Getting Your Aid - Current Students

For the majority of students enrolled in classes, accepted financial aid will automatically be credited to student bills 10 days prior to the start of classes each semester. 

In order for your financial aid to be released for payment of University charges, you must:


Pending financial aid is the amount of aid CSULB expects to credit to your student account; it is displayed on your MyCSULB Student Center (and your bill) so that you can see how much aid is anticipated for the semester, and how much you will need to pay toward your account balance.

Once you register for classes your tuition and fee charges for the semester will be added to your account. Tuition and fees are typically due prior to when financial aid is released; however, if your award summary has been finalized, your awards will show as Pending Financial Aid and will postpone the required payment of your fees until your aid can be released.

  • If your pending financial aid is greater than your tuition and fee charges, you do not need to make any payment towards your tuition and fees prior to your aid being released
  • If your pending financial aid does not fully cover your tuition and fees, you must pay the difference out of pocket by the fee payment deadlines to avoid being dropped from your classes
  • If you have signed up for an installment plan, you are still required to make any payments that are due until your financial aid is released
    • Pending financial aid does not defer your installment plan payments.

If you have not been awarded financial aid, or have no pending aid displayed, by your fee payment deadline, you will need to contact Student Financial Services to make payment arrangements and avoid cancellation of your classes.

Most financial aid funds are released to Student Financial Services – and applied toward any outstanding University charges, including any installment plans. The first possible date funds can be released is 10 days prior to the first day of classes each semester. After the beginning of disbursement, financial aid is released on a nightly basis throughout each semester.

Aid on a Varying Disbursement Schedule

Some aid programs follow a different disbursement schedule than institutional grants or federal loans, which follow the standard disbursement schedule listed above.

  • CSULB Scholarships Paid as Stipends
    • Stipend payments are released on the 20th of each month. To see the release dates of your Stipend, click on the View Scheduled Disbursement Dates link on your Award Summary screen in your MyCSULB Student Center
  • External Scholarships
    • External scholarships are posted to your account as a credit one the donor has sent the funding to CSULB. Once Student Financial Services receives your scholarship check, your scholarship will be posted to your account. If there are no outstanding CSULB charges on your account, funds will be released to you through e-Refund. Note that the earliest that any funds can be released is the the initial disbursement date for each semester; funds cannot be released to your account prior to this date – regardless of when funds are received by the University.
  • Federal Work-Study
    • Federal Work-Study provides opportunities for employment on campus. Once you have secured a position, you will be paid on a regular basis. For more information, visit our Federal Work-Study page.
  • Private Loans
    • Disbursement of funds from private loans are dependent upon when that funding is received from the lender. Once Student Financial Services receives the loan funding, your loans will be posted to your account.
  • Study Abroad: 
    • Programs that begin on – or before – the CSULB semester start date:  Aid will be released on the primary aid release date.
    • Programs that begin after the semester start date for CSULB:  Aid will be released on the actual first day of classes for your program.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Status (SAP): 
    • Financial aid recipients are expected to make reasonable and timely academic progress toward their declared program objective (degree, credential or certificate) each semester in order for financial aid to be released.  Once you have been enrolled for at least one semester in your degree program, your SAP Status will be reviewed at the end of each semester prior to releasing, or awarding, any additional aid.
      • If you are on Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Probation, or are following an Academic Plan as part of an approved SAP Appeal, there may be a delay in your aid being released – until your continued eligibility can be confirmed.
      • If you are not meeting SAP, your financial aid will not be released.

When your financial aid is released to Student Financial Services, your awards are applied towards any University charges that are on your account for the semester.

  • Financial aid will first apply to tuition and campus fees, including any installment plan you have signed up for
  • Financial Aid will then apply to any housing charges, including any housing installment plans you have signed up for
  • If you have any financial aid credit remaining, this funding will be refunded to you as a direct deposit eRefund or as a paper check

For details on how to review your CSULB charges and payment due dates on MyCSULB, refer to our myCSULB Financial Aid Information page.

Once your financial aid has been applied toward your University charge, any remaining credit balance will be released to you as a Financial Aid Disbursement or refund.

You will receive an email from Student Financial Services once your refund has been issued. Additionally, on your MyCSULB Student Center, when you see a transaction posted on your student account that reads Financial Aid Disbursement, you will know your refund has been generated.

It takes up to 3 business days from the date of your financial aid disbursement for the funds to show in your bank account. Be sure to sign up for eRefund as this is the fastest, and most secure, way to receive your funds. Review the eRefund Guide on Student Financial Services How-To Guides page for instructions on signing up for eRefund.

A Few Important Notes About Refunds

  • If your parents borrowed through the Parent PLUS Loan program, excess funds will be issued as a check and mailed to the parent borrower
  • Not cashing a refund check does not cancel any loans you have been awarded.  Contact our office for details on how to cancel your loans
  • If you made a payment towards your University charges prior to your financial aid being released, and your financial aid would have been sufficient to cover your charges, you will receive a refund of your payment; however, there is usually a 3 – 4 week processing time involved in issuing refunds of payments. For more details, contact Student Financial Services
  • If charges are added to your account after your refund has been issued, you are responsible for paying the charges