Frequently Asked Questions:

Can my financial aid package change from year to year?

Yes. The most common reasons why your financial aid package could change include:

  • Change in the number of family members in college
  • Change in household size
  • Increase or decrease in family income
  • Increase in cost of attendance
  • Receipt of an outside scholarship
  • Unsatisfactory academic progress
  • Change in enrollment status that reduces your Cost of Attendance (i.e. part-time student, study abroad or living off campus)
Do I need to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes, you need to apply for need-based financial aid each year. To do so, you’ll submit the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE each spring semester.

What if I have unmet need after financial aid?

You may wish to investigate a combination of federal and alternative loans, along with the Tuition Management Systems monthly payment plan.

What about outside grants and scholarships?

Your financial aid package won’t be reduced due to the receipt of outside scholarships unless one of the following occurs:

  • Your federal grants, loans or work study plus your outside scholarship exceeds your financial need. In which case, your federal aid will be reduced, beginning with loans.
  • Your entire aid award plus your outside scholarship is greater than the Cost of Attendance. In which case institutional aid will be reduced only after adjusting federal aid.
What is financial need?

Financial need is the difference between the amount you and your family can reasonably afford to pay for college expenses, as calculated by the FAFSA along with other supporting documents, and the total cost of attendance.

Cost of Attendance  
- Expected Family Contribution 
Your Financial Need

How do we determine eligibility for financial aid?

Eligibility for federal and state aid is determined using the Federal Methodology, a formula established by Congress.  Only the FAFSA is required to be considered for federal and state aid.

Eligibility for institutional aid is determined using an Institutional Methodology and both the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE are required to be considered for institutional aid.

How do we determine your expected family contribution?

We use the information that you and your parent(s) provide on the FAFSA, the CSS PROFILE and 1040 and W-2 tax forms to determine the amount you and your parent(s) should contribute to your education at Carnegie Mellon. This amount includes a direct contribution from income, drawing down on assets, and responsible borrowing and is called your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

What’s Carnegie Mellon’s FAFSA code?

Carnegie Mellon’s FAFSA code is 003242.

What’s Carnegie Mellon’s CSS PROFILE code?

Carnegie Mellon’s CSS PROFILE code is 2074.

When’s Carnegie Mellon’s financial aid application deadline?

Carnegie Mellon has a submission deadline of February 15th for the FAFSA, CSS PROFILE and tax documents. If your application materials arrive after this deadline it may delay your receipt of a finalized financial aid award.

What’s a financial aid package?

Once we determine your financial need, we combine different types of financial support into a package. Typical financial aid packages include federal, state and institutional grants, loans and work-study. Carnegie Mellon does not guarantee to meet a student’s full financial need.

Does Carnegie Mellon award merit scholarships?

Carnegie Mellon doesn't award merit scholarships, except for limited performance-based scholarships awarded by our School of Drama and School of Music, which are included in a student’s financial aid package. To be considered for all available financial aid, you must submit the required financial aid documents.

How will I repay my loans?

You can use the Department of Education’s loan repayment calculator to estimate what your payments will look like after graduation based on average loan amounts until you become an enrolled student.

What's the financial aid estimator?

Carnegie Mellon provides a Financial Aid Estimator for high school juniors or seniors and their families, in order to provide an estimate of a student’s financial aid package prior to even applying to Carnegie Mellon.

Is financial aid available for undocumented or DACA students?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students may be eligible for institutional financial aid and must apply for financial aid in order to be considered. DACA students must complete the CSS PROFILE but are not required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At the time of admission, Carnegie Mellon may request DACA documentation to confirm your status in order to process financial aid accordingly but no DACA documentation is required when you submit an application. At this time, undocumented students without DACA status are not eligible to apply for financial aid. 

Does Carnegie Mellon offer ROTC scholarships?

A Reserve Officer Training Corp - ROTC Scholarship may be available to Carnegie Mellon undergraduates. Students interested in discussing ROTC opportunities are encourage to contact the Carnegie Mellon Steel City Naval ROTC at 412.268.5109.


Air Force ROTC Scholarships

The Air Force ROTC program offers two, three and three-and-a-half year scholarships to qualified undergraduate Carnegie Mellon students. Scholarship amounts vary. Carnegie Mellon is a crosstown member of Detachment 730 at the University of Pittsburgh. Completion of the AFROTC program leads to a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.


Army ROTC Scholarships

The Army ROTC program offers two, three and four year scholarships based on student merit. Scholarships cover full tuition and fees plus $1,200 per year for books. All contracted students also receive a monthly stipend of $300 to $500 per month. Carnegie Mellon has a company at the Three Rivers Battalion headquartered at the University of Pittsburgh.


Naval-Marine Corps ROTC Scholarships

The Naval ROTC program offers two, three and four year scholarships based on competitive national and regional selection. Scholarships cover full tuition and fees, $750 per year for books, and a monthly stipend of $250 to $400. The Carnegie Mellon Steel City Naval ROTC is considered one of the finest ROTC units in the country.

Can I use veteran's benefits at Carnegie Mellon?

For information on veteran education benefits, please visit the university's Veterans & Military Community website.

Can I waive my Noncustodial Parent Contribution?

Possibly. Please contact the Office of Admission at 412.268.2082 to request our Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile Waiver Request Form, which you'll submit along with a letter from a non-familial third party that can explain the situation. The Financial Aid Committee will review your situation and decide if this contribution can be waived.