Financial Aid FAQs

Reapplying for Financial Aid

  • How do I let you know that my family’s financial situation is currently different or will be different in the upcoming year?

    If you have special circumstances that you would like us to consider, you can tell us about them on the Dartmouth Renewal Application or by submitting a letter through IDOC. This includes any changes in your circumstances or information about unique ongoing expenses that we may have asked about in the past.  You can also tell us if your family’s current year income from employment will be lower by fifteen percent or more.

  • Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

    Yes. You will reapply for financial aid for each year of enrollment. Summer term is the first term of each academic year, so if you are enrolled for summer, be sure to submit your application as soon as you can. Renewal applications open in the fall and are due April 1 each year. 

Verification Questions and Answers

  • Do I have to complete the verification process?

    No. However, if you don't complete it, you will be forfeiting your eligibility for financial aid—including a Dartmouth scholarship. 

  • Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA form?

    The purpose of the process is to confirm that the information reported on the FAFSA is correct. If any information is incorrect, we must make corrections and submit them to the Department of Education for reprocessing.

    You and your family agreed to provide financial information when you completed the FAFSA. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to "If asked, provide information that will verify the accuracy of your completed form."

  • Once I've sent Dartmouth a copy of the verification forms, data retrieval or tax transcripts, and W-2s I'm done, right?

    Not necessarily. After reviewing the documents you submitted we may need to request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies. We will notify you via email. We ask you to respond promptly to these requests as this will help to finalize the verification process.

  • What if I (or my parents) have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

    As instructed by the verification forms, provide our office with a copy of your Form 4868 (the request for an extension to file a federal return) and W-2 form(s). If you do not have W-2 form(s), please submit a statement with your estimated adjusted gross income and income taxes paid. You (and/or your parents) must submit a signed copy of the completed tax return as soon as it is available.

  • What if I didn't file a federal tax return?

    If federal regulations did not require you (or your parents) file a return, simply indicate that you did not file on our Federal Verification Worksheet. Submit all completed verification forms along with a copy of all W-2 Forms to our office.

    If you (or your parents) were required to file a federal tax return but did not, we will be unable to review your aid application until the tax return is filed.

  • What is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?

    A Tax Return Transcript is a line-by-line summary of the actual tax return you filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Department of Education requires us to confirm that the information you provided on your FAFSA is the same information you filed with the IRS.


  • The IRS website offers two different types of transcripts, a return transcript and an account transcript. Which one should I order?

    • Tax Return Transcript? YES!!!
    • Tax Account Transcript? NO!!!

    You are required to supply a tax return transcript as it includes all lines of the tax return you filed.

  • I am divorced or separated but filed a joint tax return with my spouse. What do I do?

    You will be required to provide proof that you were separated on or before the day you completed the FAFSA. One example of acceptable documentation is court documentation that shows a separation date. Another example of acceptable documentation is proof of separate physical addresses on bills for both parties dated on or before the day you filed the FAFSA. You will also be required to provide IRS tax transcripts and all W2s for both you and your spouse.

  • My current address is different from what's on my tax return. What do I do?

    When using data retrieval or the online PDF request tax transcript options, when prompted, you should enter the address you filed your tax returns with. If you must order a paper version to be mailed to your new address you may be able to request a tax return transcript via telephone or you may need to complete the IRS Form 4506T to request a free copy of a Tax Return Transcript.

  • I tried using IRS Data Retrieval, but I am having trouble with my FSA ID username and password. What should I do?

    If you are having trouble with your FSA ID user name or password, contact us or FAFSA Customer Service immediately for troubleshooting solutions.

Living Off Campus

  • How will living off-campus affect my financial aid?

    Living off-campus will impact both your bill and your financial aid.  You will not be billed for housing through the College, though you may still choose to purchase a meal plan. Your financial aid will be adjusted to reflect the "off campus" living housing and food budget. A comparision can be found on our Cost of Attendance page.

    Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

  • How will my Dartmouth bill change if I live off-campus?

