Financial Aid at CIIS

The Financial Aid Office is committed to making it possible for all admitted students to attend CIIS regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

We offer assistance to both domestic and international CIIS students. Financial aid encompasses scholarships, grants, and loans. While complying with all applicable government regulations and donor restrictions, we attempt to extend a personalized, concerned approach to each student's financial needs.

Federal School Code

The Federal School Code for California Institute of Integral Studies is 012154.

Important Dates and Deadlines

For undergraduate students only:
File your FAFSA before March 2nd each year for Cal Grant consideration.

Your Financial Aid Status

Check your financial aid status online

*Please use Internet Explorer and Firefox only; Safari is not supported.

Students are encouraged to monitor their federal student loan history at the National Student Loan History.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Entrance Loan Counseling?

A: Entrance Loan Counseling is a review of post-graduation payment options for student loans. It is also a federal requirement so that students can properly understand their legal obligations. To do this, please log on at using the FSA ID you used for the FAFSA, and follow the link saying Complete Entrance Counseling. This is a task that you will do when you begin a new program. You need not do it every semester.

What is Exit Loan Counseling?

A: Exit loan counseling is required before you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time attendance. Accomplishing it will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. It consists of useful tips and information to help you manage your loans. Log on to go through this process.

What is the Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

A: The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated and what deferment and cancellation provisions are available to you. Please note that separate MPNs are required for Stafford Loans and for any PLUS loans you may have. To do a Promissory Note, please log on at using the same PIN you used for the FAFSA, and follow the link saying Complete Master Promissory Note.

How do I check and accept/decline awards on

A: Once your awards are ready to be accepted/declined online, you will receive an email from our office with the following instructions:

  1. Go to the "Accept Awards Online" tab
  2. Click on the "Click Here" link to learn about the Terms and Conditions of your award
  3. Change the "Status" field to "Accept" or "Decline" for each award. You may also select "Accept All" if you wish to accept or decline all of your awards at once
  4. Click the "Submit" button once you are done
  5. Check the "Awards Tab" to see how much you are eligible for per semester
  6. Budget how much you need for college. Check your fees and tuition charges per semester to see if you have enough to cover them. If you wish to reduce the amount of your loans, please contact our office by email ( and request it in writing.

How do I apply for a Graduate Plus Loan?

Note: A credit check is required for this application process.

A:  Go to 

  1. Click on "Sign In" under "Manage My Direct Loan." Follow the given steps.
  2. You will need a FSA ID to apply.
  3. You will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Graduate Plus Loan (please note that this is separate from the Subsidized/Unsubsidized Master Promissory Note). The Graduate Plus Application is valid for 180 days. After 180 days, you will need to reapply and go through another credit check.

When do I receive my funds to cover tuition and other expenses?

A: If you have submitted all required documents by the priority deadline and accepted your awards, then you will receive your funds on the school's disbursement date for the semester. Note that for first-time undergraduate loan borrowers, there will be a 30-day delay for disbursement of loans.

In order to be considered complete status, the following should be met:


  • Full Admission Acceptance status (Provisional Acceptance doesn't qualify for aid)
  • Registered for coursework eligible for aid
  • Enrollment/coursework registration successfully submitted
  • Direct Loan Entrance loan counseling (first-time borrowers only)
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Direct Loans


  • Meeting satisfactory academic progress
  • Registered for coursework eligible for aid
  • Enrollment/coursework registration successfully submitted
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Direct Loans

If, however, you have not received a financial aid award beyond the disbursement date, check with Business Office if you will incur a late payment fee. We process financial aid awards in the order we receive FAFSA applications and other required documents from students, so we highly suggest submitting the FAFSA application online as soon as possible.

From the date that the above mentioned are successfully completed, there is an approximately 3-week turnaround prior to disbursement of funds.

**Note that there may be delays during disbursement period.**

How do I calculate my refund?

A: There are three steps.

Step 1 
Calculate your total cost at CIIS.
Tuition + Registration fee + Other charges (e.g. Technology Fee) = Actual Cost

Step 2 
Calculate your total aid.
Total financial aid (loans & scholarship, excluding federal work study funds) = Total Aid

Note: There are origination fees on your loans, please check with the Financial Aid Office for details.

Step 3
Calculate excess fund or balance due.
Total Aid - Actual Cost = Excess fund

Note: If your "Excess fund" is a negative figure, you actually owe a balance and need to pay to the business office.

Am I eligible for aid if I'm provisionally admitted?

A: If you're provisionally admitted, the Financial Aid Office would not be able to request for your funds from the Department of Education. In addition, your scholarship disbursement will also be placed on hold.

Provisionally admitted students should contact their Admissions counselor as soon as possible to determine what other documents (e.g.: transcripts, letters of recommendations, degree conferrals, etc.) are needed to transition to full acceptance status.

Am I eligible for aid if I have incomplete grades?

A: Incomplete grades (I or IN) are classified as unsatisfactory grades; similarly with "NP" (not pass) and any letter grades below a "B." If you have 1 NP and 1 I/IN grades, you will continue to receive financial aid. However, if you have 2 B- grades (2 C grades for undergraduate/BAC students) and an I/IN, you will be placed on Probation by the Registrar and continue to receive financial aid for the duration of that probationary status. However, if you fail to rehabilitate your academic progress after your probationary status, you will no longer continue receiving financial aid until you have resolved your unsatisfactory grades. Once you have successfully replaced those unsatisfactory grades, you will be able to reinstate your financial aid in the following semester.

If I am on academic probation, am I eligible for aid?

A: Check your status with the Registrar's office, then follow-up with a Financial Aid counselor afterwards.

What scholarship aid is available?

A: All new students beginning a new program are eligible to apply for scholarships simply by being admitted to that program and submitting a FAFSA. Awards are determined based primarily on financial need demonstrated on the FAFSA. For this reason, we recommend doing the FAFSA early in order to be considered for a scholarship.

Awards are typically awarded for Fall and Spring terms over a two-year period and are contingent upon good academic standing and full-time enrollment in the same academic program. Full-time enrollment for graduate programs is minimum 9 units for Fall/Spring. Full-time enrollment for bachelor's completion is minimum 12 units for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.

There are also research-specific scholarships for Doctoral students such as Kranzke Scholarships, which has specific application processes. For the most up-to-date information on both internal and external scholarships, please contact the Financial Aid office directly.

Do I qualify for grants?

A: Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) for undergraduate students:

  1. You must be admitted to and enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts Completion program.
  2. Complete the appropriate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and demonstrate "financial need"*.

Cal Grants (A and B):

  1. You must be admitted to and enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts Completion program.
  2. Be enrolled at least half-time (six units minimum per semester, fall or spring).
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and provide the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) with a completed GPA verification form no later than March 2nd and demonstrate financial need.*
  4. State Funding must be available

*Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Contact Us

Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Friday
Appointments available in person, zoom, or by phone.

Phone: (415) 575-6148 
Fax: (415) 575-1268

California Institute of Integral Studies 
1453 Mission Street, 4th Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94103

Jennifer Gruczelak
Director of Financial Aid

Darren Farias
Associate Director of Financial Aid

Nikole Moffett
Sr. Financial Aid Officer

Elizabeth Hernandez-Flores
Financial Aid Officer II

Stay Connected to CIIS