Cleveland State University Financial aid

Financial aid is money that can be used to help bridge the gap between your own resources and the amount of money needed to pay the cost of attending college. Approximately 70 percent of CSU's students receive some form of financial assistance. The University participates in or administers all of the major federal and state grant and loan programs. In addition, CSU provides University grants and scholarships.


Applying for federal Financial Aid can be, at times, challenging. The Federal Government in recent years, in an effort to utilize 21st century technology and reduce the amount of paperwork required, has created an easier and faster way for families to provide tax information when completing the application for financial aid. While this new process has helped, it can still be cumbersome for some families if you fail to answer questions within the financial aid application. This will impact the processing of your financial aid application.

To help you through this process, we want to make sure that you are aware and prepared when filing your Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). The following steps must be taken when applying for financial aid:

Please file your federal tax returns before you complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). Federal financial aid decisions are based on your federal income tax return(s).

Beginning in 2015, the Federal Student Aid Office introduced the FSA ID system. The FSA ID (Username and Password) replaces the PIN (Personal Identification Number). The FSA ID will provide students, parents and borrowers with a more secure access to the Federal Student Aid systems.

New users will be directed to the registration page to create a FSA ID. If you already have a PIN when you are setting up an account to create a FSA ID, you will be asked for your PIN. As long as the PIN information matches your other information, the account will be linked to the FSA ID account screen.

The FSA ID is required for every student and at least one parent whose information is required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Click on the following link to view the documentation on creating your new FSA ID.

Click YES to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool question on the application. This will expedite the processing. Failure to answer this question will cause incredible delays to your financial aid application.

Know our federal school code number, 003032 - keep this number close by while you complete the FAFSA as you will be asked for it in the application.

For a step-by-step guide in applying for financial aid, select Apply for Financial Aid.

2017-2018 free application for federal student aid (fafsa) updates

The 2017-2018 FAFSA will be available beginning October 1, 2016. You complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA for CSU, if you plan on attending Fall 2017, Spring 2018 or Summer 2018.


The 2016-2017 Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available: You complete the 2016-2017 for CSU, if you plan on attending Fall 2016, Spring 2017 or Summer 2017.

Filling out the FAFSASM can be a straightforward and easy process. will guide you through the application; click on the “Start A New FAFSA” button on the home page, and just follow the directions on the screen. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Visit the Federal Student Aid website and watch videos on learning how to complete your FAFSA

  • The Help icon is now available on all FAFSA pages.
  • Instructions on how to obtain an FSA ID for students and parents.
  • Improved information on confirmation as to what happens next in the aid application process.
  • The IRS data retrieval tool has been enhanced and mentions who is not eligible to use the tool.

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