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Financial Aid

Financial Aid FAQ's for Study Abroad

If you currently receive financial aid, you will be able to apply financial aid to most study abroad experiences (except CSULB faculty-led courses in summer and winter). Also, all students are eligible for either need-based subsidized or unsubsidized non-need-based federal direct loans. A list of alternative student loans is available in the CSULB Office of Financial Aid (BH-123).
  • What Type of financial aid is available?
  • What Steps are needed to qualify for financial aid?
  • What type of aid can be applied towards study abroad expenses?
  • How does the financial aid process work for study abroad?
  • Is there any aid available for deposits?
  • When will funds be disbursed?
  • How will funds be disbursed?

What type of Financial Aid is available?

  • Federal Aid 
    • Grants - Pell, SEOG
    • Loans - Stafford, PLUS
  • State Aid
    • Grants - CalGrant A, CalGrant B, Middle Class Scholarship, Chafee Grant, State University Grant (SUG)
  • Scholarships
    • ASI-CSULB Study Abroad, Career Development Center, Departmental, Boren, Gilman, Fulbright
  • Private Loans
    • Lenders are researched and selected by students

What steps are needed to qualify for financial aid?

  • Submit your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application
  • Federal Aid and State Aid
    • Be enrolled in an eligible program and pursuing a degree objective from CSULB
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
    • Adhere to all study abroad and financial aid documentation requests and deadlines
    • Submit your GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission
  • Scholarships
  • Private Loans
    • Research, select, and contact lender regarding borrowing an academic loan
    • Follow up with lender to confirm they have submitted certification to CSULB Office of Financial Aid

What type of aid can be applied towards study abroad expenses?

  • Direct Exchange Programs/Faculty Led Semester Programs (but not faculty-led summer and winter programs)
    • All federal and majority of private financial aid award including grants, scholarships, and loans that you receive for the normal semester/school year are applicable towards study abroad. Student's are encouraged to apply for outside study abroad scholarships as well.
  • Independent Programs
    • Most federal and private aid are available, though not everything applies in this situation (i.e., CalGrant A, SUG). You will need to check with the Education Abroad Office for more information.

How does the financial aid process work for study abroad?

Aside from the recommended filling out of the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, students will need to submit a completed "Study Abroad Financial Aid Form" to the Financial Aid Office. Be aware that this form must be signed by a study abroad advisor. 

Is there any aid available for deposits?

Typically deposits are due much further in advance and most financial aid won't be disbursed in time, therefore do not count on your aid to cover your deposit.

When and how will funds be disbursed?

In order to have your financial aid released (or disbursed for payment of university – related charges), there are a few steps you need to take:

  • Accept Your Aid
  • Complete your To Do List on MyCSULB (if you have one)
  • Direct Loan borrowers – complete the required loan steps
  • Enroll in classes


All funds are released to Student Financial Services – and applied toward any outstanding university-related charges (including any installment plans). The primary (or first) possible date funds can be released (grants, loans, and CSULB scholarship aid) is 10 days prior to the first day of classes at the foreign institution – each semester.

Study Abroad programs with a start date later than CSULB aid is released on your program start date.

Further information regarding release of funds can be found on the CSULB Financial Aid webpage.