The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO) assists students in meeting college costs: both direct educational costs such as tuition, fees, and books; and personal living expenses such as food, housing, and transportation. For many students and families, financial aid is available to help close the gap between family resources and college costs.

Applying for Financial Aid and Scholarships

To be considered for federal or state financial aid, apply with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available on the Web at

FAFSA Priority Filing Date is March 2

To be considered for a CSU, Chico Scholarship, apply online through the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office Web site. The online application is made available each October 1 for all University scholarships to be awarded for the next academic year.

Comprehensive information about financial aid and scholarships at CSU, Chico is on the Web at

Estimating Your Expenses

CSU, Chico has calculated standard budgets, representing the costs of attendance, for undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students. The budget includes tuition and other fees, books, supplies, housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses. Your costs will be affected by whether you live at home and commute, or live on or near the campus. The figures in the table below represent a standard budget used to calculate the expenses of a full-time student. If you have any special expenses, such as child care or on-going medical needs, bring them to the attention of the FASO.

Types of Financial Aid

Your aid package may consist of a combination of different types of aid. There are four basic types of financial aid:

Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Grants are usually based on need, as determined by the FAFSA.

Scholarships are also awards that do not have to be repaid. Some scholarships may have a need component. However, scholarships are generally merit-based and reward students for academic excellence, leadership, performance in the arts or athletics, and/or community service.

Loans are funds that must be repaid, usually after graduation or upon leaving school. Student loans have lower interest rates than most commercial loans. Your first loan requires a master promissory note and entrance counseling before disbursement. You must complete an exit interview before you leave the University.

Work-Study provides part-time, on-campus job opportunities to financially eligible students.

Financial Aid Highlights

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are the largest source of free money for college from the federal government. The Federal Pell Grant is need-based, and awarded to eligible undergraduates and teacher credential candidates.

Cal Grants

Cal Grants are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to qualified California residents who meet minimum GPA requirements and who can demonstrate financial eligibility through submission of a FAFSA. The FAFSA contains questions specific to Cal Grants and must be completed by March 2 each year. New applicants must also submit a GPA verification form to CSAC by March 2.

Authorization to disburse Cal Grants is dependent on the governor signing the annual state budget and payment being sent to the University from the California Student Aid Commission.

State University Grant (SUG)

A SUG is awarded by CSU, Chico to financially eligible California residents. Both undergraduates and graduates may be eligible for a SUG. Since funds are limited, it is important to apply by the March 2 priority filing date.

SUG awards will also vary based on enrollment. SUG may be reduced or removed if student fees are waived or paid by another source, including Cal Grants.

Note: The Office of Admissions determines if you are a California resident.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is available for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Funding for this grant is very limited and is usually awarded in combination with a loan or Federal Work-Study.

Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)

The EOPG is a state grant awarded to undergraduates admitted to CSU, Chico through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) admission process and who are eligible for need-based aid. Because of limited funding, newly admitted students receive first priority. Contact the Educational Opportunity Program for admission criteria at 530-898-4028.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant (BIA)

The BIA provides higher education grants through the Office of Indian Education Programs to eligible undergraduates. To qualify, students must demonstrate need, and membership in a federally recognized American Indian tribe. An additional application, specific to each tribe, is required. Applications have varying deadlines. Detailed information is available through the Office of Indian Education Porgrams at

California Chafee Grant Program

The California Chafee Grant Program is sponsored by the California Student Aid Commission and the state Department of Social Services for curent or former foster youth. To qualify, students must file both a FAFSA and a California Chafee Grant Program application. Additional information is available through the California Student Aid Commission at


Federal Direct Loans

CSU, Chico participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which offers subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate, credential, and graduate students, as well as Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). These loans are backed by the federal government through the U.S. Department of Education, and are managed by the Direct Loan Servicing Center. For details on interest rates and origination and processing fees, see our Web site. Loans must be repaid; therefore, a promissory note and entrance and exit counseling are required.

