Undergraduate Aid Programs

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at CSULB is your main resource for questions related to paying for your education. We oversee the awarding and distribution of loans; grants; federal 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 and scholarships that don't, to federal work-study and student employment to help you earn funds. Learn more about the options available at CSULB below.


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.

Our Scholarships page is your resource for information on a variety of CSULB and outside scholarship opportunities.

Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. At CSULB, students fully admitted to a post-baccalaureate teacher credential program may also be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant; conditionally admitted students become eligible for Pell funding upon full admission to the credential program.

Review the Pell Grant page on StudentAid.gov for full details on the Federal Pell Grant, including how to apply; award amounts; how to maintain eligibility. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant.

Impact of Enrollment on Pell Grant Awards

CSULB awards Pell Grant funds based on full-time enrollment (12 units). As you add and drop units, your Pell Grant will increase or decrease based upon your enrollment status. The final amount of Pell Grant that you will receive in any semester will be based upon your official enrollment as measured at University Census, which is the last day of the add/drop period. This occurs at the end of the fourth week of the semester. At Census, CSULB takes a snapshot of all students' enrollment which becomes your official University enrollment status.

Generally, your final Pell Grant payment for a semester is based upon the following:

  • Full Time (12 or more units): 100% of the originally offered amount
  • Three-Quarter Time (9-11.9 units): 75% of the originally offered amount
  • Half-Time (6-8.9 units): 50% of the originally offered amount
  • Less than Half-Time (under 6 units): 25% of the originally offered amount

Eligible students can receive Pell Grant funding for up to 12 full-time semesters (600%) or the equivalent. This total includes Pell Grant received at all institutions attended – and is retroactive. You cannot appeal this federal regulation or request an extension. Log in to StudentAid.gov to review the total amount of Pell grant you have received.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) 

Pell-eligible students, who demonstrate the highest need, may be considered for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), which supplements their Federal Pell Grant.  For 2020 – 2021, these grants will not exceed $350 a year at CSULB. Unlike the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grants are not adjusted based on enrollment. However, you must be enrolled at least half-time in order to be eligible to receive funds from the grant. If your enrollment is less than half-time at Census, your SEOG award will be cancelled.

State Grants are available for California residents only; eligibility for these grants is determined by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Both FAFSA and Dream Application filers are potentially eligible to receive State Grants. Your residency status is determined by the Office of Admissions at the time of your application. By filing the FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 2, eligible students may be considered for a state grant. 

CSAC contacts students via email regarding their eligibility and awards; WebGrants 4 Students (WGS) is your portal for California State Grants. It is critical that you keep your email information current on your WGS account.

Grants are disbursed according to the number of units you are enrolled in each semester. At University Census, four weeks after the beginning of each term, financial aid awards are adjusted for enrollment that is less than full time.

Cal Grant A and B

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) awards Cal Grants to qualified California residents who meet minimum GPA requirements and demonstrate financial eligibility as determined by the appropriate financial aid application.

There are two types of Cal Grants awarded at CSU Long Beach – Cal Grant A (Entitlement Awards) and Cal Grant B (Competitive Awards). The eligibility criteria for the Cal Grants are established by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Both grants provide assistance with the State Tuition Fee and are available for up to eight semesters for students pursuing a bachelor's degree. The Cal Grant B also provides a living allowance of up to $1, 648 for books and living expenses.

A Cal Grant award may be reduced, or cancelled, in the event you are receiving another award or waiver that is specifically designated to pay the tuition fee.  Students who are awarded a State University Grant, and are later deemed eligible for the Cal Grant will be awarded the Cal Grant and have their State University Grant cancelled. As both grants pay the State Tuition Fee, a student is typically only eligible to receive one or the other.

