Teaching Credential Programs

Students in the Teaching Credential Program are considered 5th-year undergraduate students, not graduate, for Financial Aid purposes and are subject to undergraduate-level loan limits. The types of financial aid available to students pursuing a teaching credential are very specific and different from undergraduate or graduate financial aid. 

Independent students may be eligible to borrow up to $12,500 in Federal Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans. Dependent students whose parents can borrow a PLUS loan may borrow a total of $5,500 in Stafford Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized) through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Your dependency status is determined by federal regulations. If you are dually enrolled as a credential and Masters's student, you are considered a graduate student for financial aid purposes.

There are several questions students must answer to determine if they are a dependent or independent student. If you answer "no" to all questions, you must provide parental information on the FAFSA even if you no longer reside with your parents or they no longer provide your support. The federal government will still view you as a dependent student and parental information is required for all dependent students.

Unsure if you are considered an independent student or a dependent student? Find out here.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more units)
  • Have remaining eligibility for loan borrowing (not reached lifetime loan limits associated with the credential program)

When Completing the FAFSA

When completing the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), credential students must provide the following answers:

  • When you begin the 2020-2021 school year, what will be your grade level? Answer: 5th year/other undergraduates
  • When you begin the 2020-2021 school year, what degree or certificate will you be working on? Answer: Teaching credential (non-degree program)
  • At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program? Answer: No

Additional information for Teaching Credential Students

  • You may be eligible for a Federal Work-Study and Federal Direct Loans (including the Federal Direct Parent Plus loan).
  • Federal Direct Loans: Partial loan forgiveness for Federal Direct Loans is available for designated teachers and childcare providers. Information may be obtained at Student Aid on the Web, a site maintained by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • In order to be eligible to receive financial aid for your Credential Program, you must be enrolled in a program that prepares you for teaching in a classroom. 

    Programs Eligible for Federal Financial Aid:

    • All Single Subject Credential Programs
    • All Multiple Subject Credential Programs
    • All Elementary Credentials
    • Special Education Credential Program

    Programs Not Eligible for Federal Financial Aid:

    • Administrative Services
    • Pupil Personnel Counseling
    • Non-Degree Certificate Programs

    The U.S. Department of Education limits aid eligibility for credential programs to those programs that prepare a student for teaching in a classroom.


  • Estimated Cost of Attendance for Non-Degree Credential Program   

    *based on 6 units per term

    Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Off CampusWith Parents/Relatives 
    Tuition & Fees $16,680 $16,680
    Room & Board $19,896 $8,780
    Books & Supplies $1,080 $1,080
    Parking &Transportation $858 $938
    Personal & Miscellaneous $3,784 $3,225
    Loan Fees $132 $132
    Total Estimated Cost $42,610 $30,015


  • Scholarships 

    Scholarships are available to LMU students. Scholarships are considered gift-aid because they don't need to be repaid. There are thousands of scholarships, offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, and professional and social organizations. There are also scholarships available by your College or program of study. Please review the sections below to begin applying for LMU and outside scholarships. 

    Departmental Scholarships   <---- click on the link for information 

    Scholarship Universe   <----- click on the link for information

    Federal Direct Loan

    Students, who file a FAFSA, may be eligible for federal student loans. Your FAFSA will determine if you are eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

    Federal Direct Loan award amounts:

    • Dependent Credential Students:  Eligible for an annual maximum of $5,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $31,000 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate).
    • Independent Credential Students:  Eligible for an annual maximum of $12,500 in loans (up to a lifetime limit of $57,500 – including any loans received as an Undergraduate).

    Federal Parent PLUS Loan

    Parents of students who filed a FAFSA might be eligible to borrow a Parent PLUS loan.

    For Credential Students who are considered to be Dependent Students for financial aid purposes, federal loans are also available for parents to cover their student’s remaining education costs. PLUS Loans are Federal Direct Loans in which the parent of a dependent student is the applicant and borrower. Your parent may borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid you are receiving.  

    To qualify for the Direct PLUS loan, your parent must meet some of the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid and will need to pass a modest credit check.

    To Apply: 
    To apply please visit studentaid.gov 

    Cal Grant Teaching Credential Program (TCP)

    Undergraduate Cal Grant A and B recipients who plan to enroll in a teaching credential program (TCP) after they receive their bachelor’s degree may be eligible to renew their Cal Grant award for an additional year. The additional year of payment is provided to students who are seeking an initial teaching credential and cannot be used for other graduate-level courses of study. Request for Cal Grant Teaching Credential Program Benefits

    Golden State Teacher Grant Program


    Important Program Update: Due in part to California’s emergency response and state budget revisions vital to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GSTG program has changed.  While the GSTG program is accepting applications from currently enrolled eligible students, the GSTG program awards are only for students currently enrolled toward earning a teaching credential in special education.  Interested students may email questions to goldenstateteachers@csac.ca.gov

    The Golden State Teacher Grant program (GSTG) is for students who are currently enrolled in a teacher preparation program to earn a credential in the high need field of special education and commit to teach at a priority school, in California for four years, within five years after completing a teacher preparation program.

    GSTG awards of up to $20,000 are available to eligible, currently enrolled students in California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved teacher preparation programs within a California institution of higher education.   College and University campuses will use their own selection criteria and procedures to identify eligible students. Apply for a Golden State Teacher Grant here:  https://gstg.csac.ca.gov

    What is a “High-Need Field”?

    A “high-need field” means any of the following:
    (1) Bilingual education.
    (2) Mathematics or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), including career technical education in STEM areas.
    (3) Science.
    (4) Special education.
    (5) Multiple subject instruction.
    (6) Other subjects as designated annually by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing based on an analysis of the availability of teachers in California pursuant to Education Code Section 44225.6.

    What is a Priority School?

    A “priority school” means a school with a high percentage, as determined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in consultation with the California Department of Education (CDE), of teachers holding emergency-type permits, based on the most recent data available to the CTC and the CDE. By January 1, 2020, the CTC shall publish a list of priority schools. “Emergency-type permits” include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
    (1) Provisional internships.
    (2) Short-term staff permits.
    (3) Credential waivers.
    (4) Substitute permits.

    How do I know if I’m eligible for a Golden State Teacher Grant?

    All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Be enrolled on or after January 1, 2020, in a teacher preparation program within a California institution of higher education approved by the CTC.
    • Meet the selection criteria identified by their institutions.

    What is a Teaching Agreement?

    The Teaching Agreement explains the student’s obligations under the provisions of the grant. Non-compliance with the Teaching Agreement will result in partial or full grant repayment.
    • Maintain good academic standing while enrolled in the CTC approved teacher preparation program.
    • Upon completion of the teacher preparation program, satisfy the state basic skills proficiency test requirements.
    • Commit to teaching in a “high-need field” at a “priority school” for four (4) years, within five (5) years after graduation from your teacher preparation program.

    For more information contact the
    Golden State teacher Grant Program at:
    phone: 1.888.224.7268