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 2021-2022 academic year, follow the process below.
Prospective students not yet enrolled at CMU should visit Undergraduate Admission's financial aid webpage for application instructions.
Complete FAFSA & CSS Profile
Timeline: Available October 1
Preferred Deadline: February 15
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. While the FAFSA and CSS Profile can be completed after the preferred February 15 deadline, meeting the deadline supports the timely delivery of award letters and disbursement of aid as it allows financial aid staff time to collect and process any supporting documentation that may be required.
Submit 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 Student Information Online (SIO) to view a list of requested financial aid documents. They may also receive an email from The HUB requesting specific documents.
Receive Award Letter
Timeline: June/July (if application is complete)
Once the student's application is complete and all required documents have been submitted, a financial aid package will be determined. The student will receive an email notification that a financial aid award letter has been posted to SIO. If a student's circumstances change, then eligibility will be re-evaluated and the student will receive notification that a revised award letter is available. Students may provide access permission for another individual to view their award letter through My Plaid Student (MPS).
Complete MPN & Entrance Counseling
Timeline: After award letter 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.
Title IV Authorizations
Timeline: Following completion of MPN & Entrance Counseling
Students who are awarded 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.
Timeline: Financial aid funds disburse (or 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.
If we are unable to process a student's financial aid package due to missing 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 package. Students may log in to SIO to view documents that have been received by our office. View instructions for submitting missing documents.
2020-2021 Financial Aid
If you're interested in applying for financial aid for the 2020-2021 academic year, follow these instructions.