The Value of a Carnegie Mellon Education

The proven success of our graduates and Carnegie Mellon's commitment to access and affordability

A Carnegie Mellon education is much more than a credential; it integrates our students into a community of artists and scholars who change the world in profound and lasting ways. Our students are advancing artificial intelligence, jetting off to Broadway, becoming the next CEO or contributing to cutting edge research. Experiences like these are prime examples of the proven return you can expect to receive on your investment in a Carnegie Mellon degree, and we've developed a financial aid program and career services opportunities that afford you the flexibility and support to make your time on campus a life-changing experience.

“My summer experience with Deutsche Bank confirmed my interest in a sales and trading career. We have a large alumni support network there and, coupled with on-campus CPDC training, I was able to secure a return offer to the firm."

Internships: Built-In
In our Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC), you’ll find a team of dedicated and experienced career consultants ready to assist with all stages of your career planning. The consultants are ready to meet you, starting in your first year, as part of their goal to help students from all years embed career planning into their four-year experience. Preston Bryant Tepper ’19, reflects on the personal guidance he received that helped turn his internship into a full-time offer,  “My summer experience with Deutsche Bank confirmed my interest in a sales and trading career. We have a large alumni support network there and, coupled with on-campus CPDC training, I was able to secure a return offer to the firm. One skill that I improved and gained confidence in is my communication ability since a large majority of my summer involved networking within the firm.”


The CPDC also organizes career fairs and events throughout the year allowing students to tailor their internship and eventual job search to the industries they’re most prepared for and most likely to be satisfied with. These fairs include the 40-year-old Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC)Spark, a job fair for small businesses and early-stage startups; and Encompass, which brings together students from across the spectrum of Carnegie Mellon to offer an interdisciplinary array of options. 


Affordability and Options
There’s no doubt about it, financing a high-cost college education like Carnegie Mellon’s takes a lot of hard work. Fortunately, Carnegie Mellon’s individualized need-based financial aid program is designed to offset your cost of attendance while offering you flexibility and options to manage your college costs. Using a robust and realistic assessment of both income and asset data, we’re able to design a financial aid package that takes into account unique family circumstances like the cost of living in your hometown, how close your oldest parent is to retirement and how many other college students and household members are in your family. 


Carnegie Mellon is also proud that families from all economic backgrounds can qualify for financial aid, making it possible for all to choose our transformative education: 

"Now I can afford to attend one of the best universities in the world and do what I love most: learn.”


Regardless of the price you pay, the return from your investment in a Carnegie Mellon education is a proven one, with 86% of our students either employed in a field of their choice or in graduate school six months after graduation and earning, on average, $83,146 annually. Jackie Godinez, Engineering ‘21, recalls the moment she got her acceptance letter: “I am a first-generation student who comes from a low-income family. At the beginning of the college application process, I thought that through the FAFSA I was going to get enough financial aid to cover the cost of my education. However, when I received my first college acceptance letter and financial aid award, my heart sank since the cost of attendance was more than my mother's yearly salary. Universities were not awarding me with as much financial aid as I thought and I began to consider going to a local community college. When I thought all hope was lost, I got the acceptance letter from Carnegie Mellon along with my financial aid award; it was a blessing that I will be forever grateful for. Now I can afford to attend one of the best universities in the world and do what I love most: learn."


A Carnegie Mellon education can be affordable to many families despite the high overall cost of attendance, and the university also offers a robust support network and limitless opportunities for students to use their education to stand out in their job search and launch their career. 


As you approach the college application process, we encourage you to complete our Early Financial Estimator for an early idea of the amount and types of financial aid you and your family qualify for. If you’d like personalized advice, please call our office at 412-268-2082 and a member of our admission staff can review your estimate with you and guide you in regards to how best to use our various financing tools. Our Applying for Aid webpage is a one-stop-shop for information on our financial aid application requirements, links to forms and details on how to start the process.


When making a choice about where to go to college, it's important to thoroughly investigate all the implications that this choice has for your future and the value of a Carnegie Mellon education will make your college choice a very wise investment in that future.