Below, are the most common questions asked. Please read thoroughly.

1. I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I submit a FAFSA anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they do not qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. 

2. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. After your first year you will receive a "Renewal Application Email" from the Federal Student Aid Processor which contains information from the previous FAFSA. Keep in mind that your continuous eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. 

3. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

Not immediately. When you take a leave of absence you will not have to repay your loan until you are no longer matriculated at CSUMB and/or your Leave of Absence expires. 

4. I received an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?

If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from an outside source, you are required to report it to the financial aid office. The university will adjust your financial aid package to reflect the change. The outside scholarship will have some beneficial effects on your financial aid package.

5. Are work-study earnings taxable?

The money you earn from Federal Work-Study (FWS) is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half-time).

Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for AGI if you reported them on your taxes. Students should also be careful to report amounts based on the calendar year, not the school year.

6. When will I receive a Financial Aid Award Letter?

Financial Aid Estimated Award Letter- New Students Only:
You will receive a mailed Financial Aid Award Letter & email with information and instructions on viewing your award offer online at MyCSUMB. Eligibility is subject to change based on funding and/or if we need to request additional information to determine your final eligibility.

Missing Information Letter- All Students:
If additional documents or information is needed to determine your eligibility, you will receive a Missing Information Email (to the address provided on the FAFSA) with an overview of the items needed, as well as instructions on how to access any necessary forms.

Financial Aid Email - Continuing Students Only:
Continuing students w
ho applied for financial aid for Fall 2012 will be notified by email with instructions on accessing their award information once financial aid has been awarded. 

7. When will my Financial Aid be disbursed?

Federal and State grants grants such as Pell, SUG, SEOG, EOP,and Cal Grant are disbursed on the first Friday of the semester. Students who are enrolled in E-refund will receive excess funds as of the first Friday of the semester. Students who are NOT enrolled in E-refund, will receive excess funds as of the 2nd Friday of the semester.  After the first two weeks of the semester, Financial Aid Disbursements & Refunds occur according to the refund schedule listed on the Financial Aid website.

If the student has completed the step process for Federal Student Loans, such funds will also be disbursed during the initial disbursement(s).  Loans will automatically apply to the student's CSUMB university account.  

8. What about an extension?

Applying for Financial Aid does not guarantee an extension of housing, meal plan, or registration payment. To qualify for an extension of registration payment, students must accept their Federal Student Loan prior to July 31, 2012 if funds are needed to pay their 12/13 balance. Failure to meet the deadline can result in disenrollment from all courses by August 2, 2012. This fee payment extension expires and all outstanding charges are due when all financial aid awards are disbursed to your student account, but no later than the last day to add/drop. If university charges are outstanding after the last day to add/drop, late charges will be assessed and holds will be placed on your student record. Extension of tuition fee payment is not available for the Summer term

9. My tax return is not filed yet - How do I complete the FAFSA?

Just use estimated income. You want to apply as early as you can!

10. Are there emergency loans available?

Yes. Students have the option of requesting a $300 Emergency Book Loan prior to receiving any FA disbursement during the first week of each semester (only). Emerg. Book Loan requests are subject to approval by the Financial Aid Office. Students can request the Emerg. Book Loan through MyCSUMB 10 days before the start of term. For more information contact the Financial Aid Office at 831-582-5100

11. What do I have to do to be considered independent?

You will be considered independent if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You were born before January 1, 1988
  • You are a graduate student
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • You are married 
  • You are a ward of the court or both your parents are deceased
  • You have legal dependents (other than a spouse) who receive more than half their support from you

12. Is it too late to apply for financial aid after the priority deadline of March 2?

No. Two substantial federal programs (Pell Grant and Stafford Student Loans) are still available to the student after March 2.

13. Are tax forms submitted to the central processor or to CSUMB?

 If the Federal Government selects you for Federal Verification, you are required to submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return transcript and a Dependent/Independent Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office at CSUMB. IRS Tax Return transcripts can be requested from the IRS website or by calling 1800-908-9946. Failure to submit an IRS Tax Return transcript with the Verification Worksheet will result in an incomplete form. Incomplete forms are not processed. 

14. What if the student's/parents' financial situation changes during the school year?

Contact the Financial Aid Office immediately. Examples of changes in situations might include a loss of income, separation/divorce, or death of a parent. Unexpected expenses may also be considered which might allow the student to obtain additional financial aid.

15. Does CSUMB offer financial aid for Summer attendance?

Yes. However, many students will have little aid eligibility left for Summer due aid received during the regular academic year (Fall and Spring). If you know that you will be attending summer school, contact your financial aid counselor at the beginning of the academic year.

16. Are my parent's required to pay the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to the school?

No. The Expected Family Contribution is a Federal calculation that determines the amount the family (parent(s) and/or student) should pay towards the educational costs. The calculation reflects the contribution by assessing prior year earnings, savings, etc. If the student or parent cannot meet the EFC because of a change from the prior year income or other expenses such as medical or elementary school tuition, the student should contact their financial aid counselor.

17. What special circumstances are considered for revisions of income?

Common special circumstances include: loss of income, death of one or both parents, and natural disasters. Other cases should be discussed with a Financial Aid Counselor.

18. What are the requirements for meeting & maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress?

The Financial Aid Office has qualitative and quantitative policy to assess eligibility for financial aid. Please review the policy carefully as it applies to your situation.

19. Are there any penalties for Drug Law Violations?

Students convicted of possession or sale of drugs, a federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from receiving financial aid. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid; they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reserved, set aside, or removed from the student's record does not count, nor does one received when they were a juvenile, unless they were tried as an adult.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for financial aid, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

Period of Ineligibility for Financial Aid
  Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
Ist Offense 1st year from Date of Conviction 2 years from Date of Conviction
2nd Offense 2nd year from Date of Conviction Indefinite Period
3+ Offense Indefinite Period Indefinite Period