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Division of Student Affairs

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Current Students

As you continue to invest in your future with Sacramento State, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office also continues in help eliminate financial barriers that may stand in your way.  We are committed to our mission, to provide timely and accurate information.  

This page is designed to help you understand the financial aid process and important information as continuing student. 

1. Apply for Aid
You must re-apply every year to be considered for student aid.  We encourage you to apply for FAFSA or Dream Act by March 2.   If you are a FAFSA applicant, you should file by February 21 if you have not been previously awarded a Cal Grant.  Sac State will electronically send your GPA Verification to CSAC if you have completed 24 units at Sacramento State.
2. Submit Your Documents
We will post items that require action from you on your My Sac State Student Center, make sure you check it often.  Processing time is generally about six to eight weeks.  Submitting your documents by June 1 ensures awards before the start of the fall semester.

3. Determining Your Aid Eligibility
The calculation used to determine your financial aid eligibility depends on your (Estimated) Cost of Attendance (COA), your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and any other financial assistance you may receive for your educational expenses (including scholarships, tuition fee waivers, etc.).  Your awards, including student and/or parent loans, will never be more than the COA.

4. Award Notification
Keep your Saclink email current.  Starting in June, you will receive an award notification via your Saclink email directing you to your Student Center to accept/decline your awards.  Remember that must meet SAP requirements first before you are offered awards, and that certain awards may have additional requirements after you have accepted them.  Monitor your Student Center regularly. 

5. Financial Aid Holds
Financial aid holds will be listed on the Hold section of your Student Center.  Some aid programs require additional steps be taken before a disbursement is authorized.  Read your hold message for additional information and take action if necessary.  Financial aid holds are semester specific and do not prevent you from registering.

6. Disbursement of Aid
Disbursements begin one week before the start of the semester will disburse twice a week through Census and continue weekly thereafter.  Disbursements begin no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of instruction for each semester and will first be applied to outstanding university charges.  If funds remain, they will be paid to you for other educational expenses. 


Sac State students are assigned an (estimated) Cost of Attendance (COA) that provides a projection of reasonable costs to attend Sac State for a nine month school period.  The COA generally incorporates two types of costs associated with going to college: direct costs and indirect costs.

  • Direct costs are the kinds of costs you can expect to pay directly to the University, such as tuition and fees and housing if living on-campus.
  • Indirect costs include living expenses such as housing (off-campus or with parent), food, transportation, and books.  Your individual circumstances (costs), discretionary expenses, or spending styles may not be the same as the COA.


2016-2017 Academic Year

Allowance          With Parents        On-Campus  Off-Campus        
Food & Housing $4,968 $12,492
Transportation $1,108 $838 $1,242
Miscellaneous Personal $1,458 $1,458 $1,458
TOTAL $16,226 $24,904 $23,884
Tuition Fees $6,900 $6,900 $6,900
Food & Housing $13,916
Books & Supplies $1,792 $1,792 $1,792

The CSU makes every effort to keep student costs to a minimum. Tuition fees listed in posted schedules or student accounts may need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, the CSU must reserve the right, even after initial tuition fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed tuition fees, without notice, until the date when instruction for a particular semester has begun. All CSU listed tuition fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change upon approval by The Board of Trustees.

Note: The cost associated with all items that are italicized will depend on choices you make.

  • Tuition Fees are set by the University. In some cases, they may vary based on your academic program and the number of credit hours you take each term. Tuition and fees can change and the actual costs will be finalized once the state budget is approved.
  • Food & Housing costs are determined by the housing choice you make.  If you live and eat your meals on campus, the college bills you for these expenses. The charges vary depending on the room and meal plan you choose. If you plan to live at home or off-campus, the expense is then an estimate these expenses.
  • Books & Supplies costs are associated with your course and study materials. You can sometimes choose to buy new or used textbooks, or even rent textbooks.
  • Transportation costs will vary depending on how you choose to get to and from campus. Whether you live on campus or commute from home, there are costs associated with how you get to and from your college—by bus, train, plane, car, bike or whatever your mode of travel.
  • Misc. Personal expenses you should consider and estimate laundry costs, cell phone service, cable television, disability and medical related costs.

