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Graduate Aid Programs

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.

The types of financial aid available to students pursuing a graduate degree are very specific and differ from undergraduate or credential aid. 

Students who are working on a second Master’s or second Doctoral degree are only eligible for federal loan funds or for private education loans. They are not eligible for any grant aid.

Impact of Enrollment on All Financial Aid Awards for Graduate Students:

In order to receive financial aid funding, you must be enrolled at least half-time (4 units for Master’s Degree Students; 3 units for Doctoral Students) in upper-division coursework.  Financial Aid is not available for prerequisite courses or courses at the 100 or 200 level.  

Enrollment is reviewed at Census each semester.  If you are enrolled less than half time in eligible coursework at Census, you may be required to repay some, or all, of the aid you previously received for the semester.

 

Scholarships

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.

CSULB Grants

State University Grant (SUG)

SUG awards are available only to California residents working on their initial graduate degrees, who filed their FAFSA or Dream Application.  Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA or DREAM Application – including meeting the Priority Filing deadline.

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 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 less than 7 units, but are enrolled at least half-time for your program (4 units for a Master’s Degree student; 3 units for a Doctoral Degree student), 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

EdD Students & DPT Students:  Students enrolled in the DPT program and the EdD program are not eligible to receive funding through the State University Grant (SUG), as the State Tuition Fee is not assessed to students in these programs and SUG only gets applied towards the State Tuition Fee.  Please review the Degree Program Specific Grants below for information on available grants for these two programs.

Degree Program Specific Grants

Degree Program Specific Grants are available to FAFSA Applicants and DREAM Applicants.

There are a few CSULB grant programs available for students who have been admitted to specific programs.  Eligibility for these Degree Program Specific Grants is based on CSULB admission, program admission, CA residency, and financial need.  

Graduate Business Professional Fee Grant

The CSU Graduate Business Professional Fee (GBPF) Grant is available to students that are assessed the CSU Graduate Business Professional  Fee (also known as the CSU MBA Fee)  – a supplemental system-wide fee charged to students in the following programs:

  • Master of Business Administration (State-Support Daytime Program)
  • Online Masters of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Accountancy
  • Masters of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Science in Marketing Analytics

Students in programs operated through CSULB’s College of Professional and International Education (CPIE) are not eligible for this grant, as these students are not charged to CSU Graduate Business Professional fee.

Funding for the GBPF Grant is limited, so awards are based upon the student’s Expected Family Contribution.  Eligible students are awarded $1,620 per semester ($3,240 per academic year) which covers 6 units of the GBP Fee assessed to students. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units that are assessed the GBP Fees to receive funding for the semester. Students enrolled in less than 6 units of GBP Fee coursework are not eligible to receive payment for that semester. 

To be eligible for the Graduate Business Grant Fee Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year and have an Expected Family Contribution of $10,000 or less
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes
  • Have been assessed a Graduate Business Professional (GBP) Fee
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 units of coursework (per semester) that are assessed the GBP Fee

Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant (DPT Grant)

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant is avaliable to students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program.

The CSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant program was established in July 2011 in the interest of equity to students enrolled in the DPT program, as these students are not eligible for SUG funding.  The DPT Grant provides students enrolled in the DPT program access to grant funding similar to that of all other CSU students who demonstrate financial need (based on the FAFSA or DREAM application).

To be eligible for the DPT Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes

Grant amounts vary based on available funding. Awarding of the DPT Grant occurs during the regular awarding cycle for Fall and Spring semesters.  Additional grants are awarded to eligible students enrolled during the Summer semester.

Education Doctorate Grant (EdD Grant)

The Education Doctorate Grant is available to students in the Education Doctorate (EdD) program.

The Education Doctorate Grant program was established in 2007 in the interest of equity to students enrolled in the EdD program, as these students are not eligible for SUG funding.  The EdD Grant provides students enrolled in the EdD program access to grant funding similar to that of all other CSU students who demonstrate financial need (based on the FAFSA or DREAM application). 

To be eligible for the Education Doctorate Grant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have filed a financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) for the academic year by the priority filing deadline
  • Meet standard financial aid eligibility criteria for all Federal and/or California State financial aid
  • Be a California resident for fee payment purposes
  • Enroll in a minimum of 4 units of EdD coursework (per semester)
     

Grant amounts vary – based on available funding.  Awarding of the EdD Grant occurs at the end of the academic year and awards are applied retroactively.

Federal TEACH Grant

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 select graduate programs at CSULB, and requires the recipient to agree to fulfill certain teaching obligations – or risk having the grant will converted to an unsubsidized loan.

In order to be considered for the TEACH Grant, you must have filed a FAFSA; been fully admitted to your credential program; and be working on your initial graduate degree.

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 Education. Check with the College of Education on whether your credential program meets the criteria for the TEACH Grant.

How to Apply for the TEACH Grant

Once you have completed the FAFSA, follow these three steps to apply for the TEACH Grant:

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 your enrollment for the semester has been finalized.

Federal Student Loans

Direct Student Loans

Direct Student loans are available to all FAFSA filers and are offered as part of your financial aid package. Graduate Students are eligible for unsubsidized federal loans. Loans offered through the Direct Loan program are for graduate students enrolled at least half-time (4 units for Master’s Degree, 3 units for Doctoral Degree), in eligible coursework for their program of study. For current interest rate and origination fee information, please visit the Federal Student Aid Website for Direct Student Loans.

Direct Loan Limits For Graduate Students

Eligibility for Federal Direct Loans for Graduate Students is reflected in the chart below:

Annual and Lifetime Direct Loan Limits
  Loan Limit

Annual Limit – Graduate Students
(Master’s or Doctoral Student)

$20,500

Aggregate (or Lifetime) Borrowing Limit for Graduate Students
 

$138,500
 Includes all Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized loans borrowed as an Undergraduate and/or Credential Student

Graduate PLUS Loans

The Graduate PLUS Loan is an additional loan available for those graduate students who need additional funds, beyond the Unsubsidized Loan, to cover their remaining education costs. Unlike the Unsubsidized Loan, PLUS Loans require credit approval.

Graduate PLUS Loans are not included in your initial financial aid award. The loan is not added to the award package until the request has been processed and CSULB receives notification that you have been credit approved. To apply, visit Student Loans.gov; step-by-step instructions are provided in the Graduate PLUS Instruction (PDF).

For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid website for Graduate PLUS Loans.

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 (4 units for Master’s Degree Students; 3 units for Doctoral Degree Students) in order to be eligible to receive funds from the loans.  If you are not enrolled at least half-time in eligible coursework, you will not be eligible for your loan funds – and your loan will be cancelled for the semester.

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

California Dream Loan

The California (CA) Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. Starting in the 2020-2021 year, the CA Dream Loan will be available to graduate students. 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 in order to receive the CA Dream Loan.

Interest Rate, Deferment, and Grace Period

The interest rate for loans disbursed after July 1, 2020 is 2.75%. 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

Federal Work-Study

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. You must be enrolled in at least 6 units in order to be considered for Federal Work-Study funding. 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.

Visit the CSULB Career Development Center for more information.

Loan Forgiveness and Cancellation Programs

Loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession and Public Service sector.  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 graduate program:

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.

Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees:
A loan forgiveness program offered by the federal government and administered by the Department of Education.