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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).

Check your financial aid

Your CSUN email account is the primary way the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will communicate with you, so check it often. You will receive a message 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 keep this address 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.

Free money

You can apply for scholarships online via AcademicWorks. The system streamlines the process and matches you with the scholarships you qualify for. 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, the Matador Scholarship program, the University Scholars award and the Presidential Scholars award.

  1. The Honors at Entrance scholarship is for first-time freshmen who have been admitted to CSUN’s general education honors program.
  2. The Matador Scholarship program is for incoming and continuing students who have demonstrated academic excellence and financial need.
  3. The University Scholars award is for current undergraduate students and new transfers entering CSUN.
  4. The Presidential Scholars award is a prestigious honor reserved for current undergraduate students with a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

To find out more about these awards check the eligibility criteria.

How to apply for financial aid

When it comes to financial aid, CSUN's Financial Aid & Scholarship Department is available Monday through Friday to assist you.

The financial aid process requires that you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act application each year. The priority filing period for FAFSA is Jan. 1 through March 2, and CSUN’s federal school code is 001153. Before applying, 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.

CSUN's Financial Aid & Scholarship Department will determine your eligibility for aid and the types of awards you may receive.


File your tax return early and take advantage of FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool. 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.