Seven Steps to Financial Aid

Step 1: Apply for FAFSA or CA Dream Act

  • Obtain a FSA ID and complete the FAFSA application (for US Citizens and Eligible non-citizens). 
  • Create a UserName & Password to e-sign the California Dream Act application (for undocumented students).
  • You must file for financial aid every year by the priority deadline of March 2.
  • If you are not sure which application to complete, see the Eligibility Requirements web page for more information.
  • Thumbnail of  Creating an FSA ID

Step 2: Read Student Aid Report

  • Once the FAFSA or a CA Dream Act is submitted, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from either FAFSA or from the California Student Aid Commission.
  • The SAR is sent to the email indicated in the application or to the home address provided on the application. 
  • Read the SAR carefully, as it may contain instructions to make corrections on your application. Perform corrections online and allow 2 weeks for the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to receive your updated data.

Step 3: Submit Documents to SJSU

  • Students will receive an Acknowledgment Letter in their MySJSU confirming receipt of their financial aid application starting at the end of February. The letter provides information on the financial aid awarding process and provides deadline dates. 

  • Students should contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office starting at the end of February if an Acknowledgment Letter is not received approximately two weeks after submitting a FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application. 
  • Students selected for verification will have items posted in their To Do List. Verification is a process where the Department of Education (DOE), CSAC, or SJSU selects applications for further review. Only students selected for verification are required to submit documents.

  • For students selected for verification, your award is based on the completion of your financial aid To Do List in a timely manner. Note that various departments will assign documents on your To Do List. To be considered for maximum funding ALL requested financial aid documents must be received by 4:30 p.m. on the priority deadline. We will accept and process verification documents after the priority deadline; however, you may not be considered for maximum funding.  

  • Upload documents in MySJSU using the link and instructions provided on your To Do list. If income tax information is required, you may now submit copies of tax returns (transcripts or 1040 forms) using the Upload link on your To Do List.

Step 4: Evaluation Process and Tuition Fee Deferral

  • The evaluation process for all financial aid applicants can take approximately 4-8 weeks. During this time, additional documents may be requested. Students should periodically check their MySJSU for notifications.
  • To qualify for a tuition fee deferral, students selected for verification must complete all requested financial aid documents priority deadline. Students not selected for verification will receive a tuition fee deferral if their financial aid application is completed.

  • Tuition fee deferral protects course enrollment and delays the payment of tuition fees. The tuition fee deferral is temporary and is removed the second week of the semester. Once the tuition fee deferral is removed, students are responsible to pay fees by the next due date, regardless of their financial aid status. 

  • The tuition fee deferral does not defer housing charges. Refer to Frequently Asked Questions or University Housing Services[BROKEN LINK] for payment requirements.

Step 5: Award Notification

  • Once the evaluation process is completed, students will receive an Award Notice in their MySJSU. To view the financial aid award, go to your MySJSU Student Center. Under the Finances section, click on "View Financial Aid" and select the corresponding aid year.
  • Financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment. Students enrolled in less than full-time units MUST complete the Student Information Update form. Failure to submit the Student Information Update form may delay disbursement of aid.   
  • Full-Time enrollment
    • 12 units - undergraduates, post-baccalaureate, and credential program
    • 8 units - graduate students

Step 6: Disbursement of Aid

  • Financial aid disbursement begins the first week of each semester, with weekly disbursements thereafter.
  • Disbursement may be held for several reasons, such as: admission status, less than full-time enrollment, academic progress holds, missing To Do List items, etc. For more information, see the Enrollment Requirements page.
  • Fees owed to San Jose State University, such as tuition fees, housing fees, book charges, etc. will be automatically deducted from the student's financial aid at time of disbursement.
  • Any credit balance will be refunded to student either by electronic refund (direct deposit) or by paper check. Students are encouraged to enroll in direct deposit . View How to enroll in direct deposit (eRefunds) [pdf]. The Bursar's Office provides information on payment and refunds.

Step 7: Do Your Part!

  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA as an undergraduate student, or a 3.0 as a graduate, post-baccalaureate or credential student, every semester.
  • Make sure to update your contact information (mailing address, email, phone number) in MySJSU.
  • Check your To Do List often.
  • Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office if you have any questions.
  • Remember to file for financial aid every academic year by the March 2 priority deadline.
  • Failure to complete all units may result in a hold for future aid.