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Is Hood College affordable? You bet it is.

How so? Primarily, because of Hood College's numerous scholarships, generous aid awards and financing options, the out-of-pocket expenses for families with students at Hood are often much less than the full tuition and fees of most state schools. Ninety-eight percent of full-time undergraduate Hood students are awarded scholarships and grants.

1. Choose the most affordable college

Public colleges generally have lower tuition rates, but there's more to the equation of affordability than tuition. When comparing costs at public vs. private colleges, it's important to look beyond the "sticker price" to see what types of financial support are offered.

Government loans are standardized, but scholarships and grant awards vary, which can affect your out-of pocket expenses. Private institutions have more freedom in offering aid, whereas their public counterparts often face budgetary constraints, so most private colleges offer more generous scholarships and aid to students—often bringing the out-of-pocket costs in line with or making them less than that of public institutions. Applying—and waiting to find out what kinds of aid are offered—is worthwhile.

Hood College
vs. Public:
a Cost Comparison


Public University


Hood College

Tuition, Fees, Room and Board $17,438 $44,630
Scholarships and Grants $0 $19,872
Loans $5,500 $5,500
Student Employment $1,500 $1,800
Total Financial Aid Package $7,000 $27,172
Family Contribution $10,438 $10,438

2. Use all sources of financial aid

The three most common types of aid are grants, loans and work-study. Students apply for government-funded, need-based aid (financial aid awarded on the basis of a student's financial need) and merit-based aid (awarded for outstanding academic achievement, often without regard for an applicant's financial need) by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the main form used for determining federal and state aid eligibility.

Federal and State Government Grants and Loans

Grants are a type of financial aid that do not have to be repaid. Examples include the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Examples include the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan and Federal PLUS Loan.

Private Aid

Aid may be awarded from private sources—such as civic organizations (e.g., Rotary, Kiwanis, religious organizations), professional associations or businesses—based on background, affiliations (such as with a church) academic achievement or interests, special talents or intended field of study. Requirements for applying vary by organization, and deadlines occur throughout the year.

Student Employment

Hood's Student Employment Program provides undergraduates with a way to earn money for miscellaneous expenses and enables them to develop work-related skills and professional behavior, build a stronger résumé and improve job search skills.


Each year, Hood College awards more than $6 million in merit-based scholarships, including scholarships for first-year students entering from high school as well as for students transferring from other colleges. Students admitted to Hood are automatically considered for most merit scholarships, the majority of which are renewable for up to four years. Overall academic performance, specific academic achievements, leadership and participation in school and community activities are important factors in awarding scholarships to both first-year and transfer students. Hood’s merit-based aid includes:

Hood Scholarships*

Award Eligibility Term $ per year
ROTC Scholarship Students who receive a full-tuition
scholarship from Army ROTC for
study at Hood College. This award
replaces any previously awarded
Hood scholarship.
4 years room and
Honors Program
Full-time first-year students who
are admitted to the Honors
Program. If they have been
awarded another Hood scholarship
prior to admission to the
Honors Program, this award will
replace the other scholarship.
Students must apply for admission
to the Honors Program and are
chosen on a competitive basis.
4 years $19,000
Hodson Trust
First-year students with the
highest academic profiles who
have shown leadership in school
and community activities
4 years $17,000
First-year students with exceptional
academic records, academic
potential, and citizenship and
extracurricular achievement
4 years $15,000
Trustee Academic
First-year students with high
academic ability and proven
leadership in school and
community activities
4 years $13,000
Joseph H. Apple
Full-time transfer students
who demonstrate the highest
academic achievement and
leadership in college
2 years $10,000
Achievement and
Dean’s Academic
First-year students with high
academic ability and proven
leadership in school and
community activities
4 years $6,000 to
Hood Merit
Full-time transfer students who
have demonstrated strong
academic achievement in college
2 years $2,500 to
Hood Heritage
First-year students with the
highest academic profiles who
have shown leadership in school
and community activities
1 year $5,000
Phi Theta Kappa
Full-time transfer Phi Theta Kappa
members who have earned an
A.A. or A.S.
2 years $2,000
Academically talented full-time
first-year students with a sincere
interest in developing a diverse
student body
4 years $2,000
Students whose parent earned a
graduate degree from Hood
1 year $1,000
Full-time first-year students who
are referred by a Hood College
alumna or alumnus
4 years $500

* In addition to the scholarships described in this table, Hood also offers some 200 additional endowed scholarships, awards and prizes, each with specific criteria. Additional scholarship information is available in the Financial Aid Office.

3. Work with the Financial Ad Office to create a package that works for your family

Your financial aid package will be made up of a combination of three components: scholarships, loans and work-study. Call the Financial Aid Office to learn about the methods they use to determine your financial need, your family's expected contribution and your eligibility for awards.

