Guidelines for International Students Seeking Financial Assistance

Thomas Aquinas College provides need-based financial assistance for domestic and international students. We offer no merit-based aid.

Expected Student Contribution

The College requires a minimum student contribution of $2,250 of all students, domestic and international, each year. The student contribution may be more than $2,250 if the student has significant income in the summer preceding the school year or during the school year. The student contribution may also be more than $2,250 if the student has more than $1,000 in assets. The student’s contribution is determined by a uniform financial aid formula that is a variant of the College Board’s institutional methodology.

The College also assumes international students will borrow $4,750 to fill the first portion of their financial need each year before seeking aid from the College. See below for more information about the self-help student loan assumption.

Expected Parent Contribution

The College also determines a contribution to be asked of the student’s parents. As with the student’s contribution, the parents’ contribution is determined by a uniform financial aid formula that is a variant of the College Board’s institutional methodology.

After the student’s and parents’ joint contribution is determined, Thomas Aquinas College meets the remaining need for the direct costs of tuition and housing & food with a combination of work-study and grant aid.

Student Loan

Thomas Aquinas College assumes a financial aid applicant will meet the first part of his financial need each year with a loan before seeking other financial aid from the College. A financial aid applicant may decline to borrow a student loan, but in that case the amount that would have come from a student loan will be part of the student’s expected cash payment due for the school year.

Student loans must be repaid.

The College assumes international students will borrow $4,750 to fill the first portion of their financial need each year. You may borrow a student loan from any source. Most students prefer to take advantage of government-sponsored student loan programs that offer beneficial terms, such as the Canada Student Loan program. If a student is not eligible for such a loan, the College still assumes the student will borrow the expected amount from one of the many banks offering student loans or from some other source. Alternatively, a student can cover this self-help loan expectation with a larger cash payment or an outside scholarship.


Work-study wages go toward tuition and housing & food; work-study wages are not paid to the student for personal expenses.

Thomas Aquinas College Grant

To meet remaining need for paying tuition and housing & food, Thomas Aquinas College Grants are provided. Students are not expected to repay such grants, although the College hopes that, as alumni, they will donate to provide for grants for future students.

Thomas Aquinas College Grants are credited directly to the student’s account for tuition and housing & food at the beginning of the semester for which they are given.

Other Expenses

No aid is provided for the indirect costs of transportation, medical insurance (required) and miscellaneous personal necessities.

Each year an international student must purchase medical insurance which will protect him in the event of an accident or illness requiring major medical attention. Since the College does not have a campus-sponsored health insurance program, a student must purchase the requisite health insurance from an independent insurance agent. Contact the Admissions Office for additional information about health insurance providers.

Books are provided for all students at no additional cost.

How to apply for financial assistance

The same financial aid steps apply whether you will be attending the California campus or the New England campus. Both campuses have the same College Board institution code (4828). Thomas Aquinas College has a single Financial Aid Office that processes all of the financial aid applications for both campuses. That office is located at the California campus. Financial aid is processed in the same manner for both campuses.

As a preliminary step, get organized. Be sure you and your parents have your financial documents at hand, including your 2022 federal tax return(s), 2022 wage statements, bank account balances, etc. You will need this information as you complete the following steps.

1. Complete the CSS Profile

Complete the CSS Profile online by March 4, 2024*.

The CSS Profile is used to determine a student's eligibility for Thomas Aquinas College’s institutional, need-based work-study program and grant program. All international students seeking institutional aid must complete the CSS Profile, regardless of whether they are a citizen of Canada or any other country outside of the U.S.

The CSS Profile code for Thomas Aquinas College is 4828. The same code is used whether you plan to attend the California campus or the New England campus.

There is a $25 fee to complete the CSS Profile. Thomas Aquinas College does not provide fee waivers.

If you have questions as you are completing the CSS Profile, the College Board's Customer Service provides excellent help via email, online chat, and phone.

2. Submit 2022 tax documents through the College Board's secure Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) by March 4, 2024*

 After you have completed the CSS Profile, the College Board will send you an e-mail with instructions for uploading signed copies of your parents' and your own 2022 federal tax documents through your IDOC dashboard. (During peak times, it may take up to a few hours for your IDOC dashboard to be created. The College Board will send you an e-mail notification when it is available.)

Do not send tax documents directly to the Financial Aid Office. Tax documents must be uploaded through the College Board's IDOC service in order for our financial aid software to import the information.

Be sure to upload the following:

  • Signed copies of the parents' and student's 2022 federal tax return with all schedules and attachments;
  • All wage statements (T-4s for Canadians). If the student was not required to file a tax return, but received wage statements or T-4s in 2022, please upload a copy of the student’s 2022 wage statements or T-4s.

You can learn more about the College Board's IDOC service by visiting the IDOC website.

The confidentiality of your information is very important to the College Board and to Thomas Aquinas College. To ensure the highest level of data integrity, privacy, and security, the College Board has implemented systems that include multiple firewalls with unique security zones, data encryption, intrusion detection systems and data integrity checks. Your information will be stored in a secure environment, and will be communicated only to the financial aid office(s) at IDOC-participating college(s) and program(s) to which you are applying.

Documentation needed before a Form I-20 can be issued

International students seeking a student visa must also complete an International Student Certification of Finances after their aid package is issued, to verify financial resources before a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) can be issued to the student. The International Student Certification of Finances will be sent with the student's financial aid package. It asks for documentation showing that the student has sufficient financial resources to pay what is being asked of him, both for tuition and housing and food and for other expenses.


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Noncustodial Parents: If a student’s parents have separated or divorced, the noncustodial parent must complete his own CSS Profile application by March 4, 2024.

The noncustodial parent creates a College Board account (if he does not have one already) and then uses that account to complete a 2024-25 CSS Profile. It is strongly recommended that the noncustodial parent review the College Board's web page titled Info for Divorced or Separated Parents before creating a College Board account and a 2024-25 Profile. That web page has a link to an excellent video titled Completing the CSS Profile for the Noncustodial Parent which explains the steps the noncustodial parent needs to take.

The custodial household and noncustodial household will have separate College Board log-in credentials and separate CSS Profile accounts. The two households should not share their log-in or CSS Profile account credentials with each other. That will maintain the confidentiality of their respective CSS Profile applications.

We recommend that the student and the custodial parent start the CSS Profile application first. The noncustodial parent can start the application at any time, but the noncustodial parent will not be able to complete the application until the student selects a college (such as Thomas Aquinas College) that requires both separated or divorced parents to complete a CSS Profile.

After the noncustodial parent has completed his CSS Profile, the College Board will send him an e-mail with instructions for uploading signed copies of his 2022 federal tax documents through the College Board's secure Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC). The noncustodial parent’s household must upload their tax documents by March 4, 2024*.

Other Information: In some cases the College may require additional information to clarify unusual circumstances or to satisfy verification requirements of federal agencies.


*Deadlines for Incoming Freshmen: Incoming freshmen must submit the CSS Profile, tax documents and any other paperwork by March 4, 2024, or 15 days after acceptance, whichever is later.