Frequently Asked Questions & Special Circumstances
If you have questions about scholarships and financial aid for transfer students, this page is a good place to start. You'll also find information about appealing your financial aid decision. Still have questions? Call us at 989-774-3674 or send us an email.
What kind of financial aid is available?
We offer a wide variety of scholarships, grants, loans and other types of aid. We encourage you to explore all the options.
How do I apply for financial aid?
The first step is to apply for admission. Then submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
What is the FAFSA?
It's the application used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Eligibility is based largely on your family’s income and tuition costs.
How do I know whether I'm eligible for financial aid?
The best way to find out what you qualify for is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You can also review our general eligibility guidelines or check our Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of your aid.
When should I file the FAFSA?
You can file the FAFSA anytime after October 1 of the year before you plan to enroll. We encourage you to file as early as possible to maximize your opportunities.
If I submit the FAFSA, am I guaranteed to get funding?
No, but you could miss out on thousands of dollars in aid if you don’t. At CMU, more than 80 percent of students receive some type of financial assistance.
I submitted my FAFSA. When can I expect my financial aid package?
If your FAFSA is complete, you'll receive your financial aid package as early as February for student enrolling in the fall, and as early as November for spring semester students. Once you receive it, follow the step-by-step instructions to accept your awards.
How much can I get in scholarship support?
We offer transfer scholarships worth up to $19,500 over three years. How much you qualify for depends on your GPA and other factors.
Will my financial aid cover studying abroad?
Yes, you can use your financial aid to participate in a CMU-approved study abroad program through the Office of International Education/Study Abroad. We encourage you to meet with a financial aid advisor to make sure your program is eligible.
Can I get financial aid for summer courses?
That depends on how many classes you're planning to take and your eligibility.
Why does CMU ask for my Social Security number?
We don't need your Social Security number to consider your admission application, but we do need it to assess your eligibility for financial aid and tax credits. To protect your privacy, your Social Security number will not be used as your CMU student ID number.
How do I receive my federal loan?
Your federal loan will be disbursed after you complete a Loan Agreement/Master Promissory Note and complete loan counseling.
What's the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?
A federal direct subsidized loan is based on your financial need, and it's interest-free while you're in college at least half time. A federal direct unsubsidized loan is not based on need, but the interest starts accumulating when your loan is disbursed.
How much can I borrow in federal direct loans?
Your borrowing limits depend on your year in school and whether you're a dependent or independent student, as determined by the FAFSA.
My award letter says I have to be enrolled "full time." What does that mean?
Full-time enrollment means taking at least 12 hours of classes per semester. Enrollment requirements vary by financial aid program.
I got an email saying I've been selected for verification. What's that about?
Verification is a way for us to confirm the accuracy of the information you provided in your FAFSA. All you need to do is provide the supplementary information we ask for.
We recognize that the FAFSA doesn’t always capture the full picture of a student’s financial situation. If special circumstances are affecting your ability to pay tuition, you may file an appeal for a review of your financial aid.
Here are examples of situations that may qualify as special circumstances:
- Job loss or significant reduction in income (of at least 10 weeks).
- Loss of child support.
- Separation or divorce of parents.
- Death of a parent.
- Withdrawal of retirement funds for emergency purposes.
We cannot consider circumstances such as high credit card debt, home mortgage expenses, car payments, gambling losses or financial aid offers from other institutions.
If you would like us to reconsider your financial aid award in the light of special circumstances, email the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid or call us at 989-774-3674.