We meet 100% of a student's demonstrated financial need through grants, scholarships, student employee, and student loans.
Caltech's approach to financial aid
We're committed to providing you and your family with a financial aid package that fully meets your demonstrated financial need. Through a combination of different types of aid, admitted Caltech students are guaranteed to receive aid that meets their level of financial need.
How financial aid works
We know financial aid can be stressful and confusing. Even for numbers people. However, with the right information, you can feel confident in the process.
Caltech thoroughly reviews every financial aid application to assess each family's financial need and provide financial aid to meet that need. Factors used to determine financial need include:
- Taxed and untaxed income
- Assets, excluding retirement accounts and your primary home
- The number of people in your household
- The number of children in the household attending college as undergraduates
- Unreimbursed medical expenses
The financial aid application and review process is done annually, so if any of those factors change from year-to-year, then your financial need and corresponding financial aid will change accordingly.
Financial aid versus scholarships
The term financial aid encompasses all types of financial assistance for college – federal and state grants, loan and work-study programs, institutional loans and scholarships, and external (private) scholarships and student loans.
In contrast, scholarships are a specific type of financial aid known as "gift-aid" that does not have to be repaid after graduation. Scholarships can be merit-based, need-based, or both.
Merit-based scholarships are awarded based upon merit, meaning good grades and strong test scores. Need-based scholarships are awarded based on financial need. At Caltech, all student scholarships are based exclusively on financial need. You're also welcome and encouraged to apply for outside scholarships.
Cost of Attendance (COA), Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and Financial Need
Cost of attendance (COA) is the estimated cost of attending an institution. While it includes tuition and fees, COA also includes estimated costs for housing, food, travel, and personal expenses.
EFC is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Caltech Supplemental Financial Aid Application.
Financial need is calculated by subtracting EFC from COA and is what determines the amount of need-based financial aid a student can receive within a given term of enrollment.
Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Total Need
Use the calculators below to get a sense of how much a Caltech education might cost for you and your family. Use the net price calculator to see what students with a similar financial profile have paid to go to Caltech, taking into account grants and scholarships. Use our MyinTuition tool to anticipate your college costs and estimate your eligibility for need-based scholarships at Caltech by answering six basic financial questions.
Contact the Financial Aid Office
Phone: (626) 395-6280
E-mail (General Inquiries): [email protected]
E-mail (Document Submission): [email protected] (documents required for financial aid application should be submitted through IDOC)
Visit us in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions located on 383 S. Hill Ave. (behind the Holliston parking structure), Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Caltech Financial Aid
Mail Code: 20-90
1200 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91125