Financial Aid FAQs

Do I have to file a FAFSA?

Students who want to be considered for federal student loans, grants, or work-study must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA results are used to determine a student's eligibility for federal student aid.

When should I submit my FAFSA?

The priority date for submitting the FAFSA is March 15. There is no deadline for submitting the FAFSA. The SDSU school code is 003471. Whenever possible please use FAFSA's IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information.

What if the information on my FAFSA does not accurately demonstrate my family's true financial status?

Students with special circumstances should meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss their family's situation to determine if adjustments can be made. 

What happens if I am selected for verification?

One out of every three students who fills out the FAFSA is selected for verification. If you are selected, you will receive a verification letter asking you to complete the Verification Form and provide additional tax documentation. Returning these forms quickly will speed up the awarding process.

The amount of aid listed on my Award Letter is not enough to cover my educational costs. Is there any additional funding available?

The parent of a dependent student may borrow a Federal PLUS Loan to cover any costs not met by the aid awarded to the student. Students can also apply for alternative/private education loans, but a cosigner will usually be required.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loan?

The federal government pays the interest on Subsidized Direct Loans while the student is in school and during qualified deferments. Interest on Unsubsidized Direct Loans is not paid by the federal government at any time.  For the 2014-2015 school year, the Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a 4.66 percent fixed interest rate and a 1.073 percent origination fee.

What is a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling?

The Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling must be completed by new Federal Direct Loan borrowers prior to the disbursement of Federal Direct Loans. The MPN is a legal document that obligates students to repay their Federal Direct Loans. Entrance Loan Counseling is an information session that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower. You will complete these items at