Carnegie Mellon University

Learn more about FAFSA Simplification changes, processing delays, and the current timeline.

Undergraduate Financial Aid Process

A Carnegie Mellon education is an excellent investment in a student's future. Currently enrolled undergraduate students have several options for financing their education. To apply for financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year, follow the process below. 

Prospective students not yet enrolled at CMU should visit Undergraduate Admission's financial aid webpage for application instructions. 

Computer icon with the text FAFSAComplete FAFSA & CSS Profile

Timeline: Available October 1 (CSS Profile) & January 1 (FAFSA)
Preferred Deadline: As soon as possible once they open

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required if applying for federal and institutional financial aid programs. The CSS Profile is required if applying for institutional financial aid programs. The CSS Profile is not required if applying only for federal financial aid. Completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile as soon as possible after they open supports the timely delivery of financial aid offers and disbursement of aid as it allows financial aid staff time to collect and process any supporting documentation that may be required. 


Tax documents iconSubmit Supporting Documentation

Timeline: Upon request
Preferred Deadline: As soon as possible after requested

Tax documents or other supporting documents may be requested under various circumstances. Students may log in to their My Student Aid portal to view a list of requested financial aid documents. They may also receive an email from The HUB requesting specific documents. 


Award letter iconReceive Offer

Timeline: June/July (if application is complete)

Once the student's application is complete and all required documents have been submitted, a financial aid offer will be determined. The student will receive an email notification that their financial aid offer is available to view in My Student Aid. If a student's circumstances change, then eligibility will be re-evaluated and the student will receive notification that a revised offer is available. Students may provide access permission for another individual to view their offer through My Plaid Student (MPS).


MPN iconComplete MPN & Entrance Counseling

Timeline: After offer is received
Deadline: Loan funds will not disburse until these are completed

All first-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete an online entrance counseling session. The session provides information about borrower rights and responsibilities. CMU is notified when a student has completed entrance counseling. Students who completed a federal entrance counseling session while at CMU, do not have to complete another one.


Graphic of federal building and moneyTitle IV Authorizations

Timeline: Following completion of MPN & Entrance Counseling

Students who are offered and/or receive Title IV funds (federal grants or federal loans) should complete Title IV Authorizations in SIO by selecting 'Financial Aid Permissions' under the 'Finances' tab. When the amount of Title IV funds is greater than the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and dining charges, the credit balance is refunded to the borrower. By completing their authorizations, students designate whether excess funds are held as payment for future semester charges or applied to non-institutional charges. Otherwise, excess Title IV funds are refunded directly to the borrower and any student account balance remaining will be due from the student. 

Complete Title IV Authorizations

Hand holding money iconFunds Apply to Account

Timeline: Financial aid funds are applied to your student account according to your semester of study or loan period

Grant and scholarship funds disburse as early as June 25 for the fall semester, November 25 for the spring semester, and March 25 for summer sessions.

Loan funds disburse as early as 10 days before the first day of class for the loan period. View loan disbursement dates. Keep in mind that the amount of federal loans credited to the student account will be less than the total amount borrowed due to origination fees

View Additional Details

Submitting Supporting Documents

If we are unable to process a student's financial aid package due to needing additional documents, a Financial Aid Alert email will be sent to the student requesting the required documents. Until the entire application process is completed and all required documents are submitted, our office may be unable to complete a student's financial aid offer. Students may log in to My Student Aid to view documents that have been received by our office. View instructions for submitting supporting documents.

2023-2024 Financial Aid

If you're interested in applying for financial aid for the 2023-2024 academic year, follow these instructions.