Grants are free money that you do not have to repay as long as you meet all requirements. Most grants are awarded based on financial aid need. For some grants, a minimum grade point average is also required.
How to Apply
Complete the FAFSA the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Complete the FAFSA to be automatically considered for most grant programs.
By completing the FAFSA, you are considered for most federal and state grants automatically.
Apply early because some grant programs have a limited amount of funds available.
All California residents should apply for the Cal Grant programs. The deadline for new applicants to complete the FAFSA and a GPA Verification Form is March 2.
SDSU automatically verifies the GPA for some enrolled SDSU students who have a 2013-14 FAFSA on file with SDSU. Each applicant must still complete the 2014-15 FAFSA by the March 2 deadline.
Grants Available at SDSU
The following information describes each federal or state grant program available to SDSU students.
|Federal Grants||California Resident Programs|
• Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)
State Grant Agencies
If you are not a California resident you will not be considered for California grant programs. However, you may be able to receive assistance from your state grant agency.
Pell Grant is a federally funded grant program available to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree. In some cases, students enrolled in at least 6 units of a teaching credential program may be eligible.
The amount you receive—
- is based on the information you report on your FAFSA, and
- is based on the number of units for which you enroll each semester.
You may receive Pell Grant funds from only one school at a time and the amount you receive cannot exceed your maximum eligibility for the academic year or for summer session enrollment.
You are limited to receiving a lifetime maximum of 12 full-time equivalent semesters of Pell Grant. The U. S. Department of Education will track your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) and notify you if you have reached, or are close to reaching, the 12-semester limit.
The U. S. Department of Education provides information and examples of how they calculate the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters and how you can monitor the semesters you've used.
Pell Grant to attend summer session may be either remaining eligibility from the current year or an advance of your eligibility from the upcoming year. If an advance, you will have less Pell Grant eligibility available for the fall and spring semesters.
State University Grant (SUG)
State University Grant is available to California residents who are enrolled at least half time at SDSU and pay California State University basic tuition fees as an undergraduate, graduate, or teaching credential student.
There is a limited amount of funding each year and all awards are conditional based on the availability of funds from the State. Funds may be delayed or reduced depending on action of the Governor or the California State Legislature.
Complete your FAFSA and all requested documentation as soon after January 1 as possible. All applicants will be considered automatically but not all eligible students will receive SUG due to limited funds.
The amount you receive—
- is reduced if you pay the basic tuition fee for 6 units or less, and
- is canceled if you do not enroll at least half time (6 units for undergraduate and teaching credential; 5 units for graduate), and
- is conditional based on the availability of funds from the State, and
- is subject to change based on information received from SDSU's Enrollment Services regarding your student standing (i.e., transfer units, units completed, previous degree completed, etc.) could reduce or cancel an award, and
- is based on the financial information you report on your FAFSA, and
- cannot exceed the cost of basic tuition and fees when combined with other financial assistance designated to pay basic tuition and fees, such as—
- Cal Grant fee assistance, vocational rehabilitation, fee waiver, etc.
NEW - Limited eligibility
A new California State University (CSU) policy limits how long you can receive SUG for your degree or credential program. Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year (includes summer term 2013), the following are the unit limits to receive SUG.
- An undergraduate California resident may receive SUG up until completing 150 total units (most undergraduate degrees require only 120 units).
- A graduate California resident may receive SUG up until completing 125% of the minimum units required for the graduate degree program. For example, in a graduate program requiring 30 units, a student could receive SUG until 38 total units have been completed. Unit eligibility will be adjusted for programs that require more than 30 units.
- A credential program California resident may receive SUG up until completing the number of units required for the credential program (usually 30 total units).
- Students pursuing a second bachelor's degree, second credential, or second master's degree are not eligible for SUG. The CSU will fund only the first degree.
Note: The limit cannot be increased by appeal. The maximum number of units is based on those required for graduation and cannot include excess units for a double major, certificate programs you complete while also enrolled in your degree program or units you completed that don't apply to your degree.
