Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid

Do you need financial aid to attend Cal State Monterey Bay? Follow the steps below to secure and maximize your financial aid.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA DREAM ACT Application- PRIORITY DEADLINE APRIL 2, 2024.

Apply online at or You should apply by the April 2 priority filing date in order to maximize your financial aid package. Financial aid applications can be submitted after April 2. However, some grants are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The school code for Cal State Monterey Bay is 032603.

2. Submit all requested documents

You may be asked for additional documents to confirm what you reported on your financial aid application. Remember to keep copies of items such as your federal income tax return. The Financial Aid Office will notify you if you need to submit other information after filing your financial aid application.

3. Connect with Financial Aid

If at any time you do not understand the information being requested, call the Financial Aid Office at 831-582-5100 or set up an appointment with a Financial Aid counselor. Our goal is to make the process of applying for aid as easy as possible. All hours and links to appointments are listed on the Financial Aid website.

What are the different types of aid?


Grants are “gift aid” which means they do not have to be repaid (as long as you meet all of the requirements of the grant). Most grants are awarded based on financial need, but some may require a minimum GPA.

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • State University Grant
  • Educational Opportunity Grant

State Grants

Cal Grants are awarded to eligible California residents based on financial need and GPA. Cal Grants can be renewed for up to four years, as long as you reapply annually by completing the FAFSA and continuing to meet the eligibility requirements.

  • Cal Grant A – Covers a portion of tuition fees
  • Cal Grant B – Covers a portion of tuition fees and living costs


Scholarships are “gift aid” and may be awarded based on merit, financial need, or other criteria. Scholarships do not need to be paid back. Cal State Monterey Bay offers 65 scholarships. Outside of the university, many scholarships are offered by the government, non-profit organizations, businesses and even individuals.

Federal Loans

You may borrow funds from the federal government to cover your educational expenses. Loans, and any interest, must be repaid. Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options which non-federal student loans are not required to do.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS loans

Private Loans

Private education loans are credit-based consumer loans used to cover education costs. These types of loans tend to cost more than loans offered by the federal government, but are less expensive than credit card debt. A private education loan may be right for you if scholarships, grants and federal student loans do not cover your total education-related costs.

Federal Work-Study

Work-Study is a program that allows participants to work on campus to earn income. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study. Participants may work up to 20 hours per week.