As you navigate along the road to financial aid, questions may arise. We've attempted to answer many of those questions below. If other questions develop, or if issues arise that require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office for help. For many students, completing the financial aid process in a timely and optimally beneficial manner is as essential an endeavor as they will make during their college experience. Throughout the process we want to assure you that we are here to help.


Will I qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA?

To qualify for financial aid through the FAFSA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be enrolled as a student at least half time for each term you are seeking aid.
  • Cannot be in default on a student loan.
  • Cannot have had any drug convictions while receiving federal aid.
  • Must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • For males, must be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the main application for financial aid at CBU. All federal aid is based on this application and the results of the FAFSA are used to calculate your financial aid award.

The FAFSA is submitted to the federal Department of Education. Students will need to include the school code so that their information can be viewed by a school representative.

What types of financial aid can I get through the FAFSA?

With your FAFSA information, CBU is able to create an offer of financial aid through the federal Direct Loan programs. The award will include the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan. You may complete the Grad PLUS application here.

How long will it take for CBU to receive my FAFSA?

If you submitted the FAFSA online and listed CBU (001125) on it, we will usually receive the results in just a couple of days. It may take a little longer during peak processing season.

Paying for Grad School

Is there any free money (grants, scholarships, etc) that I can apply for?

The federal government does not currently offer a grant for students seeking a master's degree. However, CBU has a number of different resources available for you as a graduate student. 

How much financial aid will I receive?

CBU awards students based on a cost of attendance budget. This budget includes all tuition costs, plus a small living expense for each semester. The amount of the budget varies by semester and program depending on the number units in which the student is enrolled. Graduate students are eligible for a maximum of $20,500 per academic year in unsubsidized loans. Students whose qualified expenses exceed that amount may complete a Grad PLUS Loan application for additional funds.

My financial aid is not enough. What do I do?

There are several options to assist you in covering the gap between your charges and your financial aid. You may make a cash payment (this includes checks and credit cards) or sign up for the payment plan. Both of these options may be accomplished by speaking with the Student Accounts Office. Options through the Financial Aid Office include a Graduate PLUS Loan or a private loan. Please visit the Financial Aid tab on InsideCBU for more information.

I do not want to borrow loans for books and living expenses. Can I borrow just enough to pay for tuition?

Yes. The Financial Aid Office will always award you up to the maximum level available based on your budget. However, you may accept, reduce or decline that loan amount on InsideCBU under the My Award Letter section.

Why did I NOT receive a subsidized Direct Loan?

The Department of Education stopped awarding subsidized loans to graduate students in 2012.

What do I need to do to have financial aid next year?

You will need to submit a new FAFSA after October 1 for the following academic year. Once you register for classes for the following fall (usually in early spring), we will check for your FAFSA. If we need additional information, we will contact you.

How do I defer my old student loans?

Loan deferment is normally an automatic process. CBU verifies half-time enrollment for the student to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). Your lender or service should also check with NSLDS and refrain from collecting on students who are enrolled at least half time. If you are attending at least half time (5 units for graduate students) and your lender is still trying to collect from you, please contact your lender and notify them of your status. If they request that you fill out an in-school deferment request form, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (951) 343-4566 for assistance.

When will my refund check get mailed?

Refund checks are mailed from the Student Accounts Office near the beginning of each term. Providing that you have fulfilled all loan requirements and are enrolled in all of your units for the term, your refund check should be mailed within 2 weeks after your loan disburses to CBU. For more information and other options for your refund, check with the Student Accounts Office at (951) 343-4371 or by emailing

Financial Aid Offer

When will I receive a financial aid offer?

If you are new to CBU, we will send you an offer 1–2 weeks after you are registered for classes, as long as we have a complete FAFSA on file. If we need further information before we can award you, we will contact you.

How do I access my financial aid offer?

Your award letter can be viewed through the Offer page of the Financial Aid tab of InsideCBU.

I reviewed my offer. What do I do now?

Be sure to follow the instructions on your offer. If you are accepting Direct Loans, you will need to select a lender and complete the required loan documents by closely following the instructions outlined in the award letter. You can also visit the Financial Aid tab on InsideCBU. Do not forget to complete your acceptance by clicking the SUBMIT button.

Getting Help

Can I meet with a financial aid counselor?

You may meet with a financial aid counselor any time you have questions or need assistance. Simply contact our office at (951) 343-4236 or toll free at (877) 228-8855 to set up an appointment.

Contact Financial Aid

Phone: (951) 343-4236
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Yeager Center, Room D118
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504