2021-2022 Catalog

Types of Aid


Occidental need-based scholarships are awarded each year on an individual basis in proportion to the degree of financial need and the student’s academic and co-curricular record. Occidental scholarship recipients may be asked to write a thank-you letter to a specific donor during the academic year. Part-time students will have their need-based scholarship prorated. Students enrolled in less than six units are not eligible for need-based scholarships. Scholarship amounts are prorated if you do not attend for the entire academic year or are enrolled less than full-time. For prorating calculations please contact the Financial Aid Office.

The College also offers a limited number of merit scholarships to entering students at the time of admission. Scholarship awards are based on academic ability, achievement, motivation, and promise. Merit awards are renewable for up to three additional years (eight semesters total) provided that the student continues to maintain the required cumulative grade point average of the scholarship. See the Financial Aid Policy Guide for GPA requirements of specific scholarships. Scholarship amounts are prorated if you do not attend for the entire academic year or are enrolled less than full-time. Students enrolled in fewer than six units are not eligible for merit scholarships. For prorating calculations please contact the Financial Aid Office.


All students applying for financial aid at Occidental are required to apply for the appropriate state and federal grant programs. California residents apply by completing the FAFSA and the GPA Verification Form. All grant awards are combined with other resources to meet financial need.

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal student aid program for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. 

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal program that helps undergraduate students with the greatest financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. 

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) awards Cal Grants A and B to California residents as determined by eligibility requirements set by the state of California. 

Campus Employment Opportunities

Part-time employment is supported by the Occidental Work Award (OWA) program and the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. Occidental Work Award and Federal Work Study are normally offered as part of the financial aid award to students who demonstrate need.


Loans are an invaluable resource to college students and their parents in financing a college education. Loans are generally repaid within 10 years after graduating or withdrawing from school (consolidation programs can extend the number of years a student has to repay their loans). Loan obligations and interest rates are outlined in the promissory notes students are required to sign.

The Occidental Low Interest Loan is administered by the College using institutional funds. Occidental Low Interest Loans (5%) are awarded up to $3,200 per year for undergraduates.

The Occidental No Interest Loan is a student loan originally funded by the Weingart Foundation that awards up to $10,000 per year for undergraduate students. This generous, interest-free program was established to benefit U.S. citizens who are graduates of California high schools.

The Federal Subsidized Direct Loan is a low-interest loan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. The interest on this loan is subsidized by the federal government while the student is enrolled. Occidental college students may borrow Federal Direct Loans between $3,500 and $5,500 depending on their need, year in school, and satisfactory academic progress.

The Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan is available for students who do not demonstrate financial need or students who need assistance with their expected family contribution. The interest rate is fixed and interest accrual is immediate. Students may choose to pay interest while in school or have it capitalized onto the principal balance.

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a credit based loan designed to provide long-term competitive rate financing for parents of dependent students to assist in meeting the expected family contribution. Federal PLUS loans may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance less any financial aid a student is eligible to receive for the year.