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How To Apply - FAFSA (Prospective Graduates)

School Code 001139

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is the first step toward getting financial aid for college.

Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college (Federal Student Aid).  In addition, your FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for California State and CSULB aid, and some scholarship providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their awards.

The FAFSA Application becomes available every October 1st – and the priority deadline for applying is March 2nd (for the 2017 – 2018 academic year, the application became available October 1st, 2016 and the deadline to apply is March 2nd, 2017).  

Complete the FAFSA at the same time as your admission application for CSULB – do not wait until you have been admitted.  If you miss the FAFSA Priority Deadline, you will miss your opportunity to be considered for CSULB Institutional financial aid for the year.


Eligibility for FAFSA & Federal Student Aid

Students pursuing a graduate degree are eligible for federal loan funds as well as the Federal TEACH Grant (depending on academic program).  In addition, eligibility for the State University Grant as well as Federal Work Study are determined by the FAFSA.

In order to be eligible for funding through the FAFSA Application, you must meet the eligibility criteria for Federal Student Aid:

In addition to citizenship status, you must meet the other general eligibility criteria for federal student aid.  Review the information from Federal Student Aid for details.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA), and who qualify for AB540, should complete the California Dream Act Application in order to be considered for CSULB and California State financial aid, as they are NOT Eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Get an FSA ID

For FAFSA Applicants, you’ll need an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically.

You can get your FSA ID as you fill out the FAFSA, but getting an FSA ID before you begin the FAFSA could prevent processing delays, and it only takes a few minutes to apply. You can find out more information and apply for an FSA ID

Gathering Documents

All students pursuing a graduate degree (Master’s or Doctoral) are considered to be “independent” for financial aid purposes.  As a result, parent information does not need to be reported on the FAFSA.

The FAFSA asks for important personal identification information as well as financial information.  Details about the type of information, and documents needed to complete the application are available from Federal Student Aid.

You may be able to have your tax & income information imported directly from the IRS into your FAFSA.  Using the IRS Data Retrieval function on the FAFSA ensures accurate information is entered into your application – and reduces the likelihood of additional documents being required to determine your aid eligibility.

Learn more about providing financial information from Federal Student Aid.

After the FAFSA: Next Steps

Completing the FAFSA is not the last step; your FAFSA has to be processed, and then you get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which CSULB uses to figure out how much aid you can get. Find out more about what happens after you fill out the FAFSA, how to review your Student Aid Report and how to correct any errors.

Students Admitted to the EdD or DPT Programs

Both the EdD and the DPT Program begin enrollment with the Summer term, which is considered to be part of the previous academic year.  Financial aid is available for the Summer – but requires completion of a separate process – which includes completing a separate FAFSA application (for the prior academic year).

Students applying for admission to the EdD or DPT program beginning with Summer 2017 must complete the following two FAFSA applications in order to be considered for financial aid for the Summer 2017 semester:

  •      2016 – 2017 FAFSA (For Summer 2017)
  •      2017 – 2018 FAFSA (For Fall 2017 & Spring 2018)

Review the Information Guide for your program, which details the process, and required FAFSA Applications, for students applying to the EdD or DPT Programs.