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Getting Started

How to Apply for Financial Aid

1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Apply on-line at FAFSA (2024–25 FAFSA® Form Coming in December) to be considered for all possible aid, the Priority Deadline for the FAFSA application is March 2nd annually.
  • Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.
  • Complete the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (undergraduates only)
    Watch Cal Grant Video
  • PAU Federal School Code: 021383

2. Receive Student Aid Report (SAR)

  • Once the FAFSA is processed by the Federal Student Aid (FSA) an email will be sent regarding the Student Aid Report (SAR).  If an e-mail is not provided on the FAFSA, a paper SAR will be mailed to the address provided.
  • Read the SAR carefully and perform any corrections on-line as necessary.
  • If corrections are made, allow 2 weeks for the FAFSA corrections to be processed and for our office to receive your updated FAFSA data.

3. Request for additional/supporting Documents (if applicable)

Once our office receives your FAFSA data, we will send you a message (via PAU Email for returning students and personal email for incoming students) to log into the student portal for further instructions on how to complete and submit necessary documents.  

4. Evaluation Process: 1 – 2 weeks

Once all requested documents are submitted to our office, the 1 – 2 week evaluation process will commence. Your application status may change and/or additional documents may be requested from you. Please check your email frequently.  

5. Award Notification

Your award notification will be sent via email with instructions to log in to the financial aid portal to accept/modify/decline your loans. Please remember to check the 'Forms to Complete" tab to determine if any additional documents are needed. No paper notices will be mailed.


Student Financial Aid Portal Instructions

6. Disbursement of Funds

Financial aid is disbursed prior to the start of each quarter after confirmation of enrollment. The financial aid funds posted to your account will be used to cover your tuition and fees. Any remaining balance with be refunded directly to you. You have the option to enroll in direct deposit by completing the Direct Deposit Form available in the student portal and submitting to the Business Office. Students who do not wish to enroll in direct deposit, will have to pick up their paper check from the business office during regular business hours.

7. Do Your Part! 

  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA as an undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate students.
  • Make sure to update your contact information (mailing address, email, phone numbers) with the University and check your email often.
  • Ensure that you meet Satisfactory Academic Progress each quarter and that the classes enrolled count towards your degree program.
  • Consult with our office if you have any questions or problems during the quarter.
  • Remember to file for financial aid every academic year by the priority deadline of March 2nd.

Special or Change of Circumstances 

If you have special circumstances or a change in circumstances since your original application was filed (such as a parent’s loss of employment, retirement, or change in support of a dependent), you can ask us to review the changed circumstances by submitting a letter defining the situation and providing actual figures. If warranted, we can recalculate your eligibility. Please attach appropriate documentation of the circumstances we are reviewing. Please also note, that if an applicant's FAFSA dependency status changes at any time during the award year, the applicant must update the FAFSA information, except when the update is due to a change in his/ her marital status. Please contact our office for further details and Special Circumstances form.

Need to contact the Financial Aid Office? 
You can contact the Office of Financial Aid at or by phone at 650-433-3824.