What is Financial Aid?

At CSUMB, Financial Aid is defined as Federal, State, Local, and Private funds to help meet a student's cost of attendance. Financial aid funds are limited in many programs, with funding going to the earliest eligible applicants. As a result, deadlines are heavily enforced.

At CSUMB, we rely on a federal formula to carefully review every student’s financial circumstances and calculate financial aid awards according to the expected family contribution (EFC). Our overall goal is to help the student meet their cost of attendance. For additional information, please visit the following Financial Aid Eligibility section of our website.

Example: a full time student living on campus has a cost of attendance of $21,683. If the student's and family's expected contribution (which is determined by the Department of Education based on FAFSA) is $3000, the Financial Aid office will subtract the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance to determine financial aid eligibility.

Cost of Attendance: $21,683

Expected Contribution: - $3,000

Financial Aid Need: $18,683

Cost of attendance

At CSUMB the Cost of Attendance is based on the estimated cost of a typical student's tuition fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses for a nine–month academic year (fall and spring semester). The COA will vary depending on:

  • where you live -- on or off campus, or with your parents
  • whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or credential student
Use our Cost of Attendance Calculator

For Informational purposes only: In accordance with California Assembly Bill 990 CSUMB provides the typical market cost of a one bedroom apartment in the cities where students commonly reside.

  • Marina: $1460 per month
  • Seaside: $1397 per month
  • Monterey: $1320 per month

The Room and Board expenses included in the off-campus Cost of Attendance represent the typical costs students pay when enrolled at CSU Monterey Bay. Actual costs of room and board will vary. Many students living off-campus have roommates, which decreases their housing costs.

Independent students

If the student is an orphan, a ward of the court, or has an extremely adverse home situation, and cannot provide parental financial information as part of the FAFSA, the Federal Government would have identified the student as Independent according to how the student completed the FAFSA.

The following circumstances are not sufficient basis for a student to be qualified as independent for the purposes of institutional & federal aid eligibility:

  • You are an emancipated minor;
  • Your parents do not claim you as a tax exemption;
  • Your parents do not support your choice of academic major or courses;
  • Your parents do not want to participate in paying for your educational costs;
  • Your parents feel that they are unable to contribute toward your costs.

How to apply for financial aid?

All eligible students interested in Financial Aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All eligible AB540 students must complete a California DREAM Application. For more information, please follow our Application Step Process.

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.

CSUMB financial aid process - What to expect next?

Students who completed a FAFSA will receive the following notification(s) from our office:

Financial aid estimated award letter -first time freshmen & new transfer students only

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

Financial Aid Email - Continuing Students Only

Continuing students who applied for financial aid will be notified through csumb.edu email with instructions on accessing their award information once financial aid has been awarded.

Missing Information Email

If you are a First Time Freshman or a New Transfer student, you will receive a Missing Information Email to the email address provided on the FAFSA. If you are a continuing student you will receive a Missing Information Email to your csumb.edu email address. The email will provide an overview of the items needed, as well as instruction on how to access any necessary forms.