Award Limits

There are various limits to the total amount of funding or years of funding a student can receive during their academic program. They vary based on the financial aid program and the limits are set in place by the funding providers. Here is information sorted by award. 

Grant Program Limits

Cal Grants

Once an eligible student receives a Cal Grant award, the Cal Grant can be received for up to four years. 

Federal Pell Grant

Students are limited to a total of six full-time years (600%) of Pell Grant eligibility, also known as the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). The calculation of this total includes previous semesters at CSUF, as well as any attendance at any other school (including community colleges) where a Pell Grant was paid. Visit Federal Student Aid to learn more and to determine the percentage of Pell Grant funding you have received. - Federal Student AidOpens in new window

Middle Class Scholarship

 Student participation in the Middle Class Scholarship is limited to four (4) years.

State University Grant (SUG)

State University Grant (SUG) awards are limited based on the number of units a student has earned and published length of their academic program.

Students who have received this grant in the past may not be awarded in subsequent years if funds are unavailable.

Students who receive tuition/fee waivers, vocational rehabilitation or sponsored tuition/fee waivers are not eligible. Those pursuing a second bachelor's, second master's or a second credential are also not eligible.


You are limited to the number of units you may be eligible to receive SUG funding. Earned units includes units attempted and not completed.

Award Limits
Grade Level Maximum Units Award Limits
Undergraduate students 150 earned units
Undergraduate Transfer students 75 earned units
Credential students 30 earned units
Graduate students 125% earned units required for their program (this can include all applicable transfer units)

Student Loan Program Limits

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Amounts vary in first year of college, and annually through senior year. They also vary based on the dependency status of the student. 

Academic Year Loan Maximums
  Dependent Students Independent Students*
Academic Year  Subsidized Only Subsidized and
Unsubsidized Combined
Subsidized Only  Subsidized and
Unsubsidized Combined
Year 1 $3,500 $5,500 $3,500 $9,500
Year 2 $4,500 $6,500 $4,500 $10,500
Years 3 & 4 $5,500 $7,500 $5,500 $12,500
Teacher Credential $5,500 $5,500 $5,500 $12,500
Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified $5,500 $5,500 $5,500 $12,500
Graduate/Professional N/A N/A N/A $20,500**

For financial aid purposes, you must have earned a minimum of 30 units to be considered a sophomore; 60 units to be considered a junior; 90 units to be considered a senior. Your loan will be processed at the grade level assigned by the office of Admissions and Records.

* Includes Dependent students whose Parents are PLUS loan denied.

** Graduate/Professional $20,500 annual loan limit is Unsubsidized Loan only

Restriction for graduating seniors with one-semester loan: We are required by federal law to prorate (determine partial loan eligibility) when an undergraduate student plans to graduate at the end of the one term for which they are receiving a Stafford loan. For example, a senior who will be graduating at the end of fall term will be subjected to proration of their annual loan amount because they will not attend the whole academic year.