News & Announcements

CSU to Continue 2-for-1 Tuition Promise for Fall 2021 Incoming Freshmen

Initiative reduces yearly tuition costs for families up to 50 percent, incentivizes student success​​​​​​​

CLEVELAND (December 7, 2020) – CSU announced today that it will continue its highly successful and innovative 2-for-1 Tuition Promise for freshmen who enroll in the Fall 2021 semester. Students who enroll at CSU as first-time freshmen and successfully complete the Fall 2021 semester with a GPA of 3.0 or better will receive additional financial aid from CSU to cover any remaining Spring 2022 semester tuition not covered by each student’s initial financial aid package. 

CSU’s initial 2-for-1 Tuition Promise offer in June 2020 doubled the university’s number of admission applications from the same time period in 2019. 

“Everything we do is about advancing and supporting the success of our students,” said Cleveland State president Harlan Sands. “High school students who will graduate next spring have been through a time like no other, and we want to ensure a pathway to success at CSU by providing the maximum amount of financial assistance that we can for their families, especially during this time of uncertainty.”

The 2-for-1 Tuition Promise is designed to provide additional financial support and encouragement at a time when many families are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to incentivize students to pursue their college dreams now. CSU’s renewed commitment to student success demonstrates its continuing focus to provide pathways for upward mobility and create a talent pipeline for Northeast Ohio.

For more information on the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise, including eligibility information, go to

Investing in the Success of All CSU Students

In addition to the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise for freshmen, CSU makes investments in the success of continuing students and graduate students. In 2020, CSU launched the following initiatives to advance its campus-wide commitment to access, affordability and student progression:

  • In-state graduate tuition for all non-Ohio residents who graduate from ANY Ohio college or university
  • In-state tuition for all military service members on active duty and their spouses and dependents
  • $1 million in additional need-based financial aid for all students
  • $150 campus bookstore credit in Spring 2021 semester for all degree-seeking undergraduate students who returned in the Fall 2020 semester, enrolled for at least 12 credits and earned a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • $6.1 million in direct student grants to continuing undergraduate, graduate and law school students

More Students Enrolling and Staying at CSU

Current overall enrollment at CSU is within roughly 2 percent of last fall semester’s enrollment, at a time when enrollments across the region and the U.S. are generally down. In fact, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s 2020 enrollment report showed that as of Oct. 22, undergraduate enrollment nationwide is 4.4 percent lower than it was last fall.

Additionally, students who choose CSU are electing to stay. The university’s first-year retention rate is 77 percent, up 6 percent over the past two years after remaining essentially flat for the previous six years. CSU has put a thoughtful, aggressive and long-term plan in place to attract and retain students. Its efforts are in large part designed to serve the needs of students from Cleveland communities and, as a result, CSU has seen a 10 percent increase in retention over the past five years among the most disadvantaged populations.

“We are pleased to be recognized for our success, but more importantly, to demonstrate our commitment to serving the needs of our students and community,” added Sands. 

CSU has received external recognition for its efforts. U.S. News & World Report once again selected CSU as one of the top universities in the nation in its 2021 report on the Best Colleges and Universities in the U.S. and CSU remains the #1 public university in Ohio among “Top Performers on Social Mobility.”


About Cleveland State University
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With nearly 16,000 students, ten colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2021 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report, including the #1 public university in Ohio for social mobility. Find more information at