There are six basic steps in the process to apply for financial aid, beginning with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
Step 1: Complete the FAFSA.
The CSUMB Federal School Code is: 032603
The FAFSA is the core financial aid application used nationwide and must be completed in order for a student to be considered for most types of financial aid. The FAFSA must be completed each year, and can be submitted online. Income figures may be estimated; do NOT wait until a tax return is filed. Student and/or parent must update tax information after taxes are finalized.
The Financial Aid Office strongly encourages you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically transfer you and your parents' tax information onto your FAFSA. For more info on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please review our FAFSA Tips section.
If your household or financial circumstances have changed since the tax year you used on FAFSA, you can file a Student and/or Parent Income Change Form in Financial Aid Forms under "Other (aid year) Forms" section.
Step 2: Make any necessary corrections to the Student Aid Report (SAR).
Once you have filed your FAFSA, your information will be processed by Federal Student Aid, and a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated typically within one week of your online FAFSA having been submitted. The SAR is a summary of the information you entered on the FAFSA; be sure to review the SAR for any errors. You can make any necessary corrections online via the FAFSA website. If no corrections are needed, keep a printed copy of your SAR for reference.
Step 3: Submit any additional documentation requested.
After CSUMB receives your FAFSA, we will then review the data to determine if any additional documents are required (i.e., tax returns, citizenship documentation, etc).
If you were selected for Federal Verification, please visit the Financial Aid Verification & Conflicting Information section of our website for instructions on how to complete your Financial Aid file.
Please do NOT send information or documents that are not requested.
If additional documents are required you will receive an email with the details and deadlines. Please follow the instructions on each form for submission requirements. You will have the option to submit one or more of the following ways:
- In person to the Financial Aid Office (3rd Floor, Student Services Building).
- By mail to: CSUMB, Financial Aid Office, 100 Campus Center, Seaside, CA 93955
After you have submitted any requested additional documentation, your information will be reviewed in 2-3 weeks. If a counselor has any questions regarding your documents, we will email your CSUMB email account
Step 4: Review your financial aid award notice
Your financial aid award will be based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This number lets the Financial Aid Office know what types of aid you are eligible for. Award notifications are only prepared for two populations of students:
- Newly admitted Students, who receive a paper award notification and email. Notifications are sent at the end of March.
- Continuing Students, who receive an electronic notification via CSUMB email.
Step 5: Accept/decline your awards.
All financial aid awards are accepted online through your Dashboard. Be sure to review your Financial Aid Award Notice as well as the steps to access your Dashboard. To receive your funds, you must accept your award(s), complete required steps for Direct Stafford Loans (if applicable), maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, and for most programs, be enrolled at least half-time.
To ensure receipt of all funds offered, please read and respond promptly to the financial aid award notification.
Step 6: Submit the FAFSA annually between October 1 and March.
Students who file during this time period and who demonstrate the highest need will be given priority consideration for financial aid funding. Those students who submit their applications after March 2 will not be given priority consideration; awards will be based on the remaining funds available.
California residents applying for a Cal Grant must submit a GPA Verification Form as well as the FAFSA by the March 2 deadline. GPA Verification Forms are available from the student's high school counselor or online at the California Student Aid Commission’s website.