Conditional: A State University Grant is subject to change based on information received from SDSU's Enrollment Services after your initial award. Any units earned (including transfer) or previous degrees completed, could result in a reduced or canceled award.
Cal Grants A and B
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) selects undergraduate California residents for the Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B programs. The SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must verify the financial information you provided on your FAFSA and determine if you are eligible.
Cal Grant A provides funds for a portion of your basic tuition and fees.
Cal Grant B provides grants to assist with living expenses. The amount is reduced if you are not enrolled full time. During your second year of receiving Cal Grant B, you also may be able to receive additional assistance for a portion of your basic tuition and fees.
First-Time Cal Grant Applicants
March 2nd Deadline
First time Cal Grant applicants must submit a GPA Verification Form and FAFSA before March 2nd.
Submit your FAFSA online by March 2.
By March 2, also submit your GPA Verification Form (the same form is used to verify your GPA for Cal Grant and for the Middle Class Scholarship).
- If you are not currently enrolled at SDSU, have your current high school or college verify your GPA.
- If you are currently enrolled at SDSU but did not earn 24 college units by the end of the fall semester, have your high school or previous college verify your GPA.
- If you are enrolled at SDSU and have earned a minimum of 24 college units at the end of the fall semester, SDSU will automatically verify your GPA for CSAC, IF you have—
- a valid Social Security number on your record with the Office of the Registrar, and
- have a 2013-14 or 2014-15 FAFSA on file with SDSU.
Once you are a Cal Grant recipient, it is renewable each year and you may receive it up to 8 semesters, whereas the availability of State University Grant changes each year. Therefore, we encourage you to apply for Cal Grant.
Note: Your Cal Grant award cannot exceed the cost of basic tuition and fees when combined with other financial assistance designated to pay basic tuition and fees, such as—
- State University Grant, vocational rehabilitation, fee waiver, some veteran’s tuition and fee benefits, etc.
Renewing Your Cal Grant
Complete your FAFSA each year and maintain good academic standing with the university.
A GPA Verification form is not required to renew your Cal Grant.
Extending Your Cal Grant for a Teaching Credential
If you were awarded Cal Grant A or B as an undergraduate, you may be eligible to renew your Cal Grant for up to one additional year while enrolled in a teaching credential program.
Submit your FAFSA online and submit a G-44 Request for Cal Grant Teaching Credential Benefits form to CSAC.
Note: forms in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view and print. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader free from the Adobe Web site.
WebGrants for Students
WebGrants for Students is CSAC’s secure Web site where you can monitor the processing of your Cal Grant application and award information. Through WebGrants you can—
- Confirm that CSAC received your application
- Check your award status and award history
- Change your address and other demographic information with CSAC
- Submit a school change online to list SDSU if the university is not listed with CSAC as your first choice
Availability of Funds
If Cal Grant is part of your financial aid award, disbursement of the funds may be delayed until the university receives funds from the State Controller's Office through the California Student Aid Commission. Funds may be delayed or reduced depending on action of the Governor and the California State Legislature.
Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)
New beginning in 2014-15, you may qualify for the Middle Class Scholarship if you are an undergraduate California resident who attends a California State University and has a family income up to $150,000.
New for 2014-15
The MCS requires a GPA Verification Form just like Cal Grant.
You will be considered for both programs by submitting a GPA Verification Form and FAFSA before March 2nd.
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) selects undergraduate California residents for this program. The SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must verify the financial information you provided on your FAFSA and determine if you are eligible.
By March 2, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a GPA Verification Form.
If you have, or will have, AB 540 status, you may also qualify and should complete a California Dream Application and GPA Verification Form.
The Middle Class Scholarship is being phased in over four years with the amount increasing each year. Each year’s amount will be based on the number of students that are eligible and the amount of funding allocated by the State Budget.
- For example, for 2014-15, the maximum amount is estimated to be $383 each semester minus other publicly funded, need based financial aid you receive.
- Publicly funded, need-based financial aid may include all federal and state grants, such as Pell Grant and Cal Grant.
Availability of Funds
For 2014-15, awards will begin late summer. If eligible, we will notify you by email and through your AidLink account.
