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Home > Student Services >
Financial Aid

Information for Undergraduate Students

Applying for Aid | Types of AidInternational Students

Applying for Financial Aid

Mills maintains a strong financial aid program. Currently, more than 90% of our entering undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance. As a Mills student, you may continue to receive aid as long as you maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the financial aid policy section of the Mills catalog. In the case of need-based financial aid, assuming little change in your family financial circumstances from year to year, you can expect a similar level of aid for each of your undergraduate years as long as you meet the College's published application deadline. If you are at all concerned about your ability to pay for college, you should apply for financial aid.

Your potential need for financial aid will not affect our admission decision. We select applicants on a "need-blind" basis, though being admitted to Mills does not guarantee financial assistance.

When to Apply

Don't wait until you've been admitted to Mills to apply for financial aid. Priority for financial aid will be given to students who meet the published deadlines. Even candidates who initially do not feel they need financial assistance are strongly encouraged to submit the appropriate application materials by the corresponding deadlines.

How to Apply

To apply for financial aid, students must complete the required financial aid forms and submit them by the published deadlines.

California students who meet the requirements of AB 540 but  are ineligible for federal financial aid should complete the requirements indicated in the Financial Aid Application Process for AB 540 Eligible Students section below. 

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application for AB 540 Eligible Students, use estimated income and estimated tax figures for the previous year if tax returns are not yet completed. Financial aid awards will be adjusted later if the actual income and taxes paid differ significantly from the estimates.

The Federal School Code for Mills College is 001238.

Financial Aid Application Process for AB 540-Eligible Students

Students who meet the requirements of AB 540 and who are not eligible for federal financial aid will be considered for institutional (Mills) scholarships and Cal Grants upon admission to Mills and completion of the following financial aid requirements:

  • California Dream Act Application for AB 540 Eligible Students
  • Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (included in the California Dream Act Application and available in January)
  • Affidavit regarding filing of application to legalize immigration status

The California Dream Act of 2011 became law through the passage of two bills, Assembly Bill 130 (AB130) and Assembly Bill 131 (AB131). AB131 went into effect on January 1, 2013 and allows students who meet the requirements of AB 540 and who are ineligible for federal financial aid to apply for Cal Grants by completing the California Dream Act Application for AB 540 Eligible Students and submitting a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (included in the California Dream Act Application).  

To meet the requirements of AB 540, a student must:

  • have attended a California high school for three or more full academic years (between grades 9 through 12)
  • have graduated from a California high school or have attained the equivalent thereof, such as a High School Equivalency Certificate issued by the California State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency resulting from the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), prior to the start of the term for which she plans to enroll
  • in the case of a person without lawful immigration status, have filed an affidavit with the College stating that she has filed an application to legalize her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as she is eligible to do so
  • not hold a valid non-immigrant visa

Non-immigrants, as defined by federal immigration law, have been admitted to the United States temporarily and may have been granted one of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TN, TD, V, TROV, or NATO.

Financial Aid for International Visit and Domestic Visit Programs

For students participating in a Mills-affiliated international visit (study abroad) or domestic visit program, federal and state sources of financial aid will transfer to assist with program costs.

The amount of a student's federal and/or state aid available for this purpose will be determined by the M Center. Federal and/or state sources of financial aid will be adjusted according to the costs of the program in keeping with federal and state regulations.

Institutional scholarships, i.e. merit and need-based Mills scholarships, cannot be transferred toward the cost of a domestic visit or international visit (study abroad) program.

Travel costs usually are not included in published program fees and are the responsibility of the participating student.   

Notification of Awards

Students are notified by email when their financial aid awards are ready for viewing online in myMILLS via the Mills Resource Portal

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Types of Financial Aid

Financial assistance for attending Mills can come from the following sources:

All applicants for need-based financial aid must apply for a Federal Pell Grant. Similarly, California residents also must apply for a California State Grant.

It is important to note that even though you must apply for all available federal and state financial aid, if you do not qualify for this assistance you may still be eligible for assistance from Mills through our institutional aid program.

