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Claudia Keith, ckeith@calstate.edu
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March 3 is Deadline For College Financial Aid Priority Applications

CSU students encouraged to file federal FAFSA by deadline

(Jan. 31, 2008) - California State University undergraduate students who wish to receive financial aid during the 2008-09 college year should file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) now through March 3. While the FAFSA may be filed after March, those filing before the priority deadline increase the likelihood of receiving maximum consideration for all sources of aid. Students should also ask their campuses and schools to submit a verified grade point average (GPA) to the California Student Aid Commission by March 3 to be considered for a Cal Grant.

Seven CSU campuses are also still accepting undergraduate admissions applications for fall 2008 for first-time freshmen until March 1 including Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Bakersfield, Sacramento State, Cal State East Bay, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal State Monterey Bay.

After filling out their FAFSA forms online at CSUMentor.edu, students may transfer their application data from CSUMentor’s transfer module directly to the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA website.

While CSU encourages students to file the FAFSA electronically rather than the paper version, it encourages families to complete the FAFSA Web Worksheet prior to filing the online version. Go directly to the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.fafsa.ed.gov to access the Web Worksheet. The FAFSA needs to be filed every year a student wishes to be considered for financial aid.

“It is important that students and families do their homework to figure out what types of financial aid they are eligible for, and to submit a FAFSA application on time since that is used to determine eligibility for other financial aid programs available at CSU campuses,” said Allison Jones, CSU assistant vice chancellor for student academic support. “Meeting the March 3 deadline is important to ensure that students will have the largest array of financial options.”

There are four key steps CSU students need to complete to see if they are eligible to receive a financial aid package. Descriptions of the four tasks and other tutorials are available on CSUMentor.edu

Students needs to first estimate their financial aid eligibility and then file a FAFSA form with the federal government. After filing the FAFSA, students should research the types of financial aid available while waiting to receive their Student Aid Reports (SAR), the federal government sends to them after evaluating their applications. When students receive their SARs, they should check for errors and make corrections to their FAFSA online, and will then be contacted by the financial aid office.

About California State University

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 89,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu


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Last Update: January 31, 2008

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