How to Apply for Prospective Students

How to Apply for Financial Aid

All students should follow the steps below to apply for financial assistance.  International students, please note Step 5 for an additional option to apply.

STEP ONE: Checklist

Carleton, unlike some colleges, doesn't have a school-specific financial aid application form. Instead, you must check the box on your application for admission indicating that you intend to apply for financial aid. If this item is left blank we will assume that you will not be pursuing financial assistance.

STEP TWO: 

Set up and maintain your own personal financial aid file. Include copies of all forms, information, and communications with Carleton and any other agencies. If something becomes lost or misplaced, you’ll have the information readily available to resubmit easily.

ProfileSTEP THREE: 

All applicants should complete and submit the College Board's CSS Profile application for school year 2019-20.  List the Carleton College school code 6081 so we will receive the results.  You can access the CSS Profile for 2019-20 starting October 1, 2018.  You should complete it by the Carleton admissions deadline for which you are applying.

  • Fall Early Decision candidates should complete and submit the CSS Profile by November 15, 2018 using actual 2017 income figures.
  • Winter Early Decision candidates should complete and submit the CSS Profile by January 15, 2019 using actual 2017 income figures.
  • Regular Decision candidates should complete and submit the CSS Profile by January 15, 2019 using actual 2017 income figures.
  • Transfer candidates should complete and submit the Profile by March 31, 2019 using actual 2017 income figures.

Please note that there is an application fee to submit the CSS Profile.  Fee waivers are calculated automatically by the College Board at the end of the application process and generally follow guidelines for reduced and free school lunch in your area.

After you submit your CSS Profile, you can access your Profile Acknowledgement at the College Board website at any time. We recommend printing this acknowledgement and adding it to your personal financial aid file (see Step 2).

If you need to change any of your CSS Profile application information, mark the corrections on your acknowledgement and send a photocopy of only the pages with corrections directly to Carleton. Do NOT send corrections to the College Board; they will not process your corrections.

If you have questions or problems with the CSS PROFILE, you can reach College Board at 844-202-0524 or log into the College Board website and select "Contact Us" at the top of your dashboard.

Some schools may ask you for tax forms soon after you complete the CSS Profile.  However, Carleton requests this information after you have committed to enroll.

NOTE: International students may skip to Step 5.

STEP FOUR: 

FAFSAThe U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to determine your eligibility for federal and state aid, such as the Pell Grant, Minnesota State Grant, federal loans, and federal and Minnesota student employment.  

U.S. citizens and permanent residents should complete the FAFSA for school year 2019–20 online. List the Carleton College school code 002340 so we will receive the results.

You can access the FAFSA for 2019–20 starting October 1, 2018. You should complete it by the Carleton admissions deadline for which you are applying (see Step 3).

The 2019–20 FAFSA uses income and tax information from your 2017 tax form(s). If prompted, please use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to automatically populate income data on your FAFSA, assuring accuracy. If you have any questions or problems with your FAFSA, call 1-800-4FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).

Flag GlobeSTEP FIVE: 

(International Students only)

International students should complete the College Board's CSS Profile application for school year 2019-20.  List the Carleton College school code 6081 so we will receive the results.  You can access the CSS Profile for 2019-20 starting October 1, 2018.  You should complete it by the Carleton admissions deadline for which you are applying.

If you are not able to complete the CSS Profile, you may choose to complete the free International Student Financial Aid Application .  No matter which option is chosen, all international students must complete the the Certification of Finances form and send it directly to Carleton College. 

If you have questions or problems with the CSS PROFILE, you can reach College Board at 844-202-0524 or log into the College Board website and select "Contact Us" at the top of your dashboard.

Important Note for International Students: Financial assistance is secured at the time of your entry to Carleton.  Given the limited funding available to international students, we will NOT consider new applications for aid once you have enrolled.  You should make your plans for attendance at Carleton with the financial aid you have been awarded for your first year.  International students awarded assistance can assume that level of aid will continue during the four years at Carleton.  However, you should not assume that increased aid will be available in subsequent years.  With this in mind, aid applications after the first year are not required.

Additional Information:

Both the CSS Profile and FAFSA for 2019-20 use 2017 income information as the basis for calculations and analysis.  Figures from your income tax form should be used for this purpose to ensure accuracy (including using DRT for the FAFSA - see Step 4).  However, other information on the Profile and FAFSA, including family size, number in college, savings, investments, home value and mortgage, business value, etc. should be reported as of the date the application is submitted.

When a student has two living biological or adoptive parents, both are responsible for supporting the student through college even if they are no longer married or living together.  The parents (and stepparent if applicable) with who you live most of the time will provide the household and financial information for the CSS Profile and FAFSA.  Your other parent will complete the CSS Profile but does not need to complete the FAFSA.  We keep financial information for each respective parent and household confidential and do not share it without permission.Additional Information

Parents who are self-employed or own a business or farm will be asked for business or farm information on the Profile.  The Office of Student Financial Services may contact you if additional information is needed.

New students are normally notified of an initial financial aid decision at the time they are offered admission to Carleton if the appropriate forms, as previously listed, are on file prior to the mailing of the admissions decision. Awards are finalized in the summer once students have made their enrollment deposit and income figures are verified with actual tax returns. Significant discrepancies may cause a change to the initial award. However, in most cases, the final award will be the same as the initial award.  Carleton reserves the right to request copies of tax returns directly from the IRS.

Outside scholarships (assistance from sources other than Carleton) must be reported to the Office of Student Financial Services in writing.  Since financial need is determined by considering all sources of assistance, outside awards must be reviewed even after the initial aid award has been issued.  It is the college's policy to remain within a student's calculated need and allow outside awards to lower the self-help (loan and student employment) portion of the aid award.

Time to RenewRenewal of Aid:

Financial aid is not automatically renewable.  Student and parents must apply each year they are seeking assistance.  Students and their families may assume that the college will continue to provide comparable assistance for subsequent years assuming the family's financial circumstances remain constant. If those circumstances change dramatically, financial aid may also change.  It is our goal to keep aid awardes as stable as possible during your four years at Carleton.

Finally

All of us in the Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Services are here to help you complete the process of applying for financial aid with as little stress and difficulty as possible. Please contact us at 507-222-4138 or financialaid@carleton.edu if you have questions.