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General Philosophy

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

Read more about Occidental's aid programs in the brochure below. You can also download the PDF.

Determining Eligibility

Need-based financial aid is based on two primary factors: the annual Cost of Attendance and your family’s annual calculated contribution.

Your Cost of Attendance is a budget on which your financial aid is based. We include the direct costs that you pay to Oxy (tuition, fees, on-campus housing and food) as well as standard estimates for the indirect costs of attendance such as books, supplies, miscellaneous personal expenses, and travel to campus. Your cost of attendance will vary depending on where you live: on-campus, off-campus or with family.

We determine the second factor, your family’s annual calculated contribution, from the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CSS Profile application, and supporting documentation of a family’s income. If your parents were never married or are currently separated or divorced, your family’s calculated contribution includes a contribution from your noncustodial parent. All noncustodial parents are required to submit their own CSS Profile. In a limited number of cases, if there are special circumstances, we may waive the CSS Profile from the noncustodial parent. You must submit the CSS Profile Waiver Request for the Noncustodial Parent for consideration; submission of this request does not guarantee that a waiver will be approved.

Your family’s annual contribution is determined by (but not limited to) the following factors:

·      Parental Income (both taxed and untaxed, including business income)

·      Parental Assets (cash, savings, checking, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 529 accounts, real estate equity, business assets, etc.)

·      Number in the family and number of siblings enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program

·      Student Income (both taxed and untaxed)

·      Student Assets (cash, savings, checking, trust funds, UTMA/UGMA investments, etc.)

All students are expected to contribute a minimum amount annually from summer earnings as well as 25% of their assets per year. The minimum amount first year students are expected to contribute from summer earnings is $2,650.

Financial Need

Your eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by the following simple calculation:

                        Your Cost of Attendance

Minus              Your family’s calculated contribution

=                      Your Financial Need

Your financial need determines your eligibility for various need-based financial aid programs including need-based grant, work-study programs and student loans.

Your Financial Aid Offer

Your financial aid eligibility, including all merit, need-based and non-need-based aid, is coordinated by the Office of Financial Aid and is presented to you on your financial aid offer. First-year students receive both a paper and a electronic version of their financial aid offers. Currently Oxy students see their aid offer within their Financial Aid Student Portal. If you are considering attending Occidental College, we encourage you to use our Net Price Calculator for an estimate of the financial aid you may receive; the Net Price Calculator is not intended for use by incoming transfer students or current Oxy students.

Merit-based scholarships, based on academic ability, achievement, motivation and promise, are awarded by the Office of Admission at the time of admission only. While merit scholarships are determined and awarded to students separate from any need-based aid eligibility, federal regulations require merit-based scholarships to be considered as a resource towards meeting your financial need. Merit scholarships are awarded for eight semesters as long as the student maintains the minimum GPA required by the scholarship program.

Academic Merit Scholarships

Academic merit scholarships, based on academic ability, achievement, motivation, and promise, are awarded by the Office of Admission during the admission application process. Academic merit scholarships are determined and awarded to students separate from any need-based aid they may receive. Merit scholarships are awarded for four years (8 semesters) as long as the student maintains the minimum GPA required by the scholarship program. 

Contact Admission & Aid
Collins House

1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041