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Frequently Asked Questions: Student Services
Commonly Asked Questions
The Student Service Center provides a wide array of student services which include but are not limited to enrollment, financial aid, scholarships, and academic records. Review our commonly asked questions below.
Q: Where can I submit my final transcripts?
Official sealed transcripts can be dropped off at the Student Service Center in Lassen Hall, Room 1000. There is a document drop-off box on the left-hand side of our entrance.
Q: How do I change or update my Name and/or SSN?
Students are can submit their request online using the Change of Name/Gender/DOB/SSN/ITIN number and upload their supporting documentation.
Q: How can I get financial aid advising?
At Sac State, all financial aid services are located at the Student Service Center in Lassen Hall, Room 1000. Refer to the Student Service Center website for the most current office and phone hours.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
File your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act Application. The application opens on October 1 each year. File by the priority deadline, March 2, the year leading into the Fall semester. The current application period is 2022-2023 for Fall 2022 and Spring/Summer 2023.
Sac State’s school code: 001150.
Applicable to the FAFSA and CA Dream Act Application.
Q: How much does it cost to attend Sac State?
A standard academic year includes two semesters, fall and spring. Registration fees are broken down by semester which consists of tuition fees and mandatory campus fees. View Sac State's current prices per semester based on enrollment.
Q: How much does it cost to live on-campus?
Housing prices vary based on your room selection and meal plan. View the current Housing Application & Costs Webpage.
Q: How does financial aid pay my registration and/or housing fees?
If you have accepted your financial aid offers, funds automatically pay toward outstanding charges on your student account a week before the start of the semester. Be sure to clear any Holds or To-Do List items that may prevent a timely disbursement.
Q: How do I submit financial aid documents?
There are multiple methods to submitting your documents to the Financial Aid office.
Remember to include your Name and Student ID on each page of all documents. Make sure all forms are signed (pen-to-paper signature) and dated where applicable.
Email attachments are not accepted due to sensitive data.
- ONLINE UPLOAD (Preferred!): Upload documents securely from your Student Center > Financial Aid links section. Compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge web browsers. This is the best and fastest option for the office to receive your documents.
- IN-PERSON: Submit documents to the Student Service Center’s Document Drop-Box located in Lassen Hall on the left-hand side of Room 1000.
Attention: Financial Aid and Scholarships
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6044
- FAX: (916) 278-6082
Receipt of your financial aid documents
Allow up to five business days for any submitted documents to change from “Initiated” to “Received” status on your Student Center > To Do List. Documents will remain on your To Do List in “Received” status as it is pending review by the office. Note: Incomplete documents (I.e., illegibility, missing information or signatures) will remain in “Initiated” status and will require a resubmission.
Disbursements & Refunds
Financial aid disbursements (i.e., payment of financial aid) usually begin a week before the start of the semester in one lump-sum. After the semester has begun, disbursements occur twice a week (Wednesday/Friday) up to the census date (i.e., enrollment lock date) each semester. Thereafter, disbursements will continue weekly throughout the semester until all accepted aid is paid.
Q: What is the difference between a financial aid disbursement and refund?
A financial aid disbursement occurs when accepted aid is authorized for payment on a student’s account which can be applied toward any outstanding university charges (i.e., registration, course, and on-campus housing fees).
A financial aid refund occurs when the Bursar’s office processes a refund transaction which can be issued as a paper-check or a direct deposit (eRefund) to a student’s bank account. This process typically occurs if there are excess financial aid funds after university charges are paid.
Q: How do I know if my financial aid disbursement occurred?
It is your responsibility to submit all requested financial aid documents and clear any disbursement holds in order to ensure timely disbursement of aid.
Log onto your Account Activity page located on the Student Center > Finances section to identify if a disbursement occurred and/or if a refund is issued.
- To confirm if a disbursement occurred, identify the financial aid programs (i.e., Federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant, etc.) transaction item(s) and amounts the listed line-by-line.
- To confirm if a refund is issued, identify the transaction item that states “Financial Aid Refunds” with the listed amount for the applicable semester. From the “Posted Date,” you can determine when you will receive financial aid based on your refund method.
Q: How will I receive my financial aid refund?
Any excess aid after all school fees are paid is then issued as a refund to the student. A student can receive a refund by the following:
- Paper-check (default method) occurs within five to seven days of the posted disbursement date to the current address on file. Take into consideration for additional mailing time.
- Parent PLUS loan refunds are issued a paper check to the parent borrower, direct deposit is not offered.
Direct deposit occurs within two to three business days (if the student signed up for eRefund) from the posted disbursement date.
Q: What can I use my financial aid refund for?
Financial aid is a resource to assist with educational expenses which include but are not limited to: books, supplies, food, housing, transportation, etc. The school does not require receipts for proof of purchases.
Q: My financial aid did not cover all the charges on my student account?
If your financial aid awards do not cover the full cost of registration fees and/or other charges, you will be responsible for the remaining balance. You are encouraged to work with our Bursar’s office for payment options at firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss your financial aid options, connect with the Student Service Center in Lassen Hall 1000.
If you need assistance to calculate and budget your costs with financial aid, reach out to the Financial Wellness office and connect with a Peer Coach at email@example.com. Sessions are FREE and confidential!
Q: I’m still adding classes, why did my financial aid adjust?
By default, financial aid awards are offered based on full-time enrollment (12+units undergrad/ 8+ units post-bacc).
If the semester has begun and you are currently making schedule changes, your financial aid awards will automatically adjust based on your enrolled units (wait-listed units are not counted). Once you are enrolled in your final units, your awards will automatically adjust and disburse accordingly – no need to inform the office.
Financial Aid Fee Deferment
A fee deferment permits eligible students to delay payment of registration fees. The fee deferment is issued by the Financial Aid office typically near the fall and spring registration period for qualified students.
Q: What is a financial aid fee deferment?
Eligible financial aid students are automatically issued a “fee deferment” on the Student Center > Hold section during the fall/spring enrollment period. It serves to protect your classes from being dropped and overrides your due date up to the first week of the semester. Note: This is an informational hold and DOES NOT prevent registration.
Q: How do I earn a fee deferment?
Students must file a current financial aid application and submit any required documentation by set deadlines each academic year to become eligible.
- Continuing students: To keep this deferment, you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Your SAP status will be reviewed after the Spring grades post, mid-June. If SAP standards are not met, your fee deferment will be removed, and you will be required to pay all registration fees by the due date listed on your account. You are encouraged to work with our Bursar’s office for payment options at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your enrollment.
Q: My fee deferment expired but my financial aid has not disbursed?
It is your responsibility to submit all requested financial aid documents, and clear any disbursement holds in order to ensure timely disbursement of aid.
Once the fee deferment expires and you have outstanding charges, you must pay your registration fees to avoid being dropped from your classes. If you are dropped from courses after the semester begins, you will be required to pay pro-rated fees. You are encouraged to connect with the Bursar’s office for payment options at email@example.com.
Financial Aid Verification
The U.S. Department of Education selects a population of financial aid applicants to undergo Financial Aid Verification at random. Verification is the process the school uses to confirm that the data reported on a student’s financial aid application is accurate. If a student is selected for verification, the school will request additional documentation that supports the information reported.
Q: I already verified my information on my financial aid application, do I have to submit the listed documents?
Yes, students who are selected for Financial Aid Verification are required to submit documentation to confirm the accuracy of their aid application by the school. Required items will be listed on your Student Center > To Do List. Check your student account to determine what may be needed.
To Do List Statuses:
- Initiated: Item(s) requires action by the student.
- Received: Item(s) received by the office and pending review.
Note: Documents that are processed will be removed from the To Do List. DO NOT submit documents that are not requested, it can cause delays to your financial aid file.
Q: How can I get help completing the forms?
Q: How long does it take to process my documents?
Allow four to six weeks of processing time upon receipt of ALL submitted documents to the Financial Aid office. The processing timeline may increase during peak periods and near the start of the semester. Note: Processed documents will be removed from your To Do List.
Q: I have submitted my forms and it’s still on my To Do List?
Check the document status on your To Do List. Most of the time, documents are re-initiated if it is incomplete (i.e., illegible, missing signature) or not received by the office. You should also check your CSUS email for messages with detailed instructions. You are encouraged to contact the Student Service Center to get clarification on any To Do List items.
