Current Student FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Williams’ financial aid program. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, please contact us.
For an overview of the financial aid process and how we help families meet many costs, click here.

Am I allowed to buy my books elsewhere if The Williams Bookstore can’t get them for me or not in a timely manner?

Yes. If you are enrolled in an independent study or thesis course, or a course offered by MCLA or Bennington College, please complete the applicable book grant request form located on our Forms and Helpful Resources page. If you are enrolled in any other course, please email [email protected] for further guidance.

If I change my meal plan, will it affect my financial aid?

No. Your financial aid package is directly affected by your academic year budget, which always includes the cost of the 21-meal plan, even if you switch to a cheaper plan (we assume you’d spend the difference between plans on necessary food somewhere other than in the dining halls). If you need assistance calculating the impact on your student account (term bill), contact the Office of Student Accounts or schedule an appointment with your financial aid officer. Instructions on how to change your meal plan can be found on this Dining Services webpage.

I live far away and can’t take my stuff home with me in the summer. Does the college provide any assistance with summer storage?

The Offices of Financial Aid and Student Life (OSL) have arranged to make FREE storage available to all financial aid recipients who wish to store personal belongings while away from campus. So that we can accommodate all students who need storage space, some limitations exist. Students will receive information from OSL with complete instructions about the process each year. International students should view special instructions on the International Student Services webpage.

Does Williams provide financial aid for the GRE® and graduate school application fees?

The college may only provide financial aid for educational expenses associated with your undergraduate study at Williams, but we may be able to help in other ways. ETS (the company that administers the GRE®) offers a limited number of GRE® Fee Reduction Certificates on a first-come, first-served basis that are available for college seniors and non-enrolled college graduates who meet eligibility requirements. Contact the grad schools to which you are applying and see if they’ll waive or reduce their application fees. Often they will, and they may require a letter from our office attesting that you are receiving financial aid at Williams. Please contact us as early as possible to request such a letter and be sure to include complete information about what is required to qualify for their waiver.

Are there Senior Week fee waivers or discounts?

Yes. The Office of Student Life coordinates Senior Week and offers discounted tickets and waivers to eligible financial aid students. Contact Student Life for further details.

My family wants to see me graduate but can’t afford a hotel. Can you help?

Yes. If you’re receiving financial aid, your family can stay in a campus dormitory for a nominal fee. Visit the Commencement site for details.