Advice on Financial Aid
About 75 percent of Bowdoin students participate in some sort of financial aid program and 40 percent receive some grant aid. Bowdoin has eliminated loans in its financial aid packages and now awards grant-only packages, which is a wonderful offer, especially compared to colleges that include loans in aid packages of similar amounts. Bowdoin claims to meet 100 percent of calculated need with federal, state, and College grant money. However, students with an expected family contribution of $0 can still expect to pay $15,000 or more. Students who can't pay the remaining tuition may borrow up to $5,500 in low-interest federal Stafford loans. Also, Bowdoin offers a first-year job placement program, which guarantees a job first semester. While a student's paycheck doesn't go directly to the bursar's office for tuition, much of the money earned is used by students to cover various college-related expenses. Part of the formula calculating your expected contribution assumes you will earn about $2,000 over the summer. Financial aid also goes up or down with changes in parental income or number of siblings attending college.
Outside scholarships can be used to contribute to expenses remaining after the Bowdoin financial aid package, but if these scholarships exceed your balance, the Bowdoin package will be reduced. To apply for financial aid at Bowdoin, students need to fill out both the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile)-make sure you have all your paperwork in order to make the financial aid go smoothly. The process can be more frustrating for international students because of extra paperwork and visas.