Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Claremont McKenna College need-blind?
Yes, our admission policy is need-blind for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. This means that your admission is based solely on your academic record, personal achievements, talent, and potential as a CMC student. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, your family's financial situation is not considered and has no bearing on your admission decision. We are need-aware in our admission process for international students.

How can I afford Claremont McKenna College?
CMC's substantial endowment allows the College to be need-blind, to meet full need of all eligible students and to be relatively generous in ways that need is met.

Does CMC offer academic scholarships?
Although CMC's Financial Aid program is primarily need-based, the Office of Admission awards a limited number of merit-based scholarships to prospective students who submit their Common Application to the Office of Admission by December 1. Merit-based scholarship recipients are notified with their admission packet.

How do you determine financial need?
In order to qualify for need-based financial aid you must show financial need.

Determination of Financial Need

Tuition & Fees, Room & Board, Books & Supplies, Miscellaneous & Transportation

The amount that you and your parents should be able to contribute


How do you determine my family contribution?
In order to qualify for financial aid, your financial need must be determined through the criteria established by an approved need analysis formula. This formula estimates the amount both you and your family should be able to contribute toward your education, based on information you report on your CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and FAFSA. CMC uses a more in-depth formula to establish family contributions for institutional aid eligibility.

How do you determine my student ?
Your expected family contribution includes a contribution from you the student. The student contribution is determined by the greater of:

A minimum of $2,000–$2,400 (according to grade level)
50% of your total income (minus standard allowances)

Parent Contribution + Student Contribution = Family Contribution

How are outside scholarships handled?
Scholarships awarded by various organizations and businesses are generally used to replace the self-help (work-study + loan) portion rather than college grant of your financial aid package.

What is the average financial aid package?
Claremont McKenna College students come from very diverse backgrounds. Consequently, CMC provides financial assistance to students who come from a variety of income situations as it may pertain to household size, number of siblings enrolled in college and sometimes other unique circumstances. This includes students who have very limited resources as well as students who have substantially more resources but still need assistance to meet educational costs. Hence, family income ranges vary for students who qualify for need-based financial aid.

Is financial aid available for transfer students?
Yes, on a limited basis.

My child attends CMC. Can I access information about their financial aid?

Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Claremont McKenna College cannot share information about students over the age of eighteen without the prior written consent of the student. If your child is over the age of eighteen but would still like you to be able to discuss their financial aid with our office, please have them complete a FERPA Student Information Release Form and list you on it. Without this form, we cannot legally discuss their financial aid award or file with you.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?
Please feel free to contact our Financial Aid staff. You can email the Financial Aid staff at