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Financial Aid


A number of factors are involved in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Institutional grants and scholarships (Gift aid)

All recipients must be full-time undergraduate students. Merit-based institutional scholarships and grants are awarded according to a student’s high school academic performance and ACT or SAT score, or the GPA from a transfer student’s prior college. Other institutional scholarships and grants are based on criteria specific to particular scholarships.
Learn more about Carthage’s scholarships and grants
See GPA requirements for specific scholarships

Federal grants and loans

Eligibility for federal grants and for subsidized federal student loans is based on financial need, which is determined by completing and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application is found at For maximum eligibility, a student should be enrolled at least half time in their courses, each academic semester or session.

Additional requirements for need-based aid are as follows. A student must:

  • Provide a final high school transcript or GED certificate to the College.
  • Be enrolled at least half time in a degree-seeking or eligible certificate program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Register with the Selective Service System, if required.
  • Comply with the Federal Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). See below.

State grants (Gift aid)

Eligibility for state grants is also dependent upon submission of the FAFSA, in addition to various requirements specific to each grant. More information:

Standards of Academic Progress

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to remain eligible for their financial aid awards, including scholarships. This federal requirement is intended to facilitate successful, timely completion of a student’s academic program. To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student must fulfill all of the following:

  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking or eligible certificate program.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.
  • Successfully complete 66 and 2/3 percent of the cumulative college credits attempted.
  • Complete his/her program within 150 percent of the hours required for that particular academic program.

Students wanting to have J-Term grades taken into consideration must submit a written request to the Carthage Office of Student Financial Planning prior to the first day of J-Term classes. Warning letters are sent to those students who are currently not meeting their scholarship terms, and the spring term is considered probationary. At the end of each spring term, the cumulative GPA is reviewed for all students to determine renewal of the scholarship(s). If the student’s cumulative GPA leads to the termination of the scholarship, the student may submit a written appeal to the Carthage Office of Student Financial Planning Committee and/or enroll in summer classes at Carthage to improve the student’s cumulative GPA. Download the SAP Appeal Form.

Specific Scholarship GPA Requirements

Academic Honors Scholarship 2.75
Alumni Grant 2.00
Art Scholarship 2.00
Badger Boys/Girls State Scholarship 2.50
Bridges Scholarship 2.25
Carthage Grant 2.00
Clausen Scholarship 3.25
Deans Scholarship 2.50
ELCA Grant 2.00
Faculty Scholarship 2.50
Founders Scholarship 2.75
Hay Scholarship 3.25
Highest Honors Scholarship 3.00
Kenosha Police/Fire Scholarship 2.00
Lincoln Scholarship 3.25
Math/Science Scholarship 3.00
Ministerial Grant 2.00
Modern Language Scholarship 3.00
Multicultural Grant 2.00
Music Scholarship 2.00
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship 2.75
Presidential Scholarship 2.75
Ruud Scholarship 3.25
Sibling Grant* 2.00
Spring Scholarship 3.00
Springfield Scholarship 2.75
Theatre Scholarship 2.00
Transfer Scholarship 3.00
Tri-County Grant 2.00

* To receive this grant, both students must be enrolled full time.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …