Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Steps to Financial Aid at CSU, Chico

  1. Financial Aid and Scholarship Checklist and 10 Tips Brochure

    Check out these resources including some great tips and a checklist to help you track your financial aid.

  2. Apply for Financial Aid

    File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). We encourage 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.

    Undocumented students who meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540 should file a CADAA (California Dream Act application). Eligible students will be considered for state administered financial aid, such as State University Grant, Cal Grant, and a loan. 

  3. Financial Aid Offer Letter

    Financial aid offer letters are sent to FAFSA and CADAA applicants in late March for the upcoming year. Monitor your Wildcat email for notifications regarding your financial aid offer letter. Your offer may include a combination of various aid types, including grants, scholarships, federal work study, and loans. We will offer you the aid you are eligible for according to the information you provide on your FAFSA or CADAA, grade level, and availability of funds.

  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 or CADAA, 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. 

  5. Accepting or Declining Your Aid

    After you receive your financial aid offer by email, access the financial aid section of your Student Center to accept or decline your aid. Accepted aid will be applied towards your fee balance and you will not be responsible for paying that portion out-of-pocket. Unaccepted aid may be cancelled after 45 days and will not be applied towards your fees or disbursed to you.

  6. Receiving Your Money: How Financial Aid Is Disbursed

    Your initial financial aid offer is an estimate based on an assumption that you will be enrolled full-time. The amount of funds disbursed to you may be reduced if you are not enrolled full-time. The quickest way to receive your money is via e-Refund (direct deposit). Sign up for e-Refund in your Student Center. 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 bank account.