    A charge for housing will no longer be on your Dartmouth bill, and this reduces the amount owed directly to Dartmouth. However, the cost of housing will now be owed to your landlord, likely on a monthly schedule. It's important to keep track of this separately.

  • Can I use my financial aid funds to pay my rent?

    You may be eligible for a refund if your total financial aid per term exceeds the charges on your account. If so, those funds can be used to pay your rent. According to our policies, we can't advance any funds to you before the start of each term to pay for private rent or a security deposit. You may have to cover these costs up front.

  • Does Dartmouth help students to find private rental accommodations?

    Dartmouth College has a Real Estate Office which lists available area apartments and rooms. The staff who work in that office, located at 4 Currier Place, Suite 305, are a good source of information and advice about renting in the Upper Valley.

General Financial Aid

  • What is the "family contribution?"

    We ask for realistic payments from you and your parents. Dartmouth uses the Federal Methodology need analysis formula to determine eligibility for federal funds. In measuring need for Dartmouth scholarships, we look at home equity, family's assets, and your own assets to determine a fair family contribution.  This amount is subtracted from the cost of a Dartmouth education to determine how much assistance you need.

  • What can I do if I’m not happy with my financial aid award?

    Tell us! More information from you or your family, including copies of better financial aid from other schools, may result in award adjustments consistent with an equitable treatment of all our students. The Financial Aid Office can also advise families about loan and monthly payment plans.

  • Will my aid change after the first year?

    We are committed to helping you the entire time you are a Dartmouth student. You reapply for aid each year, submitting updated applications and financial documents. Awards are adjusted to reflect changes in family financial circumstances and the moderate earnings increases during upperclass years.

  • Will I lose some financial aid if I receive an outside award/scholarship?

    Scholarships from external sources will reduce the loan and/or job portions of your financial aid. If your outside scholarships total more than the self-help level, your family’s responsibility can be reduced to the federal level. Dartmouth scholarship is reduced as the last resort.

  • What if my parents are divorced or separated?

    According to regulations, the financial aid information of only the custodial household must be used to determine eligibility for federal funds. However, for Dartmouth’s own scholarship purposes, we request additional information from the noncustodial parent. Dartmouth believes that both natural parents have an obligation to contribute to their children's educational costs.

  • Can I receive financial aid when I'm living on campus and not taking classes?

    Sometimes. Students may be eligible for leave-term Work-Study, although no other financial aid (scholarship or loans) can be awarded during a leave term. Students who plan to stay in a residence hall during a leave term are responsible for the room charges as well as the required meal plan.

  • Does Dartmouth help fund unpaid internships or research?

    Yes. A comprehensive listing of funding opportunities is kept on the Undergraduate Advising & Research website.

  • What is the Federal Work-Study Program and how does Dartmouth help students to find employment to make up this part of their financial aid package?

    Work-Study is a type of federal financial aid. Students eligible for Work-Study will need to find employment (usually on campus) and will receive a paycheck for the number of hours they work. Work-study earnings are not applied to tuition costs but are meant to go toward a student's out-of-pocket expenses, such as books, travel, and personal care items. Dartmouth's Student Employment Office lists jobs and helps students to find Work-Study placements.

  • I have made a mistake on my Financial Aid Application - how do I correct it?

    Both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile allow you to log back in to make a correction to your application. You may only make a correction to the CSS Profile one time. 

    The Scholarship Matching Survey allows you to log back in to make a correction or update.

    The Dartmouth Renewal Application cannot be updated after submission. You may contact our office if you wish to make a correction or share additional information.

    If you are unable to make a correction or question whether you should, please contact our office for guidance. 

Study Abroad and Financial Aid

  • Can I afford to study abroad?

    Yes! For help sorting out who pays what and how, a visit to the Financial Aid Office is often advisable.

  • How do I pay for Dartmouth’s own off-campus programs?

