Determining Financial Need
Financial need is the difference between the cost of education and the family’s assessed ability to pay. The basic philosophy behind need-based financial aid is that the student and his or her family must assume the primary responsibility for paying for the student’s education. The parents’ obligation to pay for their child’s education (even in the case of divorce or separation) takes precedence over the obligation of the College to provide financial assistance.
The Student's Obligation
The College does not have the resources to make up for the parent contribution of students who voluntarily declare themselves financially independent or whose parents refuse to pay for their education. Students are expected to work during the summer and contribute to college from their savings. To a lesser extent, the student is also expected to work during the school year to pay for their education. No student should expect financial aid resources solely to fund his or her education.
Assessment of Ability to Pay
The assessment of the family’s ability to pay, often referred to as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), is determined by the federal government, the College Scholarship Service (CSS), and Bard College, based on the information submitted by the applicant. The EFC should be viewed as a guideline only. Financial aid resources are not sufficient to meet the full financial need of all students. Funds available in the aid programs and the number of students requesting assistance determine the extent to which the College can meet a student’s need.
Calculating the Cost
In calculating the cost of attending Bard, the College considers both educational and average living expenses. The estimated student budget includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, and a modest allowance for transportation and personal expenses. Once the EFC and the cost of attending Bard have been determined, the student’s financial need is calculated, as in the following example.
|Educational costs ||$50,000 |
• Parent contribution
• Student contribution
|Financial need ||$28,500 |