Cost of Attendance Terms

Academic Year – Dickinson’s academic year comprises two terms, the fall semester (late August through mid-December) and spring semester (late January through mid-May). There is a short optional summer session, but the cost is in addition to the academic year cost of attendance and financial aid is not available for the summer term.

Tuition and Fees – Dickinson's tuition fees for the academic year is based on our standard charge for full-time coursework (normally three or four courses per semester) and the Student Activities Fee that goes to support such activities provided for students as student clubs and organizations, concerts and other on-campus events.

Room and Board – Dickinson is a residential college and students live and eat on campus. Room and board is based on our standard charge for a double room and usual meal plan (“board” = three meals per day, or the equivalent) available when the college is in session (not on break). Students who require special diets can work with the director of dining services to ensure that their dietary needs are met.

Health Insurance – All students must be covered by U.S. health insurance in order to study at Dickinson. Students who do not have U.S.-based health insurance will be automatically enrolled to ensure coverage. Health insurance is billed in full for the entire year on each fall semester bill. Learn more about health insurance and contact information for our partner provider. 

Books – The cost of books vary per semester and per student depending on the requirements of the courses they have selected. Books are available at the College Bookstore and are typically purchased at the beginning of the semester.

Personal Expenses – These expenses are estimated and can vary based on each individual student’s personal spending habits and needs. Some personal expenses may be used for a late night pizza, residence hall room decorating, toiletries or a weekend excursion if they find time in their very active academic and extracurricular campus life.

Travel – Travel is estimated and is referred to in two different situations. First, travel is included in cost of attendance as an indirect cost for  the estimated costs associated with the student’s travel within the U.S. throughout the academic year. The second travel situation is the additional travel costs, not calculated in the cost of attendance, for students who live outside of the U.S. All travel costs depend on the student’s location, travel plans throughout the year and the frequency of returning home throughout their Dickinson career.

Many Dickinson students do remain on campus or in the local community over breaks and summers, while others return home, travel to friends or relatives, or spend time traveling and site-seeing. Many Dickinson students also hold campus jobs, pursue internships and research positions or pursue other opportunities both within the U.S. or internationally.

Financial Aid Terms and Opening Your Local Bank Account

Financial Aid Eligibility and Need-Based Financial Aid - A student’s financial-aid eligibility is the difference between the estimated family contribution (EFC) and the cost of attendance. The estimated family contribution is calculated from information that the family submits on the CSS PROFILE or the International Student Financial Aid Application and the Certificate of Finances form. Eligibility, then, is determined as follows: COA minus EFC equals Eligibility (“financial need”).

Those accepted students eligible for financial aid would receive a NEED-BASED financial-aid award that meets their demonstrated financial need as calculated above. Students with a need-based financial-aid award package may also receive a merit-based scholarship as part of their financial-award package.

Merit-Based Aid – Merit-based aid is different from need-based aid, as each student is evaluated on their own merits through the admissions application review process, regardless of financial need. Merit aid is offered in the form of Merit Scholarships. The awarding of merit scholarships is a highly selective process and only a small portion of the talented applicant pool that have the credentials for consideration ultimately receive one. Learn more about the Dickinson Merit Scholarships and their terms on the scholarship page

Scholarships and Grants – Both scholarships and grants are often referred to as “gift aid” because, unlike a loan, they do not have to be repaid. These awards are based either on academic merit or financial need or a combination of both.

Institutional Job Capacity – also referred to as “work study” is the opportunity provided to students to work on campus in order to help with miscellaneous expenses such as personal items, books and supplies and travel within the U.S. during periods when the college is closed (fall, winter and spring breaks). Most students are offered between $2,200 and 2,500 as their institutional job opportunity. The usual award is equal to between 10-12 hours per week although many students choose to work additional hours. U.S. immigration regulations limit students to no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

All first-year students work for Dining Services. After the first year, students may apply for any of the job openings listed though the Student Employment Office. Positions are available in such areas as the library, in faculty offices and in such departments as admission, athletics, student development and the media and computer centers.

Opening Your Local Bank Account – Students are encouraged to open a local bank account to manage their personal finances and will learn how to open an account at orientation. Students must be physically present at the bank to open their account. See the bank information page for a list of local banks in Carlisle. 

Hurwitz Loan –The Hurwitz Loan is a low-interest student loan offered by Dickinson College (not an outside bank). Students sign a Promissory Note that contains all of the loan provisions. In general, the terms are as follows: fixed annual interest rate is 5.0%; interest is not charged and repayment does not begin until six months following the student’s graduation or the date that the student ceases enrollment at the college; the repayment period is up to 10 years ($40 per month minimum payment); and the college may grant an additional deferment of payment for full-time graduate studies. Students can decline the loan offer, but should be prepared to make up for the difference by increasing the family contribution by that same amount.

Self-Help: Self-help refers to the parts of the financial-aid package where the student is contributing to their own cost of attendance through the Hurwitz Loan and Institutional job capacity. Self help is typically included in all international student aid packages. A student can decline the loan or Institutional job capacity but be prepared to make up for the difference by increasing the family contribution by that same amount.

Billing & Payment Policies

Payment Due Date - The billed cost of attendance for the academic year is broken down into two payment due dates, one before each semester. The bill for the fall semester is due in late July and the bill for the spring semester is due in early January. The contact for Billing and Payment is the Dickinson Office of Student Accounts.

Payment Methods – Information regarding the different ways to pay your Dickinson bill can be found on the financial operations site.