Financial Aid Overview

Despite media emphasis to the contrary, paying for a private college education is not beyond the reach of most families. Like most college and universities, Carleton feels that the first responsibility for funding the cost of higher education lies with parents and students, who will be expected to pay as much as they reasonably can. Students and their families who cannot meet Carleton's costs may qualify for government grants, loans and work-study. Carleton also offers its own scholarship and grant programs to assist qualifying students.

Financial aid eligibility or "need" represents the difference between the cost of attending Carleton and a family's expected ability to contribute to those expenses. The cost includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, personal expenses, and a transportation allowance. The family's contribution is assessed on an annual basis and is calculated using a standard formula that treats all families as fairly and equitably as possible. This calculation involves many factors surrounding the family's finances including: income, assets, family size, number in college, normal household expenses, and a number of other items. There are no income caps to determine financial need or eligibility for aid.

To determine need, Carleton requires students to complete and submit the College Board's Profile Form and the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, parents and students are required to submit completed signed copies of their most recent federal income tax returns to verify data on the Profile and FAFSA

If a student's parents are divorced or separated, the custodial parent, or the parent with whom the student lives most of the time, should complete both the PROFILE and FAFSA. The noncustodial parent should complete the College Board's Noncustodial Profile online. Access to this form will be sent via email to the student and should be forwarded to the noncustodial parent. Carleton assumes the noncustodial parent will contribute toward the student's college costs to the extent that is reasonable.

Parents who are self-employed or own a business or farm may be requested to complete the College Board's Business/Farm Supplement by downloading and printing the PDF and submit it directly to Carleton. The Student Financial Services Office will contact you if this additional form is needed.