Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid
315-859-4962 (fax)

Types of Financial Aid

Loans for Students

Loans for Parents (Academic Year 2016-2017)

PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)


  • Federal parent loan available to cover the difference between the cost of attendance and financial aid.
  • Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • 6.31% fixed interest rate and an origination fee of 4.272% (deducted from each loan disbursement). Interest begins to accrue on the loan from the date of the first disbursement.
  • Borrower must pre-qualify by passing a credit check. Once approved, the credit check is good for 180 days.
  • If parent's credit is denied, the parent can re-apply with an endorser. As an alternative, the student is eligible to borrow an additional unsubsidized Direct Loan in the amount of $4,000 for 1st and 2nd year students, $5,000 for 3rd and 4th year students.
  • Loan proceeds will be credited directly to the student's account within ten days prior to the start of classes for each semester.
  • Repayment begins within sixty days after the full disbursement of the loan.
  • Parent can request deferment to postpone repayment for up to six months after student graduates by selecting this option when completing the PLUS Loan application online.
  • Additional information is available via the Direct PLUS Loan Basics for Parents brochure.

Parents initiate the borrowing process by:

Financing Options

While the financial aid award is intended to meet the demonstrated need of each family, many families finance their expected family contribution over a number of months or years.

Monthly Payment Plan

  • Families can spread their payments out over 10, 11 or 12 months.
  • Hamilton partners with the Higher One Tuition Payment Plan.
  • $45 annual fee.
  • No interest charged.
  • Consider financing through a payment plan before taking additional loans.

Combination Plan

  • Calculate the amount your family can afford to pay per month and sign-up for the monthly payment plan.
  • Take the maximum amount of Direct Loans for the student (subsidized and unsubsidized).
  • Bridge any remaining gap with a PLUS Loan and defer payments.

Alternative Loan for Students

  • Students should borrow the maximum amount allowed in a federal Direct Loan before a private alternative loan.
  • Parents should consider a PLUS Loan before an alternative loan.
  • Compare rates, benefits and repayment options offered by various lenders of your choice.
  • Students will require a co-signer (i.e. parent).

Other Options (best to consult a Financial Advisor)

Home Equity Loans

  • pro:  interest is typically tax deductible; long repayment periods
  • con:  dependent on equity in home; home is collateral; may have closing costs

IRA Draws

  • pro:  early withdraws for qualified education expenses usually not subject to tax penalties
  • con:  future interest lost on investment; potentially putting retirement at risk

Life Insurance

  • pro:  usually borrowed from cash value or dividends of whole life insurance; usually low fixed interest rate
  • con:  if not repaid, reduces the investment earnings and death benefits; not usually tax deductible

Retirement Savings (401k and 403b)

  • pro:  withdraws may be allowed for qualified education expenses
  • con:  future interest lost on investment; potentially putting retirement at risk; taxed on withdrawal