Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find an answer to your question in the FAQs below, feel free to contact The HUB at and a member of our team will assist you. 

When is an invoice issued and how can I view it?

A student account invoice is a downloadable PDF document and includes upcoming student account charges and credits.
New student account invoices are produced at the end of each month and students (and other authorized bill payers) are notified via email. Carnegie Mellon does not print and mail invoices. 
Email notification includes information about the student's billing statement and a link to Student Information Online (SIO), where the student will be able to view the invoice. Students can also view their previous monthly invoices on SIO.

To view the most recent account transactions, select 'Student Account Activity' under the 'Finances' tab in SIO.

Why does my invoice not match my student account balance?

Invoices are produced on the last day of the month and are not produced again until the end of the following month. Account charges and credits are applied to student accounts throughout the month and affect the student account balance. The university encourages students to view their 'Student Account Activity' page in SIO to stay informed about their account transactions and balance owed.

I am the bill payer, but I do not receive an invoice. What do I do?

A student may authorize a third-party bill payer, such as a parent, guardian or spouse, to receive an email notification, which includes a PDF attachment of the monthly invoice. If students do not give authorization through SIO and do not provide a current and valid third-party email address, then a monthly invoice notification will only be sent to the student's Andrew email account. 

Another way students can authorize a third-party bill payer to view their invoices and account activity, as well as to make payments, is to invite them to use My Plaid Student.

Why does a student need to provide authorization to Carnegie Mellon to email invoices or for My Plaid Student?

Carnegie Mellon is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of student information. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, the university may not disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without his or her consent, except in limited circumstances specified by law. View more information.

How will a student add, update or remove authorization or an email address for a bill payer?

Students may remove, change and/or update permissions for another bill payer (parent, guardian or spouse) to receive an email with a PDF of the invoice attached or for My Plaid Student by logging into SIO. Under the 'My Info' tab, select 'Manage Family & Friends.'

Is there a penalty for a returned check or e-check?

Yes, if a check or e-check payment made on your student account is returned by the bank, a $20 returned check fee will be assessed to your student account balance. This $20 fee is assessed for each returned check, regardless of the amount of each returned check. You will be notified by email regarding any returned check.

I am receiving tuition reimbursement from my employer but they require an invoice from CMU. What do I do?

Students may download their student account invoices from SIO and provide their employer with the PDF as this document is considered official. If an employer requires a course schedule, grades, etc., SIO can provide this information to the student in a printable format.

In the event an employer requires student account information that is not on the downloadable invoice, students can complete and submit a Student Account Verification Request form.

I am an international student and would like to wire money to CMU. Do I have to use Flywire (peerTransfer)?

Yes. Carnegie Mellon University has authorized Flywire (formerly peerTransfer) to accept all international wires on our behalf. Our students receive many benefits by utilizing this resource. 

Some lenders and banks prefer to wire directly to the university, however, Flywire is our official vendor. If necessary, Flywire can provide written authorization in the event a payer is hesitant to wire to an entity other than the university. This authorization letter, along with all necessary documents, will be provided after creating a payment request in Flywire.

I am having a difficult time making payments for my tuition. What can I do?

Carnegie Mellon University does not want financial issues to get in the way of student academic progress. The HUB can provide information on financial aid and payment options that are right for our students. 

If a bill is already paid on a student's behalf by a sponsor or academic department, does the student need to authorize either as a bill payer on SIO?

No. Students do not need to take action if a sponsor or academic department pays bills on their behalf. Sponsors and academic departments will continue to receive and pay the students' bills just as they have in the past. Students who are sponsored by an agency other than their department should view our sponsor billing process to learn more about providing supplemental information to the university for billing purposes.

I am covered under my family's/spouse's health insurance. Why do I see a health insurance charge on my fall semester invoice? 

Students already covered under a health insurance plan must submit a waiver (through SIO) to request that the health insurance charge on their student account be removed. Waivers should be submitted by September 15 each fall. University policy requires students to submit a waiver or apply for health insurance each year that the student is in attendance at CMU. Circumstances, policies, criteria, and benefits may change from year to year, so insurance re-enrollment is required for each coverage year.

View information regarding health insurance and waivers for graduate and doctoral students

I'm receiving tuition assistance from the military. What do I do?

The Student Accounts Office processes tuition assistance from military. Please send standard forms to

I'm no longer a student, why do I continue to receive invoices?

Students who graduate or withdraw will continue to receive invoices through the fiscal year of their graduation or withdrawal (i.e., through June 30). If a graduated or withdrawn student carries a balance past May in that same fiscal year, or generates a new balance, invoices will continue for two months following payment in full.

How and when can I receive a refund of the excess credit balance from my student account?

We encourage you to use electronic refunding by enrolling in online banking through SIO. It is open to all enrolled students, and allows your student account refund to be deposited into a U.S. checking or savings account.

How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool? 

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS website. Learn more about the IRS DRT.

Will my financial aid package change if personal information changes after I apply?

Your eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by using a Congressional formula called Federal Methodology. It uses your parent(s)' and your total taxable and untaxed income, federal taxes paid, current equity in assets that you were required to report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and size of household and number enrolled in college at least half-time, to determine the amount you are expected to pay toward your education. This amount is called your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The number of family members attending college has changed. Should I inform you?