Non-resident students add $372 per unit for non-resident enrollment fees. Budget figures are for estimating purposes only and subject to change without notice.  

For additional estimated Cost of Attendance for other degree programs click here.

Among the many policy and program changes affecting student aid, there are a few that you must be aware of as it affects your continued aid eligibility.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress
When accepting financial aid, you acknowledge that you must maintain SAP according to the standards established by Sacramento State.  If you do not meet these standards, you will be disqualified from receiving aid, unless you eligible to file an appeal and the appeal is approved.  SAP is reviewed on a term (semester) basis for probation students who were conditionally approved by appeal and annually after Spring grades post for all other students.

Disbursement Policy
Financial Aid holds prevent financial aid disbursements. The first financial aid disbursement of each semester occurs around the first week of classes. Weekly disbursements continue throughout the year as students complete their financial aid files and clear holds.

Withdrawal Policy
Withdrawing from the University may have an effect on your financial aid eligibility. You should review the University dates & deadlines regarding refunds and processes.  The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulation to calculate a Return of Title IV funds for all students who withdrew.  Meaning, it will determine how much (if any), of aid programs you may need to repay.

Repeat Coursework
Although you may need to repeat a class for various reasons, you should be aware that not all repeated coursework is eligible for federal aid. We will notify you during early registration and before the term starts if you are registered in a repeated class that does not qualify for federal aid.  You must take action in possibly changing or dropping repeated classes before to avoid possible repayment of aid.


We review, process and award predominately on deadlines.  Not submitting your forms or documents early or before the posted deadline can have consequences to your aid eligibility.  While we have our dates and deadlines posted on our website, you should keep the following processing timeline in mind:

  • January 1: Complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application on the web for the upcoming academic year.
  • March 2: Priority filing deadline to submit the FAFSA or Dream Act application.
  • February to March: Filing period for the Institutional Scholarships Application.
  • Mid-March: Begin notifying upcoming aid applicants of required documents, Holds and/or To Do list items.  Processing time is generally 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Early April: Begin sending Award Notifications to new applicants.
  • June 1: Priority document processing deadline to receive a timely fall disbursement.
  • Mid-June: Annual review of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for all aid applicants.
  • Late-June: Begin sending Award Notifications to continuing students who PASSED the annual SAP review.
  • September: Fall semester starts and disbursements begin for the semester.

As you register for classes, your Student Center will update with a balance due for tuition fees and the due date.   Tuition fees are considered a planned expense and you should always be prepared to pay them in case of unexpected file processing or disbursement delays.

We may be able to assist you with these costs if you act early!  We offer aid applicants fee deferments.  A fee deferment extends your tuition payment due date from the advertised date to a specified date listed in your fee deferment message. This means you would not need to make payment on your tuition fees until your fee deferment expires or is removed.   A fee deferment is applied one semester at a time.

Fall semester fee deferment requirements:

  • FAFSA or a Dream Act application has been received by our office
  • All financial aid To Do List documents must be submitted by June 1
  • Continuing students MUST Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements

Spring semester fee deferment requirements:

  • If you have been awarded a fall fee deferment, and awarded aid for the spring semester, you will receive a spring fee deferment
  • If you are on SAP Probation student from the fall semester, then you must probation standards.  If you do not pass probation standards, then your spring fee deferment will be removed
  • If Spring is the first semester of enrollment, you must be awarded aid for Spring

Fee deferments can be located in the Holds section of your Student Center. If you do not have a fee deferment or if your financial aid has not disbursed by the time the fee deferment expires, you are responsible for payment of tuition fees.  You should pay your tuition fees in full or make payment arrangements through the University's Installment Payment Plan program.

There are no fee deferments for winter or summer intersessions.

We have a list of resources available to help connect you with other departments, other federal and state agencies and a handy list of checklists to guide you through our many processes.



Get Connected

Lassen Hall Lobby
6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6044
Phone: (916) 278-6554
Fax: (916) 278-6082

Drop-In Counseling Hours
Monday - Friday 9-11:30 am & 1 - 3pm

Scholarship Contact
Phone: (916) 278-6179