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Parents and Families of Undergraduate Students

Congratulations Parents and Families!

You have a daughter or son ready to begin college, and we are here to help with the information and resources.  You can play an important role in helping your student graduate from college.  This page is tailored to assist you in accessing specific information and resources.

While federal and state aid programs expect students and their families to contribute toward college expenses, financial aid can help narrow the gap between your resources and your costs.  We encourage all students to apply for financial aid by submitting either a FAFSA or CA Dream Application. Even families who do not qualify for need-based grants may be eligible for loans that have borrower-friendly repayment terms and low interest rates.

Students 18 and older should complete and submit an Authorization to Release Student Information Form if they want their parents to speak with us directly.


FERPA Information Release

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This privacy right is vested in the student. FERPA protects the student’s right to confidentiality and limits our ability to release information about their financial aid. The Financial Aid Office is unable to release information about a student’s financial aid records to any person who is not the student – without the student’s signed, written consent. For information on FERPA, including how students can grant  access to their information, visit FERPA for Students on the CSULB Student Records website.

About Financial Aid & Student Financial Services

The CSULB Financial Aid Office and Student Financial Services work together as partners in the “financing” process of a student’s education.  Through coordination of efforts, we ensure timely delivery of funds, application of funds/payments toward outstanding University–related charges, and release of excess funds.

Financial Aid Office Student Financial Services
Evaluates eligibility for aid Posts billing statements on MyCSULB
Awards financial aid and scholarships Emails students regarding outstanding charges
Verifies financial aid application information Receives & applies payments to University charges
Releases funds to Student Financial Services Applies financial aid funds to outstanding charges
Evaluates “Special Circumstances” Manages installment plan
Monitors compliance with Financial Aid Regulations Releases excess funds as refunds

Provide information on financial literacy and budgeting



Provides 1098-T Forms

Undergraduate Costs

Many things can influence the costs of attending college. At CSULB, students are given a cost of attendance, which reflects the estimated expenses for the fall and spring semesters. This information is based on the academic program of the student and their housing plans as indicated on their financial aid application.

Review the current Cost of Attendance budgets

The cost of college can include a variety of items, including some you might not expect. By understanding college costs, you can explore options for how to lower your costs. You should work with your student to develop a budget to help your family understand the impact of college costs. This process can ensure you are financially prepared for the investment that is a college degree.

Learn about what is included in the cost of college and ways to reduce college costs.

Undergraduate Aid Programs

There are four basic types of financial aid available: Scholarships, Grants, Employment, and Loans. The Financial Aid Office will determine a student’s eligibility for awards based on the information from her/his aid application.  As we are made aware of scholarships that have been awarded to a student, we will add those to the award package, and make any necessary adjustments to other awards – as total awards cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance budget.

Review information on the various types of aid programs at CSULB.

Applying for Financial Aid

Although you must be admitted before you can receive a financial aid offer at CSULB, you should apply for aid before being admitted.  You can file the financial aid application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) as early as October 1 each year.  The “Priority” or On-Time deadline for consideration of California or CSULB Grant aid is March 2nd.  Some awards have limited funding, and are awarded on a first come, first served basis – so apply as early as possible to be considered for all types of aid.

All award notifications, correspondence, and information regarding financial aid are sent to your student by email and through her or his MyCSULB account.

FAFSA Applicants
DREAM Applicants

Changes to Income & Special Circumstances

The Financial Aid Application (FAFSA or CA DREAM Application) is based on income and resources from a prior tax year.  We realize that students and families may have extraordinary circumstances and that financial situations can change – and that these changes may not be reflected on the aid application.

These changes to income or resources can significantly impact your ability to meet the student’s educational costs.  CSULB’s Office of Financial Aid is here to assist you and can guide you through the process of submitting a Special Circumstances Appeal to have your situation (and possibly financial aid) re-evaluated.

In order to have a Special Circumstance Appeal reviewed, you must be an admitted student.

Follow Up on the Financial Aid Application

Follow up on your student's financial aid application to ensure there are no surprises!

  • Make sure your student has applied for financial aid. 
  • Make sure they are checking their Student Center (MYCSULB) To Do List items, or any holds.
  • Make sure your student is checking her/his email regularly to see if we have contacted them, especially during spring and summer as we are reviewing applications and sending out requests for information.
  • Talk about their financial aid award package to see if additional funds are needed based on their cost of attendance.
  • Make a budget plan to ensure your family is prepare year round and planning for additional expenses if needed. 

Deferring Fee Payment

After a student registers for courses, tuition and campus fees are calculated by Student Financial Services and typically require a full payment by the published due date. 

Every student receives email notification of Outstanding University Charges / Balance Due – until there are NO outstanding charges/balance due.  Students should also check their Student Center (MyCSULB) to find out their balance and the due date.

EVEN IF a student has financial aid, she/he will receive a notification of Outstanding Charges.  This is to ensure that ALL students remain aware of the cost of their tuition and fees – even if they have financial aid awards covering those costs.  For those with financial aid, an “Anticipated Aid” amount will display.  If the student’s anticipated aid is greater than tuition and fees, no payment will be due until financial aid is released at the beginning of the semester. 

Visit GETTING MY Aid for more details 

How Financial Aid Pays for University Charges

Probably the biggest question every student (or parent) has is: 
When, and how, do I get my funds so I can pay my fees?

The Office of Financial Aid works in conjunction with Student Financial Services to pay accepted financial aid awards to students. These payments are called “disbursements” and begin the week before classes start each semester.

Aid is disbursed to eligible students a week prior to the first day of classes each semester, and thereafter as available.

Once Financial Aid funds are released, Student Financial Services will credit any financial aid funds against:

  • Outstanding Tuition & Fees Balance (even if enrolled in Installment Plan)
  • Outstanding Housing Balance (even if enrolled in Installment Plan)

Financial Aid & Housing Charges:  You can have financial aid funds (including the PLUS Loan) applied towards housing charges; however, you MUST enroll in the Housing Installment Plan.  Please contact University Housing Services for more details.

  • Any financial aid in excess of tuition & fees will be automatically applied to a student’s housing charges – even if you have already signed up for a Housing Installment Plan.

Visit GETTING MY AID for more details 

Excess Funds From Financial Aid (Refunds)

Financial aid funds are first applied toward any outstanding University charges (including installment plans). Any remaining funds will then be issued through the refund process. 

  • Any excess funds for student awards will be issued as a refund via eRefund (for those who have signed up) – to the student – as early as 1 week prior to the start of classes.
  • If a student has not signed up for eRefund, he or she will have excess funds processed as a paper check and mailed via USPS beginning the first week of classes.
  • Any excess funds from a Parent PLUS Loan will be issued as a paper check to the Parent Borrower – and will be mailed to the parent via USPS.

CSU Long Beach provides all financial aid refunds through a secure, automated deposit directly to a student’s checking or savings account.  This process is called eRefund, and all financial aid recipients should enroll. 

For more information on the eRefund contact CSULB Student Financial Services.  They can be reached at (562) 985-8280, Monday – Friday, from 9am – 5pm.

Visit GETTING MY AID for more details