Why is my refund this semester different than my refund from a previous semester/year?

Refunds are based on the difference between charges and credits. You may have had different charges and/or different credits during the two individual semesters. Refunds in different terms or aid years can also be affected by changes to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Receiving outside scholarships and/or departmental awards can also affect the amount of your refund.

Why does only some of my aid show as paid?

If only some of your aid is showing up as paid, it could be that there are still some steps that you must take to access a particular award. Review your messages in CalCentral for information about your particular situation. Common reasons for aid not fully disbursing are less than full-time enrollment, master promissory note (MPN) and/or Entrance Counseling not completed for loan eligibility.

I don't have enough aid. How can I get more?

If you do not have enough financial aid to meet your expenses and you have exhausted all possible borrowing that is in your financial aid package, you can consider two specific options: 

Why was my financial aid reduced when I moved from the dorms to off-campus?

Your financial aid package is based on your financial need, as determined by a formula [standard cost of attendance (i.e. budget) less the family contribution]. When the standard cost of attendance changes, the financial need changes. Standard dorm budgets are higher than the off-campus budgets. When you moved off campus, your budget was reduced and thus your financial aid package was also reduced.

What is a hold and how does it affect my standing?

What is a hold?

Holds were previously known as a "block"

There are three types: financial, academic, and administrative. This includes, but is not limited to:

What happens to my financial aid if I drop below full time?

Since the amount of your tuition and fees is the same regardless of the number of units you actually enroll in, your overall financial aid package is not based on actual units of enrollment. However, there are some specific awards that are unit-based and are affected if you drop below full-time enrollment. If you have a Cal Grant or a Pell Grant as part of your financial aid package, those specific awards will be reduced to reflect your 3/4-time, 1/2-time, or less-than-half-time enrollment.

Why hasn't my financial aid paid?

There are a number of reasons your financial aid may not have yet paid. Financial aid is generally disbursed within 10 days of the start of the semester. The most common reasons for aid not disbursing are that your file is incomplete, you have a hold on your registration, or you have not finalized all the steps necessary to access your awards.


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