Financial Aid Office
University Hall 146
Financial Aid refers to a wide variety of programs designed to assist students in meeting the cost of attendance at Cal State Fullerton. These programs include gift aid in the form of scholarships and grants which do not require repayment or performance of work; student loans, which require repayment over a period of time at a specified interest rate; and employment programs through Federal Work-Study. The Emergency Loan program also provides students with resources to meet unusual or unexpected emergencies through a short-term loan.
For general information including application procedures, deadlines, workshops offered and types of aid available, visit our website at fullerton.edu/financialaid. If you have questions or need further information, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
The following eligibility requirements apply to federal and state financial aid programs. Separate requirements apply to emergency loans and scholarships.
Demonstration of financial need is a primary requirement for many types of financial aid. A federal need analysis formula establishes the “expected family contribution” based on the size of the family, the number in college, tax filing status, income and assets. Financial need is that portion of the CSUF cost of attendance that is not met by the expected family contribution and any outside resources such as scholarships and tuition fee waivers.
Some financial aid programs, including unsubsidized student and parent loans, private education loans, emergency loans and some scholarships do not necessarily require the demonstration of financial need. We require all students to apply for need-based financial aid first and to explore other options as well.
All applicants for federal and state financial aid are required to:
- be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S. Eligible students also include some citizens of the Marshall Islands and permanent residents of the Trust Territories, as well as other eligible non-citizens who can document their status in the United States as other than for a temporary purpose; students who fall under AB 540 status may be eligible for California state aid programs
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment to an eligible program of study leading to a degree, certificate or recognized credential offered by the institution. Many financial aid programs require at least half-time enrollment (the equivalent of six undergraduate units);
- maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study according to the standards and practices of the university;
- have no student loan in default or refund owed on a federal grant previously received for attendance at any college or university;
- complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid; or a California Dream Act Application if applying under AB 540 status;
- be registered for the Draft with the Selective Service or certify that he/she is not required to register. The federal Military Selective Service Act (the “Act”) requires most males residing in the United States to present themselves for registration with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Most males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered. Males born after Dec. 31, 1959, may be required to submit a statement of compliance with the Act and regulations in order to receive any grant, loan or work assistance under specified provisions of existing federal law. In California, students subject to the Act who fail to register are also ineligible to receive any need-based student grants funded by the state or a public postsecondary institution. Selective Service registration forms are available at any U.S. Post Office, and many high schools have a staff member or teacher appointed as a Selective Service Registrar. Applicants for financial aid can also request that information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be used to register them with the Selective Service. Information on the Selective Service System is available and the registration process may be initiated online at sss.gov;
- provide a valid Social Security number (unless applying for the California Dream Act Application); and
- have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent.
Scholarships and Institutional Grants
CSUF scholarships and awards are given to students to honor outstanding achievement and may or may not take financial need into consideration. Some CSUF scholarships are open to all students; these are known as “university scholarships.” Other scholarships are open only to students who meet certain specific requirements such as major, career goal or who live in a certain geographical area. In accordance with the laws of the State of California, CSUF is committed to providing equal opportunities to all students without regard to their race, ethnicity, gender or national origin.
Most scholarship applications are due early in the spring semester. Generally, recipients are selected during the spring semester for the next academic year. For full details regarding scholarship requirements and deadlines, visit our website at fullerton.edu/financialaid, click on the “awards” link and then select “scholarships.”
Educational Opportunity Program Grant
The Educational Opportunity Program Grant of the California State University system is available to undergraduate students who are residents of California and who are officially enrolled in EOP (contact the EOP Office for program enrollment procedures). EOP grants range from $200 to $800 per year.
State University Grant
The State University Grant of the California State University system is available for graduate and undergraduate students who are residents of California. All applicants who file a FAFSA and have a low expected family contribution will be considered for this grant. With the passage of Assembly Bill 131, students who meet the requirements for AB 540 student status are eligible for state student aid programs, including the State University Grant program, Cal Grant programs and Middle Class Scholarships and would complete the California Dream Act Application in order to determine eligibility. Further details are available through the Office of Financial Aid.
