College Affordability

An undergraduate degree from CMU is an outstanding value. Of Michigan’s 15 public institutions, we consistently have one of the lowest undergraduate tuition rates in the state. Currently, we have the lowest tuition among Michigan’s research institutions. 

And there are more money-saving strategies to take advantage of before you cross the stage for your CMU degree. Let's dive into some smart-money strategies and services that students find valuable.

Start with scholarships and financial aid

We award over $50 million in scholarships every year, and 91% of our students receive financial aid or a scholarship.

  • Maximize federal aid: Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Work with our financial aid office to get your questions about grants, loans and work-study programs answered.
  • Apply for scholarships: Look for university, government, and private scholarships relevant to your field and background. Reference our scholarship guidance. Also, be mindful of academic performance requirements and things you may need to do to keep your scholarship. 
  • Consider alternative funding: Explore internships, part-time jobs or work-study and general student assistance (GSA) positions to supplement your income. 
  • One-stop support: OneCentral unifies the expertise of three key student service areas (Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office and Student Accounts) in one convenient location. You can schedule an appointment for advice about financial aid, your academic progress and setting up a payment plan.

Financial literacy fundamentals

  • Financial Wellness Collaborative: Our very own financial literacy initiative grows knowledge and confidence by teaching you tools and tactics that lead to better financial decisions. 
  • Create a realistic budget: Allocate funds for necessities (rent, food, utilities) but factor in fun, as well. Activities that help you reduce stress and feel emotionally and mentally ready for college success are worth budgeting for. Remember to leave room for emergencies, too.
  • Prioritize needs over wants: Choose wisely! Differentiate between “nice-to-haves” and "must-haves."
  • Track your expenses: Knowing how you spend is key! Use budgeting apps like NerdWallet or YNAB to understand where your money goes and adjust as needed.

Campus life and living ideas

  • Free campus activities: Museums, concerts, lectures and sporting events are usually free or discounted for CMU students. Don’t miss out on all CMU campus life has to offer!
  • Free campus resources: Work out in the main recreation center or one of the Residential Fitness Centers. Laundry is included in the semester rate for students who live on campus. Take advantage of these and other campus services and amenities!
  • Discounts galore: Use your student ID for amazing discounts on food, transportation, entertainment, travel and more. 
  • Cook your own meals: Ditch the fast food and expensive snacks. Cooking is budget-friendly and a life-long skill! 
  • Off-campus options: After your first two years, explore cheaper shared apartments near campus, but consider the impact on your transportation costs and free time.

With a little planning, you can make the most of your college experience without financial worry.