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Applying for Aid

Application Basics

For new students, the essential steps are:

  1. Indicate on your application that you intend to apply for financial aid. There is no separate Carleton form required to apply.
  2. Set up and maintain a personal financial aid file to keep copies of forms, information and communications with Carleton and any other agencies.
  3. Submit the CSS/PROFILE -- the College Board's PROFILE form.
  4. Submit the FAFSA -- the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Be sure to submit these materials by the appropriate deadlines (see sidebar at right). We recognize that families may need to use prior year tax returns and estimated figures to meet these deadlines. It is permissible to file with estimated numbers provided you submit actual figures as soon as possible.

Special Circumstances

  • Divorced, separated, or never married parents:
    • The custodial parent should complete both the PROFILE and FAFSA.
    • The noncustodial parent should complete the College Board's Noncustodial PROFILE online. 
    • 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:
    • Although the Business/Farm information is included in the CSS/PROFILE, Carleton may request these families complete a more thorough Business/Farm Supplement. The form will be mailed to them and should be returned directly to the office of Student Financial Services.
  • A family with special circumstances:
    • Parents may submit, in writing, documentation they feel might be relevant and necessary in helping the office of Student Financial Services understand their family's financial situation.

This page is a basic overview. For much greater detail on the application process, please see: