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.
Students in the Credential Program are considered 5th year undergraduate students, not graduate, for Financial Aid purposes. The types of financial aid available to students pursuing a teaching credential are very specific and different from undergraduate or graduate aid types.
Students who are considered “Conditionally Admitted” to a Credential Program, or who already possess an initial Teacher Credential, are only eligible for federal loan funds (at the 5th year undergrad level) or for private education loans.
Impact of Enrollment on All Financial Aid Awards for Credential Students:
In order to receive financial aid funding, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units of credential coursework that is required by the State of California to receive a professional certification or licensing credential. Financial Aid is not available for prerequisite courses, courses that are suggested as beneficial, or elective courses.
Enrollment for Credential Students is reviewed at Census each semester. If you are enrolled in less than 12 units of eligible coursework at Census, you may be required to repay some, or all, of the aid you previously received for the semester.
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.
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 Pell Grants
- Federal Pell Grants are available only to FAFSA Applicants.
- Federal Pell Grants are only available to students fully admitted to a credential program (Conditional Admits are not eligible for grant funding)
- Federal Pell Grants are only available to students working on their initial credential
The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to eligible credential students who have not yet exhausted their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility. The Pell grant varies based on financial need, as determined by your FAFSA application; for 2019 – 2020 the Pell Grant can have a maximum amount offered of $6,195.
Pell Grant lifetime eligibility is limited to 12 semesters or the equivalent.
Impact of Enrollment on Pell Grant Awards:
The Amount offered for the Pell Grant is based on full-time enrollment (12 units) in coursework required by the state of California to receive a credential. Only those courses required for your Credential can be factored in when determining your enrollment status for the Pell Grant. Enrollment in coursework outside of your credential program plan may result in a reduction, or cancellation, of your Pell Grant.
Review the chart below for details:
Number of Units
Impact on Pell Grant
12 or more units
Full award eligibility
9.0 – 11.9 units
Pell Grant prorated to 75%
6.0 – 8.9 units
Pell Grant prorated to 50%
Less Than Half-Time
1.0 – 5.9 units
Pell Grant cancelled
In some instances a student enrolled in less than 12 units may lose eligibility for his/her Pell Grant, as EFC’s in the higher end of the Pell range do not allow for less than full-time awards.
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. Your enrollment (units and coursework) will be reviewed at Census, and any required adjustments will be made.
Effective Fall 2012, the federal government has mandated that 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. Visit the NSLDS web site to determine the percentage of Pell grant you have received.
Federal TEACH Grants
- Federal TEACH Grants are available only to FAFSA Applicants.
- Federal TEACH Grants are only available to students fully admitted to a credential program (Conditional Admits are not eligible for grant funding)
- Federal TEACH Grants are only available to students working on their initial credential
Federal Teacher Education Educational Opportunity Grants (TEACH) The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who intend to teach full time in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that the U.S. Department of Education has designated as having a high concentration of students from low-income families. The Grant is available for selected credential programs, and requires the recipient to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.
Agreement to Serve (ATS): Each award year, a TEACH Grant recipient must sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) that explains that the recipient must teach for four years within eight years of completing (or ceasing) enrollment in a TEACH Grant eligible program as a full-time highly qualified teacher in a low-income elementary or secondary school in a high-need field. According to contractual obligations, a minimum of fifty percent of classes taught must be in a high-need field. The grant will convert to unsubsidized loan in the future if contracted teaching obligations are not met. If this happens, interest accrual will be effective as of the date of the first TEACH disbursement.
The TEACH grant is not included in financial aid offers but can be offered retroactively to eligible students during the award year. Specific eligible education programs have been determined in conjunction with the College of Communication and Education.
At CSULB, the following credential programs have been determined to be eligible for the TEACH Grant (in conjunction with the College of Education):
Single-Subject Credential Programs:
- Social Science
- Foreign Language
- Physical Education (PE)
Urban Dual Credential Program
Education Specialist – Preliminary only
Multiple Subject (all programs)
How to Apply for the TEACH Grant:
After you have completed the FAFSA, follow these three steps to apply for the TEACH Grant:
- Complete the CSULB TEACH Grant Request Form
- Complete the Online TEACH Grant Counseling and the Agreement to Serve (ATS)
- Meet with the TEACH Grant Representative from the CSULB College of Education.
