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International Students

Carleton’s small yet global community welcomes students like you. Our rigorous and highly supportive environment prepares students for a changing world. Our exceptional faculty only teaches undergraduates, so you will benefit from their undivided attention.

We are a liberal arts college. This means we offer broad learning in the arts, humanities, mathematics, and natural and social sciences. Through your major and other elective classes, you’ll also get in-depth study in a particular field (or a few!). We encourage you to go beyond the obvious to approach problems creatively. You’ll learn skills that will last a lifetime:

  • critical thinking
  • effective self-expression
  • flexibility in adapting to dynamic situations

Carleton’s Office of International Student Life (ISL) supports all international students. Our international community includes a wide variety of experiences. Some students’ arrival at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is their first time in the US. Others have grown up abroad as “third culture kids,” and some live in the US as undocumented students.


For the purposes of application processing, when we use the phrase “international students,” we’re referring to students who do not have US citizenship, nor permanent residency, nor DACA status… regardless of where they or their parents live, or where they go to school.

Application Materials

The application process for international students begins by submitting the same application materials as all other applicants. You should also submit the Certification of Finances, regardless of your intent to apply for financial aid. You will gain access to the Certification of Finances after submitting your application.

English Proficiency

Do you speak English at home? Have your classes been taught in English for the last four years? If you answered no to both questions, you should submit results of either the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test (DET). We have found that students with scores in the following ranges are best prepared to study and learn at Carleton College:

Financing Your Education

We are committed to putting a Carleton education within your reach — we meet 100% of demonstrated need for every student. We calculate the amount each student’s family can reasonably pay and then offer aid to cover the rest of Carleton’s cost. There are no income caps for determining financial need or eligibility for aid.

All international students must submit a Certification of Finances (CoF) with their application materials. This includes students who do not apply for aid. The CoF demonstrates how much money your family can contribute to your education and is used to prepare your immigration paperwork. You will gain access to the CoF after you submit your application. View a sample CoF to preview the questions that will be asked.

The estimated cost of attendance for the 2023-2024 academic year is $91,126. This amount includes tuition, housing, food, fees, plus estimates for books, personal expenses, travel, health insurance and expenses over breaks. You should expect this cost to increase each year between 4% – 5%.

If you cannot cover the entire cost of all four years at Carleton, you should apply for financial aid. You can provide either:

If you apply for financial aid, you are automatically considered for these scholarships:

  • Starr Foundation Grants: Scholarship opportunities for students from Asia
  • Kellogg Scholarships: Financial aid for highly qualified non-U.S. citizens to attend Carleton
  • Underbrink Fund for Global Initiatives: Aid to international students, without geographic limitations

We have limited funding available to international students. As a result, we will not consider a new application for aid once you have enrolled. We offer a few need-based scholarships to international students.


Interviews are not a required part of the application process. Should your travels bring you to Minnesota, you are welcome to register for an interview during your time on campus. In some parts of the world, we may have Alumni Admissions Representatives who can conduct an interview with you near your own home. If you have already conducted an interview with InitialView or Vericant, you are welcome to send it our way.

Early Decision

We may choose to admit a few exceptionally qualified international scholarship applicants for Early Decision. Our offer of admission is binding. You must withdraw all other applications when you accept our offer of admission. During Early Decision, we award a very limited number of international scholarships.

If you are not admitted during Early Decision, we may defer your application into our Regular Decision pool. We defer many highly-qualified candidates to Regular Decision. This is because we award most of our international scholarships during Regular Decision. If we move you into Regular Decision, the binding nature of Early Decision no longer applies.

If we admit you with an international scholarship through Regular Decision, you have until May 1 to confirm your acceptance.