Applying for Financial Aid

You are attending San Francisco State University (or are thinking about attending) and want to know what kind of financial aid you qualify for. Where do you start?

Start off by submitting a financial aid application!

All students must submit either a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) every year. To ensure that SF State receives your financial aid application, complete the following steps:

  1. File the correct financial aid application for the correct academic year
  2. List SF State as your top school of choice on your application (School code: 001154)

The academic year order here at SF State goes: Fall, Spring, & Summer

EXAMPLE: A student files a 2023-2024 financial aid application to receive financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, & Summer 2024) here at SF State.

Which Application Do I Complete?

  • US citizens
  • Permanent resident (Green card holders)
  • Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) with status from USCIS such as:
    • Refugee
    • Asylum Grant
    • Cuban-Haitian entrant
    • Condition entrant (Before April 1, 1980)
    • Parolee
  • T-Visa holder
  • Battered immigrant qualified alien - Included children under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Citizen of the Federated State of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau
  • Undocumented students
  • DACA recipients (Active or expired)
  • U-Visa holders
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants must be confirmed as AB 540/SB 68 eligible by the Admissions Office (Undergraduate or Graduate) at SF State.

  • INELIGIBLE to apply for either a FAFSA or CADAA

If you are an international student, we recommend contacting the Office Of International Programs (OIP) regarding admission and possible financial aid assistance.

When should I submit my application?

New financial aid applications always open on October 1st of every year! The applications close on June 30 (two years after) October 1st date.


All California residents and AB 540 Dream students MUST complete their financial aid applications by the March 2nd priority deadline every year in order to be considered for State financial aid! Applications submitted after March 2nd will result in student being INELIGIBLE for any State-based aid. 

A few more important reminders regarding this deadline:

  • If a student is are applying for admissions for just the Spring semester at SF State, the State priority deadline of March 2nd still applies.
  • If a student misses the March 2nd deadline, they may still fill out a FAFSA to be evaluated for Federal aid ONLY
  • AB 540 Dream students will NOT receive any financial aid if they miss the March 2nd deadline!

What to know when you're applying!

  • Send your application to SF State - Select San Francisco State University and list our school code (001154) in the "Colleges to Receive Information" section. If you do not add SF State, we will never receive your application and therefore cannot evaluate you for any financial aid.
  • Provide correct tax information - Students & parent(s) will be asked to report tax information for two years prior (Ex: 2021 tax information is required for a 2023-2024 application). For FAFSA filers, we recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to automatically transfer your tax information with your application. 
  • Data carry over - If students already filed a FAFSA the previous year, they can select the pre-fill data process, formerly known as "Renewal FAFSA on the Web," which will help move data from the previous year to the current year's application using the same site above.

What happens after submitting an application?

  • Upon submitting your financial aid application, it will take our office about a week to receive your information. You will be e-mailed through your SF State e-mail one of these two things once your application has been successfully registered in our system:
  1. You've been awarded financial aid for the designated school year you are admitted for
  2. You are required to submit additional items to our office which can be found on the To Do List of your SF State Gateway
  • If you are required to submit additional documents to our office, that means that your financial aid application was selected for verification. For more information regarding the verification process, please click HERE.