Scholarships and financial aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Our financial aid advisers can answer questions and help guide you through the financial aid process. Call us at 214-768-2058 or 1-800-323-0672 or e-mail ugadmission@smu.edu.

How do I apply for merit-based scholarships?
Submit your application for admission by January 15. To be considered for the Hunt Leadership Scholarship, you also must submit an additional essay as outlined at smu.edu/hunt.

Who is eligible for merit-based scholarships and financial aid?
All applicants are considered automatically for merit-based scholarships. U.S. and dual citizens and permanent residents who submit the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE® are considered for need-based financial aid. The FAFSA will be used to determine federal and state aid eligibility, such as Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans and Work Study. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® will be used to determine eligibility for SMU need based aid.

Will I have a financial aid adviser at SMU?
SMU assigns a financial aid advisor to each student.

When do I apply for financial aid?
Apply to SMU by January 15 and then complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid (found at www.fafsa.ed.gov) and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, to be considered for university need-based aid (found at http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile) There is a $25 cost for completing the CSS/PROFILE®. The FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE® should be submitted by February 15 for priority consideration.

How does SMU determine the amount of financial assistance?
FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE® information is sent to SMU, which compares the cost of attending SMU with the family’s ability to contribute to the cost. The FAFSA will be used to determine federal and state aid eligibility, such as Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans and Work Study. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® will be used to determine eligibility for SMU need based aid.

When will I receive my award notification?
Most merit-based scholarships are awarded at the time of admission. For need-based awards, SMU must receive and review your FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE® before your awards can be determined.

What if I receive an off-campus scholarship?
Let your financial aid adviser know of any expected scholarships from outside sources. Receipt of off-campus funding might affect your financial aid package by first reducing any need-based loans and/or work-study.

How do I accept my financial aid awards?
Submit your enrollment deposit, and then go online to accept or decline any specific awards.