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Credential Aid Programs Overview

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. 

If you already possess an initial Teacher Credential, you will only be eligible for federal loan funds or for private education loans.

Learn more about the options available at CSULB below:



Scholarships are available to all CSULB students. 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 Grants

Teacher Credential students, who filed a FAFSA, might be eligible for federal grants.

Pell Grant:  
Pell Grant is available only for your initial credential. These grants are awarded to eligible credential students who have not yet exhausted their Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility. The amount of your Pell grant varies based on financial need, as determined by your FAFSA. Pell Grant lifetime eligibility is limited to 12 semesters or the equivalent.

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 you to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.

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: 
    Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, Foreign Language
  • Education Specialist – Preliminary only
  • Urban Dual Credential
  • Multiple Subject Credential (all programs)

Eligibility for the TEACH Grant will be determined by CSULB, using guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. For Federal Student Aid, visit the Frequently Asked Questions website.

CSULB Grants

Students, who file a FAFSA or Dream Act Application may be eligible for CSULB grants.

State University Grant (SUG): 

The State University Grant is available only for your initial credential. 

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Submitting your financial aid application by the priority deadline of March 2nd
  • Being classified as a California resident, for tuition purposes 
  • Having an Expected Family Contribution of $6,000 or less

SUG awards pay the State Tuition Fee and are offered based on full-time enrollment. If you will be receiving another award designated to pay your tuition fee (scholarship; tuition/fee waivers; vocational rehabilitation; etc.), you may not eligible to receive a SUG.

Federal Student Loans

Students, who file a FAFSA, may be eligible for federal student loans.

Low-interest federal student loans are offered as part of your financial aid package. Your FAFSA will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

Federal Direct Loan award amounts:

  • 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).

Students eligible for need-based subsidized Direct Loans will have their interest paid for by the federal government while you remain enrolled at least half-time. All other students, including those who may qualify for only a partially subsidized loan, may borrow Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding. 

 types of loans

Federal PLUS Loans

Parents of students who filed a FAFSA might be eligible to borrow a Parent PLUS loan.

For Credential Students who are considered to be Dependent Students for financial aid purposes, federal loans are also available for parents to cover their student’s remaining education costs. PLUS Loans are Federal Direct Loans in which the parent of a dependent student is the applicant and borrower. 

Federal Work-Study

Students, who file a FAFSA, may be eligible for federal work-study funding.

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.