Impact of Enrollment on Cal Grant Awards:

The Amount offered for the Cal Grant is based on full-time enrollment (12 units). The number of units in which you are actually enrolled may impact the amount of the grant you receive. Review the chart below for details:

Impact of Enrollment on Cal Grant Awards

Enrollment Status

Number of Units

Impact on Cal Grant


12 or more units

Full award eligibility

Three-Quarter Time

9.0 – 11.9 units

Cal Grant prorated to 75%


6.0 – 8.9 units

Cal Grant prorated to 50%

Less Than Half-Time

1.0 – 5.9 units

Cal Grant cancelled

Final enrollment for a semester is measured at University Census (the last day of the add/drop period for a semester – typically the Friday of the fourth week of the semester). Prior to Census, Financial Aid Awards and disbursements are revised for students enrolled less than full-time to match eligibility based on the actual number of units in which students are officially enrolled. The student's enrollment and award is then locked at Census.

California Chafee Grant

The California Chafee Grant Program is sponsored by the California Student Aid Commission and the state Department of Social Services for eligible foster youth and former foster youth. Students who qualify may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year if enrolled in an eligible program. In general, students must:

  • Be eligible, or have been eligible, for foster care between ages 16 and 18
  • Not have reached age 22 as of July 1 of the award year.

Funding from the Chafee Grant is intended to supplement any grant funds that a student may otherwise be eligible to receive; however, the total grant funding may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Chafee Grant benefits must be coordinated with a student’s other financial aid. In some instances, remaining loan disbursements or work-study awards may need to be cancelled to allow maximum Chafee Grant awards to be received.

Impact of Enrollment on Chafee Grant Awards:

Unlike the Cal Grant, Chafee Grants are not adjusted based on enrollment. However, you must be enrolled at least Half-Time in order to be eligible to receive funds from the grant. If your enrollment is Less Than Half-Time at Census, your Chafee Grant will be canceled.

California Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program is for undergraduates and students pursuing a teaching credential with family income and assets up to $201,000.

Scholarship award amounts will vary by student. Award amounts will be based on the student's cost of attendance and the following program requirements: other available gift aid that the student is eligible for (i.e. federal, state, institutional or scholarship aid), a self-help student contribution of $7,898, and a parent contribution for dependent students with a household income of over $100,000. These three factors collectively, are referred to as a student's “available resources.” Actual award amounts will be based on the availability of funds and the number of qualified applicants.

CSAC determines the eligible recipients and award amounts, and will notify CSU Long Beach in mid-July. This typically occurs after students have already received an official award offer from CSU Long Beach, and will result in adjustments being made to the award offer.

Adjustments to your MCS Award

If your available resources increase, your MCS eligibility must be reviewed. Information about any additional funding sources will be sent to CSAC and your award might be adjusted or canceled.

Impact of Enrollment on your MCS Award

The MCS award is based on your enrollment.  The University determines your enrollment at Census. At the time the award is released (or at Census – whichever is later):

  • If you are enrolled between half-time and three-quarter-time (6.0 units to 11.9 units), your MCS amount will be prorated
  • If you are enrolled less than half-time (5.9 or fewer units), you are not eligible for MCS

California Dream Service Incentive Grant (CA DSIG)

The California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program (DSIG) encourages California Dream Act Application (CADAA) students with a Cal Grant B award to perform community or volunteer service. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will award up to $3,000 per academic year (up to $1,500 per semester) to 2,500 eligible students.

In order to be eligible for this grant, you must be awarded a Cal B award; be meeting SAP; have sufficient unmet need, and complete community or volunteer hours within the academic year (at least 150 hours per semester). Once you have obtained a volunteer position, you can apply for the grant using the form on CSAC's website. You will need to get the form certified by both your service organization and the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

For help with completing your application for the Grant, contact the CSULB Dream Success Center. For questions about the California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant, contact the California Student Aid Commission.

CSULB Grants are available only to California residents. CSULB Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants. Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA or DREAM Application – including meeting the Priority Filing deadline.

State University Grant

The State University Grant (SUG) is a state grant awarded by CSU Long Beach to California residents who have an eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Since funds are limited, you must have submitted your financial aid application by the March 2 priority deadline in order to be considered for SUG.