Grants and Scholarships

Scholarships and grants from federal and state sources, Mills, and private outside organizations do not require repayment. While most grants and scholarships are based on demonstrated financial need, others are based solely on academic achievement, ability, and promise.

In order to be considered for the need-based federal awards below, a student must:

  • demonstrate financial need
  • be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen (for federal grants)
  • have a valid Social Security number (for federal grants)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate or have completed high school education in a homeshool setting approved under state law

To be considered for need-based institutional (Mills) scholarships, a student must:

  • demonstrate financial need
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate or have completed high school education in a homeshool setting approved under state law

Eligibility for need-based institutional funding is determined by:

  • a review of income, assets, and household information as reported on the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application
  • academic information
  • available funding

Priority for Mills scholarship funding is given to students who meet the published financial aid deadlines.

Most federal/state grants and need-based institutional scholarships/grants are disbursed directly to a student's account electronically in two separate payments.

If all disbursement requirements have been met, the first disbursement is made at the start of the fall semester, and the second disbursement is made at the of the spring semester.

Federal Grant Programs

Two federal programs provide grant assistance based on need.

  • Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need who have not received a baccalaureate degree. A student's eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is determined by the information provided on the student's FAFSA each year. To qualify, a student must be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen. Award amounts are estimated and are subject to changes in federal legislation. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funding a student may receive over her lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. The six-year maximum applies to all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. Additional information regarding the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding students may receive over their lifetime is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG program) allocates grant aid directly to the College which, in turn, awards these funds to its neediest students.

Additional information regarding federal grants and scholarships can be accessed at www.studentaid.ed.gov.

State Grant Programs

The California Student Aid Commission administers grant programs for undergraduates and is an important source of support for California residents.

  • Cal Grant A tuition grant awards are based, in part, on financial need and grade point average and range up to $9,084 for students attending private California colleges.
  • Cal Grant B awards, reserved for students with exceptional financial need, provide a living stipend up to $1,473 per academic year. After the freshman year, Cal Grant B recipients are also eligible for tuition grants.

Cal Grants replace need-based Mills College scholarships. Mills will not replace Cal Grant funds for students who otherwise would have been eligible for a Cal Grant but who fail to complete the required forms and application process by the deadlines. 

To be considered for the Cal Grant program, California residents must file the FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application for AB540 eligible students) and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by the state deadline of March 2.

Cal Grants are disbursed directly to a student's account electronically in two separate payments.

If all disbursement requirements have been met, the first disbursement is made at the start of the fall semester, and the second disbursement is made at the start of the spring semester.

Additional information regarding state grant programs can be accessed at www.csac.ca.gov.

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Mills Scholarships

Mills offers a variety of institutional scholarships that recognize students with outstanding academic and leadership accomplishments.

All full-time, first-year students for the fall semester who submit a completed admission application and FAFSA by the appropriate deadline will be considered for the merit, merit- and need-based, and need-based scholarships described below. A limited number of these scholarships are available for students who apply for spring admission.

Mills transfer scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated financial need and academic and leadership accomplishments. All full-time transfer students for the fall semester who submit the FAFSA and a completed admission application by the appropriate deadline will be considered for the scholarships decribed below. A limited number of these scholarships are available for transfer students who apply for spring admission.

With few exceptions, the maximum amount a student may receive in merit-based scholarship funds is $10,000.

First-Year Student Scholarships

Merit Scholarships
Scholarship Amount Selection Criteria How to Apply
Presidential/
Provost/
Faculty/
Eucalyptus Scholarships
Up to $10,000 Entering first-year students.

Candidates are selected based on merit from a competitive pool taking into consideration GPA, class rank, and SAT scores.

Fall applicants: Submit completed admission application by February 1.

 

Spring applicants: Submit completed admission application by November 1.

 

Merit- and Need-Based Scholarships
Scholarships Amount Selection Criteria How to Apply
Janet L. Holmgren Presidential Scholarship Up to 
$10,000
Entering first-year or transfer student.

Candidates are selected based on academic merit and outstanding potential for leadership. 

 

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by February 1.

 

Arthur Vining Davis Science Scholarship Up to $10,000 Entering first-year or transfer students.

