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Credential Aid Programs Overview

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 already possess an initial Teacher Credential are only eligible for federal loan funds (at the 5th year undergrad level) or for private education loans.

Learn more about the options available at CSULB below.

 

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.

The CSULB Center for Scholarship Information is your resource for information on a variety of CSULB and outside scholarship opportunities (including links to applications).

CSULB Center for Scholarship Information

Federal Grants

Federal Grants are available only to FAFSA Applicants.

Federal Pell Grants:  
Pell Grant is available only for your initial credential. These grants are awarded to eligible credential students who have not yet exhausted their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility. The Pell grant varies based on financial need, as determined by your FAFSA application; for 2017 – 2018 the Pell Grant can have a maximum amount offered of $5,920. 

Pell Grant lifetime eligibility is limited to 12 semesters or the equivalent.

Federal Teacher Education Educational Opportunity Grants (TEACH) 
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 selected credential programs, and requires the recipient to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.

At CSULB, the following credential programs have been determined to be eligible for the TEACH Grant (in conjunction with the College of Education): 

  • Single-Subject Credential Programs: 
    Mathematics, Science, English, Social Science, Foreign Language
  • Education Specialist – Preliminary only
  • Multiple Subject (all programs)
     

Eligibility for the TEACH Grant will be determined by CSULB, using guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. For Federal Student Aid, visit the  Frequently Asked Questions website.

Federal Pell Grants
Federal Teacher Education Educational Opportunity Grants (TEACH)
Federal Student Grant Programs Factsheet (pdf)
Federal Student Aid TEACH Grant Program Factsheet

CSULB Grants

CSULB Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants.

CSULB Grants are available only to California residents.  Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA or DREAM Application – including meeting the Priority Filing deadline. Grants currently available for Credential Students from CSULB include:

State University Grant (SUG): 
The State University Grant is available only for your initial credential. 
The State University Grant (SUG) is awarded by CSULB to California Residents who have an eligible EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Credential students may be eligible for SUG. Since funds are limited, it is important to apply by the March 2 priority deadline.

SUG awards pay the “State Tuition Fee,” and are offered based on full-time enrollment. For 2017-2018, SUG awards for Credential Students are $3,174 per semester (or $6,348 per academic year).    

Please note that if you are enrolled half-time (6 units for Students), your SUG award will be adjusted to reflect your actual State Tuition Fee charge.

Students who are already receiving a financial aid award designated to pay the tuition fee (Scholarship, tuition/fee waivers, vocational rehabilitation, etc.) are not eligible to receive a SUG.

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. Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

Please note that 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).


Students eligible for need-based subsidized Direct Loans will have their interest paid for by the federal government while the student remains enrolled at least half-time.

All other students, including those who may qualify for only a partially subsidized loan, may apply for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. This has the same terms and conditions except that the student borrower is responsible for the interest that accrues while in school. For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

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.

Subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans
Interest Rates
PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students)
Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students (pdf)

Federal Work Study (Available to FAFSA Applicants Only)

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students with the highest financial need. The amount you may earn will be listed on your award summary. The maximum FWS award is currently $2,700 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 university.

Student Employment & Other Options
Some students find jobs that are not part of the Federal Work-Study program. A part-time job can be a great experience even if you are not eligible for Federal Work-Study positions.  Visit the CSULB Career Development Center for more information.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)
CSULB Career Development Center
CSULB Student Employment Guidelines

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.
     
  • Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers: 
    A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government for students with a Perkins Loan.  You might be eligible for this program if you teach full-time at a low-income school, or for teaching in certain subject areas.
     
  • Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees:
    A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.


Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers
Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees (pdf)