Institutional and Financial Aid Information

Columbia Southern University offers financial aid resources to assist students in funding their college education. CSU provides students with a variety of scholarship opportunities. Federal Student Aid is available in the form of grants and loans. Federal Direct Loans (Student Loans) are low-interest loans that assist students and parents in paying for post-secondary education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank. A federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who have not yet earned a bachelor or professional degree. Federal Student Aid is awarded based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information is available at Federal Student Aid Programs. Paper copies of this information are available from the Office of Financial Aid, which can be contacted at 800-977-8449 Ext. 6553 or

Applying for Federal Student Aid

Contact: Office of Financial Aid
Phone: 800-977-8449 Ext. 6553

Students must apply for Federal Student Aid every year. They may apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In order for a student to receive Federal Student Aid to attend CSU, he/she must be eligible to receive Title IV, admitted unconditionally to the University and enrolled at least half-time in an approved undergraduate or graduate degree seeking program. Information on applying for Federal Student Aid to attend CSU is available at How to Apply. Information on Federal Student Aid eligible programs is available at Eligible and Ineligible Programs.

Verification Requirements

A percentage of financial aid applicants are selected for verification based on edit checks which identify inconsistencies and/or potential errors. Columbia Southern University must also verify any application the university has reason to believe is incorrect or discrepant. The Verification Policy is available at Policies and Procedures.

Student Loan Information

All students interested in receiving a Federal Direct Loan are required to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at the Student Aid website. More information on Federal Student Loans is available at Student Loan Information. Student loans must be repaid. For information on student loan repayment, please visit How to Repay Your Loans.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Federal Student Loan records of students and parents will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System, and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Students and parents may view their loan record history online at

Federal Student Loan Repayment Example

The terms of a student loan can vary depending on loan servicer, type of loan, interest rates, automatic payments and amount borrowed. Below is an example for various Federal Student Loan amounts on a standard repayment schedule with a 10-year repayment period at the interest rate of 5.05%.

Example Monthly Repayments
Amount Borrowed Current Monthly Payment (based on 5.05%)
$5,000 $53.16
$10,000 $106.31
$15,000 $159.47
$20,000 $212.62
$25,000 $265.78
$30,000 $318.93
$35,000 $372.09

Entrance and Exit Student Loan Counseling

Entrance Counseling is required before you can receive your first Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan as an undergraduate or graduate student, or your first Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate/professional student. Exit Counseling is required when you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time. Exit Counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your Federal Student Loan(s). Entrance Counseling and Exit Counseling are completed online. You will need your FSA ID to access Entrance and Exit Counseling. An Entrance Counseling Demo and an Exit Counseling Demo are available online as well.

Disbursement of Financial Aid

Financial aid is disbursed in four payments over the academic year (one disbursement each term). Funds will disburse on day 14 of the term if a student still meets all eligibility requirements. Funds are applied to tuition and fees first. If funds are in excess of account charges, a credit balance (stipend) will be issued within 14 days of disbursement.

Students are encouraged to set up Direct Deposit, via EFT, to receive the excess funds posted on their CSU Student Account. Questions about Direct Deposit should be emailed to

You may return your completed form and supporting documentation by logging into your myCSU Portal, selecting ACH Authorization Form and following the steps to upload and submit your information.

If a student elects not to use Direct Deposit, they will receive a paper check through the mail.

Borrower Rights and Responsibilities

The Borrower Rights and Responsibilities are available at Policies and Procedures

Cohort Default Rates
Cohort CSU Cohort Default Rate* National Average Cohort Default Rate for Comparable Institutions Percentage of CSU Borrowers In Repayment**
FY2020 0.0*** 0.0*** 12.06

*The Cohort Default Rate is calculated and published by the United States Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid. The FY 2019 tracking period is from October 1, 2019– September 30, 2018. This information is updated as the U.S. Department of Education website is updated.

**Borrowers include students using aid methods requiring repayment.

***Due to the Department of Education’s COVID-19 relief for student loan repayment, no students were reported as being in default as no payments were expected during this period.  

Academic Year Definition

Columbia Southern University defines its academic year for Undergraduate students as 24 credit hours of completion and 36 weeks of instruction. CSU defines its academic year for graduate students as 12 credit hours of completion and 36 weeks of instruction.

Maintaining Eligibility for Federal Student Aid

Students must maintain their eligibility to receive Federal Student Aid while attending Columbia Southern University. Students will need to continue to meet the basic eligibility requirements, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, and complete the FAFSA each year.