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Receiving Your Financial Aid

Financial aid is generally distributed to your student account the week before classes start each quarter. If you receive financial aid, your tuition and fees are deferred until the start of the quarter;  you will not be dropped out of your classes for non-payment. Your financial aid money will automatically be used to pay tuition, fees, or any other university charges on your student account.

Tuition and Fee Balances

If you still have a tuition and fee balance after you receive your aid, a hold will be put on your account and you will need to pay the remaining balance due right away.

Credit Balances

If there is money left over after your university charges are paid, it is refunded to you via check or direct deposit at the beginning of the quarter. Aid that is received later in the quarter will be refunded as soon as possible.

Aid is disbursed to your student account and any credit balance refunded only if:

  • All requested documents on your My Cal Poly Portal To-Do list are submitted.
  • Your file has been reviewed and finalized by a counselor.
  • Loans have been accepted, your master promissory note signed, and your entrance counseling completed.
  • If you have a PLUS Loan, a current year PLUS loan application is completed at
  • You are registered in the minimum number of units. Registering less than full-time will also affect the amount of your aid.

Unit Requirements

Financial Aid is based on full-time enrollment of 12 units/quarter for undergraduates and teaching credential candidates, and 8 units/quarter for graduate students. Your award amount may change or be delayed if you reduce your units, change residency status or require an award revision due to receipt of aid from other sources.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

If you accept financial aid, you agree to our student rights and responsibilities.

Direct Deposit
The most efficient way to receive your financial aid refund is by signing up for direct deposit