Current Student FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Williams’ financial aid program. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, please contact us.

    • FAFSA for the 2024-2025 year
      Beginning in 2024-2025, FAFSA simplification will require changes to the timing of our requirements. We understand that the FAFSA being released later this year may cause concern for you. The good news is that at Williams all of our institutional financial aid is based on the CSS Profile and it will be available by October 1, 2023, as usual. As part of our All-Grant financial aid program, we do not award student loans or federal work study; so, the FAFSA is not necessary to receive a financial aid offer from Williams. Once the FAFSA is available, we will communicate with students to determine next steps.
    • Is it too late to apply for financial aid?
      Williams will always meet 100% of your demonstrated need. You demonstrate this to us by filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications. We ask you to begin this process in mid-November for the following year. Our goal is to have returning student’s awards available by mid-May. If you are delayed in applying, you can still submit your information but you may not see your award until later in the summer after the fall bill has already been sent.
    • How can I appeal my financial aid award?
      We are happy to take a second look at your financial aid award if you can share new information for our office to consider. This may be a change of family income or a change at home that might impact your parent contribution. Please fill out the Financial Aid Request for Review form submit all materials to the SFS secure document upload site.
    • My family has had an emergency situation and I urgently need to get home. Can I receive assistance with travel costs?Williams College is fortunate to have resources (although not unlimited) to assist students with unexpected financial challenges they face throughout the year. We know that emergencies are stressful. Please refer to this form to learn more about funding related to both emergency and non-emergency situations.
    • There's an extra cost (i.e. lab fee, travel expenses) for a course I want to take. Does my financial aid cover that?
      Yes! The Book Grant covers all required course materials, like lab fees, art supplies, travel expenses, music equipment--including Independent Study courses. As long as it is required, it is covered! 
    • What is my Personal Grant money meant to cover?
      Your everyday expenses like your phone bill, toiletries, monthly medication, haircuts, etc...For that reason, you'll get a refund via direct deposit at the start of each semester to make sure you are ready to address those expenses when the term begins.
    • How do I book yearly travel to and from campus?
      Egencia for domestic students. International students will email our friend Bob Baker at Global Link Travel to book their travel.
    • How do I apply for a Federal Direct Student Loan?
      Click here to learn more about both student and parent federal and private loans.
    • A private loan would really help my family out right now. Where do I look for more information?
      First, borrow your Federal Direct Loan, if you're eligible. Your parents might be interested in either a federal Parent Plus loan, or shop around for a private educational lender. Williams has partnered with online lender comparison website called ELM Select to help you research and compare both student and parent private loan options.
    • How can I use outside scholarships that I receive?
      We do our best to allow you to keep as much of the outside/private scholarships as possible, but we are limited by federal regulations.  You may use up to $5,000 in outside scholarships to purchase a computer and related electronics over the course of your career at Williams.  More information can be found here
    • Is there any type of funding to purchase a computer?
      Yes, there are two ways through our office to purchase a computer.  The first is to use any outside/private scholarships to cover the cost of a computer. The other option is to borrow a student loan to finance a computer.  All of the details and steps are outlined here.
    • Am I allowed to buy my books elsewhere if The Williams Bookstore can’t get them for me or not in a timely manner?
      Yes. If you are enrolled in an independent study or thesis course, or a course offered by MCLA or Bennington College, please complete the applicable book grant request form located on our Forms and Helpful Resources page. If you are enrolled in any other course, please email [email protected] for further guidance.
    • If I receive financial aid, how do I make sure my textbooks are paid for with the Book Grant?
      Select the required materials at the Williams Bookstore, and swipe your Williams ID like a credit card.
    • EphPay requires me to use my Williams ID number in order to log-in. How do I get my ID number?
      Your Williams ID number is essential when paying bills, sending materials to the SFS Office, and when you call and/or email questions to the office. We ask for your ID number to verify your identity before sharing any information. Please share your Williams ID number with your parents so that they can verify your identity when they call our office as well.You can find your ID number within your Williams Student Record after you log in with your Williams email address.
    • How do I make payments to my student account?  EphPay: student account portal
      EphPay! Activate your account so you can make one-time electronic payments or set up a payment plan.
    • Can my parent(s)/guardian(s) get their own log-ins for paying my student bill?
      Yes, but you have to set them up as authorized users on EphPay.
    • I noticed a credit balance on my account. Can I request that as a refund?
      Yes, as long as all charges for the semester have been applied.
