The standard forms—the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Financial Aid PROFILE—are available online. Students complete the FAFSA (Bard’s code number is 002671) and submit it to the federal processor as soon after October 1 as possible and no later than mid-February. This can be done online at fafsa.ed.gov
. (For returning students the deadline is March 31.)
Students may submit the Financial Aid PROFILE registration (Bard’s code number is 2037) to the College Scholarship Service beginning in mid-fall. This can be done online at college board.org
. Students should complete the Financial Aid PROFILE no later than mid-February. Students forward any supplemental forms to Bard College as instructed.
By filing the FAFSA, students are applying for federal and state aid, and by filing the Financial Aid PROFILE, students are applying for Bard College sources of financial aid. Students should check with their high school guidance office for information about state-sponsored scholarship, grant, or loan programs.
International students seeking aid must submit the International Student Financial Aid Application (issued by the CSS). The Certification of Finances, which foreign nationals file in order to obtain a visa, must also be submitted. These may be downloaded from the Bard College website at bard.edu/financialaid/international/applying
All family income figures reported on the FAFSA and Financial Aid PROFILE may be verified. Families reporting taxable income should update the income information provided on the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Families reporting nontaxable income must obtain documentation from the supporting agency, outlining the amounts received for the year. All documents of this nature should be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid at Bard.
Families need to consider their ability to cover educational expenses for the full four years that the student attends Bard College. If the family finds that they have income and assets to cover only a portion of that time, they should apply for aid for the student’s first year of attendance. Consideration for aid for families not receiving it initially is on a case-by-case basis and depends on available funding in subsequent years. A committee that meets in June, August, and December of each year reviews these later applications.
Students applying as “independents” (that is, emancipated from parental support) must submit, in addition to the previously mentioned forms, information about the specific conditions of emancipation. The College applies strict criteria for the status of emancipation.
Financial aid application materials should be submitted by February 15 for fall and spring attendance and by December 1 for spring attendance only. Early admission program applicants should have their forms submitted by December 15. Students who apply by the deadline receive first consideration for awards. Late applications are considered in order of receipt until assistance funds are committed. Students who miss the deadline are advised to submit their application materials as soon as possible.
In order to remain eligible to receive funds through federal, state, and institutional aid programs, a student must maintain good academic standing and progress. Such standing and progress are defined and reviewed by the College’s Executive Committee.
Typically, awards are based on full-time enrollment, defined as a course load of a minimum of 12 credits per semester. If enrollment is less than full-time, financial aid awards are ordinarily prorated. New York State requires full-time enrollment each semester for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility. Federal Direct Loan eligibility requires at least half-time enrollment (a minimum of 6 credits per semester). In general Bard allows only those seniors who can attend part-time and still complete their degree requirements in four years (five years for Conservatory students) to attend less than full-time.
The student’s financial need is the difference between the student budget (normal educational costs) and the assessed ability of the parents and student to meet those costs. Normal educational costs for all students include tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other personal and travel expenses. First-time students also pay fees for the Language and Thinking and Citizen Science Programs.
A student and family together are regarded as the primary source of financial support and are expected to make every effort within reason to meet the expense of college. (The resources of a remarried parent’s spouse are assumed to be available to support the student.) Assistance from Bard is considered a supplement to the family’s contribution. The expected family contribution is determined by the College using data provided to the U.S. Department of Education, College Scholarship Service, and Bard. All of an applicant’s forms are analyzed by standard procedures.