You are here

Graduate 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. 

The types of financial aid available to students pursuing a graduate degree are very specific and different from undergraduate or credential aid types. 

Students who are working on a second Master’s or second Doctoral degree are only eligible for federal loan funds or for private education loans. They are NOT ELIGIBLE for any grant aid.

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

In order to receive financial aid funding, you must be enrolled at least half-time (4 units for Master’s Degree Students; 3 units for Doctoral Students) in upper-division coursework.  Financial Aid is not available for prerequisite courses or courses at the 100 or 200 level.  

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

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 Grants

  • CSULB Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants
  • CSULB Grants are available only to students working on their initial Master’s or initial Doctoral Degree
  • CSULB Grants are NOT available to students enrolled in the EdD or the DPT Program

CSULB Grants are available only to California residents.  Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA or DREAM Application – including meeting the Priority Filing deadline.  Since funds are limited, you must apply by the March 2nd priority deadline to be considered for CSULB Grants.

Grants currently available for Graduate Students from CSULB include:

State University Grant (SUG): 
The State University Grant is available only for your initial master’s or initial doctoral degree. 
The State University Grant (SUG) is awarded by CSULB to California Residents who have an eligible EFC (Expected Family Contribution), and who meet the priority filing deadline.

SUG awards pay the “State Tuition Fee,” and are offered based on full-time enrollment. For 2017-2018, SUG awards for Graduate Students are $3,369 per semester (or $6,738 per academic year).    

Impact of Enrollment on SUG Awards:
SUG award amounts are offered 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 less than 7 units, but are enrolled at least half-time for your program (4 units for a Master’s Degree student; 3 units for a Doctoral Degree student), your SUG award will be adjusted to reflect the lower Tuition Fee.
  • If you are enrolled less than half time for your program, your award will be cancelled for the semester. 

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.

NOTE:  EdD Students & DPT Students:  Students enrolled in the DPT program and the EdD program are not eligible to receive funding through the State University Grant (SUG), as the “State Tuition Fee” is not assessed to students in these programs (SUG only gets applied towards the State Tuition Fee).  Please review the Degree Program Specific Grants for information on available grants for these two programs.

Degree Program Specific Grants

Degree Program Specific Grants are available to FAFSA Applicants and DREAM Applicants.

There are a few CSULB grant programs available for students who have been admitted to specific programs.  Eligibility for these Degree Program Specific Grants is based on CSULB admission, program admission, CA residency, and financial need.  

Graduate Business Fee Grant

Available to students in the following programs:

  • Master of Business Administration (Does not include programs through CCPE)
  • Master of Science in Accountancy
     

The Graduate Business Fee Grant assists eligible students in meeting the cost of the Graduate Professional Fee assessed by California State University professional business graduate programs. The per-unit fee ($254/unit) is charged for required courses taken by graduate students enrolled in fee-authorized State-Supported Professional Business Graduate Programs (MBA – Master of Business Administration).

Award amounts are set at $1,524 per semester ($3,048 per academic year).  The award amount is based on enrollment in 6 units of coursework that are assessed the Graduate Business Professional Fee. 

The award amount is not increased even if you enroll in more than 6 units of GBP Fee coursework; however, if your enrollment drops below 6 units of GBP Fee coursework, you will lose eligibility for the grant.

To be eligible for the Graduate Business Grant Fee Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes
  • Have been assessed a Graduate Business Professional (GBP) Fee
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 units of coursework (per semester) that are assessed the GBP Fee  
     

Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant (DPT Grant)

Available to students in the following programs:

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT Program)

The CSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant program was established in July 2011 in the interest of equity to students enrolled in the DPT program, as these students are not eligible for SUG funding.  The DPT Grant provides students enrolled in the DPT program access to grant funding similar to that of all other CSU students who demonstrate financial need (based on the FAFSA or DREAM application).

To be eligible for the DPT Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes
     

Grant amounts vary – based on available funding.  Awarding of the DPT Grant occurs during the regular awarding cycle for Fall & Spring semesters.  Additional grants are awarded to eligible students enrolled during the Summer semester.

Education Doctorate Grant (EdD Grant)

Available to students in the following programs:

  • Education Doctorate (EdD Program)

The Education Doctorate Grant program was established in 2007 in the interest of equity to students enrolled in the EdD program, as these students are not eligible for SUG funding.  The EdD Grant provides students enrolled in the EdD program access to grant funding similar to that of all other CSU students who demonstrate financial need (based on the FAFSA or DREAM application). 

