There are college students who go to the closest college. There are college students who look for the cheapest college. Then there are the ambitious students who dream of going to the bestcollege: an incredibly prestigious and influential school that will look amazing on their future resume—one that will run them tens of thousands of dollars for a single year.
Carnegie Mellon is one of these universities, and if you are a student looking into this college, you may be asking yourself, “how could I possibly afford Carnegie Mellon? How much will it cost? Does Carnegie Mellon meet full needs?” The answer may not shock you.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Into Carnegie Mellon?
Let’s get this out of the way: Carnegie Mellon is a costly college. We won’t go over what it takes to be eligible to attend; if you are thinking about how much it costs to get into Carnegie Mellon, you at least believe your application will be accepted. This would be a very impressive feat, as Carnegie Mellon has a 14% acceptance rate. But the question is, how much does it cost to get into Carnegie Mellon?
Carnegie Mellon is a prestigious private university; thus, there are several fees and additional costs besides the yearly tuition. Let us begin with the cost of the tuition: a year of tuition at Carnegie Mellon will cost a student $37,000 on average—and that is accounting for the average amount of financial aid! Without aid, the average tuition is nearly $60,000. There is no tuition reduction for Pennsylvania residents, which may be appealing to students from out of state who do not want to be saddled with even greater costs.
Next, there are the additional expenses, such as books and supplies. Buying textbooks, supplies, and fees like accessing laboratories will not be a high cost–at least compared to the tuition–roughly coming up to $1,000 to $2,000. However, students who want room and board at Carnegie Mellon do have to pay a significant fee, as it is $15,000 for student housing and a food plan from Carnegie Mellon’s cafeteria.
With all expenses totaled, attending Carnegie Mellon will cost a student $76,000. Mind you that $76,000 is the cost for a single year of Carnegie Mellon. A full four-year degree may cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars! That is quite expensive. Regardless of one’s financial status, a student should be prepared to invest a lot of money into Carnegie Mellon.
However, $76,000 is the worst-case scenario, where a student would pay out of pocket for a college education. Even at Carnegie Mellon, there are various forms of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and various methods for college students to make going to one of the most costly universities in the United States just a little easier. But can a student have their full financial needs met at Carnegie Mellon? Does Carnegie Mellon offer scholarships?
Does Carnegie Mellon Offers Scholarships?
Unlike many colleges and universities, Carnegie Mellon does not offer scholarships—not directly from the university, anyway. Carnegie Mellon used to have two significant scholarships—the Carnegie Mellon Presidential Scholarship & Carnegie Scholarship Programs—but they are no longer available to incoming students. What Carnegie Mellon does offer, however, is financial aid. Financial aid mainly comes from the university, as well as federal and state grants.
The most significant financial aid is the Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Grant. The university awards this grant to any accepted student who has significant financial need and has completed, along with other forms of documentation, their Free Application for Federal Student Aid form for their incoming school year. The exact value of this grant depends on your tuition costs and the financial aid a student receives from federal grants.
Speaking of federal grants, students also receive federal and state funds from the government, namely,
- The Federal Pell Grant, available for students with high financial need,
- and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), available for students with an exceptional financial need.
However, earning either of these grants will reduce, dollar-by-dollar, the amount of money the student receives from the Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Grant.
Finally, any scholarship outside of Carnegie Mellon can fund a student’s tuition, including academic-based scholarships and funds from organizations like Unigo or state-unique scholarships.
Even with outside assistance, the costliness of Carnegie Mellon is strongly weighed against a student. How can someone afford Carnegie Mellon on their own? We have a few suggestions.
How to Afford Carnegie Mellon: 3 Tips
Scrounging up the money to afford Carnegie Mellon will be no easy task, even with the various avenues of money and financial aid that one can accrue. Any student will need more help landing their dream college, so here are three essential tips that will help make going to Carnegie Mellon just a little cheaper.
The most obvious and direct way to afford something is to put some money aside. If you have a job or receive some other income or social security, you should put some to the side to pay for whatever costs you couldn’t get through financial aid alone.
However, we feel the need to clarify that you would need to save a large portion of income from a source with lots of money in order to make enough to pay off most colleges or universities, let alone Carnegie Mellon, in a timely and consistent manner. A student who could make that kind of money so casually is not a student you would come across normally; otherwise, they already have a really well-paying job for someone who is looking to get into college.
If you want to pursue this tip, you need to have started saving money early on. Either that or saving money will be an idea better suited for when you are already in Carnegie Mellon, using what you save from having room and board towards future tuition.
Apply for Every Type of Financial Aid
Financial aid exists specifically to make students afford college easier. Carnegie Mellon, as we discussed, has its form of financial aid in the form of needs-based grants. While Carnegie Mellon will grant a significant amount of financial aid to a qualified student, you should apply and pursue every form of financial aid available to you, including scholarships from third parties. Sites like Unigo or scholarship.com offer scholarships to students who are willing to sign up. While it is not likely that alone will net you a scholarship, it is still in your best interests to sign up and apply for any type of scholarship that crosses your path to increase your chances of additional funds to afford the costs.
Take Out Student Loans
The most drastic and, ironically, costly action a student can take to afford Carnegie Mellon is to take out student loans, which is not something that many students would want to do. While it can help pay for your education today, it will leave you having to pay it off in the future. Still, it is the most direct way to afford Carnegie Mellon, and additional financial aid will significantly reduce the need for student loans.
We want to make clear that anyone looking to take out student loans should prioritize federal student loans. While federal student loans will accrue interest, taking a federal student loan is significantly more accessible and less risky than a private student loan, as many private loaners will try to abuse the student’s financial vulnerability. Additionally, subsidized federal student loans do not accrue interest until six months after a student graduates.
Is Carnegie Mellon Worth the Cost?
There are many colleges and universities in America, each with pros and cons. Carnegie Mellon is no exception. Private universities of such prestige and price have a lot of pros, such as a well-educated staff of professors, diverse students, and premium supplies. Those who graduate from this college will have a pretty prestigious college on their resume, which is attractive to employers no matter where they go. However, the cost cannot be understated, and for students who want to pursue higher education, many cheaper alternatives will easily grant you a whole college experience.
Ultimately, Carnegie Mellon is worth putting yourself under likely substantial debt if it is genuinely the college you want to attend and the university is something you want to pursue. But it is only worth it under that criteria. If you simply want to attend Carnegie Mellon because it is a prestigious school, you better have the financial aid and money to back up the four years of debt. Many other colleges are cheaper and worth your time.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Afford Carnegie Mellon?
How do you afford Carnegie Mellon? The university asks a lot from incoming students, and while it does offer assistance for those who need it, a student will have to find additional means to afford their tuition and time at the university, such as saving money, finding scholarships, and taking out student loans. If Carnegie Mellon is truly the university you want to go to, then it will be worth the cost—just be prepared to pay a lot!