Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Steps to Financial Aid at CSU, Chico

  1. Financial Aid and Scholarship Checklist (PDF)

    Bookmark or download this checklist to help you keep track of where you are in the financial aid process, from applying through receiving funds. Dream applicants can use the Checklist for Dream Students (PDF). You can also download 10 Financial Aid Tips (PDF).

  2. Apply for Financial Aid

    File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We encourage all students, regardless of income, to submit a FAFSA. Even students, who do not qualify for need-based aid (grants), are usually eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans that have student-friendly terms and low interest rates.

  3. Understanding Your Award: How Need Determines Your Financial Aid

    Several factors determine the amount and type of financial aid you are offered, including your financial need, timing of your application, your willingness to accept various types of aid, and availability of funds. The starting point for aid is always Expected Family Contribution and Financial Need. Financial aid is a product of the difference between a college’s Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution. Click above to learn more.

  4. Verification

    The U.S. Department of Education or the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office may select your application for verification at any time. Verification is the process by which a college checks the information reported on the FAFSA, by requesting tax information and other documentation as necessary. This does not affect all students and may be required of a student one year and not the next. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. Click above to learn more.

  5. Other Requests for Additional Documents

    We request verification and other documents as required by Federal Student Aid accountability processes. Check your “To Do List” on the right side of your Student Center for items requested to complete your financial aid file. A full explanation for all requests is available by clicking on "more" and then opening the link to each requested item. Please send us all items by June 1 or within 3 weeks of receiving our request. You must submit all requested items on your "To Do List" by June 1 in order to have your file complete before the first fall disbursement.

  6. Accepting or Declining Your Aid

    After you are notified by email that you have a CSU, Chico estimated award offer, you must access your Student Center financial aid account and accept or decline each financial aid award item. If you do not accept any aid, your student account will not show pending aid and you will be responsible for paying all your fees. Funds will not disburse unless aid is accepted. If aid is not accepted within 45 days of offer, your award may be canceled.

  7. Receiving Your Money: How Financial Aid Is Disbursed

    Your initial financial aid offer is an estimate based on full-time enrollment. The amount of funds disbursed to you may be adjusted based on actual number of enrolled units. The quickest way to receive your money is via electronic transfer, known as EFT (electronic fund transfer). Registration fees, housing charges, and other financial obligations you owe the University are deducted from your award, and any remaining amount is deposited directly into your checking account.