Once all steps have been completed, the Financial Aid Office will review your eligibility and process your request. Funds from the TEACH Grant are not released until after Census - once enrollment for the semester has been finalized.
California State Grants
- California State Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants
- State Grants are only available to students fully admitted to a credential program (Conditional Admits are not eligible for grant funding)
- State Grants are only available to students working on their initial credential
California State 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 for Credential Students from California State include:
California Middle Class Scholarship (MCS):
The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is awarded by the California Student Aid Commission to new and continuing undergraduate and credential students with family incomes and assets up to $171,000 attending a CSU or UC. The MCS helps to offset a portion of a student’s state tuition fee.
To be eligible for the MCS, a student must:
- Be a California resident or eligible AB 540 student
- File a FAFSA or California Dream Application by the March 2 deadline
- Be enrolled at least half-time (6 units)
- Be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
Any federal, state, or institutionally administered student financial aid grants or fee sponsorships or waivers received by an eligible student may impact the amount of the MCS award received.
- CSULB Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants
- CSULB Grants are only available to students fully admitted to a credential program (Conditional Admits are not eligible for grant funding)
- CSULB Grants are only available to students working on their initial credential
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 for Credential Students from CSULB include:
State University Grant (SUG):
The State University Grant is available only for your initial credential.
SUG awards pay the “State Tuition Fee,” and are offered based on full-time enrollment.
The State University Grant (SUG) is a state grant awarded by CSU Long Beach to California Residents who have an eligible EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Since funds are limited, it is important to apply by the March 2 priority deadline.
Impact of Enrollment on SUG Awards:
SUG award amounts 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.
Students who are already receiving a financial aid award designated to pay the tuition fee (Scholarship, tuition/fee waivers, vocational rehabilitation, etc.) are not eligible to receive a SUG.
Federal Student Loans
Federal Student Loans are available only to FAFSA Applicants.
All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid 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.
Low interest Federal Student Loans are offered as part of financial aid awards. Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are for Credential students enrolled at least half-time, in coursework required by the state of California for their Credential. 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 cost of education. Your FAFSA application will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Interest on subsidized loans is paid by the federal government while you are enrolled at least half-time.
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. You may opt to allow the interest to accumulate while you are in school or during other allowable periods of nonpayment. This interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.
Note: If your interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay. You can choose to pay the interest as it accrues; if so, you will repay less in the long run. For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid Website
Direct Loan Limits For Credential Students
Eligibility for Federal Direct Loans for Credential Students is the same as for Undergraduate Students classified as seniors:
- Dependent Credential Students: Eligible for an annual maximum of $5,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $31,000 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate)
- Independent Credential Students: Eligible for an annual maximum of $12,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $57,500 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate).
The following chart shows the annual and aggregate limits for subsidized and unsubsidized loans:
Borrower's Academic Level
Aggregate (or Lifetime) Borrowing Limit for Undergraduates
For Credential Students who are considered to be Dependent Students for financial aid purposes, Federal Loans are also available for parents to cover the 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.
First-time Direct Stafford 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. More information on the Subsidized Loan time limitations is available from Federal Student Aid.
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 (6 units) in coursework required for your credential program in order to be eligible to receive funds from the loans. Your enrollment will be reviewed at Census; if you are not enrolled in at least 6 units of coursework required by the State of California for your credential program, you will not be eligible for your loan funds – and your loan will be cancelled for the semester.
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) is a federally funded program that provides employment opportunities to students with the highest financial need. The amount you may earn will be listed on your 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 university.
Impact of Enrollment on FWS:
FWS Awards are not pro-rated based on enrollment. However, as a credential student, you must be enrolled in at least 6 units of eligible coursework (required credential course) per semester in order to be eligible to receive funds from FWS. If at any time during the semester your enrollment in eligible coursework drops below 6 units, you immediately lose eligibility to continue receiving FWS funds for the semester.
Student Employment & Other Options
Some students find jobs that are not part of the Federal Work-Study program. A part-time job can be a great experience even if you are not eligible for Federal Work-Study positions.
Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation Programs
Loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.
It is important to be aware of the options available to you – as well as the requirements of each, so that you can better plan for the financing of your credential program:
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.
Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government for students with a Perkins Loan. You might be eligible for this program if you teach full-time at a low-income school, or for teaching in certain subject areas.
Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees (pdf):
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.