Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Our financial aid advisors can answer questions and help guide you through the financial aid process. Call us at 214-768-3417 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.  For all other need-based financial aid, eligibility is determined through the submission of the FAFSA and CSS Profile™. These applications are used to assess your family’s unique financial situation and offer Federal and State-based educational funding options.

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

When do I apply for financial aid?
Both the FAFSA and CSS Profile™ aid applications are available beginning October 1st. For priority consideration, please ensure to submit your aid applications prior to your admission application deadline.

1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This is for federal and state aid. To view eligibility requirements and complete the FAFSA, visit fafsa.gov. A FAFSA is required for each year you wish to pursue Federal or State-based financial aid. Use SMU school code 003613.  

2. The CSS Profile™ 
This application is used in conjunction with the FAFSA to determine eligibility for the SMU Opportunity Award. This application is not necessary to be considered for any merit-based academic awards. A CSS Profile™  and FAFSA are required for each year you wish to be considered for the SMU Opportunity Award. There is a $25 cost for completing the CSS Profile™. Visit cssprofile.org to file the CSS Profile™. Use SMU school code 6660.

How does SMU determine the amount of financial assistance?
FAFSA and the CSS Profile™ information is sent to SMU, which compares the cost of attending SMU with the family’s ability to contribute to the cost.

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.  To submit any off-campus scholarships to the Financial Aid Office, please complete the Outside Scholarship Form.

How do I view and accept my financial aid awards?
To view your awards, you must activate your my.SMU access. Once in my.SMU, click the Financial Aid tile. Here, you will see the most up to date information about financial aid awards. To accept the awards, visit the Accept/Decline page. For instructions on how to accept your aid, click here.