Student financial aid programs are intended to provide assistance to students who do not have the necessary financial resources to meet their educational costs. Most students qualify for some type of assistance. Only United States citizens and eligible noncitizens can receive federal financial aid. For resources that recognize academic achievement, refer to the section below titled scholarships.
Information about all state, federal, and institutional aid programs is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Questions about the financial aid application process and aid eligibility can be answered via the Student Financial Center. The link to the Virtual Front Desk can be found on the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships homepage. Information about the available programs as well as the academic standards that a student must maintain to remain eligible for such aid can be found on the Financial Aid & Scholarships website: http://www.sdsu.edu/financialaid.
Applying for Aid
Applicants who want to be considered for all types of state and federal financial aid should apply as soon after October 1 as possible by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For California Dream Act-eligible students, complete the California Dream Act application to be considered for state grants.
The FAFSA is all you need to begin the application process. You may apply by using FAFSA on the Web. For California Dream Act-eligible students, complete the California Dream Act application.
Information concerning the refund policy of San Diego State University for the return of unearned tuition and fees or other refundable portions of institutional charges is available via the Student Account Services website.
Information concerning San Diego State University policies regarding the return of unearned aid to the federal Title IV student assistance programs is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Contact the Student Financial Center for assistance.
my.SDSU / Financial Aid
The SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships uses my.SDSU as the main mode of communication with students. Through my.SDSU, students can access financial aid award information, activate loans, view requests for and submit documentation, and more. If students have additional questions about financial aid, counselors are available via the Student Financial Center.
San Diego State University awards scholarships to students to recognize and encourage individual talents, academic achievement, leadership skills, and the determination to succeed in spite of significant hardships. Scholarships are also awarded to support participation in SDSU approved study abroad and internship programs. Our application portal, “Aztec Scholarships,” allows students to apply for university scholarships via one application. All SDSU students in good standing, regardless of area of study, are encouraged to apply, including nonresidents and those who attend SDSU Global Campus and SDSU Imperial Valley. Undocumented students with AB540 status are also eligible. Students must enroll for the upcoming academic year in a degree, credential, or eligible certificate program to be considered.
The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships coordinates the SDSU scholarship application and awarding process with core committees from the various colleges, departments and organizations responsible for selecting recipients. Funding for our scholarships has been provided by generous donors to SDSU who believe in higher education and our students’ ability to achieve academic success.
To apply for scholarships, visit the Aztec Scholarship page linked from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website during the application cycle.
Other Scholarship Resources and Links
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website also lists resources and links to external scholarship and free scholarship search websites.
The Office of Academic Scholarships receives annual announcements of the Fulbright, Marshall, Kent, Rotary, and other national fellowship programs. Since each campus is limited in the number of applications it may endorse, students interested in fellowships of this type are encouraged to discuss their applications with their designated campus adviser and with members of the university faculty who have themselves held these fellowships. Since test scores from the Graduate Record Examinations General Test are required, students should take this examination well in advance of the deadline date for the submission of applications. The GRE may be scheduled through the Testing Services office located in Student Services West, Room 2549. The telephone number is 619-594-5216. Additional information is available online at http://studentaffairs.sdsu.edu/testofc.
Graduate Equity Fellowship Program
The Graduate Equity Fellowship program provides support for economically disadvantaged graduate students, especially from groups who are underrepresented within their respective disciplines. Only legal residents of California who can demonstrate significant financial need are eligible. Recipients must be classified or conditionally classified graduate students and must enroll for a minimum of six units of coursework each semester they hold the fellowship. Fellowships range from $500 to $2,000 for an academic year depending on demonstrated need. Students may receive awards for a maximum of two academic years but they must apply each year. Interested students should complete a Graduate Equity Fellowship application available at http://grad.sdsu.edu/funding/funding_opportunities and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
California Pre-Doctoral Program
The California Pre-Doctoral Scholarship Program targets students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages, and intend to apply to a doctoral program. The program supports upper division undergraduate students, and current (non-Ph.D.) graduate students. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at one of the University of California institutions. Students chosen for this award are designated Sally Casanova Scholars. Recipients receive direct guidance from CSU faculty members and receive funding for travel, development (broadly defined), and summer research experience (at any U.S. major research university). For more information, contact the College of Graduate Studies or visit https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/faculty-staff/predoc.
Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program
The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program targets current or incoming doctoral students who intend to eventually pursue CSU instructional faculty positions. Students who obtain a loan through this program may have a portion of it forgiven if they obtain a CSU faculty position. For more information, contact the College of Graduate Studies or visit https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/faculty-staff/predoc.
Fellowships Administered by Departments
Students may receive fellowships or traineeships through the various departments on campus. Federal, state, and private industry programs of this nature are largely directed to students pursuing graduate studies or to students preparing for a specialized occupation. Students who have decided on a particular area of study should check with an adviser in the department of their major to determine what fellowship support might be available to them.
Financial Support for Graduate Students
At San Diego State University, a variety of federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs designed to substantially reduce or eliminate economic barriers to the pursuit of graduate study are available to students admitted to advanced degree curricula. While federal and state aid programs are only available to United States citizens and eligible noncitizens, institutional aid programs and university scholarships address the unique financial needs of individual students across a broad range of economic and academic circumstances.
On-campus programs for advanced degree students at San Diego State University include appointments as graduate teaching associates, graduate assistants, research assistants, and student assistants as well as tuition and fee assistance, fellowships, scholarships, grants, and forgivable loans.
Eligibility requirements and award amounts often differ by discipline and experience, and some opportunities are available only to students admitted to doctoral programs. Nominations for almost all of these awards originate with the chair or director of the department or school of the degree program for master’s degree students or the coordinator of the doctoral program for students pursuing either the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree. The College of Graduate Studies administers most of these programs for the university. The graduate dean must approve most awards and appointments and determine whether the applicant is in good standing with the university. Continuing and prospective students interested in specific information about any of these on-campus programs are invited to write or visit the College of Graduate Studies at San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-8220. The phone number is 619-594-5213. The College of Graduate Studies is located in Student Services East, Room 1410. Information is also available at http://grad.sdsu.edu.
Tuition Assistance Program for Out-of-State and Foreign Students
In California, all students are required to pay a registration fee based on the number of units of enrollment. In addition to this fee, nonresidents of California, including international students, pay tuition that currently amounts to $396 per unit of enrollment.
For graduate students of superior scholastic achievement, the university may provide assistance by waiving all or part of the cost of out-of-state tuition. The number of students receiving tuition waivers is limited.
To be eligible for this program, an applicant must be a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States or a nonresident who is a citizen and resident of a foreign country. Assistance is provided on a semester-by-semester basis. Domestic non-residents are only eligible for one year. International students may qualify for a continuation beyond their first year.
For more information, new students should contact the chair or director of the department or school of the Master’s program to which they have been admitted. Students pursuing a Ph.D. should consult the program director. Departmental nominations should be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
Fee Assistance Program
For most students pursuing the Ph.D. degree, the university has some scholarship funds available to offset in whole or in part the cost of the state-mandated registration fees. Like the tuition assistance program, awardees must participate in the teaching program of the university. Information regarding this support is available from the directors of the doctoral programs.
National Fellowships for Graduate School
The San Diego State University Office of Academic Scholarships receives annual announcements of the Fulbright, Marshall, Kent, Rotary, and other national fellowship programs. Since each campus is limited in the number of applications it may endorse, students interested in fellowships of this type are encouraged to discuss their applications with designated campus adviser and with members of the university faculty who have themselves held these fellowships. Since test scores from the Graduate Record Examinations General Test are required, students should take this examination well in advance of the deadline date for the submission of applications. The GRE may be scheduled through the Testing Services office located in Student Services West, Room 2549. The telephone number is 619-594-5216. Additional information is available online at http://studentaffairs.sdsu.edu/testofc.