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Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you're worried that college might be too expensive, think again. With all the different sources of funding available through scholarships, grants, loans and work study, you can make affordable higher education a reality. In order to tap into those resources, you will need to do some legwork, such as filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Like your tax return, you need to file a FAFSA every year. The priority filing period is open Jan. 1–March 2. Although applications are accepted during the rest of the year, submitting your application before March 2 ensures you'll get most of the money you need. The federal school code for CSUN is 001153.

Three ways to apply for the FAFSA

  1. File online.
  2. Download a PDF version.
  3. Request a paper copy by calling (800) 433-3243.

Before starting an application, make sure you have all the required documents. After you successfully submit your FAFSA, CSUN may request additional information. Respond to document requests promptly and check the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department website for deadlines.

You, and your legal parent (if you’re a dependent student), will need to create an Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Your FSA ID (which replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015) acts as a legal signature; be sure to keep it secure.


File your tax return early and take advantage of FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The tool allows you to prefill the income portion of your application with data from your federal income tax return. Not only does the tool save you time, it also reduces the chance that your FAFSA will be selected for verification.

File your tax return electronically. This will give you access to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within three weeks. If you mail in your federal tax return, you will not be able to access the tool until after eight weeks.

If you file your federal tax return after you submitted your FAFSA, don't fret! You can go back to to make corrections using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. However, your application may be flagged for verification.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Department
Student Services Center
Bayramian Hall first floor
(818) 677-4085

Check Your Financial Aid

Remember to check your CSUN email often. This account is the primary way the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will communicate with you. You will receive an email notifying you of your financial aid award. For newly admitted students, award notices are typically sent out in late April; continuing students receive their notices in late June.

Your financial aid award will also be posted as anticipated aid on your My Checklist in the myNorthridge Portal. If you are offered loans, you must accept them through My Checklist.  Once you accept your loans, the amount will appear as actual aid on the myNorthridge Portal. Your fees and other charges will be deducted from this amount.

To view your actual aid, go to the Financial Matters tab of your portal and select the Financial Aid Awards quick link icon on the right-hand side of the page. 

If money is left over after your aid is disbursed, a check will be mailed to the address you have on file at Admissions and Records. Be sure to check that this address is up to date. 

Update your mailing address on the portal by going to the right-hand corner of the portal Web page. Look for the My Settings button. Roll over this button and a drop-down menu will appear. Select Update My Personal Information.

In order to remain eligible for financial aid, you must maintain a minimum GPA and meet other requirements, which you can look up on your myNorthridge Portal. Select the Monitor your progress tool under Financial Aid Essentials on the Financial Matters page. If you do not have enough financial aid to cover outstanding charges, you will be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket by the payment deadline. To view deadlines, go to the Financial Matters tab on the portal and select Pay Account Balance.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Department
Student Services Center
Bayramian Hall first floor
(818) 677-4085

Admissions and Records
Student Services Center
Bayramian Hall first floor
(818) 677-3700

Free Money

You can apply for scholarships on STARS Online, which streamlines the process and matches you with the ones for which you qualify. It allows you to apply for multiple scholarships at once and directly upload transcripts or letters of recommendation. 

CSUN offers four types of merit-based scholarships: 

  • The Honors at Entrance scholarship is for first-time freshmen who have been admitted to CSUN’s general education honors program.

  • The Matador Scholarship is for incoming and continuing students who have demonstrated academic excellence and financial need.

  • The University Scholarship is for current undergraduate students and new transfers entering CSUN.
  • The Presidential Scholarship is a prestigious honor reserved for current undergraduate students with a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

For more information about how to apply for any of these scholarships, check the eligibility criteria

Scholarship Office
Student Services Center
Bayramian Hall 130
(818) 677-4907