Reviewing your Awards

After submitting a FAFSA or CADAA and having all financial aid related To Do List items cleared, you have now been awarded your financial aid package for the school year! But what does it all mean? 

What financial aid is available for students?

Gift aid that is completely FREE provided either by either the Federal or your State government. For more information regarding Grants available here at SF State, please click on the link provided down below.

Funding that is received and used now but will have to by REPAID to a Loan Servicer (A student/parent's designated lender) later. For more information regarding Loans, please click on the link provided down below.

Funds that are EARNED by being employed in a Work-Study position. For more information regarding Federal Work-Study, please click on the link provided down below.

Gift aid WON by students and awarded by either campus departments or organization outside of SF State. For more information regarding the Scholarship process here at SF State, please click on the link provided down below.

NOTE: There may be Scholarships provided through the financial aid application but these are case-by-base (Example: Middle Class Scholarship)

What determines my financial aid awards and amounts?

Student Aid Index (SAI). Starting with the 2024-2025 school year (Fall 2024, Spring 2025, & Summer 2025) here at SF State, the main factor that determines which awards and how much of it is awarded to them is the student's SAI.

The SAI (Formely known as the "Expected Family Contribution") is an eligibility index number that our office uses to determine how much Federal/State aid a student may receive based on the school they will be attending.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: The Department Of Education (DOE) bases every student's financial aid package on a specific tax year and several other different factors. However, there are ways to appeal the SAI if a student and their families have experienced a change in their financial situations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding financial aid offers

1.) Log on to your SF State Gateway with your SF State Login

2.) Find the Launchpad section of your gateway and click on Student Center

SF State Gateway - Student Center

3.) Once at the Student Center, go to the Finances section and click on View Financial Aid

Student Center - View Financial Aid

4.) Click on the designated academic year that you will be attending.

EXAMPLE: 2024-2025 school year - Fall 2024, Spring 2025, & Summer 2025

Student Center - View Financial Aid (By Year Section)

5.) Your can now see your financial aid offer for the academic year you will be attending!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your financial aid offer will always be broken down into two - Half for Fall and half for Spring. There is NO process using all your awards just for one semester (Unless you are admitted only for the Spring semester)

Financial Aid Awards - Year
OFFICIAL financial aid awards for the 2024-2025 school year (Fall 2024 & Spring 2025) will be posted on July 2024!

Provisional awards (Preliminary) are designed to help students and their families plan for the academic year that they will be attending by comparing their possible financial aid offer vs. their Cost of Attendance (COA). Unfortunately, these awards cannot be accepted or declined because the they are listed as "Estimated" - Meaning they are not official and can be subject to change.

Only Loan offers and Federal Work Study awards NEED to be manually accepted by the student! Grants and Scholarships are automatically accepted by the system on the student's behalf.

In order to accept or decline your financial aid awards, you must:

1.) In the Student Center page, go to the Finances section and click on Accept/Decline Awards

Student Center - Accept/Decline Awards

2.) Click on the designated academic year that you will be attending.

Student Center - View Financial Aid (By Year Section)

3.) Find the awards you would like to either accept or decline

4.) Once you've decided on what to do, click on the checkbox of the award you're taking action with under the "Accept" or "Decline" column

5.) Click "Submit" to confirm the action being taken

NOTE: Once the checkbox is selected, students should be able to edit the Loan amounts that they are accepting. The Accept All or Decline All buttons are also a faster option to confirm if the Loan amounts don't need to be edited.

Student Center - Accept Checkbox
Student Center - Decline Checkbox

6.) Select either "Yes" or "No" to finish the accept/decline process

Student Center - Accept/Decline Submit Confirmation

7.) A confirmation message will appear to let the student know that the accept/decline process was successfully completed.

Student Center - Accept/Decline Submitted
How do I know that my financial aid package will fully cover all my fees?

The question listed right above is the one many families ask. In order to determine whether or not a student is completely covered by their financial aid awards, they must look at a few screens:

1.) On the Student Center page, find your Account Summary section and look at the amount listed in the "You owe..."

NOTE: The amount that you owe in that section should ONLY be for the current semester; unless a student is owing fees from the previous semester.

2.) Once you have the amount you are owing for the semester, go to the Finances section and click on View Financial Aid

4.) Click on the designated academic year that you will be attending

5.) You will now see your financial aid offer for the entire year. However, you want to go the specific semester you are currently attending and look at the Total Accepted amount for that semester

If the total accepted amount is GREATER THAN the charges, then you should be fully covered.  However, if the total accepted amount is LESS THAN the charges, then the difference is what you will have to pay out of pocket.

DISBURSEMENT - The payment of a student's accepted financial aid awards towards their current charges all at once.

We will disburse your aid towards a student's tuition charges first and any additional University fees (Ex. On-campus housing fees) after that.  Our office disburses any unreleased accepted financial aid every Wednesday for the rest of the semester as long as there is NOTHING financial aid related on a student's To Do List or Notifications sections of their SF State Gateway.

For more information regarding how to view your disbursement, please click on the link provided down below.

As mentioned above, a student's accepted financial aid awards will always disburse towards their charges first. A student can only use their awards to pay for other expenses if there are leftover funds after everything is paid off. 

If a student is not living on-campus or has any leftover aid after their financial aid disbursement, they should receive their refund from the Bursar's Office based on:​​​​​​

Enrolled in Direct Deposit 3 to 5 business days from disbursement date
Not enrolled in Direct Deposit 1 to 2 weeks as a mailed check from disbursement date (Sent to listed mailing address on Student Center)