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Charleston Southern University > Financial Aid > Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid

1. Charleston Southern University Admissions Application

Complete the application online.

2. FAFSA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid

The 2019/20 FAFSA, which requires 2017 tax information, became available October 1, 2018. The 2020/21 FAFSA, which requires 2018 tax information, will become available October 1, 2019.

Complete the FAFSA online. CSU's school code is 003419

  • Both new and returning students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by accessing the FAFSA site.
  • New applicants must apply for a FAFSA ID and password to sign the FAFSA online. If you are a dependent student, your parent will also need to apply for a FAFSA ID and password. To apply for a FAFSA ID click here. 
  • 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 and you will use your prior year taxes.
  • 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.
  • Optional: FAFSA App for your phone (now available)

If a student is 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.

3. Complete the Student Information Release Authorization Form (FERPA)

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

4. Complete Financial Aid File (Financial Aid documents)

Once the student has completed the FAFSA and been accepted to CSU, they are able to view their up-to-date financial aid (if awarded), missing documents, special messages, etc. by accessing their Financial Aid LIVE through their MyCSU. It is recommended that students submit all the forms and documents prior to the start of each term to ensure that their 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 top of 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 finanical aid awards divided by semester.

5. Accept and/or Decline Awards

The Financial Aid Office awards on a first-come basis.  Once the student is awarded they will receive and e-mail referring them to view their Financial Aid LIVE (located under their MyCSU). Any revisions or updates to the awards will be sent by e-mail to the student's CSU BUC Mail and can be viewed on their Financial Aid LIVE

All students will now be required to ACCEPT or DECLINE their financial aid awards. For instructions, please visit the Financial Aid Tab (under the MyCSU account) and view the 2018-2019 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.