Getting Started: Steps to Financial Aid
Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid
Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically each year at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The priority FAFSA filing date is March 2 and applicants applying by this deadline will receive priority consideration for funds with limited allocations. If you prefer to have a paper version of the FAFSA, you may obtain it from the Federal Student Aid Information Center at the toll-free number (800) 4.FED.AID (800-433- 3243).
When completing the income tax information on the FAFSA, if you and/or your parents will, but have not yet, filed your Federal Income Tax Returns, please mark "I will file but have not yet completed my return." You should then estimate your income information in order to complete the FAFSA by the March 2 priority deadline. Later, once you and/or your parents have filed your return, you should return to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov and click on "Make FAFSA Corrections," and then click on Making Corrections to a Processed FAFSA." Once logged into your FAFSA, navigate to the income section where you can use IRS Data Retrieval (IDR) tool to link to the IRS database and load your official tax return data into your FAFSA. If you are selected for the Verification process, as described in Step 2 below, you will be required to use IDR or you will be required to provide us with an Official Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS via https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do or by calling 1 (800) 908-9946.
The federal processor will conduct a social security match to verify the applicant's citizenship status, a selective service registration check (for males only), and a National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) match to verify outstanding student loans and/or federal grants from prior years. They will also calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the applicant's income and household size. The EFC represents the amount the government believes that, based on a federally determined Needs Analysis formula, the family should be able to afford toward the applicant's cost of education for the year. The cost of education is determined by the university, and includes a standardized budget for living expenses, transportation to and from school, tuition, books, and personal miscellaneous expenses.
The federal processor electronically transmits the applicant's EFC and application data, called a Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR), to each school the applicant listed on their FAFSA (an applicant may edit their processed FAFSA to add or delete schools). The California State University, Bakersfield 's (CSUB) Title IV School Code is 007993.
A Tentative Offer of Financial Aid may be made to a student when:
- The school uploads their ISIR data into their computer system;
- The applicant is admitted to the University (and a graduate or credential program if they are a post-baccalaureate student);
- their ISIR is not selected for the "Verification" process (as discussed in the next step),
- they are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standard; and
- they do not have any citizenship or other C-flags (as discussed in the next step)
Step 2: Submit Required Documents
Some financial aid applicants are selected by the federal government for "Verification." This means that the school is REQUIRED to verify the applicant's ISIR data as being true and accurate. The school does this by requesting verification documents from the applicant such as; Official IRS Tax Transcripts, verification worksheets, W-2 forms, etc. Students selected for "Verification" must submit all required documents for review before CSUB will make a tentative Offer of Financial Aid. CSUB financial aid forms may be downloaded at from the Forms link on this website or requested by calling our office at (661) 654-3016.
Students selected for Verification who meet the following circumstances will be required to obtain an Official Tax Return Transcript:
- Tax filers from Puerto Rico;
- Students and/or parents who filed an Amended Federal Income Tax Return;
- Students who completed their income tax return as single, but are now married (student and spouse's IRS Tax Return Transcripts required); and
- Foreign tax filers.
If the federal government has a concern regarding the your National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) record, or was unable to verify citizenship and/or selective service registration based upon your name, date of birth and SSN, then the federal processor flags the ISIR by placing a letter "C" (for "caution") next to the EFC. This means that the school is REQUIRED to verify your NSLDS eligibility, citizenship and/or selective service registration. The school may do this by requesting verification documents from you, such as: Birth Certificate, permanent resident "Green" card, Social Security Card, Selective Service Registration Card, etc., and/or require that you make corrects to your FAFSA or with the appropriate government agency.
Once you submit all of the necessary documents, which must be scanned into CSUB's imaging system, and your financial aid file is complete, your file is forwarded to a Financial Aid counselor for review. Because of our applicant volume, any documents submitted after July 15th will likely delay the disbursement of your aid for the fall quarter
Step 3: Application Review
For those applicants selected for the verification process, once their citizenship and/or other C-flag issues have been cleared:
- the counselor will verify that the applicant's ISIR application data matches the verification documentation they submitted.
- If the applicant's verification data does not match their application data, the counselor may request additional documentation and/or make the necessary corrections to the application ISIR data and recalculated their EFC. These changes are electronically transmitted to the federal processor, who will update your official FAFSA and transmit it back to the schools.
- Once the applicant's official ISIR data matches their verification documentation, the counselor will certify the file, which means the applicant is ready to be awarded aid through our automated packaging process. A notification that an Offer of Financial Aid has been made will be e-mailed to applicants. This offer may be viewed online via your myCSUB Student Self-Service link. The offer lists the applicant's budget and tentative offer of aid. If the offer includes federal student loans or work-study, the applicant must accept or decline these funds. If the applicant accepts these funds, there are additional requirements that must be completed before these funds can be disbursed (refer to the Types of Aid link on our web page for more information).
Step 4: Disbursement & Credit Balance Refunding
Once Steps 1 through 3 are completed, and the student is registered in the appropriate number of units, their financial aid for the quarter is ready to be disbursed into the their university account (which will occur no sooner than 10 days prior to the beginning of the term).
Once the aid is disbursed into the applicant's university account, it will be credited toward any outstanding tuition fees or charges (please be aware that federal regulations prohibit us from automatically deducting prior year balances from current year aid. Thus, prior year balances must be paid by the student in cash, credit, or check). If there is any remaining credit balance, a refund check will be issued to the applicant via direct deposit into the applicant's checking or savings account. To complete a Direct Deposit Authorization, the students should log into their myCSUB account, click on Enroll in Direct Deposit, and complete the online form as soon as possible. If you have questions concerning this Authorization, or how to opt out, please contact Student Financial Services at (661) 654-3225.
Note: Upon admission to the University, applicants may view their financial aid award, holds, messages, etc., on-line via the Student Self-Service at: MyCSUB