Financial Aid Office

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

To assist you with your financial aid questions, review the FAQs listed below. For further assistance, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov or contact Campus411 All-in-1 at 216.687.5411 or 888.CSU.OHIO or allin1@csuohio.edu.

Applying For Financial Aid

How do I apply for federal financial aid?

The only way to apply for a federal grant, loan and Federal Work-Study is to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Why do I need a federal PIN and how do I apply for one?

A PIN number is necessary for you (and your parent if you're classified a dependent FAFSA applicant) to sign the FAFSA online. Having a PIN allows you to access your FAFSA and other information from the U.S. Department of Education. Applying for a PIN is quick and easy. You (and your parent if you're classified a dependent FAFSA applicant) can apply for a PIN before you submit your FAFSA (at www.pin.ed.gov). You can also apply at the time you submit your FAFSA (at www.fafsa.ed.gov).

What is the federal school code for CSU?

CSU's code is 003032. For quick reference, this number can be easily located in the green navigation bar on the right side of all financial aid web pages. If you do not initially put CSU on your FAFSA, you can always add CSU to your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You may also call 800.4FED.AID (800.433.3243) and request that CSU be added to your FAFSA.

FAFSA

I won't qualify for financial assistance. Why should I bother to submit a FAFSA?

Even though you might believe that your family's income is too high to receive financial aid, you may be eligible for low-interest federal loan assistance. They are available regardless of the family income. Also, some scholarship and benefits programs require applicants to submit the FAFSA.

Do I have to be admitted to CSU before submitting the FAFSA?

No, your FAFSA can be completed and submitted, even if you're not yet admitted to CSU. But we will not be able to view your FAFSA application until your admission is complete.

I submitted the FAFSA last year. Why do I have to apply again this year?

Federal regulations require that all students reapply for federal financial aid each year. The primary reason for this is to ensure that your eligibility for assistance is based on the most up-to-date income, asset, and family information.

I completed my FAFSA at a community college. Do I need to file another FAFSA if I transfer mid-year?

No, all you need to do is just add CSU to your FAFSA. You may do so by accessing your FAFSA by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov or calling 800.4FED.AID (800.433.3243). If you call, you will need to provide the DRN number that is located on your Student Aid Report (SAR) report.

I'm 22 years old and haven't lived with my parents since I was in high school. Why do I have to include their information on my FAFSA?

If you cannot answer yes to at least one of the student Dependency Status questions, the federal regulations require that his/her parent(s) income and asset information be included on the FAFSA.

My parents are divorced (or separated) and neither one has remarried. Whose information do I enter on my FAFSA?

You would enter the information from the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you live equally with each parent, enter the information from the parent who provided more of the financial support from the past 12 months, or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent.

Must I include my stepfather's income and asset information on my FAFSA? My mom and he just got married last year.

If you consider your mother (rather than your father) to be the parent you have lived with more during the past 12 months, then both your mother's and stepfather's income/asset information must be included on your FAFSA. Your stepfather is defined as your father for purposes of completing your FAFSA, regardless of whether or not he wishes to assist you with your educational and living expenses.

Both of my parents are deceased and I've been living with my grandparents since I was very young. They even claimed me as an exemption on their federal tax transcripts. Should I include their income/asset information on my FAFSA?

No, only if they have officially adopted you. If they have, then define them as your parents and include their information on your FAFSA. If they have been your guardians (even court-appointed), then you're defined as an orphan, and only your income/asset data should be entered on your FAFSA.

My parent(s) didn't claim me as an exemption on their income tax transcript(s). Can I apply for federal financial aid using only my information?

Maybe, review the Dependency Status questions of your FAFSA. An answer of "no" to all of these questions means that your parent(s) income and asset data must be entered on your FAFSA. An answer of "yes" to any one of the thirteen questions means that your parent(s) data should not be entered.

My family's circumstances have changed since I submitted my FAFSA. What can I do?

If a significant change occurs in your family's (or your) financial situation after you submit your FAFSA, be sure to contact Campus411 All-in-1 in Main Classroom room 116, or call 216.687.5411 or 888.CSU.OHIO or email allin1@csuohio.edu. In many instances, adjustments to your federal financial aid eligibility can be approved. Examples of such instances are a loss of income, separation or divorce and loss of benefits. The Special Circumstance form that you need is located on the Financial Aid Forms page. 

