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Financial Aid FAQ

You've got Questions. We've got Answers.

We know that applying for financial aid can be a complex process. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What's the Net Price Calculator?

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.

When does the financial aid application open?

The 2024-25 CSS Profile opened on October 1, 2023 and the FAFSA opened on January 1, 2024.

When is Carnegie Mellon’s financial aid application deadline?

For Early Decision 1 applicants, Carnegie Mellon has a preferred submission deadline of November 15 for the CSS Profile, and asks applicants to submit the FAFSA as soon as they are able.

For Early Decision 2 applicants, the deadline is January 3. We ask applicants to submit the FAFSA as soon as they are able.

For Regular Decision and Early Admission applicants, the deadline is February 15.

If your application materials arrive after the deadline, it may delay your receipt of a finalized financial aid offer. However, this will not decrease your eligibility to receive financial aid.

Are there different financial aid deadlines for transfer applicants?

Yes, spring transfer applicants should file the financial aid application by November 1, submitting the FAFSA as soon as they are able. Fall transfer applicants should file the financial aid application by March 1.

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.

Where and how do I submit missing financial aid documents?

You can consult this missing documents reference guide for the documents we are requesting on our website with more information regarding the document and submission.

What’s a financial aid offer?

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 is committed to meeting the demonstrated need of eligible undergraduate students.

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 financial aid application and the total cost of attendance.

Cost of Attendance
-  Expected Family Contribution
= Your Financial Need


How do you 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. This means that the expected family contribution used for federal and state financial aid will likely differ from the expected family contribution determined by Carnegie Mellon University.

I'm an international student considering Carnegie Mellon. Am I eligible for aid?

Carnegie Mellon offers need-based financial aid to applicants who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or have DACA status. International students aren't eligible for financial aid at Carnegie Mellon.

Is financial aid available for undocumented or DACA students?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students are not eligible for federal student aid but may be eligible for institutional financial aid. 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.

How do you determine our 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 number is called your Student Aid Index (SAI) on the FAFSA, and includes a direct contribution from income, drawing down on assets, and responsible borrowing.

Can I waive my Noncustodial Parent Contribution?

This is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please see our Applying for Aid page to learn how to request a noncustodial parent CSS Profile waiver.

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.

Can my financial aid offer change from year to year?

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.


Does Carnegie Mellon award merit scholarships?

No, Carnegie Mellon offers need-based financial aid to admitted students.  The School of Drama and Music has some limited institutional funding/endowed funding offered at the discretion of the department to help fulfill programmatic needs.  There is nothing additional that families need to do to apply for consideration for this funding beyond completing the common application and audition process, as well as submitting the required financial aid documents.

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 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.

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 encouraged 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 veterans benefits at Carnegie Mellon?

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

My parent or guardian works at Carnegie Mellon; can I receive tuition benefits as their dependent?

Carnegie Mellon provides tuition benefits for faculty and staff, as well as their dependent children. Tuition benefits are considered a resource when determining financial aid eligibility. If a student receives tuition benefits, and the tuition benefits exceed the student's calculated financial need, the need-based financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. Learn more about tuition benefits for dependent children of CMU employees.

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.

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Contact Admission

If you have additional financial aid questions, the Office of Admission is here to help! Please don't hesitate to contact us and speak with an admission counselor.

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