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Credential Aid Programs

The Financial Aid Office at CSULB is your main resource for questions related to paying for your education. We oversee the awarding and distribution of loans, grants, work-study funds, and coordination with other aid – such as scholarships.

Students in the Credential Program are considered 5th year undergraduate students, not graduate, for Financial Aid purposes. The types of financial aid available to students pursuing a teaching credential are very specific and different from undergraduate or graduate aid types. 

Students who are considered “Conditionally Admitted” to a Credential Program are eligible for federal loan funds at the 5th year undergrad level; CSULB grant;, and private education loans. Students who already possess an initial Teacher Credential are only eligible for federal loan funds (at the 5th year undergrad level) or for private education loans. 

Impact of Enrollment on All Financial Aid Awards for Credential Students:

In order to receive financial aid funding, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units of credential coursework that is required by the State of California to receive a professional certification or licensing credential. Financial Aid is not available for prerequisite courses; courses that are suggested as beneficial; or elective courses.

Enrollment for Credential Students is reviewed at Census each semester.  If you are enrolled in less than 12 units of eligible coursework at Census, you may be required to repay some, or all, of the aid you previously received for the semester.

 

Scholarships

Scholarships are available to FAFSA and DREAM Applicants.

Scholarships are considered gift-aid; they don't need to be repaid! There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations.

A scholarship might cover the entire cost of your tuition, or it might be a one-time award of a few hundred dollars. Either way, scholarships are worth applying for as they can help you cover your educational costs, and reduce your dependence on loans.

Our Scholarships page is your resource for information on a variety of CSULB and outside scholarship opportunities.

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. At CSULB, students fully admitted to a postbaccalaureate teacher credential program may also be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant; conditionally admitted students become eligible for Pell funding upon full admission to the credential program.

Review the Pell Grant page on StudentAid.gov for full details on the Federal Pell Grant, including how to apply; award amounts; how to maintain eligibility. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant.

Impact of Enrollment on Pell Grant Awards

CSULB awards Pell Grant funds based on full-time enrollment (12 units). As you add and drop units, your Pell Grant will increase or decrease based upon your enrollment status. The final amount of Pell Grant that you will receive in any semester will be based upon your official enrollment as measured at University Census, which is the last day of the add/drop period. This occurs at the end of the fourth week of the semester. At Census, CSULB takes a snapshot of all students' enrollment which becomes your official University enrollment status.

Generally, your final Pell Grant payment for a semester is based upon the following:

  • Full Time (12 or more units): 100% of the originally offered amount
  • Three-Quarter Time (9-11.9 units): 75% of the originally offered amount
  • Half-Time (6-8.9 units): 50% of the originally offered amount
  • Less than Half-Time (under 6 units): 25% of the originally offered amount

Eligible students can receive Pell Grant funding for up to 12 full-time semesters (600%) or the equivalent. This total includes Pell Grant received at all institutions attended – and is retroactive. You cannot appeal this federal regulation or request an extension. Log in to StudentAid.gov to review the total amount of Pell grant you have received.

Federal TEACH Grants

The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who intend to teach full time in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that the U.S. Department of Education has designated as having a high concentration of students from low-income families. The Grant is available for select credential programs, and requires you to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.

In order to be considered for the TEACH Grant, you must have filed a FAFSA; been fully admitted to your credential program; and be working on your initial credential.

Agreement to Serve (ATS) 

Each award year, a TEACH Grant recipient must sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) that explains that the recipient must teach for four years within eight years of completing (or ceasing) enrollment in a TEACH Grant eligible program as a full-time highly qualified teacher in a low-income elementary or secondary school in a high-need field.  According to contractual obligations, a minimum of fifty percent of classes taught must be in a high-need field. The grant will convert to unsubsidized loan in the future if contracted teaching obligations are not met. If this happens, interest accrual will be effective as of the date of the first TEACH disbursement.  

