diverse crowd of students at orientation

Only a few colleges in the country can say what we can say about financial aid.

Our admission process is need-blind for all students, domestic and international. We admit extraordinary students from around the world, and then we make every effort to ensure that Amherst is affordable for each one of them.

  • We meet 100% of our students鈥 demonstrated need鈥攆or domestic and international students.
  • We were one of the first colleges in the country to adopt a no-loan policy. We replaced loans with scholarships, so our students can graduate with little or no debt.
  • We鈥檝e been providing need-based financial aid since our founding in 1821. Supporting students from all walks of life has always been at the core of who we are.

Students leave Amherst with an extraordinary education, a long list of exceptional accomplishments鈥攁nd the freedom to build their future without the burden of student loan debt.

This approach makes us distinctive. We鈥檙e proud to say it also makes us a leader.


of our students received financial aid in 2023-24


was the average financial aid award in 2023-24

$76 M+

was awarded in Amherst scholarships 2023-24

Amherst Within Reach

80% of U.S. households qualify for substantial aid:

Students from 80 out of 100 U.S. households receive at minimum full tuition. Students from 50 out of 100 U.S. households receive full tuition, housing, and meals

*Families below the 80th percentile of U.S. household income of $141,000  
** Families below the median U.S. household income of $67,500

diverse group of students sitting on the grass on a sunny day on the quad with mountains in the distance

The Numbers

Cost of attendance (2023鈥24 Academic Year)

Every number tells a story. The story these numbers tell is: Money need not come between you and an Amherst education. We鈥檙e here to help students do their best work鈥攁nd graduate with a liberating sense of possibility.

Direct Costs (Billed to all students) 
Student Fees$630
Indirect Costs (Estimated based on periodic survey of all students) 
Books, course materials, supplies and equipment (estimate)$1,000
Personal expenses (estimate)$1,800

Travel/Transportation (estimate)

  • Domestic Average
  • International Average


Additional Expenses (Billed to all students, but waivable) 

Health Insurance

$2,934 (full year) 
$1,222 (fall only) 
$1,712 (spring only)
Tuition Insurance$126 per semester
  • Student fees cover student activities.
  • Health insurance may be waived, if a student has other coverage that satisfies Massachusetts insurance requirements.
  • Books, course materials, supplies and equipment, personal expenses and travel allowances are estimated out-of-pocket expenses that can vary by student; we take them into account when determining a student鈥檚 financial need.
  • Optional tuition insurance is billed to all students at $126 per semester and can be waived; it is not covered by financial aid.

A graduation cap on top of a pile of coins

Three Sample Financial Aid Offers

We created three sample financial aid offers鈥攊ncluding cost of attendance and cost to families鈥攆or three students with different financial needs applying to 黑料. See the breakdown for each student.

My Intuition Quick College Cost Estimator

Quick Cost Estimator

The My inTuition tool will give you an early cost estimate using six basic financial questions. 

Tambi茅n est谩 disponible en espa帽ol.

Tools & Information

  • Are you a QuestBridge candidate, a first-generation student, a student from a family with very limited income, a veteran, or currently serving in the US Armed Forces? Complete our fast-and-easy Quick Pass questionnaire to see if you qualify for our application fee waiver.
  • My InTuition Quick Cost Estimator Get an early cost estimate using six basic financial questions. Tambi茅n est谩 disponible en espa帽ol.
  • Financial Aid Calculator Input your family鈥檚 financial information to determine what your financial aid award may look like.
  • Tuition, Fees & Other Costs See a breakdown of the total cost of attending Amherst.
  • Office of Financial Aid  Learn more about Amherst financial aid, outside scholarships and student employment.

鈥淲e can do this, together.鈥

A conversation with Gail Holt, Dean of Financial Aid

There鈥檚 a national conversation about the cost of college. How do you talk with families about the cost of Amherst?

It鈥檚 interesting: Families understand the value of Amherst. They see the faculty, the history, the facilities, the alumni, the programs, the students鈥攁nd they understand that these things have tremendous value, tangible value, in the short term and in the long term. But many families see cost as a mountain they can鈥檛 get over. And we鈥檙e here to say: Don鈥檛 hold back from applying. Don鈥檛 count yourself out before you鈥檝e started. We can do this, together.

What does Amherst do? 

We admit students without regard to their financial situation. We meet 100% of an admitted student鈥檚 calculated need鈥攁nd we do so without loans, using only grants and work-study, so it鈥檚 possible to graduate from Amherst debt-free. But that鈥檚 just part of the story.

What鈥檚 the rest of the story?

The rest of the story is the story that each family shares with us. Our approach to financial aid is highly individualized. We take in as much information as possible, and we put together aid offers that speak directly to each family. Plus, we determine need on an annual basis. So if your financial situation changes from one year to the next, we can respond with an appropriate aid offer. The numbers start the story; the family finishes it.

What鈥檚 the best advice you can give to a family looking at Amherst?

Let us show you what we can do. When you line up the financial aid offers from the colleges you鈥檝e applied to, you鈥檒l see that we鈥檙e exceptionally generous. That doesn鈥檛 mean that we won鈥檛 ask you to make sacrifices. We extend ourselves for our families鈥攁nd we ask them to extend themselves in return. Amherst is a shared investment鈥攁 world-class, lifelong investment. It鈥檚 an extraordinary opportunity. It鈥檚 real; it鈥檚 possible; you only have to have the courage to begin.