Financial Aid and Scholarships

Keeping Your Aid: Newly Admitted & Current Graduate Students

Costs  |  Aid Programs  |  How to Apply for Aid (FAFSA)  |  How to Apply for Aid (DREAM)  |  After you Apply  |  Award Notification  |  Getting your aid  |  Keeping your aid 


The packaging and release of financial aid (federal, state and institutional) is contingent on you maintaining eligibility to receive financial aid funds. Remember, the basic eligibility criteria that allow you to get financial aid continue to apply throughout the time you’re receiving aid—not just when you first fill out the or Dream Application and are packaged with aid.

Maintaining eligibility includes demonstrating academic progress, meeting enrollment criteria, understanding how repeated coursework affects you and much more. 

You can make sure you stay eligible for financial aid by paying attention to a few things, including keeping on track toward completing your Graduate program.   

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all institutions of higher education establish a minimum standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid.  At Cal Poly Pomona, these SAP Standards are applicable to all federal, state and institutional aid programs for the purpose of maintaining a consistent policy for all students receiving financial aid. 

What is SAP? 

Cal Poly Pomona has three specific standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students applying for, and receiving, financial aid: 

  1. Graduate GPA StandardMaintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA 
  2. Pace of Progress StandardComplete at least 67% of cumulative units attempted 
  3. Maximum Time Frame (MTF) StandardNot exceed the established Maximum Time Frame for completing a degree (based on attempted units). 

Your SAP Status is reviewed after each semester in order to verify your continued eligibility to receive financial aid.  You will receive an email letting you know that results of the review – and the impact on your ability to continue to receive aid.   

Failure to meet one or more of the SAP Standards may affect whether or not you can continue to receive your aid.  

Once you have been enrolled for at least one semester at Cal Poly Pomona, you can monitor your SAP status through your MyCPP Student Center. Please note that if you do not attend Cal Poly Pomona during a specific semester, but were previously enrolled at the university, we will evaluate your SAP status prior to the packaging – and/or release of funds.  

Students who are not meeting SAP may be able to appeal the decision.  For more information regarding SAP - including the appeal process - please review our Understanding SAP page.

In order to receive financial aid funding, you must be enrolled at least half-time (3 units per semester) in upper-division coursework.  Financial Aid is not available for prerequisite courses or courses at the 1000 or 2000 level.   

All financial aid is initially offered based on the expectation of full-time enrollment in eligible coursework (per semester enrollment of units).  While your actual overall enrollment may be considered full-time from an academic perspective, a minimum of half-time enrollment (3 units per semester) in aid-eligible classes for your Graduate Program is necessary in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid funds. 

Grant Recalculation Date  

Effective Fall 2022

The enrollment status of the student at the time that funds are prepared for disbursement will be used to determine the payment amount. For purposes of financial aid, enrollment status is defined as outlined in the table below. Please keep in mind that awards are disbursed in two payments for the academic year, half for the fall term and half for the spring term. The full net amount of loan funds for the term (fall or spring) can be disbursed as long as the student is enrolled in a minimum of six units or a minimum of three units for graduate students.   

Enrollment Status
Enrollment Status Undergraduate & Teaching Credential Students
Number of Units
Graduate Students
Number of Units
Full-Time  12 or more units  6 or more units
Three-Quarter Time  9.0 – 11.9 units  4.5 - 5.9 units
Half-Time  6.0 – 8.9 units 
3.0 - 4.49 units
Less Than Half-Time 
5.9 or less 2.9 or less

A minimum of half-time enrollment (6 units) is required in order to remain eligible to receive funds from State & Cal Poly Pomona Grants, Federal Loans and Federal Work Study.

Grant Recalculation

Financial Aid is applied to the student account based on the enrollment at the time of disbursement.  Disbursements of State University Grants will be prorated (adjusted) based on the enrollment status of the student on the Grant Recalculation date. If the student reduces the units they are enrolled in before the Grant Recalculation date, their Grants will be reduced, and students may need to return funds.   

Grant Recalculation Date

The Grant Recalculation Date is the day after the Add period ends.  Classes added after this date will not be included in the Grant enrollment Calculation just as classes dropped after this date, will not reduce Grants.

Review Graduate Aid Programs for details on how your enrollment will impact your specific aid.

The decision about whether or not to drop a class is an academic issue; however, it is your responsibility to understand the financial implications of this decision.  Dropping a class may impact your aid eligibility for the current and future semesters.   Your grant aid will be recalculated at our Grant Recalculation Date (day after the end of the Add Period) based on your verified enrollment; you may have to return some, or all, of your grant aid for the current semester – depending on how your enrollment status is impacted.  Review Undergraduate Aid Programs for details on how your enrollment will impact your specific awards.

The impact on your aid eligibility depends on the time during the semester that you drop a class:  

Period I: First two weeks (Fall & Spring) 

  • You will not receive a grade for a course you withdraw from during this time (the dropped course will not be recorded on your transcript). 
  • Financial Aid Grants or Scholarships may be adjusted based on specific enrollment requirements for each grant.   
  • You are responsible for any charges resulting from a change to your enrollment and your aid eligibility. 

Period II:  Third Week through the end of the semester (Fall & Spring) 

  • You will receive a “W” grade for the course when you withdraw, which may impact your SAP Status
    • Classes with a grade of W impact both the Pace of Progress and the Maximum Time Frame Standards for financial aid, as these courses are considered to be Attempted – but not Completed.
  • Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships that were already released will not be adjusted.
  • New Financial Aid amounts will be based on your enrollment at the time of packaging. 

