Expenses and Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Scholarship Opportunities for New Freshmen and Transfer Students

Cleveland State University awards scholarships to incoming freshman and transfer students based on academic performance.  All admitted incoming freshmen will be automatically considered for academic scholarships.  Scholarship notification will begin November 1, and continue on a funds available basis until March 1.  Scholarship notification for incoming transfer students will continue on a funds available basis until July 1.  To find out more about scholarship opportunities for incoming students contact http://www.csuohio.edu/enrollmentservices/financialaid/scholarships for a list of awards available for incoming students.

Scholarship/grant recipients must be new, first-time Cleveland State University students, enrolled in a degree granting program, pursuing their first Bachelor’s Degree and be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Part-Time Students

A large number of part-time students support themselves through full-time employment while working toward a degree. Depending on financial circumstances, part-time undergraduate students may qualify for federal, state and/or university financial assistance. Part-time students are encouraged to file the FAFSA.

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Grants and loans are available annually provided students maintain the required standards of academic progress and demonstrate financial need. Students must reapply for financial assistance each year.

Previous year aid recipients should file the FAFSA online each year after January 1.

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Concurrent Enrollment

CSU students who are concurrently enrolled at another institution may review the FAQs for consortium agreements to see if they may qualify for financial aid during their visiting student status at another institution.

CSU students may also attend area community colleges under approved partnership agreements. Financial aid for these students is awarded based on combined credit hour enrollment and individual partnership agreements made with the individual community college. Interested students may visit their community college Partnership Office for further information

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Professional Judgment



This section defines the components of professional judgment decisions and the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education and implemented by the Cleveland State University Financial Aid Office. Professional judgment represents a key element in the student financial assistance delivery system — that is the capacity for personal intervention by the Financial Aid Office in cases that merit individual attention. In these cases, the family's situation is reevaluated. The support the family can reasonably be expected to provide toward the student's educational expenses may be adjusted based on changes in the family’s income.

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Adjustments to Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is set each year based on tuition costs and related educational expenses.  The COA is established based on federal guidelines.  A student may appeal for an increase in the COA by submitting in writing their request and accompanying documentation supporting their request

Circumstances that may merit a review include but are not limited to:

  • special transportation expenses,
  • special expenses related to a disability,
  • dependent/elder care,
  • miscellaneous expenses.

Documentation of additional or unusual costs will generally consist of signed statements and documentation of the expense. A statement from an individual with specific knowledge of the expense, receipts of purchases, or other items necessary to substantiate the claim should be submitted with the request.

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Changes in Dependency Status

A request for a dependency status override is considered by the Appeal Committee for applicants desiring to have their status changed from dependent to independent. Requests should be received within 30 days of the beginning of any semester for consideration in that semester. The committee will notify students of its determination after the receipt and review of all requested documentation.

Students requesting a dependency override should visit Campus411 and meet with a Specialist to review their circumstances.  Students will be required to file a petition for a dependency override.  The student will be asked to submit third party documentation on official letterhead.

Students will be required to document self-sufficiency and their ability to meet basic living costs. Exceptions to the documentation requirement may be allowed at the discretion of the Appeal Committee, when documented, mitigating circumstances exist. Unusual circumstances must always be explained in writing and corroborated by an outside source (social worker, counselor, other official).

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Adjustments to Expected Family Contribution Calculation

The expected family contribution (EFC) may be reviewed upon receipt of the completed Special Circumstance Form (located on our Web site at http://www.csuohio.edu/enrollmentservices/financialaid/forms/). Reviews will be conducted by the FAO Appeal Committee. Students will be notified of the results.

The Appeal Committee will assess the inclusion of an expected contribution from a non-custodial parent or a stepparent. Nontaxable income and benefits will be assessed according to the standard methodology or modified as necessary to take into account special circumstances. If substantial assets are reported or uncovered, the Appeal Committee may inquire about the nature of the assets and consider them in the decision about the EFC to the education of the student from those assets.

Other elements may also be considered when assessing adjustments to the EFC calculation, for special circumstances that fall under one or more of the items below:

  • medical/dental expenses not covered by other agency or insurance;
  • elementary/secondary school expenses;
  • other unusual expenses.

When appropriate, additional supporting documentation required by the Appeal Committee will be verified to be acceptable.

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General Information
Expenses and Financial Aid
Mailing Address
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 107A
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
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