the need level. Our Net Price Calculator is a helpful tool to help you estimate the funding for which you may qualify.


How do I check the status of my financial aid application?

Students applying for admission to Lafayette College: You can check the status of your financial aid application online using the application portal.

Returning students: Use the My Lafayette College portal.

If you have questions about the outstanding items on your checklist, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 610-330-5055.

When will I receive my financial aid award?

Students applying for admission to Lafayette College:  Your financial aid package is posted on the application portal and is available for you to view once application decisions have been released.

Returning students: Check your Lafayette email for a notification from the Office of Financial Aid. You can also access your financial aid award for the upcoming year via your My Lafayette College portal after June 1.

What if I receive federal or state grants?

Federal and state grants are applied to your demonstrated financial need before institutional need-based grant funding. If you become eligible for federal or state grant funding after receiving your financial aid award from Lafayette College, the College-funded grant portion of your award will be adjusted accordingly. Read more about the grant policies.


What is Lafayette’s policy on outside scholarships?

Lafayette College encourages and rewards students for seeking outside funding to help meet their college expenses. Therefore, the College does not reduce need-based grant funding in lieu of outside scholarships unless a student is already receiving the maximum amount of financial aid according to federal regulations. Read more about our outside scholarship policy.

Are tuition benefits or awards considered outside scholarships?

Tuition benefits, including Tuition Exchange, are not considered outside scholarships.  If you receive tuition benefits or Tuition Exchange after your initial financial aid determination, the College-funded grant portion of your financial aid award will be adjusted accordingly.

What is the difference between merit-based aid and need-based aid?

Merit-based scholarships are determined by the Admissions team and are awarded to students based on a variety of unique characteristics. All first-year applicants are considered for merit awards. Most Lafayette scholarships are awarded for eight semesters of study at the College and do not require a separate application. Merit scholarships are not based on financial need.

Need-based aid is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid and is based on a thorough review of each applicant’s FAFSA and CSS Profile to determine demonstrated financial need. Students are required to reapply for need-based aid each year.

Do you offer scholarships based on academic merit?

Yes. Read more about our merit-based awards.

Applying for Aid in Subsequent Years

Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year?

Yes, you must reapply each year for need-based aid. Your file will be reviewed by an aid director who will consider all information included in your applications, as well as the costs for the upcoming year. As a returning student, you will need to complete a renewal FAFSA and the CSS Profile and submit tax documents through IDOC.

How will aid be determined after the first year?

Lafayette is committed to assisting you with your educational costs for the full four years. You must continue to make satisfactory academic progress, apply by the established deadlines, and continue to demonstrate need. Need is derived on the same basis as your original award. Each year’s award will reflect:

  • any increases in Lafayette costs
  • changes to family income and/or assets
  • significant changes in family circumstances
  • number of siblings attending college

Am I allowed to apply for financial aid as an upper class student if I didn't apply or qualify in my first year?

Once the financial aid office has honored aid commitments to prior recipients, all new applicants will be reviewed in order to determine financial need. Aid consideration is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and is based on applicants meeting our filing deadlines, demonstrating need, availability of funds, and each student’s grade point average.

Other Information

How do I accept or decline components of my financial aid award?

Once your award has been made available to you via the College portal My Lafayette, you can accept or decline the federal loans and/or work study components that may have been offered to you. All grant funding, whether it is need-based or merit-based, automatically will be accepted on the student’s behalf.

How do I appeal my financial aid award?

If your family has experienced a significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances, you have the option to appeal. Please contact the Office of Financial aid at or 610-330-5055 to discuss the appeal process.  Appeals cannot be considered without the requested supporting documentation. Appeals are considered based on the significance of your circumstances and the availability of funds.

Where can I find information about your policies and procedures?

Please reference the policies and procedures webpage to learn more.

Can I meet with a financial aid director?

To schedule an appointment with a financial aid director, please contact our office at 610-330-5055 or email

Please be prepared to provide the student’s full name, Reference ID or Student ID, and a brief description of your circumstances so that we can best accommodate your request.