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?

We do not award any scholarships based solely on merit. Some need-based financial aid awards may contain a scholarship. To be considered for all available financial aid, including scholarships, you must submit the required financial aid documents.

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.