Carleton is Within Your Reach! Carleton offers financial aid awards that cover each admitted student’s full demonstrated financial need. 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.

Your contribution will be calculated using a standard formula that treats all families as fairly and equitably as possible. We include many factors surrounding each family’s finances, such as income, assets, family size, the number of family members in college, and normal household expenses.

If you are admitted, you will receive a financial aid award that meets your full need; awards typically include a combination of a Carleton grant/scholarship, government grants, loans, and student employment. Your financial aid eligibility, or “need”, is the difference between Carleton’s cost of attendance and your contribution. For this purpose, we consider Carleton’s cost of attendance to include tuition, fees, room and board/meals, plus estimates for books, supplies, personal expenses, and a transportation allowance. 

To determine need, Carleton requires students to complete and submit the College Board’s CSS Profile Form and the U.S. Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If a student’s parents are divorced or separated, the parent with whom the student lives most of the time, should complete both the CSS Profile and FAFSA. Your other parent should also complete a College Board’s CSS Profile but does not need to complete the FAFSA. We keep financial information for each parent and household confidential and do not share it without permission.

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