The awarding and release of financial aid (federal, state and institutional) is contingent on a student maintaining eligibility to receive financial aid funds. Maintaining eligibility includes demonstrating academic progress, meeting enrollment criteria, understanding how repeated coursework affects you and much more.
You can make sure you stay eligible for financial aid by paying attention to a few things, including keeping on track toward completing your Graduate Degree program. Review the information below for specific information about maintaining your eligibility for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all institutions of higher education establish a minimum standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. At CSULB, these SAP Standards are applicable to all federal, state and institutional aid programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid.
What is SAP?
CSULB has three specific standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Graduate Students applying for, and receiving, financial aid:
1. Maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
2. Complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted
3. Not exceed the established Maximum Time Frame for completing your Graduate Degree / Program (based on attempted units).
Your SAP Status is reviewed after each semester in order to verify your continued eligibility to receive financial aid. You will receive an email letting you know that results of the review – and the impact on your ability to continue to receive aid.
Failure to meet one or more of the SAP Standards may affect whether or not you can continue to receive your aid.
Once you have been enrolled for at least one semester at CSULB, you can monitor your SAP status through MyCSULB, including how you measure up against each of the three required SAP Standards. Please note that if you do not attend CSULB during a specific semester, but were previously enrolled at the University, we will evaluate your SAP status prior to the awarding – and/or release of funds.
Students who are not meeting SAP may be able to appeal the decision. For more information regarding the appeal process, please review our Understanding SAP page.
Enrollment Requirements for Graduate Students
All financial aid awards are initially offered based on the expectation of full-time enrollment in eligible coursework (per semester enrollment of 8 units for Master’s Degree students, 6 units for Doctoral students). While your actual overall enrollment may be considered full-time from an academic perspective, a minimum of half-time enrollment (4 units for Master’s Degree students, 3 units for Doctoral students) in aid-eligible classes for your Graduate Program is necessary in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid funds.
Enrollment at Census
Census is the point when the university verifies your actual enrollment for the semester. At CSULB, Census occurs immediately following the end of the add/drop period for the semester. Your enrollment (units and coursework) will be reviewed at Census; only those courses eligible for financial aid for graduate students can be factored in when determining your eligibility & enrollment status for financial aid.
If you are enrolled less than full-time in eligible coursework at Census, you may be required to repay some, or all, of the aid you previously received for the semester.
Review Graduate Aid Programs for details on how your enrollment will impact your specific awards.