Financing Your Education

Hobart and William Smith Colleges offers financial aid in the form of merit-based scholarships, need-based and non-need based grants, student employment, as well as student and parent educational loans. Hobart and William Smith Colleges will award students financial aid to the extent that funds are available. First year students must file the CSS Profile and the FAFSA. Returning students are required to file the FAFSA.

Merit-based Scholarships

Hobart and William Smith Colleges have long been committed to recognizing academic and personal excellence.

Our extensive list of merit-based scholarships for first-year and transfer students are intended to recognize students' outstanding academic accomplishments and significant contributions to their communities.

Financial need is not considered in granting these awards. However, if you know you will need financial aid but you think you might qualify for an HWS scholarship, you are encouraged to apply.

Need-based Aid

Families who qualify for aid can generally avail themselves of a variety of need-based aid programs.

Need-based aid programs fall into four basic categories: federally funded programs, state funded programs, outside scholarship/grant programs and HWS funded programs.

Monthly Payment Plans

An interest-free monthly payment plan is available through Nelnet Business Solutions. They can be reached at 800-609-8056, or Additional questions can be directed to the Office of Student Accounts by calling (315) 781-3343 or by e-mail at

Tuition Prepayment

The Colleges offer a Tuition Stabilization Plan for families who wish to prepay the entire college tuition expense for four years based on the first-year tuition rate. The Office of Student Accounts will provide details upon request by calling (315) 781-3343.


Parent and Student Loans

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS) is a non-need based federally guaranteed loan offered to parents to help pay for their dependent children's education. The amount borrowed is limited to the cost of education minus other financial aid awarded, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid Services and Student Employment. For more information about parent and student loans, visit our loan center.

Tax Credits

The Tax Relief Act of 1997 created two new tax credits for educational expenses:

  1. The Hope Scholarship
  2. The Lifetime Learning

Outside Scholarships

Hobart and William Smith Colleges encourages all students to research outside scholarship opportunities to help finance their education. Begin with your high school guidance office, check with your and your parents' employers, community service organizations, religious organizations, the library and don't forget the internet. Remember, scholarships are free so you shouldn't be asked to pay a fee to either search or apply. Patience and persistence are key so apply, apply, apply. A few good sites to begin your internet search are:



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.