Cal Grant A and B
The State of California, through the California Student Aid Commission, administers grant programs for undergraduates seeking a post-secondary education. To qualify for Cal Grant A or B, a student must be a California resident attending an eligible school or college within the state, must be making satisfactory academic progress, and must not owe a refund on any state or federal grant or have defaulted on a student loan.
First-time applicants for Cal Grant funds are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 2 prior to the fall semester for which the grant will be used and verify their GPA by March 2. The GPA verification form is available online at csac.ca.gov.
Cal Grant A is designed to assist low- and middle-income students with the cost of tuition and fees. Recipients are selected on the basis of financial need and grade-point average. This grant is to be used for tuition fees but may not fully cover all tuition and fees.
Cal Grant B is available to low-income students with at least a 2.0 GPA. An access grant of up to $1,672 is provided to help with such educational expenses as books, transportation, and room and board. Second, third and fourth year Cal Grant B recipients generally receive assistance with tuition and fees in addition to the access grant. With the passage of Assembly Bill 131, students who meet the requirements for AB 540 student status are eligible for state student aid programs, including the State University Grant program and Cal Grant programs. Further details are available through the Office of Financial Aid.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant program is the largest of all federal student grant programs and is the “foundation” of all forms of student assistance. Pell Grants are available to undergraduates who have not already obtained a bachelor’s degree. The amount of the grant is based on family contribution and ranges from $200 to $5,920 for students enrolled full time. Payments are adjusted for less than full-time enrollment. Students who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are automatically considered for a Federal Pell Grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant supplements other forms of financial assistance offered to an eligible student. Applicants must meet all other eligibility requirements. Although designed to meet the needs of undergraduate students with the greatest amount of need, FSEOG funds are provided to schools and colleges by the federal government. Awards to students are made according to the school’s awarding practices. Priority in awarding FSEOG funds must be given to Pell Grant recipients. Award amounts to CSUF students range from $100 to $800.
Professional Program Fee Grant
The Professional Program Fee Grant is available to students admitted to a graduate business program. Students with a high to moderate need are evaluated for eligibility. The amount of the grant is tied directly to the fee assessed on ALL courses taken while enrolled in the advanced business degree program.
The Federal Work-Study program provides students with employment opportunities both on and off campus. Eligibility for the program is based on the student’s demonstrated financial need. Students awarded Federal Work-Study receive an allocation of funds to be earned through part-time employment with an approved employer. The hourly wage will depend on the type of job. Students can take advantage of this employment opportunity to work in areas related to their studies or to perform community service work to minimize their student loan borrowing. Undergraduates and graduate students are eligible to participate in the program.
Federal Direct Loans
A Federal Direct Loan is a long-term loan that students borrow from federal government. The loans are guaranteed and insured by the federal government.
Federal Direct Loans are available both as “subsidized” and “unsubsidized.” To qualify for a subsidized loan, the student must demonstrate financial need according to the federal need analysis formula. The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during the six-month grace period prior to repayment. Unsubsidized loans are available to all eligible students regardless of income and assets. Borrowers may choose to pay the interest on the unsubsidized loan while in school or to allow the interest to accrue and be paid along with the principal when repayment begins.
- The amount and type of Federal Direct Loan a student may borrow depends on the student’s dependency status, financial need and year in school.
- Dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to $5,500 for the freshman year (with no more than $3,500 subsidized), up to $6,500 for the sophomore year (with no more than $4,500 subsidized), and up to $7,500 for the remainder of the undergraduate program (with no more than $5,500 subsidized). The aggregate loan limit for dependent undergraduates is $31,000 of which no more than $23,000 may be subsidized.
