2013 - 2014 Award Notice Guide

Financial Aid Office Sacramento State
6000 J Street, Lassen Hall 1006, Sacramento, Ca  95819-6044

The Award Guide is your reference to understanding the process of applying for and receiving financial aid at Sacramento State.  Follow the six steps below to successfully receive financial aid award(s) on time.

Step by Step Financial Aid Process:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).   You must file a FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid.  The FAFSA is available January 1 and the priority filing date at Sacramento State is March 2.  The priority filing date to ensure consideration for Cal Grant is February 22.
  2. Monitor your My Sac State Student Center .  Additional documentation may be requested on your "To Do" list to complete your financial aid file or review.  We recommend that you submit requested documents within two weeks of notification date.  Our priority document submission deadline is June 1 for consideration of all aid for the fall term.
  3. Financial Aid Office Review (Determining your need for financial aid).  Once you submit all requested documents, please allow an estimated 6 to 10 weeks for processing.  The Financial Aid Office staff will review and send you a Financial Aid Award Notification (FAAN).  Your FAAN will be electronically sent and requires you to take action to receive your awards.
  4. Review your FAAN.  Review your Financial Aid Award Notice (FAAN) and decide how much aid you will need for the upcoming school year based on your cost of attendance.  Understand the difference between grant aid and loans.  Before declining aid, be advised that not all aid can be restored later.
  5. Accept/Decline Awards.  You will need to Accept and/or Decline each financial aid award offered.  By accepting/declining your aid, you are confirming you have read and reviewed the Financial Aid Award Notice Guide.  Check your "To Do" list 24 hours after accepting a loan.  Complete any required documents to ensure receipt of funds, as a result of accepting a loan.
  6. Disbursement and Refund.  Review and clear any financial aid holds appearing on your My Sac State Student Center.  Financial aid funds will first be applied to outstanding institutional charges; such as tuition fees and housing.  Any remaining credit balance will be refunded to you.  Sign-up for e-Refund to receive your financial aid refund (if applicable) via direct deposit to your bank account.  Go to your My Sac State Student Center to enroll.  Parent Plus loans are not eligible for e-Refund.  A refund check will be mailed directly to the parent borrower.


You must have a federal PIN to access financial aid information and resources as filing the FAFSA and completing the Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC) and Master Promissory Note (MPN) requirements.  The federal PIN is issued by the U. S. Department of Education and can be requested on this website studentaid.ed.govNote: parent(s) are required to have their own unique PIN.  PIN numbers must not be shared with anyone.


Due to limited funding, priority awarding is given to students who will enroll in both Fall and Spring terms.  If you decline Fall aid and only intend to enroll for the Spring term, all of your aid will be canceled.  You must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing of your intent to enroll for the Spring term.

Students will receive a revised award notification every time their financial aid package is adjusted based on enrollment changes, expected family contribution (EFC) changes, or notification of a new source of financial aid.  Award adjustments may result in an increase, decrease, or in some cases, a cancelation of funds.

If you receive additional aid such as scholarships, stipends or tuition fees paid by third party contract that are not listed on your Award Notice, you must inform the Financial Aid Office in writing. These additional sources of aid must be counted as a resource which may require reduction of other awards.  This process is known as coordination of aid.


  • ALL awards are subject to cancelation if the student fails to respond to the Award Notice within two weeks;
  • Not all awards can be restored at a later date;
  • Awards are subject to a 30 day cancelation, if not accepted;
  • If you withdraw from the Fall term but enroll for the Spring term, you must notify the Financial Aid Office to receive a revised award notification.


Awards for summer are based on remaining Pell and/or Direct Loan eligibility for the award year.  If you plan to attend Summer session you will need to complete the online Sacramento State Summer Application.    The online application is available each year in mid-April and can be accessed at www.csus.edu/faid.


Your financial aid award will be based on full-time enrollment.  You must be enrolled at least half-time to remain eligible for most financial aid programs.  Courses taken for audit (AU) do not count towards enrollment for financial aid purposes.

Some aid types will be prorated based on enrolled units as indicated in the chart below:


Enrollment Status Unit Range Pell Grant Cal Grant State University Grant
Full-time 12 units N/A N/A N/A
3/4 time 9-11 units Pro-rated Pro-rated N/A
1/2 time 6-8 units Pro-rated Pro-rated Pro-rated
< 1/2 time Less than 6 units Pro-rate Not eligible Not eligible

* Teaching Credential students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units for financial aid eligibility.  Pell grant eligibility is based upon enrollment in required teaching credential coursework.


