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Graduate 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. 

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

Students who are pursuing a second Master’s or second Doctoral Degree are only eligible for federal loan funds or for private education loans.

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 TEACH Grants

Federal TEACH Grants are available only to FAFSA Applicants.

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

At CSULB, the following graduate degree programs have been determined to be eligible for the TEACH Grant (in conjunction with the College of Education): 

  • Curriculum and Instruction                        
  • Dual Language Development
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Technology and Media Leadership
  • Mathematics Education                            
  • Social and Cultural Analysis of Education
  • Science Education                                       
  • Special Education

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

CSULB Grants

CSULB Grants are available to FAFSA or DREAM Applicants.

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 Graduate Students from CSULB include:

State University Grant (SUG): 
The State University Grant is available only for your initial Master’s Degree. 
The State University Grant (SUG) is awarded by CSULB to California Residents who have an eligible EFC (Expected Family Contribution). Since funds are limited, you must apply by the March 2 priority deadline to be considered for a SUG award..

SUG awards pay the “State Tuition Fee,” and are offered based on full-time enrollment. For 2017-2018, SUG awards for Master’s Degree Students are $3,369 per semester (or $6,738 per academic year).    

Please note that if you are enrolled half-time (4 units), your SUG award will be adjusted to reflect your actual State Tuition Fee charge.

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.

NOTE:  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” (SUF) is not assessed to students in these programs (SUG only gets applied towards the State Tuition Fee).  Please review the Degree Program Specific Grants 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 Fee Grant
Available to students in the following programs:

  • Master of Business Administration (Does not include programs through CCPE)
  • Master of Science in Accountancy

The Graduate Business Fee Grant assists eligible students in meeting the cost of the Graduate Professional Fee assessed by California State University professional business graduate programs. The per-unit fee ($254/unit) is charged for required courses taken by graduate students enrolled in fee-authorized State-Supported Professional Business Graduate Programs (MBA – Master of Business Administration).

Doctor of Physical Therapy Grant (DPT Grant)
Available to students in the following programs:

  • 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).

Education Doctorate Grant (EdD Grant)

Available to students in the following programs:

  • 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).  Awarding of the EdD Grant occurs at the end of the academic year and awards are applied retroactively.

Federal Student Loans

Federal Student Loans are available only to FAFSA Applicants.

Low interest Federal Student Loans are offered as part of financial aid awards. Graduate Students are eligible for unsubsidized federal loans.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a government insured, low interest loan for eligible graduate students.  If you borrow an Unsubsidized Loan, you are responsible for paying the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. 

You have the option of paying the interest or deferring while it while in college. If you choose to defer the interest, it will be capitalized when you enter repayment (which means the outstanding interest is added to the principal amount you borrowed).

For current interest rate and origination fee information please visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

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. 

Federal Work Study

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 $2,700 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.

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.

Visit the CSULB Career Development Center for more information.