Today’s students will one day join a talent pool and workforce that includes thousands of CSU graduates who have been influencing and advancing society’s collective good for the better part of 50 years.

Rebounding from struggle

Not long ago Jamil Rahman was homeless. He enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and discovered a network that quickly...

Thank you for investing in our students. Your support is transforming lives, igniting hope and pulling dreams within reach.

Support CSU

No matter the size, each gift helps ensure student success. Thank you for making a gift in support of our students, our University and our region.

make a gift today


“Whatever your gap in funding is for Spring, that’s on us.”
President Sands to entering freshman

Continuum arrow, attraction

Attracting Students in Uncertain Times. High school seniors now considering CSU have likely suffered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more than most. They may be the first in their families to be on the college track; or, they may hold jobs in hard-hit industries, suffer furloughs and unemployment, and face especially tough decisions about college affordability.

Instead of staying at home this year and waiting out the pandemic, prospective students now have an extra incentive to enroll in, and stay at, CSU: the 2–for–1 Tuition Promise, which offers a tuition-free 2021 Spring semester.

If a student enrolls at CSU as a first-time freshman and successfully completes Fall semester 2020 with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better, Spring semester 2021 will be tuition-free. Unique times call for unique solutions.

masked students in line

The 2-for-1 Tuition Promise is a unique solution to the challenges
of people hardest-hit by coronavirus because:

  • It limits the need for students to take on additional loans, accrue credit card debt, take a gap year, or work too many hours outside of class. All of these factors hurt retention and graduation rates.

  • It frees up students to adapt to college life, learn their course material, and tap into CSU’s host of wraparound services.

  • It helps maintain a steady flow of talented students into the Cleveland workforce for the next four years and beyond, starting with this challenging pandemic year. It rounds out Cleveland State’s already-robust financial aid plan: CSU has made an unprecedented $2 million in need-based aid available to students applying this year.

  • It further incentivizes students to commit to CSU, now and for the longer term. In just two weeks this summer, we’ve seen an increase in both applicants and admissions: 99 new, first-year freshmen applicants with 41 admissions. The same two-week period last year brought only 9 new applicants and 7 admissions.

  • It provides a powerful philanthropic vehicle for those whose passion is helping CSU students in need.


Why is the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise so vital now?
People make it through tough times by rallying together and supporting one another. Now
more than ever, we need to ease students’ financial burdens brought on by illness and
economic shutdown. Please join us in helping them to continue reaching for success through higher education.

How much funding does CSU expect to need to fulfill the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise?
A number of hard-to-predict variables affect how much money will be needed to fill tuition gaps in the spring: the number of freshmen who enroll for classes this Fall, their cumulative GPAs at the end of the first semester, how their other financial aid will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We estimate that we will need between $2.5 million and $3 million to make good on our promise to this year’s entering freshmen.

What does the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise cover?
The 2-for-1 Tuition Promise covers the balance of full-time tuition (up to 18 credit hours) after the application of federal grants (Pell, SEOG), state grants (OCOG), CSU scholarships or grants and any external scholarships a student may receive. Students are responsible for the other portions of their cost of attendance, including miscellaneous fees, books and course materials, transportation, room and board, etc.

How does the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise differ from Lift Up Vikes and other CSU student financial aid?
The 2-for-1 Tuition Promise is CSU’s one-time answer to the financial crises facing this year’s freshmen, due to the ripple effects of coronavirus. It applies only to the entering freshman class of 2020, and only for tuition in the Spring semester of 2021.

Is the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise available to students from outside of Ohio?
Yes, the 2-for-1 Tuition Promise is available to out-of-state students.

Photo Gallery

1 of 22