Loan Information

I am transferring to CSU and have a Direct Federal Loan with my current school. Can the remaining loan money for this year be transferred to CSU?

No, you must cancel the remainder of your loan at your current school so that CSU can originate a new loan for you. You must notify your current school in writing that you are transferring to another school and would like to have the remainder of your loan cancelled. Be sure you notify your loan guarantor and report any changes in the anticipated graduation date. Once the remainder of the loan has been cancelled, CSU can process you new loan.

I am transferring to CSU and already have a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file for my loans. Do I have to complete another one?

You only need to complete a new Master Promissory Note if you have not received loan money within the last year or if it has been 10 years since you signed one. All students must file a new MPN every 10 years. However, you will have to complete the loan entrance counseling because it is required for each school you are attending. If you do not complete your loan entrance counseling, CSU cannot disburse your loan.

What type of loans are degree seeking graduate and law students eligible for?

They are only eligible to receive Federal Unsubsidized loans and GradPlus loans. As of July 1, 2012, graduate and law students are no longer eligible for federal subsidized loans.

What is the GradPlus Loan?

The Graduate Plus (GradPlus) Loan is a federal loan program for degree-seeking graduate and law students. Read more frequently asked questions regarding the GradPlus Loan. 

Student Aid

Can I receive federal financial aid if I enroll less than full time?

Yes. If you are enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for Federal Pell Grant, Direct Loan, PLUS (parent) loan funds, Federal SEOG, Perkins Loan aid, and Work-Study employment assistance. If you enroll in less than half time, you may still qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.

Can financial aid be used to cover the cost of classes that are being audited?

No. Audited classes do not count when determining enrollment status for financial aid.

What kind of financial aid is available to graduate students?

Graduate students are eligible for loans, Federal Work-Study and assistantships. You should check the Graduate Studies web site for more information: http://mycsu.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/students/graduateassistant/index.html.

What is an EFC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined from the income and asset data you entered on your FAFSA. This amount is a reflection of your family's financial strength, an estimate of the amount of money that is expected to be available for spending on higher education expenses.

How do I find out how much financial aid I am eligible for?

After CSU receives your FAFSA and (if you are selected) the FAFSA verification process has been completed, you'll be issued an award notification listing the types of aid you have been awarded. An email will instruct you how to access the Fin Aid tab in CampusNet.

Does receiving a scholarship affect my federal financial aid eligibility?

Sometimes. You are not permitted to receive financial assistance greater than the total cost of attending CSU. Therefore, if you qualify for a scholarship after having been awarded federal financial aid, some of your federal assistance (usually loan eligibility) may have to be reduced. If this occurs, you'll be notified immediately. Read more frequently asked questions regarding scholarships.

The total amount of financial aid I'm receiving is greater than tuition invoices. What happens to the extra money?

Any remaining funds available after all your fees have been paid will be issued to you. You may view this amount by going into CampusNet and selecting the Account tab. If you see an amount in parenthesis ( ), that is your refund amount. The Office of Treasury Services issues refunds twice a week. If you refer to your CampusNet account, you will see when your refund was issued. If you have questions or concerns about your refund, contact Campus411 All-in-1 in Main Classroom 116, or call 216.687.5411 or 888.CSU.OHIO or email allin1@csuohio.edu.

How do I receive summer financial aid?

Students may use remaining Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan eligibility, which requires minimum enrollment of 6 credits for summer study. Campus-based aid (SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work Study), Institutional Grants (Residence Hall Grant) are not available summer semester.

Students applying for summer financial aid should finalize their registration by the first day of summer classes. To have your eligibility evaluated, please contact Campus411 All-in-1 at 216-687-5411, or email at allin1@csuohio.edu.

Summer semester is considered the last semester of our academic year. Financial aid is based on your remaining eligibility from your current FAFSA results.

What aid is available for Visiting Students (non-degree, visiting, and transient) in the Summer semester?