Financial Aid Awards
Financial aid awards consist of federal/state funds and scholarships. Awards are initially offered based on full-time enrollment (12+ units undergrad/ 8+ units post-bacc). Eligibility will vary based on a student’s individual file and available funding.
Q: What types of financial aid awards are available?
- Grants are funds that do not require repayment and are from federal and state funds.
- Loans are borrowed monies that require repayment.
- Scholarships are similar to grants but awarded by a third party.
Q: How do I accept/decline my financial aid offers?
Once you are notified of your financial aid awards, you should have access to accept/decline the offers on your Student Center > Finances Section > Accept/Decline Award link. If awarded grants and/or scholarships, they will reflect “accepted” on your award letter by default starting the 2022-2023 aid year.
Remember, loans are borrowed funds and will require you to accept/decline these offers. They will not be automatically accepted on your behalf.
Q: Why are there are no financial aid offers on my Student Center?
Most likely, you have outstanding tasks to complete. Check your Student Center > To Do List and Holds sections. Details and instructions will be listed in those areas.
Note: Continuing students are typically awarded by July after spring grades are posted.
Q: Am I required to be in full-time to qualify for aid?
No, the minimum eligibility is part-time (6 units undergrad/ 4 units post-bacc). Please note that your award amounts will adjust to match the part-time enrollment.
Q: I dropped a class/classes, do I have to repay back aid?
Before dropping a class, we encourage you to contact Student Service Center for an advising session. You may or may not have award adjustments based on your individual file.
Q: How do I reinstate or increase my loan offer?
Use the current Change in Aid e-form located on the Student Service Center Form’s page. Select the e-form that is applicable to the current aid year. Allow up to three weeks for processing upon submission.
Q: How does my Parent apply for the PLUS loan?
The Parent loan borrower must complete the Parent Loan Request form to start the process with the office. Locate the instructions and form on the Loan Documents Section.
Q: Incoming Fall student: How do I access my financial aid offers?
The Financial Aid office typically post Estimated Award letters starting March on your My Sac State account, Student Center > Accept/Decline Award link for those who filed a financial aid application.
Final awards will be posted based upon completion of the student’s file. Refer to the Financial Aid Admitted Checklist for your next steps.
Q: Incoming Spring student: How do I access my financial aid offers?
The Financial Aid office begins posting awards once you are admitted for the Spring semester. There are no estimated award letters offered for spring admits. Refer to your My Sac State account, Student Center > Accept/Decline Award link for your award details.
If no awards are posted, refer to the Financial Aid Admitted Checklist for your next steps.
Q: Why am I unable to accept my Federal Work-Study award?
You MUST be officially hired through an on-campus or off-campus Federal Work-Study employer before the award can be accepted. Once hired, your employer must complete the necessary paperwork to report your employment status. Your award will then be accepted on your behalf by the Financial Aid office when all hiring steps are completed, no need to contact the office.
- Review the Federal Work-Study > Student Process page
Q: My parents and/or I have experienced a loss of income, can I file an appeal?
The initial review of the 2022-2023 financial aid application is based on the 2020 tax year (the required tax year to be reported). If there is a change in the income year 2021 or 2022, the student may submit the Loss of Income appeal starting in July. The form will be available on the Student Service Center Form’s page under the Appeals section.
Important! The outcome of the appeal may or may not change your financial aid eligibility. You MUST determine how to cover your expenses (i.e., tuition, housing, books, etc.) regardless of your intent to submit an appeal or wait for the results. Processing time is about six weeks and students will be notified of the results of their appeal via their CSUS email.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are academic standards that must be meet and maintained by all students who apply for financial aid purposes. Refer to the complete list of SAP FAQ’s for details.
Q: What are the SAP standards?
There are three SAP standards students must meet to maintain aid eligibility:
- Overall Degree Progress Standard
- Minimum Cumulative GPA Standard
- Satisfactory Pace Standard
Q: What if I do not meet SAP?
If you do not meet SAP, you are ineligible to received financial aid (i.e., federal/state funds, including student loans). You may file an appeal and if your appeal is approved, you will be considered for financial aid.
Q: What is a SAP appeal?
