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The Ultimate Guide To Cal Poly Financial Aid

The Ultimate Guide To Cal Poly Financial Aid

College is insanely expensive. Paying for school is a huge pain, but if you follow this guide to Cal Poly financial aid, you may be a little less stressed!

Unfortunately, college nowadays is crazy expensive. Tuition is absolutely insane! Thankfully, financial aid is always there to help – at least, if you get everything done on time! Follow this ultimate guide so that you don’t miss a step in your Cal Poly financial aid process.

1. Keep track of every deadline!

Most importantly, you have to submit the FAFSA before March 1st to be considered for priority aid. If you’re a new student applying for the Cal Grant, you also need to submit a GPA Verification Form by March 2nd.

2. Take advantage of the Cal Poly financial aid resources.

Cal Poly has a walk-in service which is super helpful if you’re nearby. A face-to-face appointment really ensures that you’re on track with the process! If you’re not near campus, you can also contact the Cal Poly financial aid office by phone Monday-Thursday at 805-756-2927, or by e-mail at



3. Know exactly what documents and forms you need to submit.

Cal Poly requires that you submit the FAFSA, and if you aren’t eligible to do so, that you instead submit the California Dream Act Application. You will also need your parents’ 2015 tax return and income information on hand as well as your own. If you’re interested in applying for the Cal Grant, you can do so here.


4. Closely follow the instructions available to you on Cal Poly’s site.

Follow this page on Cal Poly’s site to make sure you complete all of the instructions and requirements necessary to be eligible for financial aid!

5. You will see your financial aid award online!

You will be able to see your financial aid award on your MyCalPoly portal under the “Money Matters” tab.


6. And when will I receive it?

Financial aid is awarded beginning in April! Make sure you accept all awards given to you in order to secure your financial aid.



7. Pass in your admissions deposit ASAP!

To secure your spot in the freshmen class, make sure you send in any deposits or enrollment fees that the university asks you to!

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8. How much will it cost?

A detailed breakdown of Cal Poly’s cost of attendance is available here.


If you’re an out-of-state student, Cal Poly is about $37,308/year. For in-state students, it’s about $26,148/year. An in-state student’s cost of attendance is broken down like this:

  • Tuition/fees: $9,075
  • Books: $1,530
  • Supplies: $318
  • Room & board: $12,507
  • Transportation: $1,230
  • Personal: $1,416
  • Estimated loan fees: $72

9. What’s the average that students at Cal Poly get in financial aid?

About 50% of Cal Poly students get financial aid. About 41% get grants, which averages out to around $6583 a student.


10. Don’t forget that you can appeal under special circumstances.

Under special circumstances, you can appeal your financial aid decision. It can be reviewed if there’s a severe and sudden income loss or tragedy in your family. To begin the appeal process, you can fill out a Change of Income form or contact Cal Poly directly.

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