Getting Your Aid - Newly Admitted Undergraduates
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 (or disbursed for payment of university-related charges), you must:
- Have an Award Summary that contains Official Awards
- Accepted the awards on your Award Summary
- Complete your To-Do List on MyCSULB
- Loan borrowers – complete the required loan steps for new borrowers (see Information for Loan Borrowers)
- Enroll in classes
If your Award Summary still shows Estimated Awards, review the items on your To-Do List and take action as soon as possible. If you have any questions on outstanding items, contact our office during regular business hours.
If your Award Summary has been finalized, but you have not accepted your awards on MyCSULB, your financial aid will not be released. Be sure to accept your awards so that the funds are able to be applied towards your charges.
Pending Financial Aid is the amount of aid CSULB expects to credit to your student account; it is displayed on MyCSULB 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 can be released; however, your financial aid awards will show as Pending Financial Aid and will postpone (or defer) 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.
Note: Financial aid cannot be used to pay your enrollment deposit.
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 before the first day of classes each semester. For the exact disbursement dates for each semester, please refer to Key Dates and Deadlines.
After the initial disbursement, financial aid is released on a nightly basis throughout each semester.
Other Types of Aid
Some aid programs follow a different release schedule, or may require funds be released after the above dates.
Release of funds varies based on when CSULB receives check from the scholarship agency. Once CSULB receives your scholarship check, funds for the semester will be released to Student Financial Services for processing. If there are no outstanding CSULB charges on your account, funds will be issued to you through e-Refund.
NOTE: The earliest scholarship funds can be released is the first aid disbursement date for each semester; funds cannot be released prior to this date, regardless of when funds are received.
Award must be earned. Release of funds follows the CSULB payroll calendar.
Funds from private loans is dependent upon when loan funds are received from the lender.Once funds have been received at CSULB, they will be released to Student Financial Services for processing.
When your financial aid is released to Student Financial Services, your awards are applied towards any CSULB charges that are on your account for the semester:
Key Items to Remember:
- Awards offered are based on full-time enrollment (12 units per semester).
- If you are enrolled in less than 12 units at the time your funds are released, your award amounts may be adjusted. Review the award information and impact of enrollment on our Undergraduate Aid Programs page for more details.
- If your financial aid does not pay all tuition and fees, or is cancelled, you will be responsible for the remaining charges. If the remaining charges are not paid by the fee payment deadline, you may be charged a late fee.
For details on how to review your CSULB charges and payment due dates on MyCSULB, refer to MyCSULB Financial Aid Information.
Once your financial aid has been applied toward your CSULB charges (including installment plans), any remaining funds will be issued as a financial aid disbursement (refund).
You will receive an email from Student Financial Services once your refund has been issued. Additionally, on MyCSULB, 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 e-Refund as this is the fastest, and most secure, way to receive your funds. Review the eRefund Guide for instructions on signing up for e-Refund.
A Few Important Notes About Refunds
- If your parents are borrowing 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 on your CSULB charges prior to your financial aid awards 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 to 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.
CSU Long Beach provides financial aid refunds through a secure, automated deposit directly to your checking or savings account. This process is called e-Refund, and all financial aid recipients are required to enroll.
If you are not currently signed up for e-Refund, please visit MyCSULB to complete the process (which usually takes less than 3 minutes). You will need to have your account number as well as your account routing transit Number, both of which can be located on your check or savings deposit slip. For more information on the e-Refund enrollment process, including screenshots, refer to MyCSULB Financial Aid Information.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do not sign up for e-Refund, a check will be sent to the address on file with the university by regular mail. It normally takes at least 10 to 15 business days for postal delivery of your refund check. e-Refund is a much timelier and secure method as funds are typically available in your bank account within 48 to 72 hours.
Remember to bring enough money with you at the beginning of each semester to pay your expenses until financial aid funds are released.
- Be aware of your direct university costs for tuition, fees, and campus housing.
- Be sure that your financial aid, which includes student and parent loans you have activated, is enough to pay those direct costs.
We recommend having enough money set aside to get you through the first week of classes – in the event of a delay in receiving your disbursement. Typical expenses include:
- Personal Expenses
Release of your financial aid is dependent upon your financial aid file status AND your enrollment. If your file is not complete in time for the first possible release of funds, we will release your awards once your file has been completed (and reviewed), all items on your To-Do list have been cleared, and you have registered for your classes (half-time status is required for financial aid to disburse).
The following are examples of reasons your aid may not be disbursed as scheduled:
- Outstanding items on your To-Do list in your MyCSULB. Please review your To-Do List to make sure that you do not have any outstanding documents being requested from you.
- Enrollment: The number of units that you are enrolled in may prevent your financial aid from being released. Your financial aid awards are based on your eligibility and need, as well as specific unit requirements for each award. Please review Undergraduate Aid Programs for more information.
NOTE: Waitlisted classes do not count in your enrollment status for disbursement of financial aid. Once your enrollment in a class is “Official,” the class will factor into your enrolled units for financial aid purposes.
- CSULB Scholarships: Certain types of scholarships will not be released directly to your student account. For example, some bookstore scholarships will be posted on your Award Summary with your other financial aid awards, but funds are made available through a separate process. Contact the department that awarded your Book Scholarship for details.
- CSULB Scholarship Stipends: Stipends are released on the 22 day of each month. To find the release dates of your stipend, click on the View Scheduled Disbursement Dates link on your Award Summary screen in MyCSULB.
- Non-CSULB Scholarships are dependent upon when funds are received by the university.
- Private Loans are dependent upon when CSULB receives the loan funds from the lender.