- Independent undergraduates may borrow up to $9,500 for the freshman year (with no more than $3,500 subsidized), up to $10,500 for the sophomore year (with no more than $4,500 subsidized), up to $12,500 for the remainder of the undergraduate program (with no more than $5,500 subsidized), and up to $12,500 for students enrolled in coursework necessary for a professional credential or certification for employment as a teacher (with no more than $5,500 subsidized). The aggregate loan limit for independent undergraduates and teaching credential students is $57,500 of which no more than $23,000 may be subsidized.
- Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 annually in unsubsidized direct loans. The aggregate loan limit for graduate students is $138,500, including amounts borrowed for undergraduate study, of which no more than $65,500 may be subsidized.
Federal Direct PLUS Parent Loans
The Direct PLUS Parent Loan program is a loan designed to assist parents in meeting the educational costs of their dependents. The parent is the borrower and responsible for repayment of the loan. The PLUS program is designed for families who either do not qualify for other forms of financial assistance or who can meet the additional burden of loan payments.
Parents who do not have an adverse credit history may be eligible to borrow up to the total cost of the student’s education, minus any other financial aid received by the student. The PLUS interest rate is established on July 1 each award year and fixed for the life of the loan. Repayment of the loan begins within 60 days of the disbursement of the loan. Parents must repay both interest and principal, and should check studentaid.ed.gov concerning deferment options.
Graduate PLUS Loans
Graduate PLUS loans are available to eligible graduate and professional students who do not have an adverse credit history. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. The Graduate PLUS loan interest rate is established on July 1 of each award year and fixed for the life of the loan. Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, graduate students may request a PLUS Loan forbearance while in school.
Students may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning in October before the academic year begins. Consult with the Office of Financial Aid for more specific deadlines.
Emergency loans are available from the first day of classes until 30 days before the end of the semester.
Bureau of Indian Affairs Grants
Consult with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for exact dates. The application deadline is usually in mid-June.
Rights and Responsibilities of Students Receiving Aid
All students are entitled to and are guaranteed fair and equitable treatment in the awarding of financial aid. In addition, there shall be no discrimination of any kind. Appeals procedures exist for anyone who feels that a violation has occurred; consult with the director of financial aid for details.
All students have the right to receive full and open information about various financial aid programs and their eligibility. In addition, they have the right to know the selection and review processes used in awarding financial aid.
All students have the right to know the costs of attending the institution, the refund policies in case of withdrawal from the university, the academic programs offered by the university, the faculty and physical facilities of the institution, and data regarding student retention at the university.
The director of financial aid will provide the following information concerning student financial assistance upon request (University Hall 146, 657-278-3125):
- a description of the federal, state, institutional, local and private student financial assistance programs available to students who enroll at Cal State Fullerton;
- for each aid program, a description of procedures and forms by which students apply for assistance, student eligibility requirements, criteria for selecting recipients from the group of eligible applicants, and criteria for determining the amount of a student’s award;
- a description of the rights and responsibilities of students receiving financial assistance, including federal Title IV student assistance programs and criteria for continued student eligibility under each program;
- the satisfactory academic progress standards that students must maintain for the purpose of receiving financial assistance and criteria by which a student who has failed to maintain satisfactory progress may reestablish eligibility for financial assistance;
- the method by which financial assistance disbursements will be made to students and the frequency of those disbursements;
- the way the school provides for Pell-eligible students to obtain or purchase required books and supplies by the seventh day of a payment period and how the student may opt out;
- the terms of any loan received as part of the student’s financial aid package, a sample loan repayment schedule and the necessity for repaying loans;
- the general conditions and terms applicable to any employment provided as part of the student’s financial aid package;
- the terms and conditions of the loans students receive under the Direct Loan and Perkins Loan Programs;
- the exit counseling information the school provides and collects for student borrowers; and
- contact information for campus offices available for disputes concerning federal, institutional and private loans.