Enrollment Status Unit Range
Full-time 7 or more units
3/4 time  N/A
1/2 time 4 - 6 units
< 1/2 time Less than 4 units


Tuition fees are charges based on enrolled units.  For more information please visit the Student Registration & Advising Guide at www.csus.edu.


University Census Dates

  • Fall 2013: Monday, September 30, 2013
  • Spring 2014: Friday, February, 21, 2014

Your financial aid award is based on full-time enrollment.  However, your disbursement is based on actual enrolled units at the time of disbursement.  Census is the date when your enrollment locks and your aid will be adjusted to coincide with your enrolled units at Census.  Note: This may negatively impact a student who was paid for 12 units and then dropped to less than full-time enrollment on or before Census.

Example:  A full-time student with an EFC of $0 (zero) is disbursed Pell Grant in the amount of $2,775 at the beginning of the Fall term.  Three weeks into the term the student drops to 9 units.  The Financial Aid Office will review the students drop in units as of the Fall Census date.  At the time of review, the student's Pell Grant is pro-rated to the (revised) eligibility amount of $2,082.  The student will be placed in repayment with the University for the difference of $693.  This debt will appear on the student's Student Center and a Registration/Transcript hold will also be placed on the students account. 


Consideration is first given to students who file the FAFSA by the March 2 priority deadline and who submit all requested documents to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks of the request date. Get Your Docs Done by June 1 to defer tuition payment until September.  Note:  Financial aid funds are limited and funding may not be available to meet the total financial need of the student.

UNDERGRADUATE students are considered for all financial aid programs.

TEACHING Credential students are considered as undergraduates for FAFSA filing purposes and are eligible for the State University Grant, Perkins Loan, Direct Loans, and TEACH Grant.  Loan limits are equivalent to that of seniors.  Students working towards their first teaching credential may be eligible for Pell Grant depending on their EFC and enrollment in at least 6 units of required teaching credential courses.

GRADUATE students are considered for Perkins Loan, Nursing Loan, Federal Work Study, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the GRAD Plus Loan.

  • MBA students may qualify for MBA grant and State University Grant (SUG)
  • ED Doctoral students may qualify for the EDD grant assistance (no SUG eligibility)
  • DPT students may qualify for the PPT grant assistance (no SUG eligibility)

SECOND bachelor, master and/or credential students are not eligible to receive financial aid without an approved Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal.  If an appeal is approved, these students are considered for Perkins Loan, Nursing Loan, Federal Work Study and Direct Loans. (New for 13/14: No SUG eligibility)

COLLEGE OF CONTINUING EDUCATION (CCE) students who are taking pre-approved courses require special handling.  Financial aid eligibility is based on the program the students is admitted to.

COST OF ATTENDANCE (COA) is the amount of tuition fees and standard allowances for books & supplies, food & housing, transportation, miscellaneous personal expenses.  The housing allowance is based upon your living arrangements reported on the FAFSA.  The following chart is an estimated COA for a full-time undergraduate student.  It may not represent your actual expenditures for these items.

Tuition Fees* $6,628 $6,628 $6,628
Food & Housing - $11,874 -
Books & Supplies $1,754 $1,754 $1,754
Food & Housing $4,518 - $12,090
Transportation $1,400 $1,210 $1,358
Miscellaneous Personal $1,338 $1,338 $1,338
TOTAL $15,638 $22,804 $23,168

*The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum.  Tuition fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increase when public funding is inadequate.  Therefore, the CSU, must reserve the right, even after initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees, without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester or quarter has begun.  All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by the Board of Trustees.

Added Fees: Graduate Students $1266
Teaching Credential $876
Other Fees: MBA Students $254 per unit for Professional Degree Program
Non-Resident Students $372 per unit

Determining Your Need:    COA minus EFC equals Financial Need

  • COA is the Cost of Attendance (see example above)
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the federally-determined amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education based on the information provided on the FAFSA.  This does not imply that a cash contribution is expected.
  • Financial Need determines eligibility for need-based aid
  • Remaining Unmet Need is the financial need that has not been met by the financial aid award(s)


GRANTS are monies you do not have to pay back and are based on financial need

Federal Pell Grant is designated for undergraduates and students pursuing their first non-degree teaching credential.  Note: The maximum Pell an eligible student may receive is the equivalent of 12 (full-time) semesters, regardless of the school attended.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is designed for undergraduate students with extreme financial need.  Funding is limited.

