Navigating College Financial Aid
Carnegie Mellon is dedicated to helping you navigate the financial aid process. This section will answer questions such as:
What is financial aid?
How do I apply for financial aid?
How is my eligibility determined?
What types of financial aid are available?
Principles & Practices
Carnegie Mellon allocates resources carefully and judiciously to the benefit of the high-quality students we seek to enroll. Financial aid, viewed by many as an entitlement when federal resources were more plentiful, is now awarded by institutions who must balance resources, goals and priorities while attracting the highest quality students.
Like many other colleges and universities, we use an increasingly larger share of our limited resources to help families cover the cost of enrollment. Federal and state aid resources, awarded on the basis of financial need, are distributed under federal and state guidelines.
Carnegie Mellon values diversity and we seek to build a community of people of varied gender, race, academic interest, talent and background to accurately reflect the global community and to provide an enlightening experience for our student body.
Also, we seek to enroll students of the highest academic and artistic caliber in each of our six undergraduate colleges. We use our financial aid resources to enroll a class that reflects this goal.
Carnegie Mellon’s financial assistance program is designed to meet our dual goal of helping prospective students who have demonstrated financial need afford the cost of education and rewarding those students who have outstanding talents and abilities. Need-based financial assistance is used to enroll high-quality students. Highest quality students will receive the most favorable financial assistance packages.
We have been open about our willingness to review financial aid awards to compete with certain private institutions for students admitted under the regular decision plan. Unlike most institutions, the university states these principles openly to those offered first-year admission under the regular decision plan. While early decision students are not eligible to participate in this aid review process, we will meet their full demonstrated need as calculated by the university.
We use statistical modeling as an aid in the distribution of limited financial aid dollars. It is a strategic tool that helps us pursue our goal of increasing the quality of the student body while using our resources as effectively as possible. This modeling takes into account a student’s intended college major, academic and artistic talents, non-academic talents and abilities, as well as financial need. This approach to awarding financial aid is unique to Carnegie Mellon and has not been developed with the aid of any outside consultants.
Contact our office if you have questions related to financial aid or financing the cost of your education.Note: Carnegie Mellon bases your eligibility in part on the federal need-analysis formula and programs established by Congress. Congress may change the formula and programs through legislation or regulation. Changes in the formula or programs may affect your Carnegie Mellon aid eligibility.