Three Sample Families Compared

  Kevin Amy Kyle
Household 2-parent household, 5 in family, 1 in college 1-parent household, 4 in family, 2 in college 2-parent household, 4 in family, 1 in college
State of residence Maryland Florida Maryland
Household income $45,000 $60,000 $110,000
Family Contribution $13,000 $4,020 $26,545

Hood Costs

Residency On-campus On-campus Commuter
Tuition and fees $28,170 $28,170 $28,170
Room and board $9,440 $9,440 N/A
Total costs $37,610 $37,610 $28,170

Financial Aid Package

Federal Pell Grant $0 $650 N/A
Merit Scholarship $11,000 $13,000 $8,000
Federal SEOG $0 $1,000 N/A
Federal ACG $0 $750 N/A
Hood Grant $7,000 $9,000 N/A
Subsidized loan $3,500 $3,500 N/A
Unsubsidized loan $2,000 $2,000 $5,500
Outside scholarship $0 $1,000 N/A
Endowed scholarship $0 $1,000 N/A
Total aid package $23,500 $31,900 $13,500

Total Year Net Out-of-Pocket Cost

Total contribution $14,110 $5,710 $14,670

Financial Aid for the Class of 2012

Family Income Average Grant Which May Be Applied To
$0-35,000 $24,000 Tuition, room + board
$35,000-75,000 $22,000 Tuition, 44% room + board
$75,000-100,000 $18,000 Tuition, 13% room + board
$100,000-$120,000 $17,000 Tuition
$120,000-$200,000 $17,000 Tuition

4. Consolidate loans after college

Don't worry about accruing debt to pay for your education. After graduation, students can consolidate their loans into one loan with a fixed interest rate that can be paid back over 10 years. Graduating students, with an average starting income of $33,258,* have about $1,700 a month for living expenses and a manageable education loan repayment of about $200 to $300 a month.

5. Graduate in four years

Students who take longer than four years to graduate not only pay more in tuition, but also accumulate living expenses, lose their financial aid and are forced to delay entering graduate school to earn their next degree or the workforce to earn a salary. On average, 68 percent of Hood students graduate in four years.

Compare the out-of-pocket expenses needed to complete a
degree in four and five years:

The Cost of Four vs. Five Years Four years of college Five years of college
Annual out-of-pocket cost
(after financial aid)
$10,515 (x4) $10,515 (x5)
Additional cost for fifth year** N/A $17,845
Salary lost for extra year in college N/A $33,258*
Total Cost $40,060 $103,678

* Average starting salary for college graduates, as estimated by The National Association of Colleges and Employers
**Financial aid only available for four years.

6. Resources

There are many sources for scholarships and detailed information regarding financial aid available online. In addition, Hood's financial aid staff has the expertise to help you develop a plan to make your education affordable. Contact Hood's Financial Aid Office to discuss your financing options by calling 301-696-3411 or 800-922-1599; or by e-mail at

Glossary of financial aid terms

assets: when determining financial need, anything that is owned, such as cash, real estate, investments or savings accounts.

award letter: letter sent to students outlining the financial aid package offered. The student needs to sign and return this letter to accept the aid.

College Scholarship Service (CSS): one of the services on which the government and colleges rely when figuring out a family's expected contribution (see Estimated Family Contribution [EFC]).

Congressional Methodology: standard formula developed by Congress under the Higher Education Amendment of 1986, which is used to evaluate parents' income and assets, taking into consideration the number of college aged children and associated, anticipated college costs. This evaluation helps determine the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and the student's eligibility for financial aid.

consolidation: payment option for students with multiple loan debts that allows borrowers to combine the principals and pay back loans in monthly installments for up to 25 years.

deferment: postponement of a loan's repayment, offered by many federal loan programs.

dependent student: student who relies on his or her parents for financial support.

disbursement: a payment from scholarships, grants or other sources.

eligibility: degree to which a student qualifies for financial aid.

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC): amount of money a student's family can contribute to the cost of college, determined with a standard formula called the Congressional Methodology and used in determining a student's eligibility for financial aid.

Federal work-study: program through which students work part time and earn money to help pay for college.

financial aid package: total aid given to a student, from all sources. The financial aid package is explained in the award letter.

financing programs: commercial services that supplement federal- and state-funded loans.

financial need: difference between a college's total cost of attendance and a family's EFC.

Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): federal form used to apply for state and federal aid.

grant: financial gift that does not need to be paid back. independent student: student who does not rely on his or her parents for financial support.

interest: the charge for money that is borrowed; usually a percentage of the principal amount.

loan: money that is borrowed from the government, a bank, credit union or other lender that must be paid back.

Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): loans given by the same financial institutions that give Stafford Loans.

Pell Grant: need-based federal financial aid that does not need to be paidback; only available to undergraduate students.

Perkins Loan: low-interest, need-based loan awarded by individual colleges. Students begin paying back Perkins Loans nine months after graduation or leaving school.

principal: amount of money borrowed, not including interest charges.

scholarship: money awarded that does not need to be paid back; criteria might include academic excellence, talent, race, religion, group affiliations, state of residence or need.

