While the cost of a college education is a major investment, its value and the fit between your student and the institution are key factors. This page outlines our commitment to making a Dickinson education affordable and to ensuring that your student has access to our respected and accessible faculty, widely admired educational opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities, varied co-curricular and extracurricular experiences and so much more.

Our hope is that this will be a useful tool to plan and manage your investment in a college education.

By the Numbers

For examples of the value and affordability of a Dickinson education, look to the professional successes of our graduates, our impressive 9:1 student-faculty ratio, the college’s outstanding campus resources and our four-year graduation rate.

The evidence also is found in financial-aid statistics for the most recent entering class (2019):

  • All admitted students who demonstrated financial need and met application deadlines received aid. 
  • The total need-based package for domestic grant recipients averaged $39,844 (grants, loans and work study).
  • The average institutional award for those with need (including merit scholarships and need-based grants) was $31,478.
  • Nearly 70 percent of the class received grant or scholarship aid from Dickinson.

And from our graduates:

  • Our four-year graduation rate is 80 percent for the class of 2015.
  • The median student loan debt for those in the class of 2015 who borrowed was $22,000.
  • Our most recent three-year cohort default rate for Federal Stafford Loans (FY 2011) was 1.7 percent, compared to the national average of 13.7 percent.
  • One year after graduation, 91 percent of our graduates are either employed or attending graduate school.

Commitment to Affordability

Our investment in you. Endowment, alumni and foundation funds offset almost 20 percent ($13,000) of the actual cost for educating each of our enrolled students.

A realistic budget. We base your eligibility for our financial aid on the total cost of attendance, not just direct costs, so that you’ll have a more realistic budget and financial-aid package. The Net Price Calculator is designed to give you an early estimate of eligibility for need-based financial aid.

Honoring outside awards. Dickinson College does not reduce its institutional scholarship or grant award to those receiving outside scholarships or grants unless the student's total gift aid exceeds Dickinson's charges for tuition, fees, room and board.

Programs enhancing access and affordability. In addition to providing grants and scholarships, Dickinson is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to assist students and families with the rising costs of higher education. Programs and opportunities include our Community College Partnership, Public Service Fellowship (including service as a Global Citizen Year Fellow) and participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Access to distinctive opportunities. To aid our students in making their dreams of study abroad possible, financial aid is portable to approved abroad programs. Additionally, students may benefit from college funding for research, field opportunities, conference attendance and stipends for summer internships. And, if you are planning to pursue a graduate degree, you'll find a number of agreements with grad schools.

Value of a Dickinson education. The value of a Dickinson education is not measured in dollars and cents but rather in the outcomes of our alumni. Discover what they have to say about their experiences and how their education prepared them for success.

More Information

Discover why Bloomberg BusinessWeek says Dickinson is a “Holy Grail” college, where a bachelor’s degree offers an above-average return on investment.

Questions? Contact:

Financial Aid Office
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
Fax: 717-245-1972