How To Apply

Privacy Rights and Information

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects confidentiality and limits our ability to release information to anyone other than the student regarding financial aid.
  • Any documents submitted by you and/or your parents and details of your award package are considered confidential and will not be released without your written consent.
  • An Authorization to Release Financial Aid Information form is available on our website, click here.


After You Apply

So you have filed the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, what happens next?

Approximately 1 week after filing your application, you will receive an email notification with a link to your Federal Student Aid Report or California Aid Report. Review the information carefully and follow the instructions to make any corrections.

How is my financial aid eligibility determined?

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a computerized need-analysis service. Standardized federal calculations are applied to the data you and your parents provide on the application. The EFC is an estimate of the amount of money you and your family can reasonably contribute toward college costs.

The processor sends the analysis to Cal Poly, where an estimated award is determined. Awards may vary by school because of differences in cost and funds available.

Award Process

If you have been admitted to Cal Poly, the Financial Aid Office will compute your eligibility and make your award. Check your 'MyCalPoly' portal on the 'Money Matters' tab to see your award detailing the types and amounts of financial aid and scholarships you are eligible to receive. Awards may be viewed the beginning of April. Scholarships are awarded April through August.

If you have significant financial changes you may submit a Change of Income form. The Change of Income form cannot be submitted prior to June 15th for the upcoming academic year.

Please complete any items requested on your 'To Do' list on 'MyCalPoly' portal and submit all documents to the Financial Aid Office.

Once your paperwork is complete, your file has been reviewed, and you are enrolled in the expected number of units, your financial aid is ready for disbursement. Financial aid money is sent to your student account to pay university fees, housing, meal plans and any other educationally related expenses. Money in excess of charges is refunded to you. Refunds begin in the first week of classes and continue weekly. You are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit on your portal's 'Money Matters' tab.

If you are selected for verification, no aid (other than scholarships) can disburse until all required documents are submitted and reviewed.  Documents must be submitted no later than the last day of your classes before finals week to be eligible for any aid.