Cost and Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is money that is given, paid or loaned to you to help pay for your college. There are several types of financial aid for college students:
• Grants & Scholarships - are given as awards and do not require repayment.
• Loans - are borrowed from a lending institution. You are required to repay the loans with interest and loan related fees.
• Work-Study Employment - is on-campus and approved off-campus employment which allows you to earn money for your education.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov from January 1-March 2 (priority deadline) of the year you wish to enroll. Be sure to indicate Cal State East Bay as an institution allowed to access your FAFSA. The Office of Financial Aid will then be able to provide you with an estimate of your Financial Aid award. Also, ask your school to submit a Grade Point Average form to the California Student Aid Commission during the January 1-March 2 Cal Grant application period. For more information go to www.calgrants.org.
Beginning October 1, 2016, students and families need not wait until January to submit the FAFSA and apply for financial aid. The new October 1st FAFSA filing timeline is a permanent change allowing current and prospective students to file the FAFSA early.
What kind of information will I need to complete my FAFSA?
You will need information on your family income (if dependent), tax returns, your social security number, bank statements and driver's license (if you have one).
When is the deadline to apply for aid?
The priority filing period for the FAFSA is January 1-March 2 of the academic year you plan to enroll. FAFSAs are accepted after March 2; however, to receive the maximum amount of aid possible, submit your FAFSA between January 1 and March 2.
Beginning October 1, 2016, students and families need not wait until January to submit the FAFSA and apply for financial aid for the 2017-18 year. The new October 1st FAFSA filing timeline is a permanent change allowing current and prospective students to file the FAFSA early.
Who is eligible to receive Federal financial aid?
To receive federal student aid, you must meet certain requirements including:
• be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
• have a valid Social Security Number
• register with Selective Service if you are male and 18 to 25 years of age
• have a high school diploma or GED
• be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs
What does financial aid pay for?
Depending on your eligibility, financial can be used to pay educational expenses including tuition fees, books and supplies, food, housing, transportation, and some personal expenses while you attend college.
How much financial aid can I receive?
Students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that they are able. Your eligibility for aid depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your year in school, your enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the school you will be attending.
How does Cal State East Bay determine my need?
When you (and your parents) completed the FAFSA, an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was calculated for you. You were also assigned a Budget or Educational Cost, which is based on your at-home, on-campus, or off-campus residency. Your need was determined by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution from your Budget. We also used your EFC to determine your eligibility for certain grants.
Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
Why is my parent's information required?
Our Federal and State financial aid programs use this information to assist in forecasting a family's ability to assist with college. Providing information on the FAFSA does not mean your parents are obligated to assist with college costs.
What can I do if I am financially independent from my parents?
The FAFSA uses a unique definition of "Independent." If you answered NO to all questions in FAFSA Section 2, you MUST provide parent information on the FAFSA.
What if I cannot provide my parents' information?
If you are unable to obtain your parents' information, or if you believe you qualify for a dependency override, you may drop by our Warren Hall Student Information Lobby to speak with a financial aid counselor.
How can I tell you that my income has changed since I completed the FAFSA?
If your or your parents' income is substantially less than the income reported on your FAFSA, you may request a Special Circumstance form. You should also meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss the changes in your income.
How many units do I need to take to remain eligible for financial aid?
While full time enrollment requires 12 units, the number of units you must maintain is determined by the type of aid you receive. Please refer to the unit requirements in the following aid category descriptions:
For an Undergraduate or Credential Classification: Full time is 12 or more units, three quarter time is 9 to 11 units, half time is 6 to 8 units, and less than half time is fewer than 6 units.
For a Masters Classification: Full time is 8 graduate level units, three quarter time is 6 graduate level units, half time is 4 graduate level units, and less than half time is fewer than 4 graduate units.
Students completing 36 units each academic year (12 units per quarter) will need at least 5 years to complete a bachelor's degree.
How will I receive my financial aid?
Each quarter, we begin disbursing financial aid on a specific date. After this date, Student Financial Services (Accounting) conducts three disbursements each week. Before your aid is disbursed, you must submit all requested documents, accept your aid (via MyCSUEB) and enroll in the required number of units. You must also allow time for the Financial Aid Office to review your verification documents and make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA data and your award.
Will I lose my financial aid if I withdraw from a quarter or drop a class?
Most awards are based upon full time enrollment. If you drop classes during the Add/Drop period, the Financial Aid Office may adjust some of your financial aid to the appropriate enrollment level. You may be required to repay the difference between the full-time aid amount and the adjusted amount. If you must fully withdraw from a quarter, the Financial Aid Office is required to recalculate your financial aid eligibility. You may be required to repay a portion of your aid. You should advise the Financial Aid Office if you reduce your enrollment after your aid is disbursed.
Can I continue to receive financial aid if I do not pass all of my classes?
We will measure your academic progress at the end of each spring quarter. Financial aid recipients are expected to complete a minimum of 75% of all attempted units with a GPA of 2.0. You will receive the full Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in a separate mailing. Be sure to speak with your financial aid counselor if you are concerned about loss of your aid eligibility.
Will my financial aid pay my registration, orientation, and on-campus housing charges?
Your registration and orientation fees will be applied to your student account after you enroll. As a financial aid recipient, you may register at your schedule time and you are exempt from the quarterly fee payment deadline. You may also defer payment of some on-campus housing charges, provided you meet document deadlines and you will receive enough aid to cover your charges. You will be required to pay an up-front housing deposit. Check with Housing and Residential Life for complete instructions.
What do I do if my financial aid is not enough to pay my charges?
If your aid is not sufficient to pay your University charges, you are responsible for paying the balance. If you owe a balance from a prior quarter, you may be denied access to future registration.