To ensure compliance with federal regulations to disclose information as required under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act-2008, consumer information can be found on the campus homepage, fullerton.edu. Consumer information also is available in the Student Self Service area of the student portal. A paper copy of the information can be obtained by contacting the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Langsdorf Hall 805, 657-278-3221.
The following information may be obtained from departments as indicated:
- Information concerning the cost of attending Cal State Fullerton is available from the director of financial aid, University Hall 146, 657-278-3125, and includes tuition and fees; the estimated costs of books and supplies; estimates of typical student room, board and transportation costs; and, if requested, additional costs for specific programs.
- Information concerning the refund policies of Cal State Fullerton for the return of unearned tuition and fees or other refundable portions of institutional charges is available from the director of financial aid, University Hall 146, 657-278-3125.
- Information concerning policies regarding the return of federal Title IV student assistance funds as required by regulation is available from the director of financial aid, University Hall 146, 657-278-3125.
- Information regarding special facilities and services available to students with disabilities may be obtained from the Disability Support Services Office, University Hall 101, 657-278-3112.
- Information concerning Cal State Fullerton policies, procedures, and facilities for students and other to report criminal actions or other emergencies occurring on campus may be obtained from the University Police, 657-278-2515.
- Information concerning Cal State Fullerton’s annual campus security report and annual fire safety report may be obtained from the University Police, 657-278-2515, police.fullerton.edu.
- Information concerning the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation programs may be obtained from the health educator in the Student Health Center, 657-278-2800.
- Information regarding student retention and graduation rates at Cal State Fullerton and, if available, the number and percentage of students completing the program in which the student is enrolled or has expressed interest may be obtained from the Office of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, College Park 205, 657-278-2593.
- Information concerning athletic opportunities available to male and female students and the financial resources and personnel that Cal State Fullerton dedicates to its men’s and women’s teams may be obtained from the Athletics Department, Titan House, 657-278-2777.
- Information concerning teacher preparation programs at Cal State Fullerton, including the pass rate on teacher certification examinations, may be obtained from the College of Education website at ed.fullerton.edu.
- Information concerning grievance procedures for students who feel aggrieved in their relationships with the university, its policies, practices and procedures, or its faculty and staff may be obtained from the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Langsdorf Hall 805, 657-278-3221.
- Information concerning student activities that Cal State Fullerton provides, must be easily accessible on fullerton.edu.
- Information concerning student body diversity at Cal State Fullerton, including the percentage of enrolled, full-time students who are 1) male, 2) female, 3) Pell Grant recipients and 4) self-identified members of a specific racial or ethnic group, must be obtained from the Office of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, College Park 205, 657-278-2593.
The federal Military Selective Service Act (the “Act”) requires most males residing in the United States to present themselves for registration with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Most males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered. Males born after Dec. 31, 1959, may be required to submit a statement of compliance with the Act and regulations in order to receive any grant, loan or work assistance under specified provisions of existing federal law. In California, students subject to the Act who fail to register are also ineligible to receive any need-based student grants funded by the state or a public postsecondary institution.
Selective Service registration forms are available at any U.S. Post Office, and many high schools have a staff member or teacher appointed as a Selective Service Registrar. Applicants for financial aid can also request that information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be used to register them with the Selective Service. Information on the Selective Service System is available and the registration process may be initiated online at sss.gov.
All financial aid recipients agree to carry and complete a specific number of units each semester, to report graduation or withdrawal from the university, and to notify the Office of Financial Aid of any changes in their financial or marital status. Students who accept financial aid agree to report to the Office of Financial aid any additional resources received, including, but not limited to, scholarships, stipends, tuition and fee waivers or reimbursements, and grants from outside sources.
Recipients of financial aid must use the funds only to meet education costs. Any other use of the funds is prohibited by law. Students who are receiving financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress. See the section below for details.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
All students, including financial aid recipients, must maintain scholastic academic progress as outlined in the Cal State Fullerton catalog.
