Financial Aid Basics

Apply for Financial Aid

How to Apply

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for both federal and state financial aid at California State University, Stanislaus. You can apply electronically on the Web Free Application for Federal Student Aid You must include Stanislaus State's Federal School Code on the FAFSA, 001157. The FAFSA is available in English and Spanish.

Applying Online

We encourage students, and parents of dependent students to use the U.S. Department of Education FSA ID as an electronic signature. If you do not create an FSA ID to use as an electronic signature, you will need to access a printer to print out a signature page, which must be signed and mailed to the processor. (First-time applicants, and parents of dependents applicants, may request an FSA ID at


If you have filed a FAFSA for the prior year by October 28, you will receive instructions from the central processor for renewing your application electronically. The renewal reminder will be sent to you via e-mail if a valid e-mail address is present on your previous application record, or by a renewal reminder letter if e-mail is not possible. Applicants who receive the renewal reminder, but do not wish to renew their applications electronically, may complete the paper FAFSA instead.

Be careful not to make mistakes!

Whether you are applying for the first time or doing a renewal application, please take your time and be careful not to make mistakes. A mistake now may result in lengthy delays later on.


If you have been selected for verification you will need to submit all requested items listed on your CSUSTAN “TO DO” list before we can continue processing your financial aid application. 

Special Circumstances

If you (or your family) have unusual circumstances, such as tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school, unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance, a family member that recently became unemployed, or changes in income or assets that affect your eligibility for financial aid, check with the Financial Aid Office. A financial aid counselor may re-evaluate your application for financial assistance.

Helpful hints for filling out a financial aid application

When completing the FAFSA or renewing your application, please keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Remember to apply as early as possible after January 1.
  • The priority deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 2.
  • Do not wait to apply for financial aid until after you have been accepted for admission.
  • Do not wait until your (or your parents’) tax returns are filed to apply for financial aid. Use estimated income figures to complete your FAFSA. Then remember to review and update your application after the tax returns are filed.
  • Questions 1-3: Use your full name – as it appears on your Social Security Card.
  • When applying online, be sure to create an FSA ID from the U.S. Department of Education to use as an electronic signature or you may print out the signature page and mail it to the processor. To create an FSA ID please visit
  • You can apply to several schools at one time. Remember that you can only receive aid at one school at a time!
  • If you will be an undergraduate student Fall Semester and a graduate student Spring Semester, answer the grade level questions as an undergraduate.
  • Carefully read the instructions on the FAFSA which determine who is considered a parent, who are counted as members of the household, and who can be counted as a college student.