    • Can I send a wire payment directly to Williams and not through EphPay?Growing awareness and concerns of scams attacking educational institutions and their international students have motivated Williams to no longer accept direct wire transfers as a family payment option. Electronic payments from a student or family must be made through EphPay - we cannot accept direct payments to our bank, in our office, or by phone. We continue to partner with Flywire, our payments solution provider, to provide you with EphPay, a secure and easy to use platform to make your payments to Williams. Benefits of using EphPay include:
      -In many cases you can pay in your local currency.
      -You benefit from Flywire’s competitive, discounted exchange rates, which are typically unmatched by traditional banks. This can add up to thousands of dollars in savings per payment.
      -You can track the status of your payment with your tracking link.
      -Flywire guides you through the entire payment process.
      -Unlike large financial institutions, Flywire provides round-the-clock multilingual support across multiple channels, including phone, chat and email.
    • How does my financial aid change if I am able to live off-campus my senior year?
      Should you be approved to live off campus as a senior, we assume that your costs for rent, utilities, and food will be similar to the cost of Williams room and board. For 2024-25 the budget includes $8,750 in housing expenses for a 9-month period (September to May), which equates to approximately $972 per month for rent and utilities. Likewise, your budget allows for $8,510 for food, or approximately $946 per month. Staying within these expense guidelines will ensure that your financial aid award is adequate to meet your needs. Additional Williams grant funding is not available if living off campus proves more expensive than living on campus; however, you can consider loan if you are eligible.
    • If I change my meal plan, will it affect my financial aid?
      No. Your financial aid package is directly affected by your academic year budget, which always includes the cost of the 21-meal plan, even if you switch to a cheaper plan (we assume you’d spend the difference between plans on necessary food somewhere other than in the dining halls). If you need assistance calculating the impact on your student account (term bill), contact SFS advisor. Instructions on how to change your meal plan can be found on this Dining Services webpage.
    • I live far away and can’t take my stuff home with me in the summer. Does the college provide any assistance with summer storage?
      The Offices of Financial Aid and Student Life (OSL) have arranged to make FREE storage available to all financial aid recipients who wish to store personal belongings while away from campus. So that we can accommodate all students who need storage space, some limitations exist. Students will receive information from OSL with complete instructions about the process each year. International students should view special instructions on the International Student Services webpage.
    • Why you should file a tax return / Do I need to file a tax return?
      Do I Need to File a 2023 Federal Tax Return
    • Is my scholarship/grant taxable
      The Tax Reform Act of 1986 specifies that scholarship amounts granted for expenses incurred are taxable income, if the aggregate scholarship amounts exceed tuition and fees (not including room and board), books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at an eligible institution. Click here for more information regarding taxable scholarships and grants. Williams will reimburse any current undergraduate financial aid student for the amount of federal tax liability generated by their taxable scholarships and grants as detailed in their Williams financial aid award. Complete this Google Form to request reimbursement.
    • Can the SFS Office help me with filing my taxes?
      Because we are not trained tax preparers, we cannot help you with filing your taxes. You can seek help and file your taxes online for free on the IRS website.
    • How do I access my 1098-T tuition statement?
      A student can view and download a copy of the 1098-T in Williams Student Records > Campus Finances > Taxes
      For more information regarding your 1098-T statement, click here.
  • All questions regarding Williams Winter Study eligibility or costs should be addressed by the Winter Study Office.

    • Does Williams provide financial aid for the GRE® and other testing fees?
      While SFS does not have available funds in our office to help with this, you should visit the '68 Center for Career Exploration and look at the Career Access Fund which provides support for expenses related to career preparation, internships and job interviews, and graduate study preparation.In addition, ETS (the company that administers the GRE®) offers a limited number of GRE® Fee Reduction Certificates on a first-come, first-served basis that are available for college seniors and non-enrolled college graduates who meet eligibility requirements. Contact the grad schools to which you are applying and see if they’ll waive or reduce their application fees. Often they will, and they may require a letter from our office attesting that you are receiving financial aid at Williams. Please contact us as early as possible to request such a letter and be sure to include complete information about what is required to qualify for their waiver.
    • Can the college help me with paying my graduate school application fee?
      Unfortunately, no. The college does not have the funding to cover graduate school application fees, For more information regarding preparing for graduate studies, visit the '68 Center for Career Exploration's Pre-Professional Graduate School site.
    • Are there Senior Week fee waivers or discounts?
      Yes. The Office of Student Life coordinates Senior Week and offers discounted tickets and waivers to eligible financial aid students. Contact Student Life for further details.
    • My family wants to see me graduate but can’t afford a hotel. Can you help?
      Yes. If you’re receiving financial aid, your family can stay in a campus dormitory for a nominal fee. Visit the Commencement site for details.