Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Credential Programs

Credential students are considered undergraduates for financial aid purposes, must be enrolled in 12 units per semester to be considered full-time, and are subject to undergraduate-level loan limits.

When completing the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA), credential students must provide the following answers:

  • When you begin the 2024-25 school year, what will be your grade level? Answer: Other undergraduate (junior year and beyond)
  • When you begin the 2024-25 school year, will you already have your first bachelor's degree? Answer: Yes
  • Will you be pursuing an initial teaching certification at the elementary or secondary level? Answer: Yes

Conditionally classified qualifying credential students can receive aid for one consecutive 12-month period only. Conditionally classified qualifying credential students are considered undergraduates for financial aid purposes, and may be eligible for senior-level Federal Direct Loans or California Dream Loans. Students must be enrolled in 12 units to be considered full-time. Conditionally classified qualifying credential students are not eligible for Pell Grant, State University Grant, or Federal Work Study. Please notify our office when you are admitted into a credential program, so that we may review your aid eligibility. See Qualifying Credential under Postbaccalaureate Eligibility & Enrollment Requirements.

If you are dually enrolled as a credential and masters student, you are considered a graduate student for financial aid purposes. 

Information for Credential Students

  • You may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, State University Grant (SUG), and Federal Work-Study funding. You may also qualify for Federal Direct Loans or California Dream Loans.
  • Credential students are only eligible to receive aid for coursework that is required by the State to receive a teaching credential, for the program in which they are enrolled. Cost of Attendance and enrollment status will be based on enrollment in required courses only. Courses not required by the State may not be included, even if they are in related subject areas.
  • If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units of coursework required by the State of California to receive a teaching credential. The Federal Pell Grant is not available for prerequisite courses, courses that are suggested as beneficial, or elective courses. Students who choose to take coursework outside of their credential program plan and are enrolled in less than 12 units of Federal Pell eligible coursework, may be required to repay Federal Pell Grant that they previously received. Federal Pell Grant is available only for your initial credential. If you currently hold a credential and have been awarded a Federal Pell Grant for the academic year, please contact our office immediately. Repayment will be required for any student who receives a Federal Pell Grant and currently holds a credential. Please see School of Education Credential Programs for a list of required coursework for each credential program.
  • State University Grant (SUG) is available only for your initial credential.
    Credential students may receive SUG for their initial credential, up to a total earned units equivalent to 100% of unit requirements as published in the university catalog.
  • Your eligibility for Federal Direct Loans is the same as for seniors.
  • The Federal TEACH Grant is actually a grant/loan combination that requires a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS), as the grant will convert to unsubsidized loan in the future if contracted teaching obligations are not met. If this happens, interest accrual will be effective as of the date of the first TEACH disbursement. The Federal TEACH Grant is available for credential/graduate students who meet specific criteria. 
  • Loan cancellation and deferment options are available for selected teaching areas, specialties, and years of service.
    • Federal Teach for America: AmeriCorps recruits committed recent college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. The program offers loan forbearance and paid interest on federal student loans for two years in exchange for teaching service pre-K through 12 in 46 urban and rural regions across the country. Most corps members are eligible to receive an education award of at least $5,300 per year after successfully completing each year of teaching. You can use the education award toward repayment of qualified student loans.
  • Future math and science teachers: To get information regarding scholarships for future math and science teachings, visit the Center for Mathematics and Science Education website.

Disbursement Timeline

The Federal TEACH grant is not included in financial aid offers but can be offered retroactively to eligible students during the award year. All other aid for which you are eligible, will be disbursed the Thursday prior to the beginning of each semester or approximately one week after all of your financial aid holds are cleared and all of your financial aid To Do list items are received and completed.

If you do not have enough aid to cover fees because of the disbursement date of your Pell Grant, please contact our office and we will waive your late fee.

Students are not eligible to receive funding if beginning Fall semester with 60+ postbaccalaureate units. If you have completed 60 postbaccalaureate units before the Fall semester, a maximum unit hold will be placed on your financial aid. If you are in the process of finishing your degree or credential, complete and submit a Maximum Unit Appeal as soon as possible.