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Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid? 

Students apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid- or FAFSA. The priority deadline to complete the FAFSA is March 2. However, you can apply at anytime during the year. Applications can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. Our federal school code is 001134.

Where does my FAFSA go once I submit it?

Your FAFSA information is shared with the colleges and/or career schools you list on the application. The financial aid office uses your information to determine how much federal, state, and campus aid you may receive.

Do I have to file my FAFSA every year?

Yes, in order to be considered for any finanical aid  (including loans) you must file every year.


How do I apply for the Cal Grant?

Your FAFSA information is transmitted to the California Student Aid Commission – the state agency that is responsible for determining initial eligibility for the Cal Grant. Entering students should also complete a GPA Verification Form which can be found on the Commission's website HERE. The deadline to submit your GPA Verification Form is also March 2.

I got selected for a process called "Verification". Did I do something wrong?

No – you didn't do anything wrong! The Department of Education determines who is selected for verification. In this process, Cal Maritime will compare the information you provided on your FAFSA to information submitted to the IRS and/or other forms. If selected, you will need to submit verification documents to the Financial Aid Office. The most common requests are income verification forms, tax transcripts, and household size verification forms. For more information about this process, click HERE.

How do I get to my "To Do" list to find out what I need to submit for Verification? 

Click HERE for an easy to follow guide on how to navigate to your "to do" list found in Self Services in your Student Potal.

Is there a deadline for me to submit the Verification documents?

The priority deadline to submit your Verification documents and to "complete" your financial aid file for 2018-19 is May 1, 20187. We cannot provide you with an offer of aid until you have submitted any and all Verification documents to the Financial Aid Office.  The sooner you complete your file, the sooner we can provide you with an offer of aid!

What is the Expected Family Contribution?   

The Expected Family Contribution - or EFC - is the amount of money the U.S. Department of Education determines you can reasonably contribute towards your education for the year. It is the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid and comes from the information you provided on the FAFSA and on the verification documents.  

My family has had a change in our financial situation that isn't reflected on the FAFSA. Is there anything I can do?

If you or your family has unusual circumstances (such as loss of employment, loss of benefits, death, or divorce), let us know! If your family‘s circumstances have changed from the tax year 2016, we may be able to take that into consideration when determining eligibility for aid. You may be asked to document the changes, but we can help you along the way.  

When will I receive an Award Letter?

If you have been selected for verification, we will notify you of your financial aid awards when you have submitted all requested verification documents and we've had a chance to review them. If you have not been selected for verification, as a new student you should get an award letter shortly after we receive your FAFSA in late February. We will send award notifications to Continuing students in March. 

How will I receive my Award Letter?

You will receive an email notification telling you to go online to your Self Service in PeopleSoft (student portal) to view and accept or decline your awards. You can print out your award summary for your records.

How do I accept Financial Aid?

Grants will be automatically accepted for you. If you want to accept the loans offered, you can do so through Self Service in PeopleSoft (student portal).  Parents wishing to borrow the PLUS loan should complete the PLUS Loan Request Form found under the Forms section of our website. They will need to fax or mail the request to the Financial Aid Office. We do not accept forms by email.

How much does it cost to attend Cal Maritime?  

The Cost Of Attendance (COA) is used to estimate the costs to attend Cal Maritime for the academic year. The COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation costs.
The only "direct billed" costs (items that the University will charge you for directly) are tuition and fees, food and housing (if living on campus) and the uniform. Other expenses, such as books and supplies, travel and miscellaneous expenses, and food and housing for off-campus students are estimates and your actual costs may be higher or lower. This can be useful in budgeting your monthly/term/yearly costs. The  COA for 2017-189 can be found HERE.

How do I know how much I owe?

Based on your enrollment in classes you will be assessed charges July 14 and the bill will be due August 8. To view your bill please visit your Student Self Service Portal under "Account Activity" to view all charges and fees. To view your "Balance Due" and  "Pending Financial Aid" click on "Account Inquiry."


Will Financial Aid pay for my uniform?

Your Financial Aid does include a uniform allowance in your Cost of Attendance and provides funding to help cover those additional costs. However, we cannot release funds to you no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of fall term. Many students  pay for their uniforms out of pocket and get reimbursed later with their financial aid refund. In some rare circumstances the Bookstore and Financial Aid can work with you if you do not have funds available upfront to pay for your uniforms. It is contingent on the eligible aid available and having enough of a refund to cover the balance owed. 

How does my Financial Aid pay my bill?  

Students are charged tuition and fees and room and board (if living on campus). Your financial aid disbursement will credit your account and apply towards any charges you have incurred for the term. If you have more charges than financial aid, you will need to pay the difference. If you have more aid than charges, you will get a refund.  

When will the refund come?

Refunds that are mailed will take 5-7 days depending on the mail delivery service. Students that have Direct Deposit set up with the Accounting Office takes 2-3 days. You can sign up for Direct Deposit using Self Service through PeopleSoft (student portal).Students will not receieve refunds until the start of the term.

How does my parent get a refund from their PLUS Loan?

If your parent wants the refund sent to them based on their PLUS Loan they must submit the Parent PLUS Loan Disbursement Authorization form along with the Parent PLUS Loan Application request to the Financial Aid Office. These forms must be submitted together.  Please note refunds will be issued based on the order of payments received. For example: if the PLUS loan is received last resulting in a refund, the refund will be issued to the parent. If a student payment is received subsequent to the PLUS causing a refund, the student will received the refund.

Do my parents have to apply for a PLUS Loan every year?

Yes, the PLUS loan is based on your parent's current credit score therefore they must apply every year. Please make sure to start this process well before the Fall payment is due in early August. It usually takes a minimum of seven business days to complete the credit check and Promissory Note needed to secure the loan.

Where can I apply for scholarships?

Please visit our scholarship webpage for scholarship resources at https://www.csum.edu/web/financial-aid/scholarships.
Can I get aid for summer?
Yes, but only for courses taken at Cal Maritime through our "state supported" term. Student Loans, Pell Grants and State University Grants based on eligibility are available for Cal Maritime coursework and Cruise. 

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