FAFSA School Code: 001146

Money Matters

Fall 2018

New college students have a lot to learn about life on their own. They face many simultaneous challenges, learning independent living as they adjust to new lifestyles and campus patterns of living and learning. Many college freshmen – indeed, some transfer students as well – will deal with day-to-day costs they never before had to handle themselves.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at CSU, Chico projects the average undergraduate student’s costs for the 2018-2019 academic year to approximate a total of $25,064 for an undergraduate living on-campus and $24,474 for an undergraduate living off-campus.. This estimated cost of attendance for the 9-month academic year breaks down as follows:

On-Campus Off-Campus Living with relatives
Enrollment Fees $7,618* $7,618* $7,618*
Books/Supplies $1,918 $1,918 $1,918
Room/Board $12,980 $12,390 $5,418
Transportation $1,068 $1,068 $1,068
Personal Expenses $1,480 $1,480 $1,480
Total $25,064 $24,474 $17,502

*non-resident tuition is an additional $396 per unit.

The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum.  Fees listed in published schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate.  Therefore, 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.

Note: The budget listed above reflects the estimated amount of undergraduate fee/tuition based on full-time attendance during 2018-19. Other costs listed are averaged and will vary by student.

What a Parent Can Do

The majority of freshmen have had minimal experience dealing with money. Some students have a problem managing their money wisely and can end up spending more money than they have and borrow foolishly. We highly recommend that students utilize CashCourse, an online tool to help build budgeting and money management skills.

Before Your Student Leaves for College: Help Build Money Management Skills

  1. Teach your student how to plan and maintain a budget.
  2. If your student is getting a checking account for the first time, show them how to balance their checkbook and record their transactions to prevent bouncing checks.
  3. Explain the need to build a good credit history by paying bills on time and avoiding debt.
  4. Teach your student to plan ahead and save for emergency needs.
  5. Help your student to ask questions and learn to do things for themselves.

Credit Is Important: Teach about Credit Cards–Being away from home for the first time, a student may not realize how small purchases can add up. Because of this, some students go into debt. We encourage you to talk to your student about credit cards and the long lasting effects of credit card debt.

Many students have misconceptions about credit cards. When credit cards are used wisely, they can be beneficial, especially in emergencies. But many college students don’t realize the added costs of interest if the bills are not paid monthly. To reduce the likelihood of an unmanageable credit card debt for Chico students, the University does not allow credit card companies to solicit students on campus. However, mail and online solicitation is rampant, so help your student understand credit terms.

Living Away from Home: Cash Stress– Managing money can be a major source of stress for students. It’s hard to suddenly live on a set budget if you've never done so. The more informed students are, the less likely they are to overspend. Help set guidelines. If you are providing them with financial help, we recommend providing assistance one month at a time. If financial aid and earnings will be the major source of their living expenses, help them learn to plan ahead for the entire semester.

Common-sense Information about Avoiding Debt

  1. Avoid use of credit cards.
  2. Learn to live within a budget.
  3. Talk to a financial aid advisor before you take out a private loan.

File a FAFSA

All students, regardless of family income, are encouraged to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply between October 1 and March 2 to be considered for all available funds. California residents with incomes of up to $165,000 and assets up to $165,000 may be eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship. Even students who don't qualify for need-based aid, are usually eligible for federal loans that have student-friendly terms and low interest rates. Chico State participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans, called Stafford Loans. These loans are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education, with the loan proceeds delivered through CSU, Chico. CSU, Chico. Federally backed loans to parents, called PLUS Loans, are also administered through CSU, Chico. These loans are usually a better alternative to private lending.

Financial Aid and Payment of University Charges:

Payment for Fall 2018 is due by August 1, 2018. Financial aid recipients are required to pay the difference between all University charges (including tuition fees and on-campus housing and meal plan) and pending financial aid.  Fees due and financial aid awards are posted to the Student's Center Account under Finances/Account Inquiry.

If pending financial aid for the semester is sufficient to cover the fees and charges, the balance due will automatically be deducted from your financial aid disbursement.  All remaining aid, after charges and fees are deducted, will be disbursed to the student. The university's preferred method for disbursing funds is via electronic transfer, known as EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) which will directly deposit any remaining funds into your checking account. Students enroll in EFT through their Student Center by clicking on the "Enroll in Direct Deposit" under the Finances section. 

Financial aid and scholarships are disbursed on Thursdays throughout each semester.  If the student’s file is complete and there are no items remaining on the  “To Do List,” the first possible disbursement for the fall term is the week of August 23, 2018.

Disbursement is contingent on the student’s financial aid file status and enrollment.


Parents may wish to contact us directly if their student has submitted an Authorization to Release Information to our office. This allows our personnel to speak directly to a parent about their student's financial aid file, and assures compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Financial aid advisors are available by appointment (phone or in–person) to help with general financial aid inquiries, questions about loans, special problems, technical questions, appeals, and budgeting. Students may call our office at 530-898-6451 to set up an appointment. Customer service representatives are available by phone and at our walk-up windows for financial aid questions, to accept forms and documents, and to schedule appointments.

We hope that your student will love Chico State and will have an academically successful and rewarding school year. Congratulations for bringing them this far!

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