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How to Apply for Financial Assistance

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The process of applying for aid can seem complicated and time consuming, and we want to make it go as smoothly as possible for you. Our site includes an overview of the aid programs offered at the college and how to apply. Financial aid policies may change because of federal regulation or college decision; therefore, some information at this site may change.

Application for assistance must be submitted each academic year. Renewal of assistance is not automatic.  All applicants must adhere to CSM's Steps to Financial Assistance. 



Financial Aid TV, How to Apply

Financial Aid TV: How do I apply for financial aid?

View 'How do I apply for Financial Aid' to find out about applying, costs, when you should apply, when to complete the FAFSA, reapplying and admission requirements.

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Important Dates


March 1 is the priority deadline for all types of financial assistance at CSM. Applications will still be accepted after this date, but applicants meeting the deadline will be considered first. After the priority deadline, applications are accepted continuously, and awards are made as long as funds are available.

You must complete the admission process. You should submit the FAFSA between Jan. 1 and March 1 to meet our priority deadline of March 1. This allows time for Financial Assistance Department (FAD) to process the FAFSA and determine your eligibility for financial assistance.   

Students submitting the FAFSA after March 1 are processed on a "first come, first serve" basis.  "Estimated" processing time of the FAFSA varies depending on the form status:

 Status                                                Estimated Processing Time
 FAFSA is complete   2 weeks 
 FAFSA rejected when processed  2-3 weeks
 FAFSA data must be verified  4-6 weeks
 No response to request for documentation  6 or more weeks

Please Note:  Applying for a federal educational loan requires additional forms and will add 2-4 weeks to the processing time; your personal data must be up to date at CSM (phone number, email address, mailing address).


Steps to Applying

Step 1 - Apply for Admission

Applicants for financial assistance should first apply for admission to the college. No financial assistance can be awarded until a student has been accepted for admission. Students should also take any applicable skills assessment surveys and see an academic advisor to choose an eligible degree or certificate program and complete a Program Planning Sheet.

Submit an application for admission here. Please note, while submitting a social security number is optional on the admissions application, it is required for CSM to process your FAFSA application. You will receive an acceptance letter via email within two business days and it will include your student I.D. number.

Step 2 - Complete the FAFSA

In order to see if you qualify for Financial Assistance, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. Make sure to use the federal school code for CSM: 002064.

Transfer students: If you are receiving financial assistance from another school, you need to log back into your FAFSA account and indicate CSM as a recipient of your FAFSA form with the school code 002064.

Step 3 - Receive a Student Aid Report (SAR)

The SAR is the result of the FAFSA and indicates your potential eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant and other types of assistance. Check your SAR for accuracy, and see if CSM's Title IV Federal code is listed on it as a school that will receive your application.   

When the above three steps have been completed and all forms received, your application is evaluated and notified by mail of any action to be taken. This may include a process called Verification.

Step 4 - What to do if you are selected for Verification

Verification is the process in which the Department of Education or CSM selects a portion of the school's FAFSA population for review. No Financial Aid can be awarded until this process is completed. You will be notified by mail, email and your myCSMD account of the required documents.


Financial Aid TV, Verification

Financial Aid TV: Verification

View 'What does it mean to be selected for verification' to find out what it means and the process.

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Do not send any Verification Documents to the Financial Assistance Department until notified to do so.

If selected for verification, students must, at a minimum, submit:

  • Verification Worksheet for appropriate year -- completed and signed
  • Tax Return Transcript for the student and parent(s), if the student is Dependent, or spouse if student is Independent (due to new federal regulations, copies of the 1040/1040A/1040EZ will NOT be accepted). For information on how to order a tax return transcript, click here.
  • Note: If you (and parent, if Dependent) use the IRS Data Retrieval option when completing the FAFSA and make NO changes to the tax information, a tax transcript will not be required.    
  • All W-2's for the  tax year for you and your parent(s), if you are Dependent, or spouse if Independent  
  • All Schedules C, E, or S for the tax year for the student and parent(s) if Dependent, or spouse if Independent  
  • The final LES of the tax year for the parent(s) if a Dependent student, or you and/or your spouse if Independent, if applicable    
  • All 1099's for the tax year for you and your parent(s) if Dependent and spouse if Independent 
  • If an amended tax return was filed, a signed copy of the 1040X filed with the IRS will be required in addition to the Tax Return transcript or signed copy of the original tax return filed with the IRS.
  • Additional Documentation may be required

To check on the status of your financial assistance application, log in to myCSMD, follow the link to Online Services, select Current Students, and click on My Documents under "Financial Assistance" to view documents required. 

You should respond immediately to any and all requests from the Financial Assistance Department for information to prevent delays in processing. The verification process can take up to 6 weeks from the date the final document is received.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Financial assistance at CSM is awarded without regard to sex, age, race, creed, or handicap. Eligibility for certain programs may be restricted by citizenship status, residency, or enrollment status.

The basic criteria for award selection are financial need, academic record, and/or the special skills or aptitudes of the student. Awards may be adjusted due to changes in funding or the academic status of the student. Also, financial assistance may be discontinued if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress according to the standards of the college.  Per Department of Education guidelines, students who are currently enrolled in elementary or secondary school are not eligible for aid from the Federal Student Aid Programs.

Notification of Awards

Once all required documents have been submitted to, and reviewed by the Financial Assistance Departmentstudents will receive notification of the financial assistance awards.  The notification process starts approximately June 15th.  Students will be able to view their financial assistance award online through their myCSMD account.


Cost of Attendance


The Financial Assistance Department creates average financial aid budgets that include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Room & board (living expenses)
  • Transportation cost
  • Personal expenses

These budget items added together make up the Cost of Attendance.  The CSM Financial Aid Cost of Attendance sheet reflects an average cost for a student attending full-time.  Full-time enrollment is 12 or more credit hours per semester, for our 9-month academic year.