CLEVELAND, TN – The application for student financial aid known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was redesigned this year by the U.S. Department of Education. Although the application was released later than expected, the new version of the form is open and available for current or incoming students.

Completing the FAFSA opens the door for state and federal financial aid including Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, lottery scholarships, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Student Loans and more. More than 80% of the students at Cleveland State receive some form of financial aid.

The Department of Education has experienced delays in processing information from the application, but institutions across the state and country are now beginning to receive FAFSA documents.

Tara Cajuste, Interim Financial Aid Director at Cleveland State, said, “We want students to know that Cleveland State is doing everything we can to prepare to process financial aid. Once we receive the information from the federal government, we will process financial aid over the next month and will begin awarding aid and reaching out to students.”

Students who have already filed their FAFSA should regularly check their college email account for updated information. If any student has not started the 2024-2025 FAFSA, it is not too late to begin the application at

“Our staff and the financial aid office are ready to assist you,” said Cajuste. “The sooner you submit the FAFSA, the faster we can get information to you about your Fall 2024 financial aid. Bottom line, financial aid is still on track to process in the normal time frame.”

For more information, visit or contact the Cleveland State Financial Aid Office at (423) 472-7141, option 2 or