Yes. The number of dependent family members enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a degree-seeking or certificate program affects your financial aid eligibility. Please notify us directly in writing if the number in college changes after you have filed your FAFSA and CSS PROFILE. In addition, please update your FAFSA online. We will re-evaluate your eligibility and notify you if your financial aid package changes. Student Financial Aid will verify this information during the fall semester.

Can enrolling part-time affect my financial aid package?

Yes. Your financial aid package is based on full-time (36 units or more per semester) enrollment. If you are enrolled part-time and assessed part-time tuition, your financial aid package will be revised to reflect this. You have to be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for financial aid.

Under what special circumstances will my financial aid package be increased?

In the determination of a student's financial aid eligibility, circumstances such as loss of employment or changes in employment status, parents' divorce or separation, or the death or disability of a parent are considered.

If your custodial parent(s) or you (independent students only, and your spouse if applicable) anticipate a reduction in income of at least 20 percent of your total taxable and untaxed income, we may re-evaluate your financial need. Please contact The HUB for instructions.

You will want to estimate carefully. After the calendar year, we will verify your projection by requesting that you submit your federal tax documents. If your actual information is higher than your projection, we will recalculate your financial aid eligibility and notify you of any adjustments.

Can my financial aid package change from year to year?

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

  • Increase or decrease in family income
  • Change in the number of family members in college
  • Change in household size
  • Increase in cost of attendance
  • Receipt of an outside scholarship
  • Unsatisfactory academic progress

You need to apply for financial aid each year because the information used to determine your eligibility may change annually.

My student aid report says I was "selected for verification." What does this mean and what do I do?

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to "verify" students applying for aid and selected for federal verification. Carnegie Mellon will ask for confirmation of the data provided on your financial aid applications. We will verify all undergraduate students selected for verification by the Department of Education and any student with inconsistent or conflicting information. The applicant data that must be verified includes: household size, number of family members in college, adjusted gross income, wages, taxes paid and untaxed income.

I receive tuition benefits from Carnegie Mellon; how will this affect my financial aid eligibility? 

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 downward. Learn more about tuition benefits at CMU

Can my academic performance affect my financial aid package?

Yes. To be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, all students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of a degree. Each university determines its own policy in accordance with federal regulations set forth by the U. S. Department of Education regarding satisfactory progress standards to ensure student success.

Financial aid at Carnegie Mellon University includes federal aid, such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loan programs; state grant aid; and Carnegie Mellon institutional aid including grants, loans and scholarships.

Carnegie Mellon evaluates all students for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress annually, at the end of the spring semester. Students that are included in the review are undergraduates, graduates, both full-time and part-time.

For more information, please see the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Procedural Statement on the Financial Aid Policies webpage.

I would like to make an informed decision regarding moving off campus. How will this affect my financial aid for the next year?

This is a common question that we usually receive in the spring prior to students completing the housing room selection for campus housing. The cost of attendance between a resident and an off-campus student is about a $500 - $600 difference, which addresses 9-month room and board. Most students choose to live off-campus because it is less expensive. Please be aware that you will more than likely be required to sign a lease or rental agreement for 12 months that may require a security deposit or up-front rent prior to move in. You would not be able to obtain any financial aid or refund checks prior to the beginning of the semester to use to help pay for your off-campus expenses. You may also discuss your options with Housing Services.

I have incurred additional, unexpected costs related to my course and I am unable to pay. Is financial assistance available for these types of academic costs?

Carnegie Mellon recognizes that there are times when students may face financial hardships during their academic career - whether it's due to unexpected course-based or academic costs or an emergency situation. In such cases, students are encouraged to reach out to their HUB liaison for support. The HUB liaisons are available to provide individualized counsel to students and families facing difficult financial situations. 

Is it possible to calculate my maximum eligibility for Federal Direct Loan funds prior to receiving official notification?

Yes. By using the cost of attendance, you can calculate your estimated loan eligibility. Cost of attendance will vary depending on school/college.

Estimated Cost of Education for Fall and Spring - (minus) Scholarships, Fellowships, Tuition/Fee Stipends (untaxed only) 
= (equals)
Direct Loan Loan Eligibility (Maximum is $20,500)

When will I be notified of the Federal Direct Loan and Grad PLUS Loan amounts for which I am eligible?

Once your eligibility has been calculated, you will be sent an award letter notification email with instructions on how to view your award letter in Student Information Online (SIO).

What if I haven't submitted all the documents needed to complete my financial aid application?

An email will be sent to you requesting the missing documents. You may also view your financial information via SIO.

Can enrolling part-time affect my finanical aid package?

Yes. Your financial aid package is based on full-time (36 units or more per semester) enrollment. If you are enrolled part-time, your financial aid package will be revised on the tenth day of classes to reflect your part-time status.

I am an international student, am I eligible for student loans?

You are not eligible for Federal Loan programs. You may be eligible for some private loan programs, open to international students who have U.S. co-signers. Learn more about private loans.

Can I borrow loans to pay for my living expenses in addition to covering my tuition?

Yes. We use a standard cost of attendance that includes a standard housing and room allowance. See graduate cost of attendance information.

View the College Board's website for information regarding completing the CSS PROFILE. 

The College Board created an Intitutional Document Service (IDOC) Overview presentation, which students and families may find helpful.