Federal and state regulations governing student financial aid programs require the university to ensure that each student who is receiving financial aid maintains satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree objective. As required, maximum time frame, quantitative (pace) and qualitative (grade-point average) measures have been defined. The policy is subject to change based on revision mandated by federal law. Refer to the Office of Financial Aid website for updates, fullerton.edu/financialaid.
All financial aid applicants are evaluated annually at the end of spring to determine whether they meet the quantitative (pace), qualitative (GPA), and maximum timeframe standards. Students who have been granted an appeal for the fall semester and placed on probation are also evaluated at the end of the fall term to determine whether they meet the quantitative (pace) and qualitative (GPA) standards.
At CSUF, all undergraduate programs are four-year programs but for purposes of defining the maximum timeframe measurement for SAP, six full-time academic years of attempted coursework is allowed. In addition to the standard maximum timeframe, specific student aid programs may include a maximum number of units or years for which a student may maintain eligibility which may be different than the standard maximum timeframe. Students are expected to complete their educational objective, degree or certificate according to the following schedule:
|Required for Degree
||Max. Attempted Units
|120 units or more, depending upon program (B.A.)
|Required for Degree
||Max. Attempted Units
|30 or more depending upon program
Students are not eligible to receive financial assistance at CSUF once they have reached or exceeded the maximum number of attempted units as described above. Undergraduate students are allowed a maximum of 180 units; graduate or post-baccalaureate students are allowed a maximum of 45 units. The unit maximum for undergraduates includes all units attempted at CSUF, as well as all transferable units attempted at other colleges and universities, except those in excess of the number accepted by CSUF for transfer credit. Some academic programs require more than the standard number of units; a list of those programs and their maximum allowed units is available in the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy available on the Financial Aid website at fullerton.edu/financialaid. A student who cannot complete his/her objective within the maximum attempted units is not eligible for financial aid from federal or state source, including loans.
A unit cap appeal process is available for students who have reached the maximum. As described on the Unit Cap Appeal form, the appeal requires a detailed statement of extenuating circumstances leading to excess units, evidence of progress toward completing the academic program, and documentation of remaining coursework to complete the program.
Qualitative Measurement (Pace)
Students must earn at least 70 percent of attempted units to maintain pace. This is evaluated by comparing the student’s units at the completion of the add/drop period (the second week of school) with the units completed at the end of the term. Attempted units are compared with completed units to calculate the percentage of earned units.
CSUF does not impose a minimum number of units each semester, although most financial aid programs require at least six units per semester (half-time status) to receive funds. When deciding how many units to take, the student should consider factors such as employment, course difficulty, family responsibilities and academic probation.
Determination of Units Completed
The following grades are counted as successfully completed units: A, B, C, D, CR (credit). Grades counting as attempted, but not completed are F, NC (no credit), W (withdrawal), I (incomplete), WU (withdrawal unauthorized), and RP (report in progress).
If a grade is changed after SAP has been evaluated, it is the student’s responsibility to contact Financial Aid to re-evaluate SAP.
A repeated course in which the student initially received a D or better will count as units attempted and completed if the student receives a passing grade. Students may receive financial aid for one re-take of a previously passed course. Further re-takes of the course are not eligible for financial aid, although the units will count toward attempted units for purposes of calculating the maximum timeframe.
Repeated coursework in which a student withdrew, received an official withdrawal, or failed will count as units attempted, but not completed.
Qualitative (Grade-Point Average) Measure
In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress, each student must meet minimum grade-point average standards: Undergraduates must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher with the following exceptions for first- and second-year students; second-year students must have a cumulative GPA of 1.70 or higher; and first-year students must have a cumulative GPA of 1.5 or higher. Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and credential students must maintain a 2.5 GPA. Students falling below the minimum requirements at the time SAP is evaluated will be ineligible for financial aid.
