1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • The FAFSA is the primary financial aid application used nationwide and must be completed in order for a student to be considered for most types of financial aid. The FAFSA must be completed each year, and can be submitted online.
  • Obtain a U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) if you do not already have one. The PIN application is for students and parents of dependent students who want to apply for a Federal Student Aid. A PIN is needed to provide your electronic signature when completing the FAFSA online.

  • Complete your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov using the CSU Channel Islands Federal School Code 039803.

2. Submit the FAFSA between January 1 and March 2.

  • The priority filing deadline is March 2nd of the application year. Students who file during this time period and who demonstrate the highest need will be given priority consideration for financial aid funding.
  • Those students who submit their applications after March 2 will still be eligible for financial aid but awards will be based on the remaining funds available. Income figures may be estimated if necessary to meet deadlines; you do not have to wait until a tax return is filed.
  • California residents applying for a Cal Grant must submit a GPA Verification Form as well as the FAFSA by the March 2 deadline. GPA Verification Forms are available from the student's high school, college, or online at the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website. PleaseNote: Some high schools and colleges will verify your GPA electronically for you. Current Cal Grant recipients do not have to submit a GPA verification form to be considered for award renewal.

3. Make any necessary corrections to your FAFSA.

  • Once you have filed your FAFSA, your information will be processed by Federal Student Aid, and a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated – typically within one week of your online FAFSA having been submitted. The SAR is a summary of the information you entered on the FAFSA.

  • If you provide a valid e-mail address on your FAFSA, you’ll receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access an online copy of your SAR online. If you did not provide an email you will be sent a paper copy of your SAR in the mail. Be sure to review the SAR for any errors or special comments that require follow up.

  • You can make any necessary corrections online via the FAFSA website. If no corrections are needed, keep a printed copy of your SAR for reference.

4. Submit additional documents requested by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.

  • Colleges are required by the U.S. Department of Education to have procedures for verifying the reported information. Verification is the process by which a college checks the information reported on the FAFSA, by requesting tax information and other documentation as necessary.
  • Approximately two (2) weeks after processing your application, the appropriate agency (U.S. Department of Education or California Student Aid Commission) will electronically transmit the information to CSU Channel Islands. Our office will review the data to determine if any additional documents (i.e., tax return transcripts or other eligibility documentation) are needed. This review is undertaken to ensure the accuracy of the information reported. This does not affect all students, or may be required of a student one year and not the next.

  • Regularly check your “To Do List” on the right side of your myCI Student Center for items requested to complete your financial aid application. An email will also be sent to students who have incomplete or pending items on their “To Do List” so you must be sure to check your email regularly. DO NOT send information or documents that are not requested.

  • Once all requested documents are submitted to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, the application review process will be completed. This can take 4- 8 weeks depending on the volume of applications.

  • Your application status may change and/or additional documents may be requested. Check your myCI “To Do List” often for notifications.

If additional documents are requested, you may submit them:

In person to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (Enrollment Center, Sage Hall, Room 1020).

By mail to:
CSU, Channel Islands
Attn: Financial Aid Office
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012

5. Award Notification

  • When your evaluation process is completed a notification message of your award will be sent to you via email (paper award notices will not be mailed). It is important that you read this email carefully.

  • If you have been awarded and accepted a Federal Stafford Loan and are a first time borrower at CSU Channel Islands, you must go to the www.studentloans.gov to complete a Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling.

  • Parent PLUS loans cannot be accepted by the student on their online portal. The student and their parent must complete a Parent PLUS Loan Form available on our website and submit it to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.

6. Disbursement of Financial Aid Funds

  • Disbursement of funds is processed on a weekly basis, starting the first week of the semester.
  • Disbursement of funds may be held for several reasons such as, admission status, not enrolled in sufficient number of units, academic progress holds, missing information, etc.

  • Financial aid is automatically applied toward any outstanding fees owed to the university when disbursed.

  • Any remaining credit balance will be disbursed to students in the form of a paper check to the mailing address on file.