Hartwick College Campus at sunrise

Financial Aid FAQ & Resources

You have questions. We have answers.

Families should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year. All federal and most state and institutional aid programs (grants, loans, and employment) require the FAFSA.

Hartwick College offers an interest-free tuition payment plan. Instead of making two lump-sum payments, the payment plan allows you to pay in 10 monthly installments. When you enroll in this plan, the tuition account will be credited each semester with one-half of the contracted amount. Program enrollment starts on June 1. A nominal one-time fee is incurred at the beginning of the plan each year. This plan is ideal for families who choose not to take out all of the loans offered in the financial aid award.

The FAFSA reflects your family’s financial circumstances at a single point in time. If unusual expenses or circumstances influence your ability to contribute to your education and are not reflected in the FAFSA, we encourage you to provide us with this information in writing. We will evaluate your special circumstances and may consider them in determining eligibility for need-based aid.

Your application for admission and FAFSA are reviewed carefully so that we can offer you all of the funds for which you qualify. When a student has special circumstances like those discussed above, we will review his or her eligibility for aid. If you feel that your award should be re-evaluated based on this reason, please call us. We will do all that we can to help make Hartwick affordable for you.

Using your completed FAFSA and information such as your income, assets, size of the family, and number of dependent children in college, the federal government will determine how much you and your family can afford to pay for college. This is called your Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC. Your EFC is the same for all colleges and universities.

The difference between your EFC and the cost of attendance (COA) at a given college is known as your financial need. For example, the cost of attendance at Hartwick College is $66,733. For a student with an EFC of $20,000, financial need is $46,733 ($66,733 – $20,000 = $46,733). Unlike your EFC, your financial need changes from one college to another, based on each school’s cost of attendance.

Consumer Information about financial aid is located on the Hartwick website.  Hartwick encourages you to read and understand all that you can about your financial aid.  If you aren’t sure about something, feel free to ask. We’re here to help!

Student Consumer Information

Review your financial aid award and call us at 607-431-4130 or email us at finaid@hartwick.edu with any questions that you have. Once you decide that Hartwick is the school for you, send in your enrollment confirmation form with your $400 enrollment deposit. We will contact you early in the summer with instructions on how to accept your direct loans.

In most cases, students use a parent as a cosigner. However, a parent who has been denied a PLUS loan is not likely to be acceptable as a cosigner. In that case, you should ask a relative (e.g., aunt or uncle, sibling, or grandparent) or family friend to cosign. Generally, a cosigner must have a history of good credit and minimum annual income of $16,000; lenders also consider debt-to-income ratio in their evaluation. All federal loan options should be exhausted before considering alternative student loans.

Some lenders may approve loans to upperclass students without a cosigner. A credit history is required (credit card on which payments have been made regularly and on time). The interest rate on this type of loan is usually higher than a cosigned loan.

For the 2024-25 academic year, you’re considered an independent student only if at least one of the following criteria applies to you:

  • You were born before January 1, 2000
  • You’re married as of the day you apply (or you’re separated but not divorced)
  • You have children who receive more than half their support from you
  • You have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you at the time you apply
  • Both your parents are deceased, you are (or were until age 18) a ward or dependent of the court, or are in legal guardianship
  • You’re a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or are currently on active duty
  • You are homeless or at risk for homelessness

In unusual cases, a financial aid administrator can review documentation of specific circumstances and change your dependency status. Questions about specific circumstances that could result in an override of the dependency requirements should be addressed to a Financial Aid staff member.

After approval by the Office of Residential Life, your cost of attendance (which is based upon living on campus) will be changed to reflect your off-campus/commuter status. 

While both are federal loans in the student’s name, for the subsidized Direct, the U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school. In the case of an unsubsidized, the borrower is responsible for interest during the life of the loan; financial need is not a requirement. Repayment begins six months after graduation or the student leaves school.

Denial of a federal parent PLUS Loan entitles the student to borrow an additional loan as an unsubsidized amount up to $4,000 for first- and second-year students and $5,000 for third- and fourth-year students. Other options include alternative student loans (with a credit-worthy cosigner) and the Tuition Payment Plan.

Students are considered full-time if they take a minimum of 12 credit-hours in the fall and 12 credit-hours for J Term/spring combined. Students who wish to drop a course and fall below full-time status after the add-drop period has ended should contact the Financial Aid Office for guidance.

Generally speaking, outside scholarships reduce loans, both parent and student, to cover the cost of attendance. When we receive notification of receipt of an outside scholarship, we usually reduce the parent loan or alternative student loan first, then other student loans. In most cases, these scholarships are intended to meet financial need; students may lose federal eligibility for programs such as Work-Study and/or Subsidized Loan (part or all of the Subsidized amount may be moved into the Unsubsidized Loan program) or Hartwick gift aid if the total cost of attendance is exceeded. Hartwick will also reduce its scholarship assistance if outside awards stipulate that they may be applied only to tuition and cause tuition to be overfunded by a combination of Hartwick merit scholarships, New York State TAP, and the outside award.


We know that a great college education is a major investment for you and your family, and we offer a number of attractive options that can help make a life-changing Hartwick education affordable.

Federal Direct Student Loan

Eligibility: Need based upon federal methodology must have been met; first-year students can receive no more than $5,500 through the two Direct Loan programs.

Terms: Fixed interest loan currently at 5.50%. Students begin repayment six months after leaving school or dropping below half-time status. Interest accrues while in school. Second-year students can borrow up to $6,500, third- and fourth-year students can borrow up to $7,500 each year. Independent students can borrow an additional $4,000 under this program in their first and second years and $5,000 in their third and fourth years.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Eligibility: Families can borrow up to our cost minus all other aid and scholarships received. Parent borrower must be a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Terms: Fixed interest rate of 8.05%; repayment begins immediately after full disbursement of loan; standard 10-year repayment.

The Tuition Payment Plan

Eligibility: Requires no application for aid. Families can finance up to our cost minus all other aid received.

Terms: Enrollment fee. Interest-free payment plan, divides balance into 10 equal monthly payments- spread out during the academic year. Payments begin July 1 for the upcoming academic year.

Students may also apply for a variety of alternative or private student loans to cover costs. These loans are in the student’s name, can be deferred during enrollment, and can play an important role in financing your education. Before choosing an alternative loan, be sure you have exhausted all your federal options.


Learn More

Office of Financial Aid

Bresee Hall, 2nd Floor
Hartwick College
One Hartwick Drive
P.O. Box 4020
Oneonta, NY 13820-4020
Fax: 607-431-4006