If the MCS is part of your financial aid award, disbursement of the funds may be delayed until the university receives funds from the State Controller's Office through the California Student Aid Commission. Funds may be delayed or reduced depending on action of the Governor and the California State Legislature.
Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)
You will be considered automatically if you—
- are admitted to the university through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP);
- are a California resident;
- enroll full time.
There is a limited amount of funding each year. Not all eligible students, admitted through the EOP, will receive EOPG. Complete your FAFSA and all requested documentation as soon after January 1 as possible.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You will be considered automatically if you—
- are an undergraduate student;
- are eligible for and receiving Pell Grant;
- have exceptional financial aid need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships using information you provide on your FAFSA.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
TEACH Grant is a federal program awarded to students who commit to teaching specific high-need subjects at qualifying elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families.
Before being awarded or receiving the funds, you are required to complete a TEACH Grant online counseling session and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS).
To receive the TEACH Grant at SDSU, you must—
- be enrolled in the College of Education Single Subject Credential program to teach mathematics or science
- science includes biology, chemistry, geological sciences and physics;
- have a cumulative 3.25 GPA prior to each disbursement;
- complete TEACH Grant counseling online each year you receive an award;
- sign a service agreement each year you receive an award.
Agreement to Serve
You must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) each year you receive a TEACH Grant.
In signing the ATS you are agreeing to fulfill a specific teaching obligation within a particular period of time. By signing, you also indicate that you understand if you fail to fulfill the program conditions, the grant funds you received will convert permanently to an unsubsidized Direct Loan with accrued and capitalized interest. The accrued interest will be calculated from the date the grant funds were first disbursed to you, or disbursed toward the payment of your university charges.
Once the grant converts to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
To prevent the TEACH Grant from converting to an unsubsidized loan that you must pay back with accrued and capitalized interest, you must—
- teach full time in a high-need field in an elementary or secondary school serving low-income students; and
- teach in a qualifying school for at least 4 academic years within 8 calendar years after completing your program of study in which you received your TEACH Grant.
If you do not complete the required teaching obligation, your grant converts to an unsubsidized Direct Loan, with interest charged and capitalized from the date you first received the grant. The result can be a significant loan burden that you must repay.
Note: Qualifying schools serving low-income students are listed in the U. S. Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
Prevent Your Grant From Converting to a Loan
To prevent your grant from converting to an unsubsidized Direct Loan, you must frequently and regularly communicate in writing and provide documentation to the U. S. Department of Education that you are either—
- still enrolled in a teacher education program that will prepare you to fulfill your teaching obligation; or
- you are not yet employed as a full-time teacher, but you still intend to meet the terms and conditions of your teaching service obligation; or
- you are employed as a full-time teacher in accordance with the terms and conditions of your teaching service obligation and will document it at the end of each of the four required academic years of your teaching.
If you temporarily cease enrollment in an eligible program or are temporarily unable to begin or continue teaching a high-need subject at an eligible school, you must contact the U. S. Department of Education to assess your options and provide whatever documentation is needed to prevent your grant from permanently converting to an unsubsidized Direct Loan.
Once your grant converts to a loan, for whatever reason, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
- Up to $4,000 per year if attending full time (reduced if attending less than full time)
- $3,712 is the maximum amount for awards between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, due to the 2014 federal sequester.
The TEACH Grant, along with all other types of financial aid and resources you receive, cannot exceed the cost of attendance.
BIA – Bureau of Indian Affairs Grants
BIA grants are available to students who are at least one-quarter American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut, as certified by the BIA and/or tribal group serviced by the BIA.
Each agency establishes its own deadlines and eligibility requirements.
To obtain a BIA grant application, contact the specific office that services the tribe where you or your parents are registered. For a list of area offices, visit the Bureau of Indian Education Web site.
Undergraduate Students contact—
Sacramento Education Line Office
Phone: (916) 978-6000
Graduate Students contact—
The American Indian Graduate Center in Albuquerque, NM
Phone: (505) 881-4584 or (800) 628-1920