The TEACH grant is not included in financial aid offers, but can be offered retroactively to eligible students during the award year. Specific eligible education programs have been determined in conjunction with the College of Education. Check with the College of Education on whether your credential program meets the criteria for the TEACH Grant.

How to Apply for the TEACH Grant

Once you have completed the FAFSA, follow these three steps to apply for the TEACH Grant:

Once all steps have been completed, the Financial Aid Office will review your eligibility and process your request.  Funds from the TEACH Grant are not released until after Census, once your enrollment for the semester has been finalized.

California State Grants

California State Grants are available only to California residents, who have filed their FAFSA or Dream application; are fully admitted to their credential program; and are working on their initial credential.

California Middle Class Scholarship

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program provides partial tuition scholarships to undergraduate students with family incomes and assets of up to $171,000, who are not receiving other tuition paying awards, and who attend a CSU or UC campus.

Middle Class Scholarships are based on a sliding scale according to family income; award amounts may vary by student and institution. The maximum award will be up to 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees. Actual award amounts will be based on the availability of funds and the number of qualified applicants.

CSAC determines the eligible recipients and award amounts, and will notify CSU Long Beach in mid-July. This typically occurs after students have already received an official award offer from CSU Long Beach, and will result in adjustments being made to the award offer. The receipt of any other need-based grants, or tuition paying scholarships or fee waivers may reduce your eligibility for the MCS.

In order to be considered for MCS funding, you must:

  • be a California resident or eligible AB540 student
  • have filed a FAFSA or Dream application by the March 2 deadline
  • be enrolled at least half-time
  • be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards

Impact of Enrollment on MCS Awards

The MCS award is based on enrollment in 7 or more units. If at the time the award is released (or at Census – whichever is later):

  • If you are enrolled in 7 or more units, you will receive the full amount of your award.
  • If you are enrolled in 6 units, your award will be adjusted. 
  • If you are enrolled in less than 6 units, your award will be cancelled.

CSULB Grants

State University Grant (SUG)

SUG awards are available only to California residents working on their initial credentials, who filed their FAFSA or Dream Application.  Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA or DREAM Application – including meeting the Priority Filing deadline.

The State University Grant (SUG) is a state grant awarded by CSU Long Beach to California residents who have an eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Since funds are limited, you must have submitted your financial aid application by the March 2 priority deadline in order to be considered for SUG.

SUG awards are not available to students who are not charged the State Tuition Fee, which includes most CPIE and Open University programs, or to students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree. Students who are already receiving a financial aid award designated to pay the tuition fee, such as Cal Grant or scholarship; tuition/fee waivers; vocational rehabilitation; etc., are not eligible to receive a SUG.

Impact of Enrollment on SUG Awards:

SUG award amounts are based on enrollment in 7 or more units. 

  •     If you are enrolled in 7 or more units, you will receive the full amount offered for the semester.
  •     If you are enrolled in 6 units, your SUG award will be adjusted to reflect the lower Tuition Fee
  •     If you are enrolled in less than 6 units, your award will be cancelled for the semester.

Federal Student Loans

Federal Student Loans are available only to FAFSA Applicants.

Low interest Federal Student Loans are offered as part of financial aid awards. Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are for Credential students enrolled at least half-time, in coursework required by the state of California for their Credential. The loans you receive will be either subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both.  The amount offered to you will not be more than the amount allowed for your established cost of education.  Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest on subsidized loans is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time.

An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You may opt to allow the interest to accumulate while you are in school or during other allowable periods of nonpayment. This interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

Note: If your interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay. You can choose to pay the interest as it accrues; if so, you will repay less in the long run. For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid Website

Direct Loan Limits For Credential Students

Eligibility for Federal Direct Loans for Credential Students is the same as for Undergraduate Students classified as seniors:

  • Dependent Credential Students:  Eligible for an annual maximum of $5,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $31,000 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate)
  • Independent Credential Students:  Eligible for an annual maximum of $12,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $57,500 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate).
     

