Financial Aid Policies

General Policies

Financial aid is normally distributed in equal installments each term. Exceptions are campus work, paid every two weeks to the student, and non-Carleton scholarships, which are shown as anticipated on the billing statement, but are credited upon receipt of funds.

It is assumed that the family financial situation will continue as indicated on the Renewal FAFSA and CSS Profile. Significant changes should be reported to Student Financial Services as soon as they occur. This includes any scholarship/awards from sources outside the College and increases of $1,000 or more in income or assets.

The College will not authorize financial aid in addition to an outside award if the total amount of the outside aid equals or exceeds the student’s demonstrated need. We will assume that all outside aid will be sent directly to the College to be credited to your account. If this is not the case, please let us know.

Student Employment

During the summer, students will recieve notice of their work assignment for the following academic year. Students are paid by direct electronic deposit into their checking or savings account.

The intent of student employment is to help pay college expenses. Students should be aware that it may be necessary to apply a portion of their academic year earnings to their tuition account. Arrangements for direct payment of all or part of a student’s net earnings to their account may be made in the Business Office.

The maximum amount a student can earn is listed on the financial aid award. Students are not permitted to exceed the awarded amount.

Federal regulations require that all student employees must have a completed Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) on file in the Human Resources Office within three days of employment, or hours worked will be forfeited. A W-4 Withholding Allowance Form must also be completed. All income is subject to applicable Federal and State income tax laws. Students receive W-2 forms in January. The Human Resources Office is located in Strong House.

Minnesota State Grant Recipients

Minnesota State Grant recipients should be aware that the definition of a full-time student for the grant program is 15 credits per term. Students receiving Minnesota State Grants are expected to register for at least 15 credits.

Student Contribution

In addition to a student’s on-campus earnings from student employment, returning students are expected to contribute a minimum of $2,000 per year from break earnings.

Loan Fees

Students and parents should be aware that the proceeds of any Direct Stafford or Direct PLUS loans received by the College will reflect the awarded amount less the Origination and Guarantee fees. The Department of Education will automatically withhold these fees from your loan proceeds. These fees normally represent 1-4% of the approved loan amount. Note that only loan proceeds received will be credited to your account.

Off-Campus Study

Students planning to participate in an off-campus program are urged to review with their parents the costs of these programs. Information is available concerning each program in the Office of Off-Campus Studies. Students are responsible for deposits associated with non-Carleton programs. With the exception of Carleton seminars, financial aid is not available for summer off-campus programs.

A more thorough discussion of off-campus study programs is available at the Off Campus Studies site. In addition, students may want to visit the Financial Aid for Off-Campus Studies page.

Accepting Your Award

Students accept their initial award and any subsequent revisions online.  Students will be notified of the need to accept an award or revision by email and will access the aid award through the Hub.  The financial aid award letter should be submitted electronically to Student Financial Services within the time period noted on the award letter.

Direct Stafford Loans: If you were awarded a Direct Stafford loan and want to receive it, you must submit your award letter on the Hub before the loan can be processed.

If you are a returning student who has received Direct Stafford loans in previous years, the submitted award letter on the Hub will begin the loan processing.

Students who are first-time Direct Stafford loan borrowers must do the following for the loan to be processed:

  • They must submit the award letter on the Hub.
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note online.
  • A paper Master Promissory Note can be printed from online and mailed overnight, express, or certified mail to: Department of Education, 201 TechnaCeter Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117.
  • Complete entrance counseling.

If the above items are not completed in a timely manner, this will delay your loan disbursements and could result in you owing a balance to Carleton.

Perkins Loans: If you received a Perkins Loan, you must complete Entrance Counseling and the Perkins Master Promissory note.

If you are a returning student who has borrowed a Perkins Loan in the past, you only need to accept the Perkins Loan on the online award letter and submit it to Student Financial Services.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to receive financial aid funds. Satisfactory academic progress consists of maintaining a grade point average and earning credits at the following minimal levels:

Credits Earned
Terms Completed Normal Minimal Minimal GPA
3 54 42 1.8
6 108 96 1.9
9 162 150 2.0

Students must earn at least 210 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate. The College expresses its interest and concern before students reach the point where dismissal is imminent through the review of student academic records conducted by the Academic Standing Committee at the end of each term. Students are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress as long as they are permitted to enroll in the College. Details regarding College academic policies may be found in the Academic Regulations and Procedures Handbook.

Determination of Financial Aid for Subsequent Years

Students will continue to receive aid as long as satisfactory academic progress toward a degree is made and demonstrated financial need continues. Normally, financial assistance is not extended beyond 12 terms.

In order to renew financial aid, families must file the appropriate financial aid forms. This would include the CSS Profile, and the FAFSA. In addition, both students and parents must submit signed copies of the previous year’s IRS tax returns, including all schedules, or an Affidavit of Non-Tax Filing Status.

The financial aid of students who marry while at Carleton will continue to be based on parental financial resources.