Be sure to review our Financial Aid Policies Page for our policies on Financial Aid Proration and Grant Adjustments and Withdrawal, Refund and Repayment

The laws governing federal financial aid assume that a student must "earn" federal financial aid awards directly in proportion to the number of days of the term attended. In other words, you earn your financial aid as your attend class.   

If you completely withdraw from all classes during a semester, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships  must recalculate your aid eligibility based on the amount of aid you “earned” (according to the Return of Title IV Funds policy).  If you received, or the school received on your behalf, more aid than was earned, the unearned funds must be returned to the federal programs, which may result in a balance due on your account. 

Additionally, withdrawing from all classes can also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress, which ultimately affects your aid eligibility. Learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress.  

Impact on Financial Aid if you withdraw from ALL classes   

  • Your financial aid will be recalculated based on “earned” aid  
  • You will be notified by email with the results of the aid recalculation (within 30 days of withdrawing from Cal Poly Pomona)  
  • You will be required to return the portion of aid that was not earned.  
  • If you have received a loan (for the current semester, or in previous semesters), your loans will enter into their 6-month grace period.  If you have previously used the entire 6-month grace period – your loans will enter active repayment. 

Classes that receive a grade of “W” may negatively impact your SAP Status (both the Pace of Progress and the Maximum Time Frame Standards for financial aid), as these courses are considered to be Attempted – but not Completed. 

Be sure to also review our Financial Aid Policies Page for our policy on Withdrawal, Refund and Repayment.

Federal and state regulations limit your eligibility for financial aid with regards to retaking (or repeating) coursework. You may only receive financial aid for one repetition of a previously passed course (grade of D or better).   In addition, repeated courses will not count towards your actual enrollment for financial aid purposes. Make sure to review our Understanding Repeat Coursework and Aid Eligibility page 

Impact on Financial Aid  

  • You will be notified by email if you are registered for any courses that are considered to be not eligible for aid due to retaking / repeating the course.
  • Your enrollment for the semester will be verified at the end of the Add Period.  If you are registered for any courses that are not eligible for aid due to retaking / repeating the course, your aid will be recalculated based on enrollment in aid eligible courses only.
  • The aid recalculation may result in an adjustment to your aid based on specific enrollment requirements for each award.  Review Graduate Aid Programs for details on how your enrollment will impact your specific awards.
  • Each time you retake (repeat) a class, it counts as units attempted.  This may negatively impact your SAP Status (both the PACE Standard and the Maximum Time Frame for financial aid), as these courses are considered to be Attempted – but not Completed.
  • You are responsible for any charges resulting from an enrollment recalculation (and your aid eligibility). 

Be sure to also review our Financial Aid Policies Page for our policy on Repeat Coursework and Federal Aid Eligibility

You must complete a new Financial Aid Application each year!  

Things change every year: New jobs, graduations, marriages, births, and more. One small change in your circumstances can have a big impact on your eligibility for financial aid.  As a result, the financial aid application (FAFSA, or DREAM Application), determines your eligibility for only one academic year 

The financial aid application for the next academic year becomes available every October 1st – and the Cal Poly Pomona Priority Filing Deadline is March 2nd. If you miss the Priority Filing Deadline, you will not be eligible for Cal Poly Pomona or CA State Aid for the entire academic year.

Even if you are offered only loans one year, you should still take the time to complete a new financial aid application each year. You don’t want to miss out on free money (Federal, State, or Cal Poly Pomona grants and scholarships), or money you need to borrow from the various student loan programs.

  1. Plan Ahead: Minimize your financial risk by selecting classes carefully; be sure you are enrolling in classes that are necessary for your Degree Program.  Balance the most difficult classes against your other classes and family and work demands.    
  2. Be Aware of the Impact of Lower Division Coursework:  Lower-Division Courses (1000 & 2000 level) are not able to be applied to Graduate Level Programs or factored into your Cumulative GPA.  This may negatively impact your SAP Status (both the PACE Standard and the Maximum Time Frame for financial aid), as these courses are considered to be Attempted – but not Completed.    
  3. Understand the Rules for Your Aid: Financial aid is awarded with expectation that you complete your classes. When you do not complete you attempt you risk having your aid reduced or canceled. 
  4. Know the Eligibility Limits for Each Aid Program:  Financial aid programs all have limits after which students are no longer eligible. It’s important to know your limits and plan your program accordingly. 
  5. Be Aware of Your SAP Status:  Financial aid eligibility is based on meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Be aware of the SAP Standards at Cal Poly Pomona, and what your current status is to ensure you continue to remain eligible to receive aid. 
  6. Know the Consequences: Be sure that you understand what will happen if you withdraw, or fail to complete your classes. A financial aid representative can help determine the impact on your eligibility. 
  7. Consider Your Options Before You Drop or Withdraw: Talk to the faculty teaching your class to see if there is anything you can do to complete the class. Make sure you have explored all options for assistance. 
  8. Work with Student Accounting & Cashiering Services:  Contact Student Accounting & Cashiering Services as soon as you have a balance showing on your account. 
  9. Don't Ignore Your Account Balance: If you do not take action, your balance will transferred to collections, you will be required to pay an additional processing fees, and your credit score could be affected. 
  10. Apply Every Year:  The financial aid application (FAFSA, or DREAM Application), determines your eligibility for only one academic year.  Don’t forget to file a FAFSA for the next academic year – PRIOR to the Cal Poly Pomona Priority Filing Deadline of March 2nd!