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What Other Costs Can My Financial Aid Award Cover?

Student walking in snow with pink umbrella

Swarthmore’s financial aid awards may cover more than the billed costs of attendance (tuition, housing, food, and student activity fee).


Study Abroad

If you choose to study abroad or at one of Swarthmore’s numerous approved exchange programs, you will be billed and aided as if you were still on campus. In addition, the College will provide you with a rounh2rip ticket from Philadelphia to your place of study. Contact the Off-Campus Study Office for additional information about approved programs.

Note: Most study-abroad programs do not offer campus work opportunities, so you may wish to borrow additional funds to make up for the semester of work aid where you will be abroad or off campus. Let us know if this applies to your situation.

Your eligibility for Swarthmore financial aid during study abroad will be based on Swarthmore’s actual charges and allowances for books and personal expenses as if you were living on campus. In practice, this policy allows for a more generous budget for your study abroad, since you will not pay the student activity fee, and off-campus study programs rarely expect students to buy many books. This leaves some room for the expenses you might incur for any necessary vaccinations or travel visas. Visit their website here for additional information.


Graduate or Professional School Application Fees

If you receive financial aid and your annual parent contribution is $1,000 or less, Swarthmore’s Financial Aid Office will send admission application fee waiver requests to graduate or professional schools on your behalf. In order to request fee waivers, please contact your assigned financial aid director and provide the following information for each graduate/professional school program:  

  • institution name
  • a copy of the institution’s fee waiver instructions
  • email or mailing address for the office requesting the information, including a specific name, if applicable

Please note that not all graduate or professional schools will waive admission application fees, but we will send our letters of request for any eligible student—both U.S. citizens and international students.


Test Fees for Graduate or Professional School Applicants

Swarthmore seniors with high financial need who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents have options for defraying the costs of graduate school testing fees. Note: there is no GMAT testing fee waiver program. Opportunities offered by the other testing programs include:

  • GRE Fee Reduction Program: Effective as of the 2018-19 academic year, ETS provides fee payment codes per their own process. Swarthmore’s Financial Aid Office is no longer able to provide GRE fee reduction certificates.
  • LSAT & Credential Assembly Service (CAS): Fee waivers for the LSAT & Credential Assembly Service (CAS) are available to students who meet the criteria listed on their website. LSAC recommends that students submit their completed fee waiver application at least six weeks prior to your region’s regular LSAT registration deadline.
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS): The AMCAS Fee Assistance Program assists students who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exam, and/or apply to medical schools that use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application.
  • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) Tests: Fee waivers may be available for students who meet all eligibility criteria. Qualified students may receive fee waivers for up to three Core tests, or one Praxis Subject Assessment (formerly the Praxis II tests). Students are eligible for a fee waiver only once during a testing year, and there are a limited number of waivers available per test date and per institution. All requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. View requirements and download the form on the ETS website.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): Fee waivers may be available for students by contacting the graduate school to which they are applying.  Schools who require GMAT scores may have access to a limited number of fee waivers.  The Financial Aid Office at Swarthmore does not. 

Additional Funding for Graduate and Professional School Application Expenses

Swarthmore’s Financial Aid Office increases the federal financial aid budget for all seniors by $600 in order to accommodate for expenses that graduating students tend to incur, including costs related to the job-search process or graduate school/professional school admission applications.

Although student financial need is met without student loans, financial aid recipients are asked if they wish to borrow federal student loans when they complete our aid application each year for the coming year. All U.S. citizens or permanent residents, whether aided or not, have access to the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Seniors who have not yet borrowed the full $7,500 available for their senior year are welcome to apply after reviewing our loan application instructions, and may contact their assigned financial aid director with any questions.