AWARD GUIDE 2015-16 (pdf)
financial aid award,
How will I be notified of my financial aid award?
There is no paper award letter. Look for an e-mail notifying you to view your award online, using the Chico State Portal login to access your individualized Student Center. The e-mail will be sent to your Wildcat Mail account. You have the option to forward your Wildcat Mail account to another e-mail address, but we recommend you use the Wildcat Mail account for all Chico State communication.
- View and accept, reduce, or decline your financial aid award.
- View your University and financial aid Holds.
- Check your "To Do List" to see what financial aid documents are needed from you and what requirements you must meet.
- You must accept your financial aid award via your Student Center. Some items (not loans) may automatically be accepted for you after we confirm the final award amount.
- You must submit all requested documents to us. (Some files do not require additional information and will have no requests.)
- We review all requested documents, ask for additional information as needed, and make required corrections to your award.
Review of documents takes place after we receive the last document needed from you. Your financial aid will be disbursed within one week after your financial aid Holds are cleared, your financial aid "To Do List" items are completed, and you have enrolled in the appropriate number of units. You will not receive notice of a scheduled disbursement date in advance. If your file is complete, the first possible disbursal date is the Thursday before classes begin each semester. First financial aid refunds will be disbursed by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT - students can complete an EFT Authorization by going to their Portal, in the Finances section of the Student Center and click the "enroll in direct deposit" link) or by mail to students who have met all processing requirements and who have a credit balance after total charges are paid:
Fall 2015: First disbursement date is August 20
Spring 2016: First disbursement date is January 21
How will I know when the review is complete?
The items on your "To Do List" will disappear once our final review is complete.
How will I receive my financial aid disbursement?
Financial aid refunds will be disbursed to students once a week, each Thursday, throughout the semester by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT- students can complete an EFT Authorization by going to their Portal, in the Finances section of the Student Center and click the "enroll in direct deposit" link) or mail, for students who have a remaining balance after total charges for the semester are paid. We recommend setting up EFT. Direct deposit is a secure and efficient way to receive funds. If you choose to receive your disbursement by mail, make sure you have correct address information on file. Students may use their Student Center to update their contact information.
How will I know if I have to pay fees?
Access your Student Center and scroll down to the Finances section to view your account and verify your financial aid. Click "Account Inquiry" which will display your pending financial aid on your student account summary. Any financial aid or other payments greater than your total charges will be refunded to you. If your total charges are more than your pending financial aid, you must pay the difference (Total Due) by the Registration & Tuition Fee Payment Deadline. Payment is due by:
July 29, 2015 for Fall Semester 2015
December 10, 2015 for Spring Semester 2016
What if I can't complete my financial aid file and clear my holds in time to receive a disbursement before the semester begins?
If you are not receiving a disbursement at the beginning of the semester, you need to confirm through your Student Center that you have sufficient pending financial aid to pay fees in the future. If not, you must pay the difference by the registration fee payment deadline. Students who fail to pay fees or do not have sufficient financial aid to pay fees will be assessed a $25 late fee, will not be able to add classes during registration add/drop period, and may have classes dropped for non-payments. Keep in mind that if your file is not complete by the fee payment deadline, your estimated financial aid offer may change as a result of verification. If your financial aid package changes, you are responsible for paying the difference as soon as possible.
What if I take fewer than full-time units?
Your financial aid offer will be based on full-time enrollment, even if you indicated on your FAFSA that you plan to enroll in fewer units. Financial aid funds will be disbursed based on your actual enrollment. Your award may be reduced if you are enrolled in fewer than full-time units. At University Census, the fourth Friday of each semester, your financial aid award will be updated to reflect the actual amount of aid you are eligible to receive for the semester. If we receive your financial aid application after the fourth week of the semester, your "disbursement" will be based on actual number of units enrolled.