A SAP appeal is composed of two parts: (1) online appeal, and (2) documents to support your reason(s). In some cases, students may have to submit an academic plan (if instructed). The appeal gives students the opportunity for aid reconsideration. If eligible to file, it will be listed on your Student Center > To Do List in “initiated” status.
Note: The SAP appeal is not mandatory and there is no impact to registration or enrollment status.
Q: How do I file a SAP appeal?
If eligible, a link to the SAP Appeal will appear on your Student Center > To Do List late-June (after your SAP status is determined). The appeal will be an electronic form with specific questions for you to address. Documents to support your answers should be uploaded through your Student Center for a complete appeal.
Q: What should I include in my SAP appeal?
SAP Over Unit Disqualification: You did not pass SAP based due to attempting coursework that is more than 150% of the minimum units required for degree program.
- A complete Over Unit SAP Appeal must include: The SAP Appeal, SAP Appeal documentation and an Official Academic Plan. Your appeal should explain all coursework attempted that does not apply to your current degree program.
SAP GPA (Grade Point Average): You did not pass SAP based on cumulative GPA (Undergrad, 2.0 GPA/ Post-bacc, 3.0 GPA).
- A complete GPA SAP Appeal must include: The SAP Appeal and SAP Appeal documentation. Your appeal should explain coursework where earned grades affected the GPA per the university catalog.
- Consider the following grades that affect GPA: “A” – “D,” “F,” “WU.” Grades with no effect to the GPA: “CR,” “NC,” “I,” “RP,” “W,” “RD.”
SAP Unit (Current Percentage Earned) = Starting the 2022-2023 aid year, students are required to pass with 67% earned units. You did not pass SAP based on not successfully completing 67% of units attempted, in the previous academic year attended
- A complete Unit SAP Appeal must include the SAP Appeal and SAP Appeal documentation. Your appeal should explain coursework where non-passing grades affected the 75% of completion.
- Consider the following grades that are considered non-passing: “F,” “I,” “NC,” “W,” “WU.”
Q: Do I need to provide supporting documentation for my SAP appeal?
Most extenuating circumstances should be documented. If you are unable to provide documentation, submit an additional signed statement to thoroughly address your situation and clarify that no supporting documents can be provided.
Q: What type of supporting documentation can I submit?
Supporting documentation should address the timeline of the incident and your involvement. Suggested documents can include but are not limited to: third-party letters from other person(s) or professionals who can attest to your extenuating circumstance should be submitted. Example: documentation supporting an auto accident.
Q: Why are the semesters that I did not receive aid count against me?
To be eligible for student aid, a student must show that they have been making Satisfactory Academic Progress at the time they apply for aid. Regulations require that all semesters, regardless if financial aid was received, must be counted when determining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the University SAP Policy.
Q: My SAP appeal was approved for Fall but what about Spring?
If your appeal was approved in the Fall semester, you will be placed on SAP Probation for the probation term. You will still be awarded aid for the academic year (if eligible). However, to receive your Spring financial aid awards, you must meet SAP Probation standards from coursework attempted in the Fall.
Q: What happens if I had a SAP Appeal approved in the Fall but I did not meet SAP Probation check?
Students who did not meet SAP probation standards at the end of their fall probation, will have their spring aid canceled and a financial aid hold will be placed. Appeals are not considered for Spring.
Q: What do I do if I had a recent grade change that may affect my SAP status?
Depending when your grade changed and for what term/academic year, the Financial Aid Office may or may not be able re-evaluate your SAP Standing. Please contact our Student Service Center for advising.
Q: Who can I contact about my SAP status or appeal?
For more information on your SAP status, contact the Student Service Center in Lassen Hall, Room 1000. Visit the Student Service Center Form’s page for details.
Summer Session & Aid
Summer financial aid is offered to continuing students that have a FAFSA filed for the current aid year. Award amounts and eligibility will vary based on your specific Full details found on aid summer aid eligibility are found on the Summer Session Page.
Q: Is there Financial Aid offered for the Summer session?
Yes, continuing students who have aid eligibility can utilize their funds for the summer session. Review the Summer Session Page for details.
Q: What types of Financial Aid are offered?
Summer Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Student Loans. Amounts and eligibility will vary based on a student’s individual file.
Q: How much does it cost to attend the summer session?
Summer registration fees are completely different from a standard fall/spring semester. Review the current summer registration fees on the College of Continuing Education’s Website.
