Follow the basic steps below to apply for financial aid. For more detail, visit the Financial Aid Process section.

How to Apply

Completing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)

Filling out your income tax information on the FAFSA just became much easier. The Department of Education has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service to create the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Keep in mind the following important information.

  • File your federal tax return as early as possible.
  • About three weeks after you electronically file your tax return, you’ll be able to retrieve your income information and automatically fill a portion of your FAFSA application. If you mail your tax return, the processing time will be approximately eight weeks.
  • You (and your parents, when applicable) will be asked when and how you filed a tax return to determine if the tax information submitted should be transferred from the IRS to the FAFSA.
  • If you fill out your FAFSA before filing your tax return, you can use estimated information and log on later to update your application. Once your tax return has been processed, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to accurately update your FAFSA. Be sure to submit the FAFSA by March 2; do not miss the deadline to wait for final information on a filed tax return.
  • Students who choose not to use or are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be required to submit copies of their, their spouses’ or their parents’ federal income transcript. You will be notified via email if you are selected for verification during the academic school year and asked to submit tax transcripts.
  • If you make changes to the information retrieved from the IRS database, your application may be flagged for verification.

Submit your FAFSA

Fill out the FAFSA online or mail a hard copy. Submitting an application online is convenient since the system saves your information for the following year.

If you need help filling out the form, check out the video tutorial, "7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA."

If you prefer to mail a hard copy, you can request a paper FAFSA by calling 800-433-3243. You can also download a PDF version of the FAFSA.

If you previously filed a FAFSA online, you may file a FAFSA Renewal with your personal identification number (PIN). If you have problems with your PIN, please review the FAFSA PIN tab on this page. Please note that the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department does not provide Form 1098-T. Contact Student Accounting for more information.

Check your status

If you file electronically, check the FAFSA online three to five days after submission. If you mailed your form, wait 7 to 10 days to check the status of your application.

After FAFSA validates your information, CSUN will electronically receive your financial aid application. You may then check your financial aid status on the myNorthridge Portal or by calling 1-(818) 677-4085 to speak with a financial aid representative.

Receive funds

Newly admitted students begin receiving their financial notifications in late April. Continuing students begin receiving their financial awards in late June.

Check your Northridge email for an award notification. Awards are visible on the myNorthridge Portal.


How to Create a FAFSA PIN

If you do not have a personal identification number (PIN), you can create one by supplying basic identifying information. Choose your own four-digit PIN. If you don't choose your own, a PIN will be randomly generated for you. It can also serve as the applicant's signature. Additionally, parents can receive PIN numbers and use it to electronically sign their child's online forms.

How do I apply for a PIN?

Visit the federal PIN website and choose "Apply for a PIN." Enter your name, Social Security number, date of birth, mailing address and email address. After you submit your request, a confirmation number will appear; keep the confirmation number for your records.

When do I receive my PIN?

Once your information has been successfully submitted, the Central Processing System will confirm the identifying information with the Social Security Administration database. After a successful match, a PIN will be generated and sent to you by mail.

Where do I use my PIN?

Use your PIN for the FAFSA, whether you are applying for the first time, renewing your application or making a correction to a form you already submitted.

You can also use your PIN as an online signature for your Master Promissory Note and to access the National Student Loan Database System, Direct Consolidation Loans, Direct Loan Program and Direct Loan Servicing.

California Dream Act Application

California Dream Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 became law through the passage of Assembly Bills 130 and 131. AB 130 and AB 131 allow AB 540 students to apply for state and institutional grants, and privately funded scholarships.

How to Apply

To apply for the state grant programs available under AB 131, you need to complete the California Dream Act application. The application will collect basic personal and income information to determine eligibility for funding. To be eligible for priority consideration, the application should be completed every year between Jan. 1 and March 2.

Students who received a Social Security number and qualify for AB 540, including those who qualify through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA), should complete the California Dream Act application in order to be considered for state financial aid, since those students are not eligible for federal student aid.

Check your status

After the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) validates your information, CSUN will electronically receive your application. You may check your financial aid status on the myNorthridge Portal or by calling 1-(818)-677-4085 to speak with a financial aid representative. Please note that CSUN will not begin processing aid applications until mid-April.

Additional information

You may be asked to send in additional information before you can be awarded. Check your CSUN Gmail, and view your To-Do List on the myNorthridge Portal. Submit all required documentation promptly.

Award notices

The Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will begin awarding new freshmen and transfer students in late April for the upcoming academic year. Continuing students will be awarded in late June. Award notices are sent to your CSUN email address, and awards are visible on the myNorthridge Portal.

Summer Aid

All information about summer 2014 is subject to change. We strongly encourage you to check back often for potential changes to the financial aid summer process.

The summer 2014 term is offered through CSUN's Tseng College. For information about summer tuition fees and payments, visit their website. Several state-supported cohort programs will enroll for summer 2014 through the regular university. For summer tuition fee information and payment deadlines through the regular university, please visit University Cash Services.

Is summer aid available?

