Financial Aid

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Apply for Financial Aid

The first step in the financial aid process is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file a FAFSA every year in order to receive your financial aid.

The FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA are available to be completed online at The online version is the fastest way to apply for financial aid. You will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete and access your FAFSA. You will use your PIN to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your PIN can be used each year to sign your FAFSA and access your U.S. Department of Education records online. The web address to request your PIN is

If you need a paper FAFSA mailed to you, you may request one by calling 800.433.3243.

For the upcoming academic year, file the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Cleveland State's priority deadline to file the FAFSA is February 15.

For information on financial aid for the summer, click here.

Cleveland State's Federal School Code Number is 003032. This number should be listed on the FAFSA to ensure that Cleveland State will electronically receive the results of your application.

Federal Direct Loans

Loans are borrowed money that you repay with interest to the U.S. Department of Education. Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution.

All Cleveland State University students who complete the FAFSA will be awarded the Federal Direct Loan based on their grade level as determined by the number of credit hours earned in total. The Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is awarded to students who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans and will capitalize unless you choose to pay the interest while in school.

Law students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours and meet all other compliance requirements in order for the loan funds to be credited to the student account. If the funds cause a credit balance on the student account, the Treasury Services Office will issue a refund.

Repayment of the loan begins six months after you have graduated or ceased to be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours)

To borrow from the Direct Loan program for the first time, you must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will be provided online at the Direct Loans Master Promissory Note website.

The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education-issued PIN. If you do not have a PIN, you may request one from the official PIN site.

Loan Entrance Counseling: All borrowers of the Federal Direct Loan Program (undergraduate, graduate and law) are required to complete Loan Entrance Counseling, which will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.


A deferment means you may postpone making payments on your loan under specific conditions.

Loan Limits

Review the chart below for annual and aggregate limits for the Federal Stafford Loan.


Annual Loan Limits

Aggregate Loan Limits


Base Amount

Additional Unsubsidized


Subsidized Limit

Overall Limit

Law Students








Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

Graduate PLUS is a federal student loan designed for Graduate students who have reached their annual maximum for the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.

To apply for the Graduate PLUS, visit the Financial Aid Forms page and click on the Direct Graduate Request Form.

Please complete and return the Graduate PLUS Application to the financial aid office.

Approval is determined once you have completed the following:

Graduate PLUS borrowers - Loan Entrance Counseling – (This information applies to Graduate students who borrow from the Graduate PLUS Loan Program.) The Graduate PLUS is a loan designed for graduate students who have reached their annual maximum eligibility for the Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan. Loan Entrance Counseling is required for all Graduate PLUS loan borrowers. Entrance counseling will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Graduate PLUS borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling designed especially for graduate PLUS borrowers.

Loan Exit Counseling for loan borrowers is required when you exit the university, drop your enrollment to less than half time or graduate. Exit counseling informs you of your rights and responsibilities regarding the repayment process.


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