Apply for Financial Aid

  • To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA) annually.
  • Use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool when completing your FAFSA. We encouraged you and parents to use the tool for accuracy and faster completion.
  • If you have questions or need help contact our office.

How to apply for Financial Aid

  1. Complete the free application for Federal Student Aid here.
    This application must be completed yearly to be considered for Federal Financial Aid. We recommend using the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool to help you complete your FAFSA application. CEI's Federal School Code is 011133.
  2. Check your SAR for mistakes here by login in with your FSA ID.
    Make corrections if necessary, such as if you misestimated your tax information or provided incorrect information on the day you filled out the FAFSA.
  3. Your FASFA is processed.
    Once you have submitted your FAFSA, the information on your FAFSA will be processed by the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. The colleges you listed will be notified so they can begin awarding aid.
  4. Check your status and accept your offer.
    You will get an email notification for your financial aid offer. You will log in to your Student Self-Service to review and accept your financial aid award package. You can reduce your offered loan amounts or decline them too. Once accepted, your grants and loans will be applied to your account's tuition, fees, and other charges first, and then the remainder will be paid to you.

How do I create a FSA ID?

  • An FSA ID is used to complete and sign your FAFSA, create an FSA ID. If you are a Dependent student and your FAFSA requires parent information, a parent must create an FSA ID
  • The FSA ID is required to log back into the FAFSA to make corrections and to renew your FAFSA each year. The FSA ID will allow you and your parent to sign the FAFSA electronically, and it will allow you and your parent to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to access your Federal Tax information. 
  • It is important to remember your FSA ID and not share it. This is also used for logging into certain U.S. Department of Education Websites. 
  • If your FSA ID is locked or you have forgotten your username or password, FSA ID Retrieval methods are available. 

What documents do I need to complete the FAFSA?

Collect the required documents needed to complete the FAFSA.

  • Student Federal Tax Information. Use your 2021 tax year information for the 2023-2024 FAFSA. Note* Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool 
  • Parents’ Federal Tax Information if you are a dependent student. Use parent 2021 tax year information for the 2023-2024 FAFSA. Note* Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  • Your driver's license (if any)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your untaxed income records
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
  • Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

When do I apply to Financial Aid?

The FAFSA Application opens every October 1st for the next academic year. Students complete the FAFSA annually

For the 2022-2023 academic year, you can apply between October 1, 2021, and June 30, 2023; however, there are federal student aid programs with limited funds, so be sure to apply as soon as you can. We recommend completing the FAFSA by February or March 1st to meet state and scholarship deadlines. 

For the 2023-2024 academic year-You can apply between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2024.

CEI Priority Deadlines for the FAFSA. 

  • Fall Semester - June 1*
  • Spring Semester - November 1*
  • Summer Semester - February 1*

CEI's Federal School Code is 011133.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)


  • Students who have completed FAFSA by the Priority Deadline will have their aid by the first day of classes.
  • Students can still apply for federal aid after the Priority Deadline. Applications will still be processed; however, award offers are not guaranteed by the fee deadline. Students that do not have their financial aid ready by the fee deadline will be required to pay their fees out of pocket. 

How do I make corrections to my FAFSA?

If you have completed the FAFSA but need to make corrections, you can make them here or contact our Financial Aid Office for assistance.

What happens after I complete my FAFSA?

  • Submitting the FAFSA is not the last step. 
  • Your financial aid application will not be considered complete until ALL required forms or requested documents have been received. 
  • You can log into your Self-Service account under the Financial Aid Counseling and check your Required Documents. Or you can contact our Financial Aid Office for assistance. 

Why am I being asked to submit documentation and/or why am I getting "Missing Information" emails?

  • We may request additional documentation to assist in preparing your financial aid award. If this is required, you will receive an email to your student email, and you can view the requests on your Self-Service account. 
  • Submit requested documents and forms to the Financial Aid Office at CEI. 

How do I check the status of my Financial Aid?

  • Check your Self-Service account, and email periodically to monitor your application and financial aid progress.
  • Once you have completed all requests, we will use your application and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to determine how much aid you can get. 
  • You will receive an email when your financial aid application is complete. 
  • We will provide a financial aid offer for you to review and accept the aid you want.