To further the CSU’s mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to all students, the CSU created the State University Grant (SUG) program in 1982-83 to assist students who have the greatest financial need. Each year, the CSU awards need-based grants to eligible California residents and DREAM Act applicants who enroll at CSU campuses in undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, teaching credential and graduate programs. Financial need is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. Financial need is determined for Dream Act students through the California Dream Act Application.
The SUG program has grown considerably since its inception, from $4 million in 1982-83 to $701 million in 2020-21. Over 140,000 students received a SUG award in 2018-19.
As tuition and enrollment increased and state investment in the CSU fluctuated, the CSU expanded the SUG program to help keep student costs to a minimum. Currently, more than 10 percent of the CSU’s total operating budget is dedicated to financial aid for students with the greatest need. The SUG program remains one of the largest commitments in the CSU operating budget.