Your eligibility for a financial aid award can be determined after we receive the results of your FAFSA or CA DREAM Application and after you have been admitted to CSULB.
Students admitted for the fall semester will begin receiving award notifications at the beginning of April; students admitted for the spring semester will begin receiving their financial aid offers in the middle of October. You will be notified by email when you have awards to review. Awards can be viewed on your MyCSULB Student Center.
Your Award Notice and Award Summary
Your award notification email will refer you to your MyCSULB Student Center where you can review the details of your Award Summary (the types and amounts of aid for which you qualify), including the sources of financial aid you are eligible to receive for the academic year, as well as a term/semester specific breakdown of your awards. Your financial aid package is designed to help make your CSU Long Beach education more affordable; and was calculated based on Federal, California State, and CSU Long Beach institutional guidelines. We have considered your eligibility for grants, loans, and part-time employment. Detailed information on each type of award offered to you can be found under Undergraduate Aid Programs.
Use your College Financing Plan to Understand Your Package (FAFSA Filers only)
After viewing your financial aid awards, be sure to review your College Financing Plan on your MyCSULB Student Center. The College Financing Plan provides you with a personalized overview of your projected costs and financial aid awards at CSU Long Beach. You can print the College Financing Plan and use it as a tool in evaluating your resources and planning how to meet your college expenses.
If you are receiving additional funding from other sources, such as scholarships from non-CSULB sources, we are required by the Federal and California State regulations to consider these resources when determining your awards. If all sources of funding do not show on your award offer, you must notify our office in writing of the amount and source of the award.
Notice of Preliminary Award
A “Notice of Preliminary Award” is an estimate of your eligibility for aid, and means that additional information is needed before we can finalize your award offer. Be sure to review your To-Do List on your MyCSULB Student Center for information on what is required from you.
Estimated Awards are provided to newly admitted students whose applications require additional information to be submitted and reviewed prior to receiving an official award package. These estimated award packages are for informational and planning purposes only; the awards cannot be accepted as they do not reflect an official award offer.
If you receive a preliminary award notice, be sure to respond to any document requests we make in order to finalize your award offer. If you do not respond by the specified deadline, you may lose your opportunity to receive certain awards. Additionally, your aid may not be available when fees are due.
Accepting your Awards
After reviewing your Financial Aid Award Summary, you will need to take action on your awards, by either accepting or declining the aid, before they can be finalized and applied towards your CSULB charges. If you are not sure if you want to accept a particular award, such as a loan, you may delay making a decision on that award until later. Please note, however, that some awards have limited funding available. Delaying your acceptance of awards (other than Direct Loans) may subject the award to cancellation in the event funding is depleted.
If you have been offered a loan as part of your award offer, you are not required to accept the maximum amount offered. You may choose to either accept the full amount, a lesser amount, or decline the loan.
Changes to Initial Awards
What if my financial aid doesn't reflect my current situation?
Income Appeal Request
If you think some aspect of your financial situation was overlooked or if a significant change has occurred to your household's financial situation, you should consider submitting an Income Appeal form, available on our Forms page beginning in April. Our financial aid counselors will review your appeal and determine if a re-evaluation of your eligibility is called for.
The most common examples of situations resulting in a re-evaluation include:
- A significant change in income or resources, such as through a job loss
- Death of a parent or spouse
- Dependent care expenses
- A large unforeseen medical expense
Appeals are typically reviewed in within 2-3 weeks after submission. During busy processing times (such as the summer), it may take longer for your appeal to be evaluated. Note that we might ask for further information or documentation after our initial review of your appeal. Once the review is completed, if your appeal is approved you will receive a revised notification of eligibility on MyCSULB Student Center reflecting the changes made to the award. If your appeal is denied, you will receive an email to notify you of the reason(s) for the denial.
Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request
It is also possible that you might have significant expenses that are not reflected in the stanfard Cost of Attendance. If you think that might be the case, you should complete a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request form,available on our Forms page beginning in July.
The most common circumstances that result in a student being eligible for a cost of attendance adjustment are:
- Non-Resident Tuition fees in excess of the amount allotted in the standard cost of attendance
- Computer Purchase (one-time during academic program)
- Housing Expenses in excess of the amount allotted in the standard cost of attendance
Documentation to substantiate your budget revision request is required and must be submitted with the Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request form. An adjustment might not result in any additional aid.
How did you determine my financial aid award?
If you missed the priority filing deadline, or did not respond promptly to items on your To-Do List, your financial aid is likely to be less than in previous years. Awards offered are based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application (either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application) – and may consist of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or federal work-study – depending on your eligibility.
There are many factors that might change your eligibility of aid from year to year. It could be that the following circumstances apply to you:
- Timing of your application
- Timing of response to requests for additional documents to complete your file
- Your willingness to accept various types of financial aid (as indicated by you on your application)
- The availability of funds
- Your eligibility for certain awards based on award “lifetime” limits
If you have specific questions about your eligibility for aid, please feel free to call our office or speak with a Beach Central counselor.
What if I think there are mistakes on my financial aid application?
Financial aid is offered based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application (either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application), as well as the information on file at CSULB. Be sure the information being used in determining your eligibility is accurate:
- Is your housing status accurate?
- Is your CA Residency status accurate?
- Does your Award Summary reflect any benefits, scholarships, or other outside awards you will be receiving?
- Does your Award Summary reflect your planned enrollment (Fall Only, Spring Only, or Full year)
To correct any errors, and to provide our office with any new information, contact us by phone or visit us in-person at Beach Central.
How do I pay for out-of-pocket expenses?
While your estimated cost of attendance may be intimidating at first look, the average student at CSU Long Beach often pays considerably less than the published amounts. There are numerous forms of financial aid that can offset costs and make college more affordable. Consider applying for CSULB scholarships or scholarships from an external organization. You can find more information on how to apply for scholarships on our Scholarships page.
Federal work-study and federal loans are considered to be “Self-Help” aid, and can be used to help cover your net costs. Additionally, you may choose to use savings or other family resources to cover any remaining gap. Federal Work-Study is a federal program that helps student earn financial funding through part-time work at the university. Earnings are not automatically credited to your student account; instead a paycheck is issued and can be used for personal expenses, books and supplies.
If your scholarships, grants, income and savings won’t cover all of your costs, you may want to consider taking out a loan. Students who attempt to juggle full time work and full time studies may have difficulty completing their academic programs. Not working, or working a moderate amount, and using your student loan can help you keep your focus on your studies and education goals. Loans will help pay for your tuition bill right away. The Federal Direct Loans offered to you come with low interest rates and favorable repayment options. Review more information about loans on our Loan Information page. If you think you need less money than what was offered, you can always accept a lesser amount.