Costs + Financial Aid

Paying for a college education will take creativity, sacrifice and support. Carnegie Mellon has a financial aid program designed to provide your family with options to afford college. Many families find our Financial Aid Guide to be a helpful resource for navigating the financial aid and enrollment process this time of year.

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, they do receive awards consistent with students admitted under regular decision, and aren’t penalized for declaring Carnegie Mellon as their first choice.

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.

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.

Tuition & Fees

When considering the cost of higher education, you'll want to consider the overall cost of attendance, not only the cost of tuition.

Review Carnegie Mellon's cost of attendance

Applying for Aid

Applying for financial aid can be a confusing process, especially if you're applying for the first time. We're here to help.

Review what documents are required to apply for financial aid

The Value of Carnegie Mellon

There’s no denying it, a private college education is expensive. We hope that you'll consider an education from Carnegie Mellon to be an investment in your future.

Learn more about the value of a Carnegie Mellon education

Financial Aid Estimator

Carnegie Mellon provides two options for high school students and their families to receive an estimate of their financial eligibility.

Read more about receiving a Financial Aid Estimate

Grants & Scholarships

Carnegie Mellon may provide qualified applicants with gift aid like grants or scholarships.

Learn more about grants & scholarships

Loans & Work-Study

Carnegie Mellon may provide loan and student employment options to qualified applicants.

Learn more about loans & work-study