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Undergraduate 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. 

There are many tools available to help you pay for your education - from student loans with lower interest rates that get paid back, to grants (federal and state) and scholarships that don't, to work study and student employment to help you earn funds.  Learn more about the options available at CSULB below.

There are four basic types of financial aid available for undergraduate students:
Scholarships, Grants, Work Study, and Loans.

 

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).

Federal Grants

Federal Grants are available to FAFSA Applicants.

Federal Pell Grants:
The largest federal grant program, the Federal Pell Grant is designed to assist students from low-income families. These grants are awarded to degree-seeking undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or graduate degree. 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 Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) 
Pell-eligible students who demonstrate the highest need may be considered for this grant, which supplements their Federal Pell Grant.  For 2017 – 2018, these grants will not exceed $280 a year at CSULB.

State Grants

California State Grants are available to FAFSA and DREAM Applicants.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) determines the eligibility for California State Grants – which are available only to California residents.  
Grants currently administered by CSAC include:

  • Cal Grant A and B
    Tuition paying grants for California Residents who meet eligibility criteria established by CSAC.
     
  • California Chafee Grant  
    For students who are or were in foster care and demonstrate financial need.
     
  • California Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)
    For students with family incomes and assets up to $156,000 who are not receiving other tuition paying awards.
     

For more information about these grants, visit California Student Aid Commission.

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 from CSULB include:

State University Grant (SUG): 
The State University Grant pays the “State Tuition Fee.”  For 2017-2018, SUG awards are $2,736 per semester (or $5,472 per academic year).    

Students who are already receiving a financial aid award designated to pay the tuition fee (Cal Grant or Scholarship, tuition/fee waivers, vocational rehabilitation, etc.) are not eligible to receive a SUG. Those pursuing a second bachelor's are also not eligible.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP): 
The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) serves students who come from disadvantaged economic or educational backgrounds. The program provides admission, academic and financial assistance to eligible undergraduate students. Only students who are admitted to the university by the EOP admissions process and enroll at least half time are eligible for EOP grant consideration. Students are considered for EOP based on their estimated family contribution and the availability of funds. Funding for this program is extremely limited.  For 2017 – 2018, the maximum EOP Grant is $600.

Additional Information about EOP is available from the Educational Opportunity Program.

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. CSULB is committed to reducing student debt, however, and student loan totals for our graduates are among the lowest in the country.

Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Loans:
Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans. Student borrowers 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.

PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students):
Federal Loans are also available for parents to cover a 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.

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)
FSW is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students with 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 $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 univeristy.