State University Grant (SUG) is a tuition fee paying grant for California residents who are not receiving funding from other tuition fee designated programs. Note: A student may be eligible to receive multiple awards designated for tuition fees, so as long as the total tuition fees awards are not in excess of the total tuition fees charged.

NEW SUG UPDATE:  Effective Fall 2013, eligibility for SUG will change based on new criteria approved by the CSU Board of Trustees:

  • Students enrolled in a degree objective for which they already possess a degree are not eligible to receive SUG funding (i.e., 2nd Bachelor, 2nd Master, and 2nd Credential)
  • SUG limits will be implemented based on the number of units a student has completed.  This will vary based on the degree objective.  Most undergraduate programs have majors requiring 120 units to graduate.  The student will loose SUG eligibility if they meet or exceed 150 units.  See SUG Chart for more information.

Cal Grant is a tuition fee based program administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).  It is designated for undergraduate California residents.  Eligibility is determined by CSAC based on the FAFSA application and GPA (Verification form).  Students should apply by February 22 to ensure they meet the application deadline.   Cal Grant awards are pro-rated based on enrollment.  Note: Students must inform the Financial Aid Office in writing if they are notified by CSAC that they are ineligible to receive Cal Grant after it has been awarded.  For more information on Cal Grant visit www.csac.ca.gov.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Grant is designated for undergraduate California residents who were admitted to the EOP program.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant (BIA) is awarded by the BIA.

TEACH Grant is awarded to eligible students in the teacher credential program.  The TEACH Grant requires 4 years of specific teaching service after graduation, otherwise the grant converts to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and repayment, including accrued interest will be required.  For more information on TEACH Grant visit the College of Education website.

SCHOLARSHIPS are used as a resource in a student's financial aid package and may reduced need based financial aid awards.  For more information regarding scholarships visit www.csus.edu/faid .

Institutional Scholarships are awarded by the University Scholarship Committee.  Applications are available for mid-January to mid-March.  For a complete list of institutional scholarships click here .

Departmental Scholarships are awarded by the respective campus department.  See your (major) department for an application and deadlines.

Community Scholarships are awarded by off-campus donors and are treated as estimates until the funds have been received by the University.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS) is a need based award.  FWS provides opportunities and training for future employment.  Funds are paid as earned on the 15th of each month for hours worked the prior month.  The student is responsible for securing employment and timely submission of timesheets.

FEDERAL LOANS are monies you borrow and are responsible to repay after you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment or leave school.  Interest rates are subject to change pending federal legislative ruling.

Disclosure: The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other Department of ED programs. You can find a detailed history of your federal student loans on this site.

Sacramento State is required to inform student/parent borrowers that the loan will be submitted to NSLDS and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.


Dependent Independent Max Subsidized
Undergraduate $31,000 $57,500 $23,000
Graduate ** N/A $138,500 N/A

**Includes loans received for undergraduate study.


Class Level Subsidized Additional Dependent Unsubsidized Independent
Freshman $3,500 $2,000 $6,000
Sophomore $4,500 $2,000 $6,000
Junior/Senior $5,500 $2,000 $7,000
Teaching Cred. $5,500 $0 $7,000
Graduate/Professional N/A N/A $20,500

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
is a need based loan.  The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled at least half-time.  The loan is a long term, fixed interest rate (3.86%) loan. Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.   Graduate/Professional students are no longer eligible for subsidized loans for loan periods beginning on or after July 1, 2012.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a long term, fixed interest rate (3.86%) loan not based on financial need.  Repayment begins six months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.  Interest begins to accrue at the time of disbursement, and we recommend students make interest payments while in-school.  Unpaid interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan at repayment.

Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan is a long term, fixed interest rate (5.41%) loan for credit worthy graduate student applicants.

Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) is a long term, fixed interest rate (6.41%) loan for parents of dependent students.  If the parent is denied the PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, the student may request consideration for additional unsubsidized loan eligibility.

ALL new student loan borrowers MUST complete a Federal Direct Master Promissory Note (MPN) and are required to complete Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC) once at Sacramento State.

