• Financial Aid Basics - Apply


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

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Steps to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

1. Request an FSA ID (If you already have an FSA ID, go to step 2)

What is an FSA ID?
Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.

Where do I use my FSA ID?
You will use your FSA ID 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 FSA ID 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.

How do I create my FSA ID?
To view a short video on how to create your FSA ID click here.  When you are ready to create your FSA ID, go to

2. Complete and submit your FAFSA

Go to and complete the FAFSA online. Submitting an application online is convenient since the application 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".

The preferred (and fastest) method of reporting your (and your parent’s if applicable) federal income tax information on the FAFSA is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA, and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.

To see some commonly asked questions about transferring financial information from the IRS using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool click here and review the “Browse FAQs” on the left side of the page.

Some information to keep in mind:

  • We strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. It is the best way to ensure your aid eligibility is based on accurate data.
  • 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 will be asked to submit tax transcripts.
  • If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, do not make any changes to your (or your parent’s) income information on the FAFSA. Doing so will cause your application to be flagged for verification and you will be asked to submit additional documentation.

3. Check your status

If you filed electronically, check your FAFSA application 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.

4. Financial Aid Process

Approximately 30 percent of financial aid applicants are selected for a process that requires the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department to verify information submitted on the FAFSA. The verification process must be completed before aid is awarded. It is your responsibility to check your CSUN email regularly and determine if you have been selected for verification. For additional information on the Financial Aid process go to this website:

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.

Please note that when completing your application online, the following web browsers should be used for optimal compatibility:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9.0 or higher
  • Google Chrome version 24.0 or higher
  • Apple Safari version 5.0 and higher

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 Financial Aid

SUMMER 2024 

Summer financial aid is available for continuing CSUN students who qualify and are enrolled in a matriculated program for the 2023-2024 academic year. Financial Aid is not available to non-matriculated students taking classes through Open University. 

Summer financial aid is a continuation of the academic year, and students are considered for aid based on their current FAFSA or CADAA application on file; no separate application is needed for summer financial aid.  Any remaining financial aid eligibility from fall and/or spring can be used for summer courses (i.e. Pell Grant, Federal loans). Students interested in summer loans must submit a Summer Loan Request form. 

Enrollment Information for Summer Courses
For information on how to enroll in classes, go to For summer tuition fee information and payment deadlines for special year-round cohort programs, visit University Cash Services

Most Financial aid programs require at least half-time enrollment. Summer financial aid for eligible students may include the following.

  • Federal Pell Grant (available for 1st Bachelor's and most Teaching Credential Students)
  • State University Grant (students must meet eligibility criteria)
  • Doctoral Grants
  • Summer Enrollment Grant (for undergraduate students approved for summer SPRINT participation)
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS loans
  • Private Education Loan 

Registering for all your classes at the same time will expedite the processing of your financial aid. Your summer aid eligibility is based on the total units enrolled for all summer sessions. 


What do I need to do to receive financial aid for the summer?

  1. You must have a 2023-2024 financial aid application on file with the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department. There is no separate application for Summer Financial Aid.
  2. If you have not already done so, submit all required documents as listed in your 2023-2024 To-Do List. Log on to the CSUN Portal, and navigate to the SOLAR Student Center.
  3. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  4. Enroll in summer courses. If you are identified as a student who meets financial aid eligibility for summer based on 2023-2024 FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, you will receive notification of your summer financial aid eligibility. 

How much financial aid can I receive?
Your eligibility for summer aid depends on many factors, including enrollment, financial need, class level and whether or not you have exhausted your eligibility for grants and loans during the regular 2023-2024 academic year. 

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 in summer courses. You will be notified of your summer aid eligibility via your CSUN email account. 

How is summer Federal Pell Grant eligibility determined?
If you are enrolled in 6 units or more, the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will identify and award eligible students on a rolling basis. All classes you are enrolled in for summer must apply to your degree program. Only undergraduates and students pursuing a first teaching credential may be considered for Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Credential students must be enrolled at least half-time in classes required for credential completion. Graduate students, second B.A. and doctoral students are not eligible for Federal Pell Grant funding. 

How is Summer State University Grant eligibility determined?
In order to be considered for this grant, you must be enrolled in at least 3 units.  In addition to enrollment, students must meet the following award criteria:

  • Meet the priority FAFSA/CADAA filing date of March 2, 2023
  • Must have been enrolled at CSUN during Fall 2023 and/or Spring 2024
  • Considered a California Resident
  • Based on Expected Family Contribution of 4,000 and below
  • Award amount is equivalent to Summer State University Fees

Eligible students will be identified and awarded based on the earliest enrollment date.

These funds are limited and may be exhausted before awarding all eligible students. 

How is Summer Doctoral Grant eligibility determined?
If you received a Doctoral Grant during either the Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 term(s) and enroll for summer, you may be considered for summer Doctoral Grant. These funds are limited. Eligible students will be identified and awarded based on earliest enrollment date and based on fund availability. You must enroll at least half-time to be considered for summer Doctoral 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 to less than half time after you are awarded. 

How is Summer Enrollment Grant eligibility determined?
The Summer Enrollment Grant is awarded to students selected for the Summer SPRINT Program.  Students will receive notification of their eligibility for the SPRINT Program and will be notified of their Summer Enrollment Grant award via their CSUN email account.

How do I request a summer loan?
To be considered for a summer Federal Direct Loan, you must be enrolled at least half-time; meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements; and submit the required loan request forms by the published deadlines. Summer Loan Request forms will be available on the financial aid website mid-May. Do not submit your request until you are enrolled at least half-time. Loans may take 4 -6 weeks to process after you enroll. For information about Federal Direct loans and annual eligibility amounts, go to

Can I use private Education Loans for summer?
To request a private education loan, you must be a matriculated CSUN student in a degree-granting program. Non-matriculated and Open University Students are not eligible. Visit the Private Education Loans page for additional information. 

When will my summer aid pay out?
Summer aid will pay out and be applied to your CSUN student account in late May 2024 (for Summer Session 1 and 2). If you are only enrolled in Summer Session 3, your aid will disburse mid-July 2024. You must also meet the conditions below:

  • Enrolled in the minimum units for the financial aid awarded (classes must apply to degree program)
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements 

Summer aid will go towards any outstanding summer charges first; anything in excess of charges will be processed as an eRefund or mailed as a paper check. 

What happens if I withdraw from all or part of my summer sessions?
Students who drop below half-time enrollment status during any of the summer 2024 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, please submit written confirmation of your intent to attend summer session three courses. Failure to submit written confirmation may result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid. Any reduction or cancellation 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?
No. Students who enroll at more than one school during summer are only eligible to receive financial aid at one institution.  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.