SUG awards are not available to students who are not charged the State Tuition Fee, which includes most CPIE and Open University programs, or to students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree. Students who are already receiving a financial aid award designated to pay the tuition fee, such as Cal Grant or scholarship; tuition/fee waivers; vocational rehabilitation; etc., are not eligible to receive a SUG.

Impact of Enrollment on SUG Awards

SUG awards are 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 6 units, your SUG award will be adjusted to reflect the lower  Tuition Fee
  • If you are enrolled in less than 6 units, your award will be cancelled for the semester. 

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) serves students who come from disadvantaged economic or educational backgrounds. Only students who are admitted to the university by the EOP program 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 2020 – 2021, the maximum EOP Grant is $700.

The California (CA) Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The CA Dream Loan is a subsidized loan program for students with a valid CA Dream Act application and a valid AB540 affidavit or “U” Visa on file with CSULB. You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive the CA Dream Loan.

Interest Rate, Deferment, and Grace Period

The interest rate for CA Dream Loans disbursed after July 1, 2023 is 5.50%. The interest rate for the CA Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change for new loans annually. The CA Dream Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before you enter repayment. You will be responsible for the interest charged at all other times.

Repayment of Loans

CA Dream Loan borrowers have a standard repayment and income based repayment plan available. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period; the grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.

For more information visit heartland.ecsi.net. Under Download Forms, search for California State University (Dream Loans).

Loan Limits

The CA Dream Loan is subject to annual, semester, and aggregate limits set by the state legislature, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and SSU. The annual loan limit is $4,000 and the semester limit is generally $2,000. The aggregate limit of $20,000 is the maximum that you can borrow from the CA Dream Loan program at CSULB.

Eligibility for the CA Dream Loan

Because funds are limited, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you meet the eligibility criteria for the CA Dream Loan. The application process will be explained in emails sent to your email account, and in the To Do List items in your MyCSULB Student Center.

You may decline the loan offer or accept less than what is offered to you, but you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time. Students who accept the CA Dream Loan must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. If you fail to complete all the required steps to receive your loan disbursement by the assigned deadline, we may cancel the loan offer. Funds are limited and you may not be awarded the funds again at a later date.

You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive from the CA Dream Loan. Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee availability or receipt of funds in subsequent year

Low-interest Federal student loans through the Direct Loan program are offered as part of financial aid awards to FAFSA filers. CSULB is committed to reducing student debt, however, and student loan totals for our graduates are among the lowest in the country.

Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are for undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time. The loans you receive will be either subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both.  The amount offered to you will not be more than the amount allowed for your established grade level or the cost of education.  Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

 For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid website for Federal Interest Rates and Fees.

Direct Loan Limits

Loan amounts for first-year students are initially estimated at the first-year amount. Loan amounts for new Transfer Students are initially estimated at the third-year amount. The amount offered may later be adjusted based on information from Records & Registration regarding your grade level, or on information from NSLDS regarding loan funds already received during the year.

Loan amounts for continuing students will be estimated at the current grade level at the time of awarding. Undergraduate students may progress a grade level after grades are posted at the end of a semester, thereby changing your loan limits for the year.

For more information on the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans, review the chart below :

Annual Direct Stafford Loan Limits by Year in School

Borrower's Academic Level

Dependent Student

Independent Student

First Year
(0-29.9 units)


If qualified, up to $3,500 may be in subsidized loans


If qualified, up to $3,500 may be in subsidized loans

Second Year
(30-59.9 units)


If qualified, up to $4,500
   may be in subsidized loans


If qualified, up to $4,500
   may be in subsidized loans

Third and Fourth Year



If qualified, up to $5,500
   may be in subsidized loans


If qualified, up to $5,500
   may be in subsidized loans

Aggregate (or Lifetime) Borrowing Limit for Undergraduates


 If qualified, $23,000 may be in subsidized loans


If qualified, $23,000 of this may be in subsidized loans

First-time Direct Subsidized Loan borrowers (on or after July 1, 2013) will have a time limitation for subsidized loan eligibility. In general, the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive a Direct Subsidized Loans is 150% of the published length of your program. Once you reach the Subsidized Loan time limitation, you may be eligible for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans only.