Q: How do I know if my summer aid covers my classes?
Every student’s file is different, we recommend using Budget Your Summer Costs to help map out your costs and summer aid. We encourage you to set up an appointment with a Peer Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist you with the form.
Q: Who can I contact about my summer registration?
Registration & Enrollment
Q: When can I enroll for the semester?
Continuing students can find their assigned registration appointment date and time on their Student Center. Refer to the Academic Calendar for details. Note: Fall registration appointments are typically assigned in April and Spring registration is assigned in November.
If you are a newly admitted student, registration typically occurs during New Student Orientation.
For Winter and Summer registration dates, refer to the College of Continuing Education Website.
Q: I have a registration appointment but unable to enroll?
Check your appointment date & timeslot for the exact moment you can enroll on your Student Center page. It is possible that you may also have registration holds. Check your Student Center > Holds and clear any outstanding Registration Hold(s) listed. Details on how to clear the hold(s) will be listed in the description.
Holds can include and not limited to pre-requisites, department consent, mandatory advising, online safety-training, etc. Note: You will receive an error message when attempting to enroll into the class.
Q: The class is listed as “open” but I am unable to enroll?
There may be prerequisites (requirements set by the academic department) that must be fulfilled before you can enroll or restrictions set by the academic department. Review the error message you received when attempting to enroll in the class. Contact the academic department if have questions.
Q: What is a waitlisted class?
A waitlisted class is a class that is full and the instructor has opened a “wait list” for students to join and potentially get added in the class, if seats become available. If an enrolled student(s) drops the class, you may move up on the waitlist. Note: Students on the waitlist are not enrolled or guaranteed to be enrolled into the class. Not all classes offer a waitlist.
Q: The waitlisted class is no longer on my schedule?
The University deletes all class waitlists the Friday before the start of each semester to prepare for late registration. It is up to the instructor to download the waitlist prior to then. You will need use the Petition to Add/Drop/Withdraw from Courses (Student) to add the class once the waitlist is removed. Note: Check your class schedule to determine if you have been added into the class.
Q: When is the open registration period?
Students who are eligible to enroll can adjust their class schedule for the Fall/Spring semester(s) during the open registration period which occurs before the start of each semester. Refer to the Academic Calendar for current open registration dates.
Late registration occurs during the first two weeks of the semester.
Q: What does Department Consent Required mean?
You must obtain permission to take this class (instructor consent). Locate the instructor contact information on Sac State’s directory and contact the instructor via email. The instructor should provide instructions or permission to enroll into the class.
Q: How do I add or drop a class once the semester started?
Students normally have two weeks (late registration) from the start of the semester to add/drop classes through their Student Center. For example: Fall 2022 semester begins August 29. The late registration period is August 29 to September 9.
If the class if full or closed, students may submit the Petition to Add/Drop/Withdraw from Courses (Student) online to let the instructor know they are interested in adding the class. Note: If approved, the Academic Department will process the add/drops form(s).
Q: What is the Census date?
The census date is when enrollment locks and your class schedule is finalized for the semester. The Census date falls on the fourth week of the semester. It is the last day to make changes to your enrollment. Refer to the Academic Calendar for the current semester’s Census date.
It is the deadline to add classes to your schedule and drop a class without receiving a “W” grade on your academic record.
Q: When is the last day to add a class?
Students must add a class by the Census date to be counted for the semester. Refer to the Academic Calendar for the current semester’s Census date.
If you are a financial aid student, your aid will be adjusted to match your enrolled units by the Census date.
Q: When is the last day to drop a class without receiving a “W” grade?
Classes must be dropped from your class schedule by the Census date (to not receive a “W” grade on your academic record. This condition also applies to a semester withdrawal (i.e., dropping all classes). Learn more about “W” grades on the Academic Policies Website. Refer to the Academic Calendar for the current semester’s Census date.
Q: How can I drop all of my classes for the semester?
A Semester withdrawal is when a student drops all of their classes. Students must complete the Semester Withdrawal Form online to formally notify the University. Note: If you are dropping classes after the semester has begun, you may incur prorated tuition and fees, for the time period you were enrolled prior to the withdrawal date. If charges are owed, it will be posted on your Student Center.