Subsidized Stafford Loans

Subsidized loans are based solely on financial need. "Subsidized" means that the federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are in school for at least half-time and during your post-graduation six-month grace period. Subsidized loans may be awarded up to the amount of your unmet need or grade level limit, whichever is lower.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Unsubsidized loans are available for all eligible students, regardless of income or assets. "Unsubsidized" means that you must pay interest while in school and during your six-month grace period, or request that the accrued interested be added to the loan principal. You may apply for an unsubsidized loan to replace your expected family contribution or unmet need within the grade-level limits.

PLUS Loans

PLUS Loans are available to parents and stepparents of undergraduate students. Beginning in 2006–2007, graduate students may also apply for PLUS loans. This loan may be used as a substitute for the expected family contribution and may not exceed the total cost of attendance, minus any other aid. PLUS Loans are not need-based. Parent borrower eligibility is based on a good credit record. If a PLUS Loan is denied, contact the FASO regarding other options.

For complete information regarding Direct Loan Programs, including eligibility, grade-level limits, policies regarding interest rates and processing fees, the application process, disbursements, and repayment, consult the FASO web site at

Federal Perkins Loans

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) fixed rate loan for low income undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time. Unlike the Stafford loan, there are no processing fees. CSU, Chico is your lender.

The loan is made with government funds, and CSU, Chico contributes a share. Borrowers who are now repaying their loans provide most of the Perkins loan money available. Funds are limited. Pre-loan counseling and a Federal Perkins promissory note are required for your first disbursement. For complete information regarding Federal Perkins loans, including repayment options, consult the FASO Web site at

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans are available if you need a small amount for a short period of time. The maximum loan is $500 and must be repaid within 90 days or with your next financial aid disbursement, whichever comes first. There is a $5.00 service charge per loan. No interest is charged if the loan is repaid on time. You may receive only one short-term loan per semester. The short-term loan application must be done online, and is available at

Loan Forgiveness Programs

Graduates of CSU, Chico may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs, under which a part of your student debt may be forgiven for participation in designated professions.

The Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE)

APLE is a state-funded competitive teacher incentive program administered by the California Student Aid Commission. Detailed information is available at

State Nursing Assumption Program of Loans for Education (SNAPLE)

SNAPLE may assist nursing students who become nursing instructors at a California college. Detailed infromation is available at

Federal Loan Forgiveness for Teachers and Childcare Providers

Partial loan forgiveness for Stafford loans is available for designated teachers and childcare providers. Information may be obtained at

Perkins Loan Forgiveness

Perkins loan recipients may take advantage of a number of provisions for loan forgiveness for employment in certain fields, including law enforcement, teaching in low-income schools, nursing, VISTA or Peace Corps volunteer service, or U.S. Armed Forces serving in hostile areas. Complete details are provided on the Perkins Master Promissory Note and through CSU, Chico Student Financial Services at


AmeriCorps awards may be used to repay student loans. More information is available at and


Federal Work-Study is available to undergraduates and graduates. You are not guaranteed a job if you are awarded work-study, but most students who want to work are able to find employment. Position openings are listed in the Student Employment Office. Jobs are primarily located on campus, and pay ranges from $7.00 to $15.25 an hour.


CSU, Chico provides scholarship awards to eligible students based on any or all of the following criteria: (1) scholastic achievement; (2) financial need; (3) participation in school/college activities; (4) community service; (5) honors and organizational affiliations; (6) educational goals.

The annual application period begins October 1 each year. Apply early in order to meet all requirements. New students should not wait to be admitted to apply.

The scholarship application for CSU, Chico is only available online. We do not distribute paper applications. Apply online at

All requirements are fully explained in the "How to Apply" section of the application. Also refer to the Web site for applicable deadlines.

President’s Scholars Program

The President’s Scholars Program was launched in September 1995 by the University as a commitment to academic excellence.

Each year, ten scholarships of $12,000 each ($3,000 per year for four years) are awarded to freshmen with superior academic accomplishment in high school who enter the University in the fall semester. In addition to the $12,000 scholarships, a substantial number of $1,000 scholarships are also awarded. Scholarship recipients are determined annually by results of competitive examinations taken at the CSU, Chico campus in February each year. Student involvement in leadership, community, and co-curricular activities, along with a personal statement, will also be considered.