The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans:

Annual Direct Stafford Loan Limits

 

Dependent Student

Independent Student

Teaching Credential

 

$5,500
If qualified, up to $5,500
   may be in subsidized loans

$12,500
If qualified, up to $5,500
   may be in subsidized loans

Aggregate (or Lifetime) Borrowing Limit for Undergraduates
 

$31,000
 If qualified, $23,000 may be in subsidized loans

$57,500
        If qualified, $23,000 of this may be in subsidized loans

For Credential Students who are considered to be Dependent Students for financial aid purposes, Federal Loans are also available for parents to cover the student’s remaining education costs. PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) are Federal Direct Loans in which the parent of a dependent student is the applicant/borrower.

First-time Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan borrowers (on or after July 1, 2013) will have a time limitation for subsidized loan eligibility.  In general, the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive a Direct Subsidized Loans is 150% of the published length of your program.  Once you reach the Subsidized Loan time limitation, you may be eligible for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans only.  More information on the Subsidized Loan time limitations is available from Federal Student Aid.

Impact of Enrollment on Direct Loans:

In general, Direct Loans are not pro-rated based on enrollment.  However, you must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units) in coursework required for your credential program in order to be eligible to receive funds from the loans.  Your enrollment will be reviewed at Census; if you are not enrolled in at least 6 units of coursework required by the State of California for your credential program, you will not be eligible for your loan funds – and your loan will be cancelled for the semester

All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid at California State University, Long Beach adhere to The California State University Student Lending – Code of Conduct (pdf), which restricts activity that may lead to conflicts of interest in the area of student lending.

Federal PLUS Loans

Parents of students who filed a FAFSA might be eligible to borrow a Parent PLUS loan.

For Credential Students who are considered to be Dependent Students for financial aid purposes, federal loans are also available for parents to cover their student’s remaining education costs. PLUS Loans are Federal Direct Loans in which the parent of a dependent student is the applicant and borrower. Your parent may borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid you are receiving.  Any amount borrowed in excess of university charges through the Parent PLUS Loan can be issued as a refund to the parent or student based on selection on the application.

To qualify for the Direct PLUS loan, your parent must meet some of the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid and will need to pass a modest credit check. In the event of a credit-denial, Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loan Information page details the options available for obtaining a PLUS Loan.

To Apply

Parent PLUS Loans are not included in the initial Financial Aid Award package. The loan is not added to the award package until the request has been processed and CSULB receives notification that your parent has been credit approved. To apply please visit Student Loans.gov; step-by-step instructions are provided in the Parent PLUS Instruction (PDF).

For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid at California State University, Long Beach adhere to The California State University Student Lending – Code of Conduct (pdf), which restricts activity that may lead to conflicts of interest in the area of student lending.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students who filed a FAFSA and have the highest financial need. The amount a student may earn will be listed on the student's award summary. The maximum FWS award is currently $3,500 per academic year. A FWS award does not guarantee placement in an actual position.

Work experience is not required to secure a FWS position. The money earned is yours to use for out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel, books, and personal care items. CSULB students typically work 10-12 hours per week. Work-study funds do not reduce your bill with the college.

Impact of Enrollment on FWS

FWS Awards are not pro-rated based on enrollment.  However, you must be enrolled in at least 6 units per semester of required credential coursework in order to be eligible to receive funds from FWS. If at any time during the semester your enrollment in eligible coursework drops below 6 units, you immediately lose eligibility to continue receiving FWS funds for the semester.

Student Employment

CSULB has student employment jobs that are not part of the Federal Work-Study program. A part time job provides students with the opportunity to gain work experience, even if you are not eligible for a Federal Work-Study position.

Visit the Career Development Center or 49er Shop for more information.

Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation Programs

Loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.

It is important to be aware of the options available to you – as well as the requirements of each, so that you can better plan for the financing of your credential program:

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.

Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.