Frequently Asked Questions:
For Early Decision applicants, Carnegie Mellon has a submission deadline of November 15 for the FAFSA, CSS Profile and tax documents. For Regular Decision and Early Admission applicants, the deadline is February 15. If your application materials arrive after this deadline it may delay your receipt of a finalized financial aid offer. However, this will not decrease your eligibility to receive financial aid.
The 2021-2022 FAFSA opens on October 1. The CSS Profile opens in mid-October.
Carnegie Mellon’s FAFSA code is 003242.
Carnegie Mellon’s CSS Profile code is 2074.
This is reviewed on a case by case basis. Please see the financial aid special circumstances request form to learn how to request a noncustodial parent CSS Profile waiver.
All financial aid documents must be uploaded to the CollegeBoard IDOC service, the most secure method of handling these sensitive documents. Any documents sent to our office via mail or fax will be immediately shredded for your privacy.
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).
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. This means that the expected family contribution determined by the FAFSA will likely differ from the expected family contribution determined by Carnegie Mellon University.
Once we determine your financial need, we combine different types of financial support into an offer. Typical financial aid offers include federal, state and institutional grants, loans and work-study. Carnegie Mellon does not guarantee to meet a student’s full financial need.
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.
Yes. The most common reasons why your financial aid offer 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)
We recommend using the Net Price Calculator to receive an estimate of how your financial aid could change. However, please keep in mind that the Net Price Calculator results don't guarantee your future eligibility. Rather, this tool is designed to provide a general estimate.
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
You may wish to investigate a combination of federal and alternative loans, along with a monthly payment plan.
Carnegie Mellon offers need-based financial aid to admitted students. Admitted students also have the opportunity to request institutional awards from the School of Drama and School of Music. To be considered for all available financial aid, you must submit the required financial aid documents.
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 and/or work study plus your outside scholarship exceeds your financial need. In this case, your federal aid will be reduced, beginning with loans.
- Your entire aid offer plus your outside scholarship is greater than the Cost of Attendance. In which case institutional aid will be reduced only after adjusting federal aid.
Carnegie Mellon offers need-based financial aid to applicants that are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or have DACA status. International students aren't eligible for financial aid at Carnegie Mellon.
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.
The Department of Education has indicated that any aid received by victims of an emergency by either a federal or state entity for purposes of providing financial relief will not be counted as income for the calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or estimated financial assistance (EFA). This would apply to any funds a student will receive from a stimulus check and/or funds a student will receive from the CARES Act Economic Stabilization Fund — the fund to provide emergency grant aid dollars to institutions and students.
Carnegie Mellon has been allocated funds from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dedicated to students in need of financial assistance due to COVID-19. The university has also established a Tartan Emergency Support Fund (TESF) to provide enrolled students with emergency funds to assist with unforeseeable expenses related to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about these funds here.
At this time, students who are eligible to qualify for this emergency grant aid include undergraduate, graduate or doctoral students enrolled in a Carnegie Mellon degree-seeking program for spring or summer 2020, including those who graduated in May 2020. Incoming Fall 2020 undergraduates aren’t currently eligible to apply for these relief funds. If incoming Fall 2020 students become eligible to apply for either of these funds, we’ll update our website with more information. If you need further assistance, you can connect with your HUB liaison, who can provide individualized guidance.
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.
For information on veteran education benefits, please visit the university's Veterans & Military Community website.
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.
Carnegie Mellon provides the Net Price Calculator for students and their families to provide an estimate of a student’s financial aid offer prior to applying to Carnegie Mellon.