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 in order to be eligible to receive funds from the loans.  If you do not begin enrollment at least half-time, or if at that time funds are released you are enrolled less than half-time, you will not be eligible for your loan funds.

Loan amounts for graduating seniors enrolled for one semester only:

If you will be graduating, and are enrolled for one semester only during the award year, your Direct Loans will be prorated as follows:

- enrolled in fewer than 12 units, loans are prorated down, based on units

- enrolled in more than 12 units, loans are prorated up based on units

All staff members of the Financial Aid Office 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

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students who filed a FAFSA and have 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 $3,500 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 college.

Impact of Enrollment on FWS

FWS Awards are not pro-rated based on enrollment.  However, you must be enrolled in at least 6 units per semester in order to be eligible to receive funds from FWS.  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

CSULB has student employment jobs that are not part of the Federal Work-Study program. A part time job provides students with the opportunity to gain work experience, even if you are not eligible for a Federal Work-Study position.

Visit the Career Development Center or 49er Shop for more information.

The Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents (including adoptive or stepparents) of dependent undergraduate students, who filed a FAFSA. Your parent may borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid you are receiving.  Any amount borrowed in excess of University charges through the Parent PLUS Loan can be issued as a refund to the parent or student based on selection on the application.

To qualify for the Direct PLUS loan, your parent must meet some general eligibility requirements and will need to pass a credit check. If your parent has an adverse credit history, the Federal Student Aid website for parent borrowers with adverse credit history provides guidance.

To Apply

Parent PLUS Loans are not included in your initial Financial Aid offer. The loan is not added to the award package until the request has been processed and CSULB receives notification that your parent has been approved. To apply, please visit Student Loans.gov; step-by-step instructions are provided in the Parent PLUS Instruction (PDF).

All staff members of the Financial Aid Office 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

Private loans are loans made by a lender such as a bank or a credit union, not the Department of Education. These loans are typically borrowed by students who are not eligible or do not qualify for federal loans or who have exhausted their federal loan, or Dream Loan, eligibility. If you have not yet borrowed your full Federal loan eligibility, consider doing so before borrowing a private loan.

Approval of a private loan is typically based on your credit rating and debt-to-income ratio and may require a co-signer.  Private loans often carry higher interest rates and fees than federal loans, and may have less attractive repayment terms. The interest rates are variable, meaning they can change on a monthly basis, and are determined by the information in your credit report. Find out more about the differences between federal and private loans on the Federal Student Aid website.

If you have exhausted all sources of federal funding and decide to borrow a private loan, compare lenders to ensure you are making the best choice for you.

Truth in Lending requirements

The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders who provide private loans to comply with the following requirements:

  • Lenders must provide three separate loan disclosures to borrowers--one at the point of application, one when the loan is approved, and one before the loan is disbursed.
  • A waiting period of three business days is required between the time the borrower receives the final loan disclosure and the time that the loan is disbursed.
  • Students must also sign a self-certification form and submit it to the lender before the loan can be disbursed.

Your lender should provide you with all of the information you need to know about these requirements, but if you have questions, feel free to contact our office.

Private Education Loan Process

  • Your lender should provide you with a copy of the required Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form.
  • To complete your Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form, you will need to know your cost of attendance and estimated financial assistance.
    • If you receive financial aid, this information can be found on your Financial Aid Summary in your MyCSULB Student Center.  Otherwise, refer to the Costs pages on our website.
  • Send your completed self-certification form to your lender. Your loan cannot be disbursed until your lender receives it.

All staff members of the Financial Aid Office 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