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Financial Aid Basics

Meeting the cost of education is a significant investment. The College of Idaho is committed to providing a comprehensive financial aid program that makes it financially possible for students to attend.            

How Aid Works

Financial aid might seem complicated but it's really pretty simple. There are details for each program and award, of course, but getting started shouldn't take you and your family very long.

Determining Eligibility 

Our main financial aid program is need-based, meaning that eligibility is determined by your family’s financial circumstances. While you and your parents have the primary responsibility for paying for college, financial aid can bridge the gap between the total costs and your ability to pay. We use a standard method to carefully review your family’s financial circumstances and establish an expected contribution from you and your parents. If we determine that you cannot meet the student budget based on that calculated amount, we will award or recommend scholarships, grants, or other resources to help you.

Student Responsibility 

Since you are the primary beneficiary of your education we expect you to pay a portion of your college costs. Your financial aid package for the academic year will include an expected contribution from student earnings. The total expected contribution from student earnings varies based on individual circumstances. In addition, you are expected to contribute from your personal assets, such as savings and investments, if any. You can also reduce or eliminate your expected contribution from student earnings by obtaining scholarships. Scholarships are also given based on financial need, but they can also be given for merit, talent, or specific reasons of a donor, like membership in a certain organization.

Parent Contribution 

We also expect your parents to pay for part of your education. Our goal is to treat families equitably while still maintaining the flexibility to recognize unusual situations. Take a look at our parent information page for details about the parent contribution and process.