How to Apply for Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid is easy! Here are five simple steps to follow so that you can get the maximum amount of financial resources for your educational journey at CSU.

Complete the application online.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. CSU’s school code is 003419.

  • Both new and returning students can complete the FAFSA by visiting FAFSA’s website above.
  • New applicants must apply for a Federal Student Aid ID and password to sign the FAFSA online. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to apply for a FSA ID and password.
  • Charleston Southern is a Military Friendly School and a Yellow Ribbon participant. In order for CSU to accept your Yellow Ribbon application, you must complete a FAFSA each year. The FAFSA will be available every October 1. You will use your prior year taxes. (Example:  for the 2019-20 year you will use your 2017 Tax Information).
  • You must complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance programs.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien in order to complete the FAFSA. International students do not complete the FAFSA.

If you are selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will request a Verification Worksheet from your family along with additional tax information. Federal aid cannot be paid until the review is complete, so return these forms promptly. Only send verification information if your application was selected for review.

Federal Verification Process

Charleston Southern University is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process by utilizing the Verification Gateway online portal.  Should your FAFSA application be selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you will receive an introductory email to the email address you provided on the FAFSA.  If no email was provided, you will receive an introductory postcard. The postcard will have CSU’s school logo along with Inceptia’s, so you will know it is official. Failure to provide the requested documents could result in the delay or denial of financial aid.

What Happens Next?

A custom school link will be included in the introductory communication requesting you access Verification Gateway. You will need to do the following:

  • Confirm your identity (authentication).
  • Create a secure user name and password.
  • *Dependent students that provided parental information on the FAFSA are required to have one parent also authenticate and create an account. This parent will be required to have to e-sign or provide an ink signature once all documentation has been submitted.
  • Decide if you want to receive text messages and approve e-sign.
  • Access your Action List and begin the verification process (the list may consist of some combination of online forms and the request to upload specific documents to Verification Gateway).
  • Upon receipt of all required documents, Inceptia will begin the verification process. Students will be notified if there are any questions or if any additional documentation is required via email, text or postcard. Once verification has been completed, the student and our school will be notified.

Access 19-20 portal now.


If you have any questions about the verification process, please contact Inceptia, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm central standard time at 888-374-8427 or via email at

About Inceptia

Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to helping schools launch brilliant futures for their students. Inceptia achieves this goal by offering effective and uncomplicated financial aid management solutions in such key areas as default prevention, verification and financial education. Learn more at

All students are required to complete the Student Release Authorization Form (FERPA) online. This allows you to give CSU permission to discuss educational records with parents, spouses, employers and yourself. Once accepted to CSU, the FERPA can be completed from your MyCSU account through the Student tab. You must list yourself first on the FERPA, as well as anyone you wish to allow permission to discuss your educational records. You and anyone listed on your waiver must provide at least one question and answer that was created by you in order for your information to be discussed over the phone.

Once you have completed the FAFSA and been accepted to CSU, you are able to view your up-to-date financial aid (if awarded), missing documents, special messages, etc. by accessing your Financial Aid LIVE through your MyCSU account. It is recommended that you submit all the forms and documents prior to the start of each term to ensure you’re your financial aid will be in order when the semester starts. The deadline to submit missing documents to the Financial Aid Office is June 30.

  • MyCSU – Financial Aid LIVE
  • On the CSU home page you will log into MyCSU with your ID Number and CSU Pin Number. Once logged-in you will go to the Financial Aid tab. Click on View my Financial Aid LIVE to see live, up-to-date information.
  • Missing Documents can be downloaded by visiting the documents tab in your Financial Aid LIVE account. If you don’t plan on utilizing student loans, please complete an Award Update Form.
  • View important messages tied to your awards.
  • View financial aid awards divided by semester.

The Financial Aid Office awards on a first-come basis. Once you are awarded you will receive an email referring you to view your Financial Aid LIVE (located under MyCSU). Any revisions or updates to the awards will be sent by email to your CSU BUC Mail and can be viewed on your Financial Aid LIVE. All students are now required to ACCEPT or DECLINE their financial aid awards. 

For instructions, please visit the Financial Aid Tab (under the MyCSU account) and view the 2019-2020 Award Letter Instructions Power Point. Additional forms may be requested if needed to confirm financial aid awards. Please read all correspondence carefully and respond to each request in a timely manner.

If you wish to change your housing status, registration status or notify the Financial Aid Office in regards to a Parent PLUS loan, Alternative Loan or Graduate PLUS loan, you will be required to fill out an “Award Update Form.” This document can be downloaded from your Financial Aid LIVE account.

Fast Facts for Undergrad Students

  • Students who attend CSU can apply for federal, state, institutional and endowed/funded scholarships, as well as outside scholarships and grants.
  • All students who have been accepted to CSU are evaluated for CSU merit-based scholarships.
  • CSU has been selected as a Military Friendly School by Victory Media and Military Advanced Education.
  • CSU is a Yellow Ribbon participant.
  • Approximately 95% of our undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. You must be a full-time student to be eligible for institutional grants & scholarships (dependent students under 20 years of age must live on campus per CSU Policy).
  • Approximately 44% of all 2017-18 undergraduate students received Federal Pell Grant funds.

Fast Facts for Grad Students