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CSUF Committed to Reducing Financial Barriers

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Between tuition, housing, books, groceries and car expenses, most students are adept at getting by on a tight budget. However, if the unexpected happens, it could lead to delays in graduating on time or even dropping out of college.

Cal State Fullerton President Sylvia Alva says one of the university’s top priorities is making sure that students who want to earn a college degree can succeed.

“We are committed to reducing financial barriers and providing supportive resources so our students can successfully thrive and complete their goal of a college degree,” said Alva. “We know the culmination of expenses like tuition, books, transportation, fees and housing adds up for our students. With a 6% tuition increase starting in fall 2024, we are increasing our efforts to reach out to students to let them know help is available.”

Multiple resources are available across campus designed to help students overcome financial uncertainty, whether through grants or funding for tuition or a food pantry well-stocked with items to create healthy meals. Students can choose professional attire for job interviews or access one-time housing and transportation vouchers. Emergency funds may also be available on a case-by-case basis.

But many students don’t realize that they may be eligible for grants, financial assistance, scholarships and more. Some programs may cover all their tuition expenses while other students may see their tuition expenses reduced.

In fact, 80% of the fall 2024 tuition increase for CSU students will be covered by an increase in financial aid.

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

If students need financial assistance with tuition and other costs related to college attendance, there is a wide range of services and programs that can help. There are also regularly scheduled workshops and classes offered through the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid YouTube Channel

Find information on eligibility requirements for financial aid and how to apply, visit the CSUF Office of Financial Aid YouTube channel.

State University Grants

The State University Grant program provides need-based awards to eligible undergraduate and graduate/post-baccalaureate students who are California residents or otherwise determined as eligible. It is funded by the State of California and administered by the CSU. The grant is designed to pay either part-time or full-time state tuition fees based on units of enrollment.

Cal Grants

Funded by the State of California and administered by the California Student Aid Commission, a Cal Grant is money for college that students don’t have to pay back. To qualify, students must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or California Dream Act Application and meet the eligibility and financial requirement as well as any minimum GPA requirements.

FAFSA general eligibility requirements include that students have financial need, are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, and are enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at their college or career school. There are more eligibility requirements students must meet to qualify for federal student aid.

Students are encouraged to apply for or continue to apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or California Dream Act Application for the 2024-25 application year.

Middle Class Scholarship 2.0

The Middle Class Scholarship is a California Student Aid Commission administered state program for undergraduates and students pursuing a teaching credential. The 2021-22 state budget introduced significant changes to the MCS program starting in the 2022-23 academic year. The new MCS program is referred to as MCS 2.0.

Associated Students Inc. Scholarships

Scholarships awarded by CSUF’s Associated Students Inc. are not restricted to any specific major or field of study. Since ASI is a nonprofit service organization, emphasis is placed on campus and community involvement. Each scholarship has specific criteria, so please read each description for complete information. If you have any questions, call 657-278-3295 or email:

Student Scholarship Center

CSUF plans to launch a new Scholarship Center in spring 2024 that will assist students in identifying scholarships in a central location.

Where Can I Find More About Financial Assistance?

If you have additional questions, visit the Office of Financial Aid website regularly for the most up-to-date information or check out the “Ask Questions” site, the new student electronic ticketing system.

Basic Needs Services and ASI Food Pantry

Sometimes students have difficulty stretching a budget to cover basic needs such as food, housing, transportation, or unexpected expenses. CSUF offers basic needs services and a food pantry to assist students who are experiencing these kinds of problems.

Basic Needs Services offers food and hygiene products to students in need. The center also provides funds for temporary housing, food, car maintenance on a case-by-case basis and offers “gently used” professional attire for job interviews, internships and other career development-related needs.

ASI’s Food Pantry, “The Pantry,” recently relocated to a larger space in the Titan Student Union and offers milk, bread, snacks, and fresh fruit and vegetables (grown at CSUF’s own Fullerton Arboretum and Campus Garden).

For more information, visit the Basic Needs Services website.

The iFullerton Mobile App also provides access to the Titan Bites app where notifications are posted regarding the availability of food from various events.

The Center for Equitable Digital Access

The Division of Information Technology, in partnership with Pollak Library, provides devices and access to technology and offers the necessary training for all students through the Center for Equitable Digital Access.

Among the semester-long equipment that CEDA offers to students are:

  • Laptops
  • iPads
  • MiFis for internet connectivity (monthly checkout)
  • Software
  • Access to free test preparation materials (Peterson’s: GMAT, LSAT, GRE, MCAT and more)
  • Student HelpDesk provides daily (48-hour) equipment checkouts to students
    • Professional headshots
    • Technology training
    • Partnership with Excess Telecommunications for access to free tablet hotspots via the Accessible Connectivity Program (ACP) for eligible students (Pell recipients, households with food-stamp recipients, etc.)

CEDA also offers Eduroam internet connectivity that provides campuswide connectivity (even in parking structures). Students may also have connectivity at other educational institutions that have Eduroam.

For more information, visit the Center for Equitable Digital Access website.

Work on Campus

Student employment can significantly alleviate the financial barriers that many students face while pursuing their education. Student employment offers valuable work experience, enabling students to develop skills that can benefit them in their future careers.