Candidates are selected based on demonstrated ability and interest in science, mathematics and/or computer science.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by February 1.
Scheffler Pre-Medical Science Scholarships Up to $5,000 Entering first-year or transfer students.

Candidates are selected based on merit and demonstrated interest in attending medical school.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by February 1.
Vera M. Long Scholarships for Women in Science Amounts vary Entering first-year, transfer, or continuing students.

Candidates are selected based on demonstrated leadership abilities, contributions to previous educational institutions or community, and interest and abilities in environmental science, chemistry, or biochemistry/molecular biology.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by February 1.

 

First-Year Need-Based Scholarships

In addition to merit and merit- and need-based scholarships, Mills offers scholarships based soley on demonstrated financial need. Eligibility for need-based scholarships is determined through the financial aid process, including submission of the FAFSA and, for California residents, the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form.

Transfer Student Scholarships

Scholarship Amount Selection Criteria How to Apply
Janet L. Holmgren Presidential Scholarshi Up to 
$10,000
Entering transfer or first-year students.

Candidates are selected based on academic merit and outstanding potential for leadership.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.
Arthur Vining Davis Science Scholarship Up to $10,000 Entering transfer or first-year student.

Candidates are selected based on demonstrated ability and interest in science, mathematics and/or computer science.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.
Osher Scholarships Up to 
$6,000
Entering transfer students age 24 and older.

Candidates are selected based on financial need and merit from a competitive pool based on prior GPA, leadership ability, and/or significant contribution to previous colleges or community.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships Up to $5,000 Entering transfer students.

Candidates must have been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
Submit FAFSA, completed admission application, and proof of Phi Theta Kappa membership by March 1.

Scheffler Pre-Medical Science Scholarships Up to $5,000 Entering transfer or first-year students.

Candidates are selected based on merit and demonstrated interest in attending medical school.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.
Dean's Scholarships Up to $1,000 Entering transfer students.

Candidates are selected based on merit from a competitive pool based on prior GPA, leadership ability, and/or significant contribution to previous colleges or community.
Fall applicants: Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.

Spring applicants: Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by November 1.

Vera M. Long Scholarships for Women in Science Amounts vary Entering transfer, first-year, or continuing students.

Candidates are selected based on demonstrated leadership abilities, contributions to previous educational institutions or community, and interest and abilities in environmental science, chemistry, or biochemistry/molecular biology.

Submit FAFSA and completed admission application by March 1.

 

Mills scholarships are disbursed directly to a student's account electronically in two separate payments.  If all disbursement requirements have been met, the first disbursement is made at the start of the fall semester, and the second disbursement is made at the start of the spring semester.

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Educational Loans 

Student loans are an important part of financial aid funding for most families. All loans must be repaid under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Repayment typically is scheduled to begin after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at the college.

In order to be considered for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Federal Perkins Loan, or a Mills College Loan, a student must:

  • demonstrate financial need
  • be a US citizen or an eligible noncitizen (for federal grants)
  • have a valid Social Security number (for federal grants)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate or have completed high school education in a homeshool settingapproved under state law

In addition, Mills College Loan borrowers must exhaust all other financial aid resources available to them, including federal and private student loans, and Parent or Graduate PLUS Loans.

Federal Perkins Loans are awarded through Mills on the basis of financial need and availability of funds. Undergraduates are limited to borrowing a maximum of $5,500 per year. Repayment at 5% interest begins nine months after the student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans enable students with demonstrated financial need to borrow to help pay for college expenses. The annual borrowing limit is $3,500 for first-year students, $4,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for juniors and seniors. The aggregate borrowing limit for undergraduates is $23,000 and $65,000 for undergraduate/graduate loans combined.

The federal government will pay the interest for students while they are enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Repayment for subsidized Stafford Loans begins six months after the borrower graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time. The interest rates for federal student loans are published here.

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are available for students who do not qualify for the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan or to students who want an additional loan to supplement the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan. These loans are available to students who have first applied for other financial aid including the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan program. .

Unlike the subsidized Stafford Loan, however, the government does not pay the interest while the student is in school. The student must make interest payments or agree to have the interest added to the principal while they are in school.

