Types of Financial Aid and Financing Options

Financial aid packages often include several components. Here's a quick introduction to the kinds of support we offer and the financing options available to you.

Grants and Scholarships

The biggest share of financial aid from Williams comes in the form of grants from the college, along with federal and state support. You don't repay these grants, and they don't require you to work a job or take out a loan.

Williams is famous for our Book Grant, which cover the full cost of all required textbooks and course materials for every aided student ... no matter which classes you take.

If you receive outside scholarships (from community organizations, national competitions, etc.), we'll first apply them to reduce or eliminate loans from your package. Next, to reduce your student contribution. After that, you can use them towards a one-time purchase of a computer. And, finally, any leftover amount can be applied to reduce your Williams grants.

Student Loans

Only 50 percent of aided Williams students are asked to take out loans. These loans make up at most a very small fraction of our financial aid packages. That's why our students graduate with lower average loan debt than students from any other college in the country. We don’t expect students to borrow more than $4,000 per year, although some families may choose to do so on their own.

Student Jobs

Nearly every financial aid recipient is offered the opportunity to work on campus as part of their package. Students typically work six to eight hours per week and use their earnings to help pay personal and travel expenses. You'll have the option to work fewer hours if you choose—you’ll just have to make up the difference from another source.

Options for Financing Your Education

Payment Plans

The Williams Payment Plan allows families to spread payments over four or five equal monthly installments with zero interest, instead of twice a year before the start of each term. For more information, visit the Student Accounts website.

Parent Loans

The federal PLUS Loan can help your family pay educational expenses not covered by other forms of financial aid, with a fixed interest rate and flexible loan limits. The repayment period can be up to 10 years after you’ve received the full loan amount.

The PLUS Loan program is available to parents (including step-parents) who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Learn more and find current interest rates at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus.