Financial Aid How Aid Works

Understanding Your Award

Curious to know what an actual financial aid award letter looks like? Open this PDF of a generic Dartmouth award letter or check out the excerpted content below it.

Dartmouth Financial Aid Award Example

How to Read an Award Letter

Our Financial Aid Officers sometimes receive questions about how to read an award letter. We hope that these notes will help you to understand the information we send to you.

Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition - $46,764
  • Housing - $8,286
  • Food - $5,773
  • Books - $1,176
  • Miscellaneous - $2,010
  • Fees - $1,514

(A) Total Cost $65,523

The cost of attendance includes expenses which will appear on your student bill (tuition, fees, housing and food) and expenses which will not appear on your student bill such as books and miscellaneous expenses (such as laundry and personal care items) and in some cases transportation. 

Family Responsibility

  • Student Contribution - $2,800
  • Parent Contribution - $5,000

(B) Total Family Contribution - $7,800

For the total family contribution, both the parent and the student are expected to contribute towards the cost of education. The parent contribution is based on the financial information supplied on the applications. We expect students to work during the summer, or whichever leave term they are not on campus, and contribute towards their costs. For the 2015-2016 academic year the minimum student contribution for first year students was $2,800. For returning students the range will between $3,000 and $3,100. 

​Determined Need

(C) Need as Determined by Dartmouth (A-B=C) - $57,723

The determined need is the amount of money that Dartmouth calculated as your family's need: "Cost of Education" (A) minus "Total Family Contribution" (B) equals "Determined Need" (C).

Financial Aid Eligibility

(D) Total Aid (C=D) - $57,723

The financial aid eligibility section also shows you where your aid comes from, which parts need to be repaid, and which amounts are earned by you.

Sources of Aid

  • Dartmouth General Scholarship - $55,273*
  • Federal Work-Study - $2,450**
  • Loans - $0 ***

* Scholarships are a gift. They do not have to be repaid.

** Work-Study is a type of aid which is not applied to the bill. The student will receive a paycheck for the number of hours he or she works. These earnings are meant to go towards out-of-pocket expenses, such as books, travel, and personal care items. Dartmouth's Student Employment Office lists jobs and helps students with Work-Study placements.

*** Loans must be repaid.

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