Undergraduate annual borrowing limits for this program, including any subsidized Federal Stafford amounts, are as follows:

Dependent first-year students $5,500
Dependent sophomores $6,500
Dependent juniors/seniors $7,500
Independent first-year students $9,500
Independent sophomores $10,500
Independent juniors/seniors $12,500

The aggregate borrowing limit is $31,000 for dependent undergraduates and $57,500 for independent undergraduates (both figures include Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan amounts).

The interest rates for federal student loans are published here

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is designed for parents of dependent students (who have no adverse credit history) to supplement the Federal Stafford Loan Program. Parents who find the expected family contribution to be unrealistic or who seek loan funds to cover a student's unmet need may borrow up to the full cost of attendance minus other financial aid. In most cases, repayment begins immediately and payments are made in equal installments over a period of up to ten years. The interest rates for federal loans are published here.

Mills College Loans are funded by Mills College and are designed for students with financial need who have exhausted their borrowing eligibility through government student loan and/or private loan programs. Funds are very limited and, therefore, loan offers are always subject to availability of funds. Repayment at an 8.5% interest rate begins nine months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled full-time. The annual borrowing limit is $2,500.

Additional Information Regarding Federal Student Loans

For more information regarding Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans, including repayment plans and estimated monthly payment amounts, please download the federal publication Your Federal Student Loans: Learn the Basics and Manage Your Debt [PDF]. Additional information regarding federal student loans is also available at www.studentloans.gov and at www.studentaid.ed.gov.

Disbursement of Student Loans

Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Mills College Loans are disbursed directly to a student's account electronically in two separate payments unless the loan period is for the fall semester only or the spring semester only.

If all disbursement requirements have been met, the first disbursement is made at the start of the fall semester, and the second disbursement is made at the start of the spring semester. One payment is made at the beginning of the semester for loans with a loan period of only one semester.

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Federal Work-Study 

A Federal Work-Study award does not guarantee employment but enables a student to apply for an on-campus job through listings available on Handshake.

Students who have been offered Federal Work-Study as part of their financial aid package can come to the M Center any time during the semester, prior to beginning work, to pick up their Federal Work-Study Employment Agreement. This work authorization form is required to work on campus and must be completed by the student and their employer and filed with Employee Services before the student begins working. All student employees must complete or have on file an I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) form and a W-4 form. These forms can be found here and must be completed and returned to Employee Services prior to a student's starting date for work.

Students who obtain on-campus employment are paid for hours actually worked. Total earnings cannot exceed the total annual Federal Work-Study award. Timesheets must be forwarded to the Payroll Office in Employee Services by the timesheet due dates. Students are paid for hours actually worked as logged on the timesheet. The student payroll is run semi-monthly, and students may choose one of three payment options:

1) direct deposit to a personal checking or savings account

2) credit to her/his Mills student account

3) paper check

Questions regarding work-study can be sent to finaid@mills.edu.

For more information about other forms of student employment on campus, visit the student employment page.

International Students 

Financial aid for international students is available only in the form of Mills College merit-based scholarships.

First-year international applicants automatically will be considered for a Mills merit scholarship after submitting a completed admission application and the required supplemental materials by the appropriate deadline. These scholarships do not meet the total cost of tuition, fees, books and living expenses, so international students will need to be able to cover these costs with their own funds.

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid at Mills. Institutional scholarships for transfer students require both demonstrated financial need and academic achievement, so international transfer students are not eligible for these awards.

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Overview

Undergraduate Students

Deadlines

Net Price Calculator

Financial Aid Forms

Tuition & Typical
Expenses

General Information

Understanding Your
Award

Terms and Conditions
of Your Award

Accepting Your Award

Direct Stafford/PLUS
Loan Information

Applying for a Direct Stafford Loan

Applying for a Direct
Parent PLUS Loan

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Student Verification Instructions

Student Verification

National Science Foundation Scholarship Program

Graduate Students

Deadlines

Financial Aid Forms

Tuition & Typical
Expenses

General Information

Terms and Conditions
of Your Award

Accepting Your Award

Federal Stafford/Grad PLUS Loan Information

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Hours

Monday–Friday, 9:00–4:00


Last Updated: 10/13/17