Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, our need-blind admissions policy, which applies to U.S. citizens/permanent residents, means that a family's financial need will not negatively influence the student's admission decision. The policy encourages U.S. citizens and permanent residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds to apply to CMC. We are need-aware in our admission process for international students.
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.
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.
In order to qualify for need-based financial aid you must show financial need.
Determination of Financial Need
COST AT CMC - FAMILY CONTRIBUTION = YOUR FINANCIAL NEED
Cost at CMC: Tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.
Family Contribution: The amount that you and your parent(s) should be able to contribute.
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 Profile and FAFSA. CMC uses a more in-depth formula to establish family contributions for institutional aid eligibility.
Your expected family contribution includes a contribution from you, the student. The student contribution is determined by the greater of:
A minimum of $2,200–$2,500 (according to grade level), or
50% of your total income (minus standard allowances)
Parent Contribution + Student Contribution = Family Contribution
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.
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.
Yes, on a limited basis.
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.
Students who live at home, while enrolled, will not be required to pay room and board charges. Students on financial aid that live at home will have their financial aid budget and need-based grant reduced based on the reduction in their cost of attendance.
Applying for Financial Aid
Claremont McKenna College uses both the FAFSA (for federal and state aid) and the CSS Profile (for institutional need-based aid) in our financial aid application process; however, the deadlines and processes vary for prospective students and current students. Please visit the section on our website on applying for financial aid for a detailed explanation of applications and deadlines.
The Claremont McKenna College Office of Financial Aid uses the FAFSA and CSS Profile to determine financial eligibility, but we do not produce either application. If you have questions about completing the application, please have all relevant tax information available when you contact the Claremont McKenna College Office of Financial Aid. Unfortunately, if you have technical difficulty with these applications, we are unable to assist with them. Please contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FED.AID (1.800.433.3243) for difficulties with the FAFSA, and College Board at 844.202.0524 for difficulties with the CSS Profile.
The Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process, known as the IRS Data Retrieval process, to simplify the steps to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).This process will allow you to automatically have your family’s income information input into your FAFSA. The process enables FAFSA to request and retrieve income and tax data directly from the IRS.
No. Claremont McKenna College does not require that you file taxes to complete our application. If you are not required by state or federal agencies to file income taxes, we may request that you complete and send a “Student Non-tax Filer Form” or “Parent Non-tax Filer Form,” and W2s if applicable, in lieu of tax returns and schedules. If you are unsure whether you are required to file state or federal income tax returns, please contact a tax professional.
When documents are uploaded through the College Board’s Institutional Document Service (IDOC) they are processed and made available to the CMC Office of Financial Aid. Unfortunately, this process is not instantaneous. Please allow at least 3-5 business days for processing before CMC has access to the documents you have sent. If you are experiencing unusual delays, please contact the College Board’s IDOC service at 866.897.9881 to inquire about the status of your documents.
Interactive PDFs are files that can be opened with Adobe Reader, a free program, and completed on the computer. These documents can be signed electronically and emailed to our office. This allows families who do not live in the same household or who live far from CMC to bypass postal delays and instead submit forms instantly from any computer in the world with an internet connection.
As part of our new electronic financial aid application process, most requested documents can now be downloaded from the “Forms” section of our website and submitted electronically or printed and submitted via fax or mail. You will be able to check the status of your file or view any documents that you still need to submit using Net Partner.
After completing the PDF form in Adobe Reader, submit the documents electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to use a more familiar method, we will continue to accept forms via fax at 909.607.0661, or via mail. If you plan on using one of these methods instead of electronically submitting the forms, you can download and print any required documents, and submit them after completion.
After You've Applied
If you submit your application material on time, you will receive a financial aid award with your letter of admission (if your file is complete) If you are admitted as an early decision candidate, you will not be required to make your admission decision until you have received and reviewed your financial aid package. You are not guaranteed financial aid if you miss any deadlines.