Termination and Requalification
If a student earns less than 70 percent of attempted units and/or does not meet the GPA standard, the student’s financial aid eligibility is terminated for the following year. At the end of the following year, if the student earns at least 70 percent of attempted units and meets the GPA standard, the student will have re-qualified and is once again eligible for financial aid.
A student exceeding the maximum timeframe is also terminated from receiving additional financial aid and may only receive financial aid by filing a successful appeal.
Semester Grade Review
A student who has an approved appeal is put on financial aid probation for one semester and must meet SAP requirements at the end of that semester in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students on probation for the fall semester may have their disbursements delayed while SAP is being evaluated; spring financial aid will be cancelled for students who do not meet SAP standards at the end of fall.
Changes in Federal Law
Federal guidelines related to a school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress are subject to change based upon revisions to federal laws. Refer to the Office of Financial Aid website for the most current Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, fullerton.edu/financialaid.
Students have the right to appeal a financial aid eligibility termination or unit cap termination by presenting a written appeal according to the following steps:
- complete a SAP appeal form;
- explain the extenuating circumstances which contributed to failure to make SAP;
- document the circumstances; and
- state the steps that have been taken to improve future academic performance.
Allow four to six weeks for the SAP Appeals Committee to evaluate and to provide a written response.
Cal State Fullerton’s policies regarding refunds for financial aid recipients are in accordance with federal Title IV student assistance program regulations. Information concerning the refund policies for the return of unearned tuition and fees or other refundable portions of institutional charges is available from the director of financial aid in University Hall 146, phone 657-278-3125. As stated in the appropriate CSUF online Class Schedule or Registration Guide, a student may be entitled to a refund of fees if he/she withdraws from the university or drops units. However, if the student received financial aid, the fee refund may be credited partially or completely to the appropriate financial aid account(s).
Tuition and Fee Refunds and Return of Title IV Funds
Information on policies regarding tuition and fee refunds and the return of federal Title IV student assistance as required by regulation is available from the director of financial aid in University Hall 146, phone 657-278-3125. Financial aid recipients who are considering withdrawal should visit the Office of Financial Aid for an estimate of the amount of financial aid that would have to be repaid. Since financial aid funds are awarded to help students meet their educational costs, financial aid is first used for direct institutional costs (tuition and fees). If a student withdraws before completing at least 60 percent of the term*, he or she may have to repay any “unearned” portion of the financial aid received. (Unearned aid is calculated using the percentage of days in the term following the last date of attendance.) A financial aid student who withdraws on or before the 60 percent point in the term is eligible to receive a refund of tuition and fees; however, the refund may be applied to reduce the amount of unearned aid the student is required to repay. See following examples.
In these examples, the student received $2,425 in federal grants and $2,750 in subsidized Federal Direct Loan. The following examples illustrate the amount the student would owe based on three different withdrawal dates (dollar amounts shown are approximate). The calculation is based on tuition and fees for the 2014-15 academic year and assumes the student is not living in on-campus housing and is not incurring institutional charges other than tuition and fees
4th day of term
13th day of term
20th day of term
|TOTAL federal aid disbursed
|Earned financial aid
|Minus amount returned to Direct Loan Program by CSU
|Minus amount returned to grant program by CSU
|Remaining unearned aid
|Student Must Repay These Amounts
4th day of term
13th day of term
20th day of term
|Reimbursement for loan funds returned by CSUF
|Reimbursement for grant loans returned by CSU
|Plus repayment of unearned federal grant fund
|Total student owes to CSUF
|Minus tuition and fee refund**
(reduces balance student owes)
|Balance student owes to CSUF
|In addition, student must repay Unearned Federal Direct Loan per terms of promissory note
|A hold is placed on CSUF services until student repays this amount:
*Students who withdraw after the 60 percent point in the term are considered to have “earned” all financial aid received.
**If tuition and fees were paid in part or in full by a Cal Grant and/or State University Grant, any refund of tuition and fees will be returned to the state grant program and will not be available to reduce the amount of unearned federal aid the student must repay.