Understanding Your Financial Aid Award

What are the key factors which determine need-based financial aid at Gettysburg?

Although each family has different financial circumstances, the key factors in determining a family’s financial need are:

  • parent income
  • parent assets and investments
  • student income
  • student assets and investments
  • the number of family members

Once a family’s financial need is determined using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, eligibility for Gettysburg College assistance is reviewed based upon institutional calculations.

Students receive all of the Federal Financial Aid (including Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Student Loan, Federal Pell and/or Federal SEOG Grant) for which they are eligible based on the FAFSA calculations. Students receive institutional funds, such as the Gettysburg College Grant, based on our institutional methodology.

What is not counted in determining financial need?

At Gettysburg, we do not consider the value of retirement accounts, a family’s consumer debt level, and secondary or graduate school expenses for other siblings. In most circumstances, the value of a family’s primary home of residence is not considered.

What about emergencies or unexpected costs?

Both the FAFSA and PROFILE calculations provide an allowance for a portion of parent assets in case of emergencies or other significant financial expenses. This leaves a smaller amount, if any, of parent assets which are counted towards determining a family’s financial contribution towards college costs.

How are merit scholarships awarded?

Decisions on Gettysburg’s merit scholarship recipients are made as part of the admissions review process. The selection process is competitive with awards going to top-ranking applicants based upon criteria such as grade point average, strength of schedule, class rank (if available), and SAT or ACT scores (if provided).

Because of federal guidelines, merit scholarships are listed on financial aid notifications and considered as a source of financial aid. Gettysburg’s merit scholarships are awarded at the time of admission. Once enrolled at Gettysburg, students do not receive consideration for merit scholarships and scholarship values are not changed.

Merit scholarships are available for up to eight semesters. To maintain an academic scholarship, enrolled students must achieve the required cumulative GPA at the end of each academic year:

  • Eisenhower Scholarship- cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each year
  • Presidential and Lincoln Scholarships- cumulative GPA of 2.75 at the end of the first year; cumulative GPA of 3.0 in future years
  • David Wills Scholarship- cumulative GPA of 2.75 at the end of each year
  • 1832 Founders Scholarship- cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of each year

How do Gettysburg’s merit scholarships and need-based financial aid awards work together?

Here are a few examples of how Gettysburg’s need-based financial aid awards may be affected if a student receives a merit scholarship.

Example 1: Student is eligible for a $45,000 Gettysburg College Grant (based upon financial need) and is awarded a $33,000 1832 Founders Scholarship.

Financial Aid Award will include:

  • $33,000 1832 Founders Scholarship
  • $12,000 Gettysburg College Grant

Example 2: Student is eligible for a $10,000 Gettysburg College Grant (based upon financial need) and is awarded a $37,000 David Wills Scholarship.
Financial Aid Award will include:

  • $37,000 David Wills Scholarship

Are student loans included in financial aid awards?

Students who submit a FAFSA are automatically eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Student Loan. We view financing a Gettysburg education as a partnership between the College and the family, including the student. Student loans are one of the ways in which students can invest in their educational costs.

We encourage students to be informed borrowers by borrowing only what they really need, keeping track of federal student loans through the Federal Student Aid website, and using a loan calculator to estimate repayment options (try this loan simulator or finaid.org).