Visiting (non-degree, visiting, and transient) students who are enrolling at CSU this summer are not eligible for CSU administered financial aid, including alternative/private loans. Visiting students should consult their home institution for aid eligibility. You should make payment arrangements, for instance get on the Budget Payment Plan which you will sign up for in CampusNet. For more information about payment options visit the Treasury Services website

I have a brother and a sister who also attend college. Does this impact my federal financial aid eligibility?

Yes. Be sure to include this information on your FAFSA. Your eligibility for federal assistance, as well as the eligibility of both your siblings, is adjusted due to your family having more than one dependent child attending college.

My dad lost his job several months ago and hasn't yet found employment. Can I have my financial aid eligibility recalculated?

Yes. Your federal financial aid eligibility for the school year is initially based on income and asset data from the most recent 12-month calendar year (January through December). However, if you and/or your parent(s) experience a significant change of economic circumstances during the subsequent calendar year, be sure to contact Campus411 All-in-1 in Main Classroom 116, or call 216.687.5411 or 888.CSU.OHIO or email allin1@csuohio.edu. With proper documentation, your federal aid eligibility adjusted. The petition for this can be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.

Will my financial aid be affected if I drop or withdraw from a class?

When dropping or withdrawing from class(es) many things are looked at to see how much it will impact your financial aid. The date of you did it, the amount of credit hours for the class(es), and your last date of attendance in the class(es). Based on this information, you may be required to repay some of the grant and/or loan assistance that was credited to your CSU account for the semester. You should contact Campus411 All-in-1 in MC 112, or call 216.687.5411 or 888.CSU.OHIO or email allin1@csuohio.edu to find out specifically how you will be affected.

I'm planning to withdraw from all of my classes at CSU. How does this impact my financial aid?

According to the date you withdrew (and your last date of class attendance), a portion (or all) of the federal grant and loan assistance that was credited to your CSU account for the semester may have to be returned to the U.S. Treasury. If money is returned, it will create a balance in your account and you will be responsible for paying that money to CSU.

Verification

What is Verification?

Verification is a federal financial aid requirement in which the federal processor randomly selects FAFSA student/families for a comparison of the information that they listed on their FAFSA with information reported on the tax return(s), as well as, other information the applicant self-reported on their FAFSA.

I've been selected for verification three years in a row. What am I doing wrong? Why do I keep being chosen?

Each year, the US Department of Education will select FAFSA applicants to verify their income as reported. Also, CSU may select students, if we find conflicting information. Make sure that your information is complete and consistent.

Do I need to give CSU copies of tax transcripts?

You should request a copy of your Tax Return Transcript after you file your tax return. It can take up to 10 business days from when you make your request to receive a copy which will delay awarding your financial aid if you are selected for Verification. You will be notified by CSU if you need to submit photocopies of your (and often your parents') federal income tax transcripts. You can take them to Campus411 All-in-1 or fax them to 216.687.9247. Please retain copies of any federal tax transcripts, untaxed benefit statements and asset information that you used to complete your FAFSA. Forms for verification are available to download.

Should I turn in copies of my tax transcripts when I file my FAFSA?

No, do not turn in your tax transcripts until you are required to which will only happen if you are selected for verification.

What happens after I submit the required documents to CSU?

The review of comparing the student's FAFSA information with the IRS tax information and other required documents begins once all documents are received by CSU. If there is a mistake on the FAFSA, CSU will correct the error(s) and forward the information to the federal processor. The corrections may cause a change in the student's financial aid eligibility.

What happens if I decide not to turn in the required documentation?

If you fail to submit all the required information, the Financial Aid Office cannot determine your eligibility for federal and state loans and grants. It is recommended that a student turns in all required verification paperwork to CSU as quickly as possible. This will enable the Financial Aid Office to provide you a Financial Aid Award in a timely manner. Families who have filed extensions or who are self-employed and file their federal taxes later in the year are not excused from submitting required documentation for verification.

What do I do if my family has a change in income after I filed the FAFSA?

Do not make any changes to your FAFSA once you have successfully used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you have a change or a correction to make on your FAFSA, please contact Campus411 All-In-1 Enrollment Services. We can then determine the best course of action.

If you have experienced a change of income from what you earned/received in 2011 to a loss of income in 2012, you may be able to file a Special Circumstance Petition