Financial Aid FAQ (Spring 2021)

Following the University's announcement of its spring 2021 plan, the Financial Aid Office has prepared a resource that answers common questions about the financial aid, billing, and student employment implications of the plan. Please review this resource to learn more.

1.   What are the student budgets for the semester?

The tuition charge for all students will be $24,251 per term for the 2020-21 academic year, reflecting a 10% rate reduction from the 2020-21 tuition charge announced by the Board of Trustees in April 2020. This reduced tuition charge will be used in all financial aid packages and will not change parental contributions. See question 6 below about parental contribution concerns.

For the 2020-21 academic year, there are three student budgets—one for students who will live at their permanent residence (home budget), one for students who will rent an alternate residence (off campus budget), and one for students who will live on campus (on campus). To view these budgets, please visit

2.   Which budget will be used for my aid award for the spring semester?

Students who declare their intent to live on campus by December 3, 2020, will be assigned the on campus budget. Students who do not declare their intent to live on campus will be assigned the home budget.

If you will not live at home, you can request the off campus budget by completing an Off Campus Budget Request Form. The off campus budget is designed to encompass the majority of the semester, from the first day of class through the last day of class. To receive an off campus budget, you must submit documentation that demonstrates your rental living arrangements for February 1, 2021, through at least April 27, 2021.

Students who are unable to secure a rental that begins on February 1, 2021, but who submit a lease that begins between February 2, 2021, and March 1, 2021, and runs through April 27, 2021, will receive a prorated off campus budget.  In all cases, the Off Campus Budget Request Form is due February 28, 2021.

3.   When will I know my financial aid package for the spring semester?

Financial aid packages will be available by the first week of January. For planning purposes, you can estimate your parent contribution for the spring semester to be the same amount as expected from your parents in the fall.

4.   Will my financial aid package remain the same for the spring?

As in the fall semester, your financial aid will be packaged according to your housing circumstances for the semester. Your financial aid will be packaged with the on campus, off campus, or at home budgets in line with your spring 2021 living situation.

5. If I leave campus but remain enrolled, will I be eligible for a refund of room and board charges?

Students who remain enrolled but depart campus will be eligible for a prorated weekly refund of room and board charges until April 3, 2021.  The University meal plan is required and cannot be canceled while residing on campus. Financial aid students will retain aid based on their final University housing and dining charges, and have their aid for the remaining weeks of the semester recalculated based on their housing selection budget. No refunds will be available after April 3, 2021. 

If you plan to leave campus and reside in an off campus location, please see question 2.

6.   My family’s financial situation has changed, and we can no longer meet our family contribution. What should we do?

If your family’s financial circumstances have changed, please contact the Financial Aid office at

7.   Is there an expected student contribution for this year?

The University has waived the $3,500 student contribution for the 2020-21 academic year and replaced it with additional grant in your award.

8.   I’m a student who has independent status for financial aid purposes, how will my aid award be determined?

If you have been declared independent for the purposes of financial aid and have questions about your aid budget, please contact Silvia Rodriguez, Associate Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid, at

9.   Will I be eligible for aid to cover the student health plan cost?

Regardless of your residential circumstances, if you certified through the MyUHS portal that you do not have comparable coverage, your financial aid award will be adjusted to cover the amount charged each semester for the SHP on your student account.

10.   What happens if I have an outside scholarship?

Since the student contribution has been waived and replaced with additional University grant for 2020-21, outside scholarships will reduce your Princeton grant. If your Princeton grant is reduced as the result of an outside scholarship, you may recover reduced funds toward the purchase of a personal computer or other learning technology needs. For the 2020-21 academic year, we have increased the amount you are eligible to recover up to the maximum $3,500 former student contribution. This year we will also allow students who already purchased computers with such funding in a prior year to upgrade if they have a renewable outside scholarship in their current award.

11.   What happens if I decide to withdraw after the start of the semester?

If you withdraw after the start of the semester, your tuition charge will be adjusted based on your withdrawal date. The specific percentage of tuition charge by date is published in the Undergraduate Announcement. Your aid for tuition will be adjusted by the same percentage that the charge was reduced. Your aid for room, board and personal expenses will be prorated based on the date you notify your Dean of your intent to withdraw. If you received a refund from your student account prior to withdrawing, please be aware that you may owe all or a portion of that refund back to the University.

12.   If I take a leave of absence, will my eligibility for aid be impacted upon return to Princeton?

Your aid application will receive full consideration upon your return to Princeton. Your eligibility will not be impacted by the fact that you have taken a leave.

13.  What will I be charged on my Princeton student account for the spring semester?

If you do not live on campus, you will be charged the reduced tuition and class dues. If you live on campus, you will additionally be charged for room and the mandatory meal plan. For all students, the Student Health Plan will be included if you did not waive out of the plan on your MyUHS portal.

14.   What if the grant aid I receive from Princeton exceeds the charges listed above?

If your aid for the semester exceeds your University charges, you may request a refund through Student Financials beginning February 1, 2021, the first day of the semester.  If you have any carry forward charges from prior academic years or semesters, these will first be deducted from the credit available.  

Note: If you are an aid student with a zero parental contribution who has signed a lease, sublease, or Airbnb (or other third-party service) contract for an off-campus rental, you may be eligible to request an early release of a portion of the credit available in mid-January. Please contact Kate Dolly, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid, at after your aid decision is released.

The Office of Finance & Treasury strongly encourages students to enroll in direct deposit to ensure a timely release of available credit. To enroll in direct deposit, visit TigerHub and select the Personal Information tile for address changes and the Payroll tile to enroll in direct deposit.

15.   What if I don’t have Internet access at home or at my off campus address?

The books and personal allowance in your aid budget has been increased by $450 in order to help with the cost of basic technology services, like Wi-Fi. For many families, this will reduce the amount due to Princeton, freeing up part of the parental contribution to cover this expense. For high-need students, this amount may be part of a credit available on your student account.


University Bills

16.   When will I be billed for the spring semester?

The undergraduate term bill is expected to be issued during the first week of January. Students and delegated parents/guardians will receive an email communication once the student account is ready for review. Students access their student account directly from TigerHub. Students must delegate parent/guardian access to view and pay their student account. Delegated parents/guardians can then view their student’s account from Princeton’s Tiger Family Hub by logging in with their claimed Princeton Network ID (NetID). For assistance in claiming your NetID, contact the OIT Support and Operations Center at (609) 258 – 4357.

17.   When will the first bill be due?

The first bill will be due January 25, 2021.

18.   Can I still enroll in the Monthly Payment Plan?

Yes. If you sign up for the MPP, there will be 5 payments for the spring semester.


Student Employment

19.  How can I learn about student employment opportunities for the spring?

The Student Employment Office will launch a new student job portal in early January where spring employment opportunities will be listed. Please visit the Student Employment Website for details.

20.   Will there be any in-person student employment?

At this time we do not have complete information about the availability of in-person jobs for the spring term. We expect to know more by early January about both remote and in-person employment options.