Frequently Asked Questions: Financial Aid

FAQ Pod

Please be sure to provide your Name and Sac State ID# when contacting the Financial Aid Office.

Applying for Aid
How do I apply for financial aid?

The first step in the process of applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the applicable academic year. Be sure that you are completing the FAFSA for the semesters in which you are applying for aid. A new FAFSA is required for each academic year you apply for aid. You can complete the application at www.fafsa.gov

What is your school code?

001150

Documentation Submission
Q: How do I submit financial aid documents?

Note: Please include your name and student ID on each page of all documents.

1. ONLINE: Upload documents securely using your My Sac State. You can find the link to upload documents under the Financial Aid Links section.
Tip: Compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge web browsers. This is the best and fastest option for the office to receive your documents.

2. IN-PERSON: Use the document drop-box located outside the Student Service Center, Lassen Hall 1000 near the main entrance.

3. POSTAL-MAIL:
Attention: Financial Aid and Scholarships
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6044

4. FAX: Direct Line, 916-278-6082

Current Processing Timelines

Allow five (5) business days for the status of your document to show as “received” in your Student Center > To-Do List.

Once received, allow four (4) weeks for processing upon receipt of ALL requested documents.

All financial aid forms can be found on the Financial Aid Office website, www.csus.edu/faid, select Forms & Processes and Financial Aid.

Q: How do I check if my verification documents have been received?

The status of your financial aid documents can be checked at any time within your Student Center To-Do list. You can expand the list by selecting the “more” link. Within the To-Do list, you can view additional information such as the department requesting items, the documents requested, and a description of each, as well as the status of each item.

Any item marked “Initiated” is being requested from you. Once you submit documents they will be updated within five (5) business days to say “Received” which means that it is with our office and waiting to be processed.

For the Financial Aid office to move forward with your file, all documents/items requested by the Financial Aid Office must be in a “Received” status. After all the items say “Received”, you should allow 4-6 weeks for processing.

I am having issues with the CCE information request form, how do I submit?

If you encounter issues with submitting the form from your ToDo list, please be sure you are using another browser other than Internet Explorer such as Firefox or Chrome.

To add classes to the form for the Fall and Spring semesters you will need to be sure to fill in all 5 sections marked with an asterisk on the form: 

  • Semester – click in the box to access the drop-down box to select the semester
  • Course ID
  • Number of units
  • Start Date
  • End Date

Once all 5 sections are completed you will be able to click the Add button to add each class for the Fall and Spring semester. If you are unsure of your classes, please contact your program coordinator at CCE for assistance. If you are not enrolling in a program through the CCE please contact the Admissions Office to verify the program you listed when applying to Sacramento State. There is a separate application required for Summer and will be available to complete on your Student Center in mid-April.

Accepting Financial Aid Awards and Receiving Award Notification
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

File your Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act Application and apply for admission to your degree program.

Q: How do I access my financial aid offer?

If your financial aid application has been processed by our office then your offers will be posted on your Student Center > Accept/Decline Award link for the academic year.

Use the “View Financial Aid” link to see the breakdown of your awards per semester.

Note: New students are typically awarded in June. Continuing students are typically awarded after spring grade review, in July.

Q: There are no financial aid offers on my Student Center. What do I do?

Most likely, you have outstanding tasks to complete. Check your Student Center > To-Do List and Holds. Details and instructions will be listed in those areas.

Note: New students are typically awarded in June. Continuing students are typically awarded after spring grade review, in July.

Q: I submitted the CCE information request form but I have changed the classes that I will enroll. How do I notify the Financial Aid Office of this change?

Financial aid is offered based on the CCE information request form submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Any time you make a change to your enrollment from the previously submitted CCE information request form, you will need to notify the Financial Aid Office in one of two ways: 

 Enrollment is reviewed again at Census for the semester and if enrollment differs then what your financial aid is based on, an adjustment would be done at that time. Usually around mid-October. 

Revised award notifications for change in units are processed within 2 weeks once the Financial Aid Office is notified either through a revised CCE information request form, updated units on your Student Center or after Census for the semester. 

Financial Aid Holds

You can review more information about holds by clicking the “details” link under the Holds section. This information will display which department placed the hold and if there is any action required from you. Financial aid holds are semester specific and do not prevent registration in classes. 

Disbursement and Refund
Q: When will I receive my financial aid disbursement?

Students enrolled in programs through the College of Continuing Education (CCE) have financial aid disbursed based on when they begin attending certain enrollment for each type of financial aid (grants vs loans). Since classes begin at different times throughout the semester rather than all at the beginning of the semester, each student’s disbursement is dependent on when they reach the required minimum units. Students are eligible for a disbursement of their Direct loan once they are enrolled and in attendance of at least ½ time (6 units) for the semester. Grants will disburse once enrolled and attending ALL classes or at least twelve (12) units for the semester. At the time you reach the minimum attendance for the semester, your financial aid will disburse to your account; there is nothing you need to do.

How do disbursement and refunds work?

Disbursement is the process by which the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office authorizes payment of aid.  Not all aid programs may be available for full disbursement at one time, and as a result, you may receive multiple disbursements of aid. 

After the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office disburses your aid, the Bursar’s Office then begins the application of your aid to any debt and if applicable, the refund process. Refund is the process of any remaining funds after the Bursar’s Office has applied your disbursed aid to your university debt. If you have remaining financial funds after the debt has been satisfied for the semester, the Bursar’s Office will process the remaining funds as a refund.

You are encouraged to sign-up for eRefund which is the process to deposit your refund directly in your own bank account.  It is the fastest method of receiving funds. You can view more information about eRefund on the Bursar’s Office website: 
https://www.csus.edu/apply/enrollment-costs-fees/refunds/erefund.html. Erefund takes 2-3 business days from the date of disbursement and paper check 5-7 business days. Check your My Sac State Student Center for updates. 

Q: How does financial aid work in Summer Session?

The following conditions apply for summer aid:

  • Must be a current student (new students starting Fall 2020 are not eligible)
  • Must have a 2019-20 Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) completed
  • Must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • Must be enrolled in at least six (6) units for undergraduate or four (4) units for graduate

HOW TO APPLY: Access the application from your Student Center to the bottom right > under the Financial Aid links > Summer Application link.

Note: A revised application must be submitted ANYTIME there are changes to your class schedule. The processing of the application can take up to four (4) weeks.

The Financial Aid & Scholarships department must first determine students are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) after the end of the Spring semester. This occurs after final grades and end of term processes are complete. To get an idea of what financial aid you may qualify for, you can always view your Student Aid Report by logging in to studentaid.gov.

Find answers to your financial aid questions by visiting Financial Aid TV.