Yes. Limited financial aid is available for the summer term to students who qualify. Summer financial aid may include the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Campus Summer Grant
  • Federal direct Stafford loans
  • Federal direct PLUS loans
  • Private student loans

How do I start the process to apply for summer aid?

To be considered for summer aid, you must:

  • Enroll in summer courses, and pay your summer registration fees on your own at the time of enrollment. Financial aid awards will not be available when you enroll. If you are later found eligible for aid, you will be awarded. However, you should also be financially prepared for the possibility that you may not have remaining financial aid eligibility for the summer term.
  • Have a 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department. If you already completed a 2013-2014 FAFSA, you do not need to submit another one for summer aid.
  • Submit all required documents as listed in your To-Do List. Log on to the myNorthridge Portal, and navigate to the SOLAR Student Center. The To-Do List is located on the right side of the page.
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • To be considered for the Campus Summer Grant you must be enrolled half time. Grant-eligible students will be identified and awarded once enrollment is established. No further action is required by the student.

Students in one of the state-supported cohort programs below will enroll for summer 2014 through the regular university. For summer tuition fee information and payment deadlines through the regular university, please visit University Cash Services.

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Doctoral Program in Education Leadership (Ed.D.)
  • Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy (DPT)

Note: Registering simultaneously for all classes in one or more summer sessions will expedite your financial aid request. Your summer aid eligibility is based on total enrollment units in all summer sessions.

How much aid am I eligible for?

Your eligibility for summer aid depends on many factors, including need, class level and whether you have exhausted your eligibility for federal grants and loans during the regular 2013-2014 academic year. If you are unsure about your exact circumstances, you can always check with the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department. However, if you contact us, we will not be able to process your summer aid eligibility on request.

How is summer Federal Pell Grant eligibility determined?

If you enrolled less than full time for either fall 2013 or spring 2014, you may have remaining Federal Pell Grant funds for summer. The Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will identify and award eligible students once summer enrollment is established.

Only undergraduates and students pursuing a first credential may be considered for Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Credential students must be enrolled at least half time in units required for credential completion. Graduate master's, second B.A. and doctoral students are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant funding.

How is Campus Summer Grant eligibility determined?

If you received a State University Grant for the 2013-2014 academic year, you may be eligible for a Campus Summer Grant. These funds are limited and may be exhausted before we can award all eligible students. Eligible students will be identified and awarded based on earliest enrollment date.

You must enroll at least half time to be considered for the Campus Summer Grant. If you are awarded the grant, you must maintain at least half-time enrollment during the summer to maintain your eligibility. Your grant will be canceled if you reduce your enrollment after you are awarded.

How do I request a summer loan?

To be considered for a summer federal direct Stafford loan, you must have remaining eligibility from the 2013-2014 award year and be enrolled at least half time. For information about federal Stafford loans and annual eligibility amounts, go to the Loans page. You must also meet the following deadlines and conditions:

  • Submit a loan request by the published deadline.
  • Be enrolled at least half time when submitting the loan request.
  • Allow at least two weeks for the loan request to be processed.
  • Federal direct Stafford loan: To request a Stafford loan, you must submit a Summer 2014 Direct Stafford Loan Request form (available March 25), only if you have not borrowed the annual maximum eligibility amount for the 2013-2014 award year.
  • Federal parent loan for undergraduate students (PLUS): To request a PLUS loan for the summer term, you must be a parent of a dependent undergraduate, credential, graduate or doctoral student. The PLUS request forms will be available on March 25.
  • Private student loans: To request a private student loan, you must be a matriculated CSUN student in a degree-granting program. Visit the Private Education Loans page for additional information.

When will I be awarded summer aid?

Summer awarding begins in mid-April and continues on a rolling basis throughout the entire summer term. Your aid eligibility will be determined after you enroll and pay your summer tuition fees. You will be notified of your summer aid eligibility via your CSUN email account.


When will my summer aid pay out?

Summer aid will pay out and be applied to your CSUN student account starting the week of May 27 and weekly thereafter if you meet the following conditions:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • No outstanding document requests with the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department
  • Enrolled in sufficient units

If you are only enrolled in summer session three, your aid will disburse the week of July 9. Summer aid will go toward any outstanding summer charges first; anything in excess of charges will be processed as an eRefund or mailed as a paper check.

What if I withdraw from all or part of my summer sessions?

Students who drop below half-time enrollment status during any of the summer 2014 sessions may have their financial aid award reduced or canceled. If you withdraw from all courses in session one or two, but retain enrollment for session three, you may be required to submit written confirmation of your intent to attend session three courses. Failure to submit written confirmation when requested may result in a reduction or cancelation of financial aid. Any reduction or cancelation of financial aid may result in a balance due to CSUN and a possible hold on future enrollment.

Can I receive summer financial aid at more than one school?

Students who enroll at two or more schools during summer 2014 are only eligible to receive financial aid at one institution for that term. Students who receive federal financial aid at two or more schools for overlapping enrollment periods (i.e., regular semesters and summer sessions) may be subject to reduction of financial aid at one or all schools. Any reduction of financial aid may result in a balance due to CSUN and a possible hold on future enrollment. Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOG) does not impact federal aid at CSUN.