Students wishing to apply for financial aid for California State University campuses for the 2011-12 academic year have less than three weeks remaining to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline for submitting a FAFSA is Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Students are strongly encouraged to apply before the priority deadline as financial aid may be limited for submissions after March 2.

The California State University's broad package of financial aid programs - including federal or state grants, scholarships, CSU system or campus grants, work-study and federal loans - continues to provide students with access to an affordable college education.

"Despite the budgetary challenges of the past few years, the CSU continues to provide aid to students needing financial assistance in obtaining their goal of a college education," said Ephraim P. Smith, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. "With over half of the system's students receiving financial aid, these programs are a critical component in developing the workforce that will drive the state's economy."

Traditionally, half of the students who attend the CSU receive financial aid and the majority of undergraduate students have their tuition fees completely covered by grants or waivers.

"Over 50 percent of all CSU undergraduates have their fees fully covered by Cal Grants, the State University Grant program or the variety of waiver programs that are available," said Dean Kulju, CSU director of student financial aid services and programs at a recent oversight hearing for the California State Assembly's Committee on Higher Education. "This is how we try to reduce the price of enrollment at the CSU."

During the 2009-10 academic year, 266,182 CSU students received over $2.8 billion in federal and state financial aid. Much of this came in the form of State University Grants (SUGs) that delivered $346.5 million to 100,103 undergrads and an additional $78.8 million to 19,325 graduate students.

The SUG program was established in 1982-83 to provide need-based grants to eligible California residents who enroll at CSU campuses in undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate programs. In 1993, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a new financial aid policy and the CSU currently invests one-third of annual incremental tuition fee revenues to augment the SUG program. The university's commitment to the program is nearly $431 million for 2010-11.

For more information about the financial aid options available to CSU students, please visit

Students wishing to complete the online version of the FAFSA, can visit