    Tuition and expected family contribution for Dartmouth’s off-campus programs are the same as for an on-campus term. Assistance is available to meet extra costs associated with study abroad programs, including air fare. Half of any extra costs is met with additional Dartmouth scholarship; loan assistance is offered for the other half. Loan assistance is also offered to replace the employment that would normally be included in an on-campus term. Although financial aid recipients are given aid to cover all of the required costs of the program, students are responsible for purchasing their own plane ticket and, in many cases, meals. Often this means that part of the expected family contribution is used towards these costs rather than for tuition.

  • How do I pay for official exchange programs?

    Financial aid is available for official exchange programs arranged through the College. Financial Aid awards are adjusted to reflect the actual cost of the exchange term.  However, students will receive no more scholarship assistance than they would have received for a term at Dartmouth. Any extra costs associated with the program will be covered by additional loan assistance.

    Dartmouth College has official exchange programs with the following institutions: University of California at San Diego (UCSD); Twelve College Exchange (Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wesleyan and Wheaton); Williams College Mystic Seaport Program in American Maritime Studies; Eugene O'Neill National Theatre Institute; Morehouse College; Spelman College; McGill University (Montreal, Canada); Keble College at Oxford (United Kingdom); Bocconi University (Milan, Italy); Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand); Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea); University of Copenhagen (Denmark); German Universities Exchange Program; Keio University (Tokyo, Japan); Kanda Universtiy (Tokyo, Japan); Chinese University of Hong Kong 

  • How do I pay for transfer terms?

    Aid for transfer terms (study at colleges with which Dartmouth has no official exchange program agreements) is available in limited circumstances. Aid will be in the form of federal assistance and outside scholarships that are transferable.  Dartmouth scholarship and loan assistance is not available for transfer terms. There is significant paperwork involved in arranging financial aid for a transfer term; please plan ahead. You should definitely meet with a financial aid officer before finalizing your plans.

Tax Returns

  • What documents do I need to submit for parental tax returns?

    Confidential information, including personally identifiable information (PII), should not be transmitted via email without encryption. If you are sending sensitive information, we encourage you to either use the IDOC option, mail the documents, or provide the documents via encrypted application (i.e., Winzip) with password protection. The password to open any encrypted documents should be sent via separate email.

    Undocumented Students Residing in the U.S. 

    Signed copies of Parents' 2019 Federal Income Tax Return, including all schedules and W-2 forms. Please be sure that the student's name and Dartmouth ID (if applicable) appear at the top of each page submitted.  If no income tax return will be filed, this should be certified in writing by completing the 2021-2022 non-filing form.

    Canadian Residents

    Signed copies of all pages and schedules of Parents' 2019 T1 General Tax Forms. If you file a U.S. tax return in addition to a Canadian return, both must be submitted. Please be sure that the student's name and Dartmouth ID (if applicable) appear at the top of each page submitted. Submit information to the Financial Aid Office.

    International Residents

    Signed copies of all pages of your Parents' 2019 Income Tax Statement for your country of residence should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. If your parents file separately, please send a copy of each parent's tax return. Tax returns must be in English. You may translate these documents. Please be sure the student's name appear at the top of each page. Submit the information to the Financial Aid Office via email, fax, or postal mail.

    If your parents do not file tax forms, then you may submit a statement from their employer verifying their 2019 calendar year income. This statement must be in English. You may translate it.

Early Decision and Financial Aid

  • Does applying Early Decision affect Financial Aid?

    No! Dartmouth’s extensive and comprehensive need-based financial aid policies are in full effect during early admission. Our students are able to attend regardless of family income.

  • When will I know what my financial aid package looks like?

    A tentative financial aid award will accompany your acceptance letter in mid-December. A finalized award will become available after April 1.

  • What happens if the tentative financial aid package doesn't seem as though it will work for my family?

    Tell us! You should submit a Request for Financial Aid Review, (which will be included with the award letter), to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. In recent years only a handful of Early Decision students have been unable to attend for financial reasons, and Dartmouth routinely releases them from the early commitment so they can apply to other colleges.

  • What if I have been selected for Federal Verification?

    Follow the directions in our Federal Verification section.

Financial Aid