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Apply for Grants & Loans

The first and most important step to applying for Financial Aid is to complete a FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A FAFSA must be filed every year for the following academic year. Federal Student Aid comes in the form of federal grants and loans.

CSUSM's Title IV Code is 030113
The FAFSA is also the basis for many state grants and need-based scholarships awarded to CSUSM students.

The information you provide on the FAFSA determines your EFC, "Expected Family Contribution". The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.

  • Federal loans and grants may pay all or a portion of your cost of attendance.
  • A grant is FREE money you do not have to pay back!
  • Federal loans are offered to students who qualify for grants and those who don't. A credit check is not required, interest rates are low and payments are not due until after a student graduates or stops attending the University. So Think "Federal Aid First"!  

To guarantee you receive Federal Financial Aid First, complete your FAFSA early. Those who file a FAFSA during the priority filing period, October 1 - March 2, receive priority consideration for federal grants and loans and are processed first by CSUSM. If you have not applied or been accepted to CSUSM, you still need to file your FAFSA during the priority period every year.