To be eligible for the Graduate Business Grant Fee Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year by the priority filing deadline
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes
  • Enroll in a minimum of 4 units of EdD coursework (per semester)
     

Grant amounts vary – based on available funding.  Awarding of the EdD Grant occurs at the end of the academic year and awards are applied retroactively.

Federal TEACH Grant

Federal Grants are available only to FAFSA Applicants.

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 graduate programs at CSULB, and requires the recipient to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.

The TEACH Grant requires a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS), as 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 initial financial aid offers but can be offered retroactively to eligible students who complete the TEACH Grant Application during the award year. The following graduate programs at CSULB have been determined to be eligible for the TEACH Grant (in conjunction with the College of Education): 

  • Curriculum and Instruction                  
  • Dual Language Development
  • Early Childhood Education                   
  • Educational Technology and Media Leadership
  • Mathematics Education                       
  • Social and Cultural Analysis of Education
  • Science Education                                 
  • Special Education

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

Information on applying for the TEACH Grant is available on our TEACH Grant page.

Federal Student Loans

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

Low interest Federal Student Loans are offered as part of financial aid awards. Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are for graduate students enrolled at least half-time (4 units for Master’s Degree, 3 units for Doctoral Degree), in eligible coursework for their program of study. The loans you receive will as a graduate student will be unsubsidized.  The amount offered to you will not be more than the amount allowed for your established cost of education.  Your FAFSA application will determine your eligibility for unsubsidized federal loans.

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 Graduate Students
Eligibility for Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students is reflected in the chart below:

Annual Direct Loan Limits by Class Level

Borrower's Academic Level

Independent Student

Annual Limit – Graduate Students
(Master’s or Doctoral Student)

$20,500

Aggregate (or Lifetime) Borrowing Limit for Graduate Students
 

$138,500
 Includes all Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized loans borrowed as an Undergraduate and/or Credential Student

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is an additional loan available for those graduate students who need additional funds (beyond the Unsubsidized Loan), to cover their remaining education costs. The PLUS Loan is a government-insured loan made to graduate students, and approval is based on the credit-worthiness of the student borrower.  In the event of a credit-denial, Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loan Information page details the options available for obtaining a PLUS Loan. The amount requested can be up to your cost of attendance – less any other financial aid (grants, scholarships, Direct Unsubsidized Loan). 

The interest rate for the PLUS Loan is adjusted by Congress annually, with a new rate taking effect each July 1st.  Although the interest rate for new loans may change each July 1, the rate received will be fixed for the life of the loan.  The current Direct PLUS Loan interest rate is available on Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loan Information page.

In addition to the interest rate, Direct Loans charges an origination fee on the PLUS loan which is deducted from your loan funds at the time of disbursement.  For the current origination fee, refer to Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loan Information page.

The PLUS Loan enters repayment once the loan has been fully disbursed, which is typically after the Spring Semester disbursement.  Various options are available to postpone payment; refer to Federal Student Aid’s PLUS Loan Information page for additional details.

PLUS Loans are not awarded in your initial aid package.  You must complete a separate request form for the Graduate PLUS loan if you want to request the loan to cover your remaining college costs. 

After applying and being approved for a Direct PLUS Loan, the award will appear on your Award Summary.  You must complete all Direct Loan Program requirements listed on the Information for Loan Borrowers page in order to receive loan funds.

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 (4 units for Master’s Degree Students; 3 units for Doctoral Degree Students) in order to be eligible to receive funds from the loans.  If you are not enrolled at least half-time in eligible coursework, you will not be eligible for your loan funds – and your loan will be cancelled for the semester.

Federal Work Study

Students are encouraged to find jobs whose wages can cover indirect expenses that occur each term such as textbooks and laundry.

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.

Impact of Enrollment on FWS:
FWS Awards are not pro-rated based on enrollment.  However, all student employment at CSULB requires enrollment in at 6 units of coursework per semester.  If at any time during the semester your enrollment drops below 6 units, you immediately lose eligibility to continue receiving FWS funds for the semester.

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.

Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation Programs

Loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession and Public Service sector.  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 graduate 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 (pdf):
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.