Financial Aid Overview
The CSU is committed to doing all we can to ensure that cost does not stand between you and high-quality higher education. Even with our remarkable affordability, we recognize that a graduate education is still a significant financial commitment. We can assist you with the funding resources you need to help make your educational goals achievable.
At the CSU, any student can qualify for financial aid. In addition to federal and state grants, low-interest loans, and Work-Study programs, we offer university and department-based scholarship opportunities. Even the smallest Stafford loan (which requires no principal repayment until after you have completed your full-time course of study) will cover almost all of your fees.
The California State University offers numerous forms of financial support for current and prospective graduate and postbaccalaureate students. CSU financial aid offices administer a wide range of grant, loan, and scholarship programs.
Financial Aid Programs
Financial aid programs provide support for students to help meet the costs of obtaining a college education. Funding for financial aid programs is provided by the federal government, state governments, colleges and schools, and a variety of other public and private sources. There are two main categories of aid, differentiated primarily by the basis upon which they are awarded:
- Achievement-based aid is awarded to students who have a special characteristic, skill, talent, or ability. Typically achievement-based aid is in the form of scholarships.
- Need-based aid is provided to students who demonstrate financial need. Most financial aid, particularly public-funded aid, is awarded on the basis of financial need determined through the application process and in accordance with a prescribed federal formula.
Financial aid is available in four basic types of programs:
- Scholarships are "gift aid" that do not have to be repaid. Scholarships typically include criteria such as academic performance or special talents.
- Grants are "gift aid" and generally do not include criteria other than financial need.
- Work-study is a "self-help" program in the form of part-time employment during the student's college career.
- Loans are a form of "self-help" since they represent borrowed money that must be paid back over a period of time, typically after the student leaves school.
Additional Financial Resources