Stafford Loan: loan given by banks, credit unions, loan associations or individual colleges; sometimes called Guaranteed Student Loan, or GSL.

subsidized loan: loan that does not accrue interest until the student leaves school.

total cost of attendance: used in determining a student's eligibility for financial aid, the total of all college costs; includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, meal plan, personal expenses and travel expenses.

unsubsidized loan: loan that accrues interest while a student is still in school.

Sources for scholarships

Other scholarships

Need-based grants

Sources for Loans


  • "The Scholarship and Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks, and Tips from Start to Finish," by Debra Lipphardt
  • "Getting Financial Aid: 2010," by The College Board
  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Financial Aid for College," by David Rye
  • "How to Go to College on a Shoe String: The Insider's Guide to Grants, Scholarships, Cheap Books, Fellowships, and Other Financial Aid Secrets," by Ann Marie O'Phelan

7. Frequently Asked Questions

These questions are commonly asked by families who are beginning their search for college financing options. Some topics relate to all colleges and some are specific to Hood College.

Do I have to wait until I am accepted to Hood before I apply for aid?

No, you may apply before you are accepted, but you will not receive a financial aid award letter until you have been accepted. We encourage you to apply for aid even if you have not yet been accepted so we can process your aid application as soon as possible upon your acceptance.

What is Hood College's deadline for applying for financial aid?

Hood College has a preferred filing deadline of February 15 for incoming first-year students. By filing early, you increase the chance of knowing your eligibility by early March.

How do I apply for financial aid?

You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15. You and your parents will need to provide information about your family's income, assets, household size and number in college. The FAFSA cannot be submitted until after Jan. 1. You must complete and submit the FAFSA online at Hood's school code is 002076.

When and how will I find out how much aid I can receive?

In early March the Financial Aid Office will begin mailing award letters to students who have been admitted to Hood and who have completed the FAFSA. We will notify you of your eligibility for all assistance, including scholarships, in your financial aid award letter. You will also receive the Conditions of Awards explaining the aid programs, requirements for renewal of your financial aid, and cost. We will continue to mail award letters on an ongoing basis.

Does Hood College offer merit scholarships and how do I apply for them?

Yes, each year Hood College awards more than $6 million in merit-based scholarships. You are automatically considered for scholarships once you have been admitted to Hood. No additional applications are required, except when applying for the prestigious Hodson-Gilliam Diversity Scholarship.

How do I apply for scholarships?

New students are automatically reviewed for scholarship eligibility by their admission counselor. If you qualify for a scholarship, you will be notified by mail about one week after receiving your letter of admission.

What happens if I receive outside scholarships?

You must notify the Financial Aid Office of any outside scholarships you have been awarded. We will need to know the source and amount of the scholarship(s). Outside scholarships may reduce the amount of a student's loan or work commitment. They may also reduce a portion of the College's grant aid.

How is financial need determined?

Financial need is determined by subtracting your EFC (Expected Family Contribution as determined by the FAFSA) from the total cost of education for the year. Since costs vary among colleges and universities, your need will also vary from one institution to another. Your EFC, however, may stay the same at all colleges and universities. Therefore, it is likely that a student will receive more assistance at a higher cost private institution compared to a less expensive public college because the student's financial need will be higher at a private institution.

What is a financial aid package?

A student's financial aid package is a listing of all financial aid for which a student is eligible. It may consist of any combination of the following: grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.

What if my family's financial situation changes after we have completed the application?

Contact the Financial Aid Office and we will advise you what you need to do to be re-evaluated based on the change in circumstances. Most likely, you will have to complete some additional forms.

If my parents are divorced or separated, whose information is reported on the financial aid application?

The custodial parent is the parent that must complete the FAFSA. If the custodial parent has remarried, then the stepparent's financial information must also be provided.

Is there an income cut-off for financial aid?

No, there is no income cut-off for financial aid. While income is a factor when determining eligibility for need-based aid, other factors, such as household size, number of family members in college and the age of the oldest parent, are also taken into account. We encourage all students to apply for financial aid.

Will I receive the same amount of financial aid each year?

Hood College scholarships will be renewed for each year that you are a full-time undergraduate student, as long as you continue to meet the scholarship requirements. Scholarships are available for use in the first eight semesters of enrollment. Eligibility for federal and state aid, as well as Hood grants, will be re-evaluated each year. You will be required to complete a Renewal FAFSA each year so that eligibility for federal aid, state aid and Hood grants can be determined. Eligibility may change as information on the FAFSA changes from one year to the next.

What if our taxes will not be completed by your February 15 financial aid deadline?

Although we encourage you to complete your tax returns before completing the application process, we understand that sometimes this is not possible. You may use estimated amounts on the FAFSA form and correct the information once your taxes are complete.

What is Hood College's federal school code for the FAFSA?


What if I have additional questions?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (800) 922-1599 or e-mail