All students must adhere to published deadlines. For incoming freshman and transfers: if you submit your financial aid application materials on time, you will receive a financial aid notification in your admission packet. For returning students: if you completed your file on time, you will be notified early summer that you can view your financial aid award via Net Partner. Your financial aid award may be delayed if you fail to complete your financial aid application by required deadlines. Returning students completing their financial aid files after January 15 will be subject to penalty assessments.
Each year students must re-apply for financial aid. Changes to the cost of attendance as well as changes in your family's financial circumstances can affect your eligibility each year. Whenever possible, CMC strives to maintain student award levels from year to year while working within federal, state, and institutional policies and regulations.
Work-study allows students with financial need an opportunity to make money for educational expenses through part-time work. Students with work-study are eligible to work on- or off-campus, up to 20 hours per week when school is in session, and earn up to the total amount of their work-study award. Work-study can only be earned at jobs that are designated work-study jobs. You can learn more about work-study at the work-study section of our website.
Generally, students that are enrolled as part-time students are not eligible for their merit-based or need-based assistance.
If you take a LOA for the fall semester, your family contribution will remain the same for the academic year and will be applied to the cost of attendance for the spring semester. This can have a significant impact on your eligibility for need-based grant assistance. In some cases, it may completely eliminate eligibility for need-based aid.
Net Partner is a web-based student portal that provides students real time access to their CMC financial aid information. Current and prospective CMC students can log in to Net Partner using their assigned CMC ID and a Net Partner PIN.
Net Partner allows you to view and accept financial aid awards, track documents required to complete your financial aid file, read messages from the financial aid staff, and track Federal student loans. Some of the major functions of Net Partner include:
- You can accept or decline awards using Net Partner.
- You can view an up-to-date list of the documents the OFA has received and those you are missing.
- You can track your federal student loans.
- When the financial aid staff makes a change to your award or has an important message for you, you will be able to view it in Net Partner.
To log-in to Net Partner, simply go to the financial aid web pages and click on the Net Partner link located on the right navigation bar. You will need your CMC ID number and your Net Partner PIN. Please note that your Net Partner login information may differ from your CMC email login information.
After you have logged in to Net Partner, you should be able to click on the “Accept Awards” tab. From this tab, you should be able to see a drop-down menu under “Status” next to each award. Click on this menu and select “Accept” to accept an award to “Decline” to decline the award, and then select “Submit.”
After you have logged in to Net Partner, you will be able to click on the “Documents” tab. This tab lists all documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid, as well as their status. If the document status is “Received,” we have received this document and do not require any further action from you regarding that document. If the status is “Not Received,” “Incomplete,” or “Not Signed,” this document still requires action from you before it will be marked as “Received.”
You will receive your CMC ID with your award letter. You can log on to Net Partner as a FIRST TIME USER to establish your PIN.
If you are a current CMC student who has forgotten their CMC ID number, you can find it on your CMC ID card. If you have lost your card, please visit the CUC card center to be reissued another card. If you have forgotten your PIN, you can log in using your CMC ID number and click FORGOT YOUR PIN? Simply follow the instructions to securely identify yourself. Please keep these numbers in a safe place.
After students have graduated from Claremont McKenna College, the Office of Financial Aid is no longer involved in their loan process, including repayment, deferment, or any other questions. If you have questions about repaying your CMC College loan and have already graduated from Claremont McKenna College, please contact the Student Loan Office at 909.621.8414. If you have borrowed another type of loan, like a Federal Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct PLUS loan, or alternative loan, Claremont McKenna College is not your lender, and does not service your loan after graduation. You need to contact NSLDS with any questions or concerns you have about your loan.
If you have questions about any communications with the Office of Financial Aid, feel free to call or email us; however, we ask that you please note where the correspondence originated before calling our office. Many forms, letters, and other correspondence regarding student financials comes from the Office of Student Accounts, the Student Loans Office, or other offices besides the Office of Financial Aid, and the Financial Aid staff may not be able to assist you with questions about other office procedures.