How Financial Aid Works

How Financial Aid Works

Need help understanding financial aid? Start here...

General Philosophy

Financial Aid at Oxy is built on the idea that parents and students are primarily responsible for paying for college to the extent which they are able. After evaluating each family's eligibility, Oxy puts together a package of grants, scholarships, work programs, and student loans to meet a student's full demonstrated need.

Determining Eligibility

We use the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA applications to determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is a measurement of what your family is expected to pay toward college costs.

If your parents are divorced/separated, we also consider the EFC of your noncustodial parent when determining overall financial need. This information is collected through the Noncustodial PROFILE.

Your EFC is determined by (but not limited to) some of the following factors:

  • Parental income (taxed and untaxed)
  • Parental assets (cash, savings, stocks, bonds, 529 accounts, real estate equity, etc.)
  • Household size
  • Number of children enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program
  • Student income (taxed and untaxed)
  • Student assets (cash, savings, trust funds, UTMA/UGMA investments, etc.)

Financial Need

The full cost of attending Occidental involves more than tuition, fees, room, and board. Books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses are also considered. To determine your eligibility for financial aid, we subtract your EFC from the total cost of attendance (COA):

COA - EFC = Financial Need

Financial need is your financial aid eligibility, which we use to award you financial aid awards such as scholarships, grants, work programs, and loans. 

Your Award

At Occidental, most first-year students are awarded $5,700 in need-based loans and $3,100 in work study. Any remaining need is met with grants and scholarships.

We encourage you to use our Net Price Calculator for an idea of the financial aid you could receive if you attend Oxy.



Collins House
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Phone: (323) 259-2700
or (800) 825-5262
Fax: (323) 341-4875