Applying for Federal Financial Aid

Students interested in federal loans and federal/state grants must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). To assist students with filling out the FAFSA, you may want to watch the 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA tutorial video series

Visit the federal information page for additional information on how to complete the process for federal and need-based aid. Review the To-Do Checklist as it provides the steps and estimated timeline for various types of financial aid.

  • Once FAFSA sends you an acknowledgement email that your FAFSA was successfully processed, please double check and compare the following information on your FAFSA versus your information on your Student MyCharleston Account:
    • SSN
    • Date of Birth
    • First Name
    • Last Name
  • If any of the aforementioned does not match on both systems it will prevent CofC from loading your FAFSA information and processing your financial aid application.  

Deadlines for Applying

Although our office accepts applications throughout the academic year, priority consideration will be given to students who have completed the FAFSA by March 1 before the start of the academic year. The Office of Financial Assistance & Veterans Affairs recommends completing the FAFSA at least two months before the time the aid is needed.

Students who complete the FAFSA after June 1 for fall, October 1 for spring, or May 1 for summer school should not expect aid to be finalized before tuition bills are due (which is usually before the start of the semester). Students that do not complete the FAFSA early enough will still be eligible for aid, but should identify other ways of paying the fall tuition bill, like getting set up on the College of Charleston's payment plan through the Treasurer's Office or borrowing an alternative loan.