Frequently asked questions

In a typical academic year, 90-95 percent of Earlham’s student body receives some form of financial aid. Students have questions about the different types of aid available, how to apply for aid at Earlham and many more topics. Below are answers to frequently asked questions and links to additional resources. If you don’t find an answer to your question in the list below, please reach out to our Office of Financial Aid.

General information questions

Can you discuss my financial information with my parents?

We can only speak with your parents about your financial information with consent from you, the student. We can obtain this consent in three different ways: if you consented to your information being shared with your parents during enrollment confirmation each semester, if you are in-person with your parent for the conversation and give oral consent (this version only applies to that singular conversation), or if we receive written consent from you via your Earlham email.

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

Merit scholarships are awarded based on ability or academic performance. Recipients are selected by the admissions staff, based on the student’s credentials reported in the admissions application file.

Need-based aid is financial assistance based on a family’s financial situation. Aid is awarded through the Office of Financial Aid, based on the information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How is financial need determined?

After you complete the FAFSA, the data is reported to the federal processor. Earlham then receives this information via a Student Aid Report or SAR. This SAR includes the “Student Aid Index” or SAI. The difference between the SAI and the cost to attend Earlham is considered a family’s financial need. For example, if Earlham’s costs were $60,000 and a family’s SAI was $6,000, that family’s financial need is the difference or $54,000. Earlham works to meet that need through a combination of federal, state and institutional resources. This may include grants and scholarships, work and student and parent loans.

Will my package change after the first year?

Merit aid remains the same for all four years as long as the student maintains a 2.0 GPA and is enrolled full time at Earlham.

You must apply for need-based aid each year. Assuming that your financial situation stays relatively the same and you maintain satisfactory academic progress toward your degree, your aid eligibility should stay approximately the same. Four basic areas directly affect a student’s need-based aid eligibility: number of family members, number of family members in college, income and assets. Changes in any one of these areas could affect your aid from year to year.

How do local and community scholarships affect an aid package?

If Earlham was not able to meet your family’s need through your aid package, then the outside scholarship amount will simply be added to the Earlham package. If Earlham was able to meet your need, then we are required by governmental and institutional policies to reduce various components of the package in order to incorporate funds you receive from local and community scholarships. In this situation, we would reduce loans and employment first. Need-based grant aid would be reduced only when loans and work are fully eliminated. Different policies apply to Quaker Fellows.

Can I get financial aid for studying off-campus?

Earlham students may receive merit and need-based Earlham-funded aid for one Earlham off-campus program or one approved Great Lakes Colleges Association off-campus program. Most Earlham off-campus programs charge the same fees as those on-campus.

Students who choose to study off-campus outside of the programs offered through Earlham or the GLCA must apply for financial aid at the institution offering that program.

Is there financial aid for international students?

Absolutely. International students are considered for merit scholarships, need-based aid and work awards.

Every international applicant must complete the International Student Financial Information Form and submit supporting financial documents such as bank statements or letters of employment. We cannot evaluate an application without these documents. You can find and complete the International Student Financial Information Form in your application portal after submitting your application of admission.

Please note, the International Financial Aid Committee determines the level of merit scholarship and institutional grants.

Earlham does not award scholarships or grants for room, food and other costs (such as books, personal items, flights to/from campus and other indirect costs). Students and families need to be able to contribute at least $25,000.

Inquiries about international financial aid should be emailed to [email protected].

FAFSA questions

What is the FAFSA?

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to help pay for college or career school.
In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Information in this section is from

What do I need and where do I complete the FAFSA?

Both student and parent must obtain an FSA ID at to complete the FAFSA. Your FSA ID is a unique identifier and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid system and allows you to sign documents electronically.

Families can complete the FAFSA beginning late December or early January of the year prior to enrollment. The FAFSA may be completed online at

What is the deadline for submitting my FAFSA application?

For students planning to enter Earlham College for the first time for fall semester, the FAFSA should be submitted by March 1 for preferential packaging.

For Indiana State Grants (Indiana residents only), the FAFSA must be submitted to the federal processor by April 10.

Returning non-Indiana resident students must submit the FAFSA by June 1.

My parents are divorced. Which parent’s information do I need to report?

If your parents are divorced or separated, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent.) If this parent is remarried as of today, answer the questions about that parent and your stepparent.

What is Earlham’s FAFSA code?

Earlham’s FAFSA code is 001793

Financial aid offer questions

When will I hear about my financial aid offer?

Entering students receive their financial aid offer notifications after February 15 or soon after they have been admitted, whichever is later, if all of the required documents have been sent to us.

Admitted students will receive an email message letting them know if we are missing items needed to create their financial aid offer notifications.

Continuing students will receive their financial aid notifications beginning in late May after grades are out.

How much will I owe?

Sample Financial Aid Offer Letter

Take a look at the offer letter we sent you.  The first section lists your charges.  The second section lists the financial aid we are offering you.  The third section says:  Estimated Payment Due.  That is approximately the amount your family will have come up with to pay for your tuition, fees, housing and food.

What should I do if my family’s situation changes, such as losing a job or medical expenses?

Please let us know if your family has had a change of circumstances.  We have an appeals process that begins with completing a Request for Review form. We will typically respond within a couple of weeks of receiving your request.

More information and resources

Earlham is a community like no other. Our students and faculty are partners in learning, seeking truth wherever truth may lead. Learn more about Earlham at the links below.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.