Federal Nursing Student Loan (NSL) is a long-term, low interest (5%) loan awarded to students with financial need who have been formally admitted into the clinical nursing major.  Repayment begins nine months after you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment or leave school.  Students admitted into the Nursing program are selected for the verification process.  Borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling (ELC) and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Federal Perkins Loan is a long-term, low interest (5%) loan awarded to students who have financial need.  Repayment begins nine months after you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment or leave school.  Borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling  (ELC) and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Alternative Loans often carry higher interest rates and fees, and may have less attractive repayment terms.  Alternative loans are usually based on the student's credit rating and debt-to-income ratio and may therefore require a co-signer.  Alternative loans should only be considered as a last resort.  Once the student has applied, additional information may be required by the Financial Aid Office.  The student should monitor their "To Do" list. 

DISBURSEMENT OF AID occurs on a weekly basis beginning ten days before the start of each term; with the exception of holidays and campus closures.  Funding begins to be available to students on the first day of classes each term, with the exception of Summer term.

All obligations owed to the University (tuition fees, housing, short-term loans, etc.) will be automatically deducted from the financial aid. Normally there are no remaining funds sent to the student until all debts have been fully paid regardless of whether the student is on a payment plan.  Student loan borrowers have 120 days to return loan funds before loan fees are assessed.

PRIOR TO WITHDRAWAL from the University, it is recommended that the student meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss repayment of aid and the impact the withdrawal may  have on future eligibility and maintaining the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.

Students who withdraw from all courses prior to the 60 percent point of the term may have to repay a portion of their financial aid funds according to the federally regulated "Return of Title IV" calculation.

Students who receive a 0.00 GPA as a result of receiving "W" or "WU" grades are considered unofficial withdrawals.  Repayment/refunds will be calculated based on attendance through 50 percent of the semester (or the last day of documented attendance).

OVER-AWARDS occur when the student receive financial aid in excess of student eligibility.  Federal and state regulations do not permit students to receive aid which exceeds their financial eligibility.  The following situations may cause an over-award:

  • Change in housing status, resident status, or academic career;
  • Unreported aid from outside resources (i.e., scholarships, grants, stipends, third party fee payments, aid received at other schools, etc.);
  • Increase in your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as a result of corrections made to the Student Aid Report (SAR);
  • Change in enrollment status;
  • Human error in calculation or data entry of award(s);
  • Notification of student exceeding Aggregate or Lifetime Eligibility

Students are required to repay all financial aid for which they are determined to be ineligible.


The University is required to uniformly measure progress toward a degree/credential objective for all financial aid recipients.  All financial aid recipients are required to sign a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards contract as part of the application process. The SAP Contract outlines how progress standards are measured, the frequency which they are measured and the consequences of not meeting progress standards.  For more information visit our SAP Policy .


A fee deferment extends your tuition payment due date until the second Friday of the term.  This means you would not need to make any payments toward your tuition fees until your fee deferment expires.  Students are provided a temporary tuition fee deferment in the Fall term if Sacramento State has received the FAFSA and the student has submitted all requested documents to the office by June 1. For the Spring term, students with Spring awards are provided a temporary tuition fee deferment.   Students  are responsible for paying tuition fees by the due dates regardless of their fee deferment.  Read your My Sac State messages for further information.


Financial aid (disbursement) holds are term-specific; meaning holds from previous and future semesters do not affect the current semester. Financial aid holds do not prevent registration. You must check your My Sac State Student Center for current disbursement holds and take necessary action to clear the holds, if action is required.


  • Include your name and student ID on all documents
  • Two financial aid drop-boxes are located in the lobby of Lassen Hall for your convenience
  • If your living arrangements changed from what you reported on the FAFSA you must inform the Financial Aid Office in writing
  • You are required to repay all financial aid for which you are determined to be ineligible
  • When visiting the Financial Aid Office, you must be prepared to show photo identification


Visit our website at www.csus.edu/faid.   Call us at (916) 278-6554 or email us at finaid@csus.edu.

General advising is provided at the front counter in Lassen Hall 1006, Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Counselors are available on a drop-in basis on Monday, Tuesday  and Thursday from 9:00 to 11:30 am and 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  Office hours will change for Summer. Refer to our website for current office hours .

This guide does not cover every award or situation.  Check your My Sac State and our website for updates and other important information

Rev. 3/15/13 07/03/13