Undergraduate Students

CIIS offers both institutional and federal aid to our students.

  • Grants
    Money for undergraduate students that they do not need to repay.
  • Scholarships are institutional aid and are based on need, merit, and area of study. Please visit our scholarship page to learn more and apply.
  • Federal Pell
    Available for students who demonstrate need per their FAFSA.
    Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, available to students who demonstrate need per their FAFSA.
  • Cal Grant
    A California state grant that requires you to file your FAFSA online before March 2 every year.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Aid

The 2019-2020 interest rate will apply to all new Direct Loans made on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2020.

Direct loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. Students can borrow directly from the federal government and choose from several repayment plans that are designed to meet the needs of any borrower.

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan

Direct Subsidized Loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while students are in school at least half-time, during their grace period* and during deferment periods. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.

*Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a 6-month grace period that starts the day after students graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. There is no grace period for PLUS loans.

To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, a borrower must not have an adverse credit history. If the borrower is determined to have an adverse credit history, he/she may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan if he/she obtains an endorser who does not have an adverse credit history. An endorser is someone who agrees to repay the Direct PLUS Loan if the borrower does not repay the loan. The U.S. Department of Education will conduct a credit check which is valid for 180  days . The borrower may need to re-apply if his/her application expires within the academic year.

Students and parents may apply for PLUS loans with the U.S. Department of Education at https://studentaid.gov.

Private Student Loans

Once you and your family have considered all institutional and federal loan options, you can use the Great Lakes FASTChoice feature to instantly and accurately compare rates and terms from multiple private loan lenders side-by-side. This tool will help you make an informed decision about the most appropriate loan for you.

FASTChoice displays products from local and national lenders, complete with detailed listings of APRs (annual percentage rates), interest rates, total cost, monthly payments, borrower benefits, fees and repayment options. Start a FASTChoice private loan comparison now.

Regardless of which private lender you choose, you will need to complete a self-certification form with us before receiving your first disbursement of loan funds. Your lender may provide this form to you when you apply for the loan. Download the Private Education Loan Self-Certification Form.

Final Disclosure and Right-to-Cancel Period

Under the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), your lender must provide you with a finalized disclosure statement after you have signed your promissory note. The final disclosure statement confirms the terms and conditions of your loan.

At the time that this final disclosure is delivered, your "right-to-cancel" period begins. During this period of six business days, you may cancel the loan by contacting the lender. The lender cannot release the first disbursement of your loan funds until the end of the right-to-cancel period.

Graduate students should first opt for the Graduate PLUS loan. This may be the only option if a graduate student has lost his/her financial aid eligibility. Undergraduate independent students may opt for a private loan to supplement their living expenses.

Federal Study/Student Employment

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a federally funded program administered by the CIIS Financial Aid Office. Eligibility is based upon demonstrated financial need as reported in the FAFSA. Both graduate and undergraduate students who are citizens or permanent residents may be eligible.

Students can work up to 20 hours per week through part time employment in an approved on or off-campus job. Once you have accepted your FWS award, it is your responsibility to review the FWS online job description, contact employers, interview and find a position in order to earn the funds provided through FWS.

Domestic students can work on or off-campus at an hourly wage of $17/hour. In addition, if a student is working off-campus, the student may not work on-campus nor hold other community service positions.

International students can work on campus only at an hourly wage of $17/hour. This is considered institutional aid. International students may work up to 35 hours per week during breaks (contingent upon CIIS budget). For more information regarding employment for international student status, contact your international student advisor at (415) 575-6157.

Vocational Rehabilitation

CIIS works with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist students in securing their educational funding. Students need to register online with the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine their eligibility.

In order to process this educational benefit, the Financial Aid Office needs an Authorization form/voucher from your Department of Rehabilitation counselor. 


AmeriCorps is a national community service program that provides funding for education in exchange for service. California Institute of Integral Studies matches the AmeriCorps education awards for the following students:

  • Undergraduates up to $2,000 
  • Masters up to $3,000
  • Doctorate up to $4,000

The award match would be granted if the student completed ONE year of study in our school and after the use of one full year of the AmeriCorps award. The match is given in a form of a scholarship and it is only up to tuition costs for the semester that it is applied.

For example, during the first year, the student would generally use the AmeriCorps award and during the second year the student would be granted the AmeriCorps match. The student must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) and not in default with federal aid programs.

You may contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about an AmeriCorps award at finaid@ciis.edu.

GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon

CIIS works with the Department of Veteran Affairs for those students eligible to receive GI Bill educational funding. CIIS also participates in the Yellow Ribbon program. The financial aid office needs to receive your Certification of Eligibility to process your veteran education benefits.

For more information, please visit the Veterans and their Families page. 

The Foundation Center

The Foundation Center offers a data base of scholarships, fellowships, grants and other awards. You can visit their library in downtown San Francisco and access the database and other resources for free.

312 Sutter St. #606
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 397-0903

For Washington State residents seeking information and resources about student loan repayment or seeking to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, please visit www.wsac.wa.gov/loan-advocacy or contact the Student Loan Advocate at loanadvocate@wsac.wa.gov.

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