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Cleveland State University


Cleveland State UniversityCleveland State University is a public college that offers classes online and on its main campus in downtown Cleveland. Though founded in 1964, it took over the operations of a much older college. Fenn College opened in 1923 and served the need of local residents and students from neighboring states for a number of years before experiencing financial problems. Cleveland State University took over that campus and changed the name of the campus while retaining many of the same teachers and students who previously worked and attended Fenn College. Also called CSU and Cleveland State, it later took over the operations of the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law and joined the University System of Ohio.

CSU underwent a major renovation in 2006 that significantly increased the size of its main campus. It also launched a satellite campus in the Ohio town of Westlake that allows students to take many of its courses, and CSU also has its own online system that offers both undergrad and graduate classes. Across all its campuses and programs, the university now offers more than 200 program choices that include both undergrad and graduate degree programs as well as those designed for doctoral students. CSU saw its enrollment grow significantly over the last few decades to include more than 17,000 students.

Cleveland State University Accreditation Details

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted Cleveland State University regional accreditation after an extensive review of factors, including the number of students who successfully completed their degree programs and the number of students who found jobs in their chosen fields after leaving the university. This type of accreditation is important for any student who may need financial aid because the Department of Education will only award federal aid to those who attend an accredited college or university. As it also has program accreditation from 17 different groups, you may want to look at whether the program you want to enroll in has its own accreditation. All CSU programs in engineering, including chemical and mechanical engineering, have accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. Other organizations that accredited some of the CSU programs include:

  • American Bar Association
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Council on Education for Public Health

Cleveland State University Application Requirements

Though CSU is a public university, it does not accept every student who applies. Its acceptance rate hovers around 80 to 82%, though the exact figure changes each year based on the amount of space available and the number of students who apply. The first step in applying to CSU is the completion of the undergrad application. You can download, print, fill out and mail in this application, though it’s easier to use the online version, which you can fill out at home or at school. CSU also allows prospective students to visit the campus and complete the application there with help from admissions counselors and current students. There is a $40 application fee that you can pay when you submit the application, but the university also allows you to mail in your payment via check or money order.

You will also need to provide an official transcript that comes directly from your high school, and this transcript must show that you will graduate by the time classes start and list both the classes you took and your grade point average. All incoming freshmen must have a high school GPA of 2.3 or higher and take 13 credits of core classes in school that include four English credits and three credits each in math, natural sciences and social sciences.

Tuition and Financial Aid

CSU charges a flat rate of $401.50 per credit hour for all incoming students and current students who are also Ohio residents. Residents must show proof that they lived in the state for at least one full year before starting at the university. The price for nonresidents is $570.30 per credit hour. Full-time students take a minimum of 12 credits per semester, but the university charges a flat rate of $4,818 for residents and $6,843.60 for nonresidents. You can take up to 18 credits in a semester for this same rate. If you take classes beyond that limit, the university will charge the standard rate per credit.

As soon as you submit an application to the university, you should also file the FAFSA and list CSU as the college or one of the colleges that you want to attend in the coming year. As soon as Cleveland State receives this form, it will develop a financial aid package built specifically around your needs. This package may include loans and grants as well as admission to its work-study program. CSU also has scholarships that it awards based on financial need and merit.

Student Experience

Though CSU offers dozens of majors and minors, it also offers unique fields of study like a major in Urban Studies. Designed to help students learn more about urban communities like those that surround its campus, this program can prepare you to work as a policy advocate, community health specialist or urban planner. It includes courses like economics of policy analysis, urban geography, neighborhood planning, urban sustainability and distressed people and distressed places. You also have the option of doing an internship or taking part in a service learning project.

Another unique program available through the university is its major in Film, Television and Interactive Media. This program includes classes on the history of film and television as well as production courses that can help you learn how to work behind the camera. You can also take journalism classes that can prepare you for working in front of the camera or for writing the stories that reporters read on air.

Black Studies is another unique program that CSU offers. This is a type of interdisciplinary program that allows students to take courses from more than one department. Students will also attend lectures and attend seminars as well as volunteer and do work in the Howard A. Mims African-American Cultural Center. Graduates of this Cleveland State University program work in cultural centers, museums and community centers across the country.