Athletic Scholarships

CSU, Chico is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Athletic conference, and offers athletic grants-in-aid to selected athletic recruits.

The grants-in-aid are subject to the financial limitations and rules imposed by the NCAA and the CCAA. Financial aid, scholarships, specific outside resources, and employment are considered in determining compliance with these limitations. Contact Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports at 530-898-6470 for more information, and view their Web site at

Private Scholarships

There are excellent private scholarship opportunities available to students and their families. These awards do not need to be repaid and are funded from a variety of sources including community organizations, local and national foundations, state and federal government agencies, and private donors. Information about private scholarships is free and may be found in the reference section of public libraries, in high school and college career centers, and in college financial aid offices. Students are also encouraged to utilize Web sites such as,, and for a personalized scholarship search.

To avoid being a victim of a private scholarship scam, students and their families should keep in mind the following tips:

  1. If you must pay money to get money, it might be a scam.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Spend time, not money.
  4. Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about a scholarship.
  5. Nobody can guarantee that you’ll win a scholarship.
  6. Legitimate scholarship foundations do not charge a fee.
  7. If you are suspicious of an offer, it is usually with good reason.

General Financial Aid Policies

General Eligibility

To receive federal and/or state financial aid from CSU, Chico, you must: (1) be a citizen, national, or a permanent resident of the United States, or a permanent resident of the Northern Marianas or Palau, or a permanent resident of the Freely Associated States; (2) have a social security number; (3) have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent; (4) be accepted for enrollment or eligible to continue enrollment in a program leading to a degree, credential, or certificate at CSU, Chico; (5) maintain satisfactory academic progress; (6) be in good standing on previous student loans; and (7) not owe refunds on any previous loans or grants.

Students must reapply for aid each year for the following academic year.

Use of Illegal Substances

Students who are convicted of illegally using a controlled substance (drugs or alcohol) are subject to loss of their financial aid and expulsion from college.

Selective Service Registration

Men at least eighteen, born after December 31, 1959, not yet twenty-six years of age, not currently on active duty with the Armed Forces, and not permanent residents of the Trust Territories or Northern Marianas, are required by federal law to register with the Selective Service in order to receive financial aid.

Cancellation of Registration or Withdrawal from the University and Financial aid

If you find it necessary to cancel your registration or to withdraw from all classes after enrolling for any academic term, you are required to follow the University’s official withdrawal procedures. Failure to follow formal University procedures may result in an obligation to pay fees as well as the assignment of failing grades in all courses and the need to apply for readmission before being permitted to enroll in another academic term. Information on canceling registration and withdrawal procedures is available from the Director of Advising, California State University, Chico, Chico, California 95929, 530-898-5712.

Financial aid recipients who withdraw or reduce units may be required to repay all or a portion of the aid received. Students who drop to less than half-time units may lose all financial aid.

Details on refund requirements for students who completely withdraw during a semester are available on the Financial Aid Web site at

Satisfactory Progress

Federal regulations require CSU, Chico to establish, publish, and apply satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards for student financial aid recipients. CSU, Chico measures SAP in the following three areas: (1) completion rate; (2) cumulative grade point average (GPA); and (3) maximum time frame.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office ensures that all students who receive financial aid meet these standards. SAP standards apply for all financial assistance programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Direct Stafford Loans, State University Grant, Cal Grants, and institutional aid.

You are generally expected to register for and complete a full-time unit load and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Financial aid is usually restricted to undergraduates with fewer than 180 units attempted and 168 units completed, and graduates with fewer than 60 units completed. For complete information on SAP policies, including completion rate standards, cumulative GPA, maximum units, probation/denial policies and the appeal process, visit the FASO Web site at

Individual Help

Please call, write, e-mail, or visit the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office if you have any questions.

Meriam Library 161
Office Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday

Customer Service representatives are available by phone and at our window to provide information and assist with scheduling appointments.