Apply for Financial Aid

CSS/Profile Code: 3080 | FAFSA Code: 003682 | Financial Aid Deadlines

Page Contents

First-Year and Transfer Students

It is our goal to provide each student with an estimated financial aid offer at the time they receive their Admissions decision. Students interested in receiving financial aid should complete the requirements below before the deadline in order to receive an award offer. Domestic first-year and transfer students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens must submit the following as early as possible. Independent students need not provide parent information. 

International students, please visit the International undergraduate financial aid page.

CSS Profile

Students are asked to complete the CSS Profile application using Bennington’s school code 3080. Information provided is used in the determination of Bennington need-based financial aid. The CSS Profile application is only required for entering first-year and transfer students. 

Domestic undergraduate students may submit CSS Profile for free if:

  • Family adjusted gross income is less than $100,000
  • The student qualified for an SAT fee waiver
  • The student is an orphan or ward of the court under the age of 24

CSS Profile for noncustodial parents of domestic undergraduate students is required from each parent of an applicant (including biological or adoptive parents). Application may also be free to noncustodial parents whose family adjusted gross income is less than $100,000.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Updated FAFSA Availability

Due to major changes as the result of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid is delaying the release of the 2024-25 FAFSA until December 31, 2023, three months after the usual October 1 release. See Bennington's financial aid deadlines.

What can you prepare now?

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  1. Create an account (FSA ID) if you don’t already have one on the Federal Student Aid website, and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating their FSA IDs.
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
    • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
  2. Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December. (FAFSA Code: 003682)
For additional resources and FAFSA Events 
  • Uaspire - nonprofit organization ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through college.  
  • VSAC.org - Vermont Student Assistance Corp.
  • MEFA.org - Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority 
Explaining the FAFSA Simplification Act

The FAFSA Simplification Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The law reduces the number of questions students will have to answer on the form, makes crucial changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965 to expand Pell Grant eligibility, and removes outdated restrictions to make federal student aid more accessible to all students. 

The FAFSA Simplification Act:

  • Introduces significant changes to the FAFSA application process, including changes to the FAFSA form. The need analysis formula, formally known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), will now be referred to as the Student Aid Index (SAI)
  • The new formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation, better reflects the FAFSA results, and implements a separate eligibility determination criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
  • The FAFSA is introducing the new term contributor, which refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student’s FAFSA form, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse. Being a contributor does not imply responsibility for the student's college costs. 
  • Changes in eligibility calculation. The adjustments to the new Student Aid Index (SAI) calculation will expand Federal Pell Grant eligibility to more students. 

The FAFSA Simplification Technical Corrections Act:

  • Updated language associated with Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • Provided additional flexibility for assisting students with unusual circumstances.
  • Modified the terms and conditions for students that qualify for Pell Grant funds based upon meeting special conditions currently associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant and the Children of Fallen Heroes Grant.
What is staying the same?

These federal aid requirements, rights and responsibilities have either not changed or had minor updates: 

  1. The FAFSA remains required annually for federal aid consideration and is available to U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens. How to fill out the FAFSA
  2. Questions introduced in 2023-24 about the applicant's sex, race, and ethnicity have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and remain only for statistical purposes.
  3. Dependency status questions to determine if your parents must provide their information remain the same.
  4. FAFSA will still request prior-prior year tax information. Families that had significant reduction in income due to extenuating circumstances can still request special circumstances review.
  5. Federal education loans requirements remain the same.
  6. Federal aid rights and responsibilities also didn't change.
    • Withdrawing early
    • Participation requirements
  7. Academic requirements for Federal Aid are still required to maintain eligibility.

We will continue to update this page as additional information becomes available. You can learn more about the specific changes, timeline, and how to prepare below.

Continuing Students

Deadlines

Currently enrolled undergraduate students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)application by the priority deadline of March 1, 2024, but no later than the April 15, 2024 deadline. Having your application/materials received on time ensures that your aid will be processed before the end of the spring term.

Updated FAFSA Release Date

There are major changes and improvements coming to the 2024-25 FAFSA form. As a result, the new form will be available on December 31, 2023.

Financial Aid Application Materials

  1. 2024-2025 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:
    • Log in to your StudentAid.gov account and be sure both you and your parent(s) email addresses are current.   Once the FAFSA launch date is announced you will be emailed to apply.  
    • Complete the FAFSA as soon as it opens in December.
  2. FERPA Consent Form: complete this at My Financial Aid; contact the Financial Aid Office if you have lost or forgotten your Bennington College financial aid web ID and password.
  3. IRS Tax Return Transcript is required for students receiving institutional need-based aid or federal loans. 
  4. Outside Scholarship Form: due by June 30, only from students who received an outside scholarship in the prior year and/or from those who will receive an outside scholarship for the coming year.

By May 30, you should:

  • Accept, decline, or reduce the funds in your financial aid award online at My Financial Aid.
  • Check My Financial Aid to see whether other forms are required, and print any required forms. Upload these directly into your My Financial Aid page.
  • If you want a Federal Direct Student Loan, but did not borrow last year, complete loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  • If a parent would like a Federal Parent PLUS loan, he/she must complete an application (and a Parent PLUS MPN, if he/she did not borrow last year). Your parent will need his/her own FSA ID to sign in and complete the online Federal Direct Parent PLUS application (and promissory note, if required).
  • State grant applicants, please be sure to meet state grant deadlines.