About 90 percent of new CMU students receive some form of financial assistance.

Assuming this is important to you, watch for these steps in the process:

  1. Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is available online for students taking at least 6 credits (usually, two 3-credit-hour classes). Remember, you’ll need to apply every year you’re in college.
  2. After your FAFSA is processed and you’ve been accepted to CMU, you’ll be emailed an award notice that may include aid such as:
    • Scholarships
    • Grants
    • Work study
    • Student and/or parent loans
  3. Know what’s possible in loans. While many students qualify for scholarships, grants and/or work study, all students qualify for a Federal Direct Stafford subsidized and/or unsubsidized loan.
    • A subsidized loan is based on financial need. When you submit the FAFSA, a federal formula calculates your expected family contribution. Need is determined by subtracting your contribution from the cost of attendance. The interest rate on this loan is set by Congress, but will not exceed 6.8 percent. This is an interest-free loan while you attend college at least half time.
    • Any student not qualifying for a subsidized loan is eligible for an unsubsidized loan as long as it, and any other aid the student receives, does not exceed the cost of attendance. For this loan, you are responsible for paying the interest at the time your loan is disbursed. If you received an unsubsidized loan, try to pay off the interest while in college, so it doesn’t get added to the original loan amount.

    The Stafford Loan is a vital resource for many students. However, we urge you to apply for scholarships and look for jobs so you build up less debt in college.

    If you are a dependent student as determined by the FAFSA, your annual Stafford Loan limits are:

    • First year student (0-25 credits): $5,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)

    • Second year student (26-55 credits): $6,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized)

    • Third year student and beyond (56 credits or more): $7,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$2,000 unsubsidized

    If you are an independent student as determined by the FAFSA, your annual Stafford Loan Limits are:

    • First year student (0-25 credits): $9,500 ($3,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)
    • Second year student (26-55 credits): $10,500 ($4,500 subsidized/$6,000 unsubsidized)
    • Third year student and beyond (56 credits or more): $12,500 ($5,500 subsidized/$7,000 unsubsidized
  4. Apply for Scholarships! CMU offers hundreds of scholarships​. So do many other sources. Use the Internet. Do your research. Apply early.
​​​​​​​