Scholarships Frequently Asked Questions

How do I search for a scholarship?

Begin your online search at our main Scholarship Web site. It can be found under both Prospective Students/Cost and Financial Aid and Current Students/Financing Your Education. Here you can read about our three categories of scholarships. Scholarships are available from:

  1. the California State University (CSU) system, for which all 23 campuses compete,
  2. CSUEB Colleges and Departments, and
  3. the community (local businesses, charitable organizations, corporations, local civic organizations).

Can anyone apply for a scholarship?

Yes, and you are encouraged to do so! Criteria vary greatly from one scholarship to another. Some opportunities are merit or need based. Others look for unique characteristics like which high school you attended, your state of origin, or even your “interesting personality”! When you find scholarships that meet your qualifications, apply for as many as possible in the time you have before the deadlines. You may have to read through several scholarships before you find those you are eligible to apply for, but it’s well worth your time and effort – not only for life experience, but certainly if you are selected to receive one or more of the scholarships!   

How do I apply for a CSUEB scholarship?

All scholarships will have an application to complete. In addition, an essay is typically required, along with letters of recommendation. Read the instructions carefully and be sure all supplemental information is included. Scholarships that are incomplete will eliminate you from consideration, so read carefully!

Can I apply for a scholarship if…?

  • I didn’t file a FAFSA
  • I have a low or average GPA
  • I am an international student
  • I don’t have financial need
  • I am a freshman (transfer, sophomore, etc.)

Yes! Scholarships have different requirements. When you find scholarships that meet your qualifications, apply for as many as possible in the time you have before the deadlines. You may have to read through several scholarships before you find those you are eligible to apply for, but it’s well worth your time and effort if you are selected to receive one or more of the scholarships! We do recommend that you also complete the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid). The application is free, and you may be eligible for a state or federal grant.

What does “financial need” mean?

Financial need is the gap between the cost of attending CSUEB and the contribution expected from the family and student’s resources. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by the federal government and is based on the information you provide when you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Do I have to file a FAFSA to apply for scholarships?

While a FAFSA is not required for many scholarships, CSUEB recommends that all students file a FAFSA to be eligible for as many scholarships as possible.

How is my overall cumulative GPA calculated?

Your "cumulative GPA" is calculated by the Office of the Registrar.  Your cumulative GPA includes units accepted for transfer. You must have an overall cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds the specified minimum GPA when:

  1. your application is released to the scholarship committee for review,
  2. the scholarship committee recommends you for a scholarship award, and
  3. when the scholarship funds are disbursed. 

Some scholarships may look only at your East Bay GPA.

How many units is considered full-time enrollment?

12 units of coursework for undergraduate students and 9 units of coursework for graduate students is considered full-time enrollment.

Are race, gender and ethnicity used in determining who is selected to receive a CSUEB scholarship?

Race, gender, and/or ethnicity NEVER influence who is selected to receive a CSUEB scholarship.

In addition to the federal protections against discrimination, the California Civil Rights Initiative is simple and clear: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” 

When will I find out the results of my CSUEB scholarship application(s)?

After the application deadline, verification of a complete application and eligibility requirements, all eligible scholarship applications are sent to the appropriate scholarship committee.

Upon completion of the committee’s recommendations and a final review of eligibility requirements, scholarship winners will be notified via their Horizon e-mail. The Office of Financial Aid cannot predict how long it may take the scholarship committee to act, so please check your Horizon e-mail frequently. Please note that if you are not selected for a scholarship, you may not receive an e-mail. Some scholarships’ applications remain active throughout the academic year, should additional funding or scholarship opportunities become available. 

Who selects the recipients for a CSUEB scholarship?

A scholarship committee typically composed of university faculty and/or staff from the academic program or campus organization most closely affiliated with the scholarship conducts the reviews and makes the selections.  

Who funds CSUEB scholarships?

Donors frequently establish scholarships as a way to express their support for higher education, the University, or a personal cause. Funding for scholarships comes from various sources, including private individuals, businesses, professional and trade associations, university support groups, and CSUEB alumni. 

What is the difference between grants, work study, loans, and scholarships?

Most of this financial assistance falls under the umbrella of Financial Aid. A student who receives a loan must repay this money to the lender. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. Income from a work study job is earned by students hired to work and is taxable.

I received a letter/flyer/e-mail offering me a scholarship search and guaranteeing a scholarship for a small fee. Should I take advantage of this?

There are a number of free scholarship search services on the Internet that you can use to locate scholarships. Some of these are listed on the Community Scholarships section of this web site. We do NOT recommend that you pay a membership fee or application processing charge to search or apply for any scholarship. Most donors provide free scholarship information and application materials.

The U.S. Department of Education offers good information and tips on how to spot a scholarship scam.

Does receiving a scholarship affect other financial aid?

If you are a financial aid recipient, The Office of Financial Aid is required to include your scholarship as estimated financial assistance. This means scholarships are considered part of your overall financial aid package. Should your combined financial aid (scholarships, grants, work study, and loans) exceed the cost of attendance at East Bay, your aid package may be adjusted to accommodate your scholarship. Our cost of attendance includes tuition fees, books and supplies, food and housing, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. The Office of Financial Aid will always reduce loans first when a reduction is necessary.

Do I have to report receiving a scholarship to anyone?

Yes. If you are a financial aid applicant, you must report any scholarship information to the Office of Financial Aid. If you do not, you might have to repay federal and state aid in the future.

You may also need to report it to the IRS on your income tax filing for the year in which you receive the award. Please refer to the IRS Web site, or your professional tax preparer, for more information.

How do I request verification of enrollment for an outside scholarship?  Cal State East Bay has authorized all official degree and enrollment verifications to be provided by the National Student Clearinghouse, a third party provider of degree and enrollment verifications. Students can also print their own enrollment verifications through MyCSUEB. You may obtain additional information by contacting the Office of the Registrar, at (510) 885-2784. 

I received a check from my donor, how do I deposit it into my CSUEB account?

If the check is payable jointly to you and the University, you should bring it to the Cashier. Student Financial Services will use the funds to pay any outstanding tuition and fees and on-campus housing charges and release the balance to you (called a "refund") by direct deposit or paper draft.

An outside donor or organization will be sending a scholarship check to CSUEB. Where should the check be sent, and how soon will the money become available?

All scholarship checks should be mailed to the Cashier, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542. Donors should make scholarship checks payable to California State University, East Bay. Checks should include your CSUEB NetID. Funds will typically be posted to your account within 7 - 10 business days of being received. 

Are there other scholarship opportunities besides here at CSUEB?

Yes! Contact your high school, community center, employer or parent's employer, sorority/fraternity and religious, civic, social or private organizations to see what scholarship opportunities they may provide. Beware of any scholarship opportunities that require a payment – scholarship funding does not require repayment. You can also check CSUEB’s listings of Community Scholarships. These are links provided by “outside” donors wishing to advertise to CSUEB students.

Can a student receive scholarship payments if enrolled through Open University?

Generally, scholarship recipients must be in a matriculated degree program offered through regular University or the Division of Continuing and International Education. You should check with your donor for the program eligibility requirements of your particular scholarship.

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