How to Apply for Financial Aid

If you’ve been accepted to Cleveland State Community College, congratulations! Your life is about to change for the better! Financial assistance is available for those who need it, and our Financial Aid Department will gladly assist you in process. Read on to find out how to make your school experience more affordable.

  • Apply for financial aid as soon as possible after January 1. When applying, use your federal income tax return or estimated federal income tax information, as well as your parents’ if the tax returns have not yet been completed and submitted.
  • Apply for a PIN at http://www.pin.ed.gov If yo.u’re a dependent student, your parents should also apply for a PIN so they can electronically sign the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Complete the FAFSA application at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Cleveland State’s federal code is 003999.
  • After applying, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report/Acknowledgement. Review your answers to ensure they’re correct.

You can also complete additional applications for scholarships, grants and loans. We award students more than $5 million in financial aid each academic year, and nearly half of our students receive some form of aid, which comes from the following:

  • institutional and private sources, such as foundation opportunities and academic service scholarships
  • federal student aid, including grants, federal work study and direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans and federal PLUS loans)
  • state student aid, including the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, Tennessee State Education Lottery Scholarship Programs and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

How will I know if I can receive financial aid?

After the financial aid process is complete, a notification of award is mailed to you at the address on file with the Admission & Records Office, and your award appears on your CougarNet Account.

What is verification?

The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students for verification of information submitted on the FAFSA. If selected, you are notified on your Federal Student Aid Report (FSAR). The Financial Aid Office will notify you via CougarNet of the proper documentation to submit to our office.

If I am transferring to Cleveland State, will my financial aid transfer too?

If you transfer to Cleveland State, your financial aid does not automatically transfer with you. You must follow the procedures necessary to continue receiving financial aid at Cleveland State. Contact the Financial Aid Office for complete details.

Can I receive financial aid for summer classes?

Yes, you may be eligible for financial aid during summer classes. Eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office. You will be notified of your award amount for the summer semester.

Is my financial aid automatically renewed each year?

Renewal of financial aid is not automatic. Students must file a FAFSA each year and demonstrate satisfactory progress.

What is satisfactory progress?

Satisfactory progress is attending classes, maintaining a 2.0 GPA or higher, passing a minimum number of hours during the academic semester and attempting no more than 90 of the hours required to complete a degree or 150 percent of the hours required to complete a certificate.