Financial Resources: Applying for Financial Aid
Applying for Financial Aid
If you are not certain that you and your family can afford to pay college expenses, you
should apply for student financial aid. Almost all students qualify for some form of
student aid, although for some students the aid is limited to unsubsidized loans. It is
important that you apply as early as possible to ensure that you are considered for all
programs for which you might be eligible and before campuses award the limited available
grant funds to other, earlier applicants. Applying as early as possible will also increase
the likelihood that you will receive an earlier notice regarding your eligibility, thus
enhancing your ability to make an informed decision about your choice of colleges.
Filing The FAFSA
All applicants for need-based financial aid at CSU campuses must file the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid—the FAFSA.
There is no charge for filing the FAFSA. The FAFSA form and the process have been simplified
over the years, but certain information remains essential in order to ensure that the aid funds
are being distributed to qualified students.
Early March is the priority filing date for applying for financial aid at CSU campuses.
Even if it is too early to file your FAFSA, you (or your parents) can apply for a PIN—a
personal identification number—that enables you to sign in when you file a FAFSA
electronically or make corrections, and to access your personal information in various
Department of Education systems.
The U.S. Department of Education makes the FAFSA available in several formats on the
Internet. FAFSA Express software can be downloaded to your computer for completion, and FAFSA
on the Web provides for online completion of the student aid application.
Additional Internet assistance is available in the form of the department's publication,
Completing the FAFSA. Questions may also be addressed to counselors at your college or to
staff of the financial aid office at any CSU campus.