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. 

There are 13 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.

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 student, you are considered a graduate student for financial aid purposes.

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 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), credential students must provide the following answers:

  • When you begin the 2019-2020 school year, what will be your grade level? Answer: 5th year/other undergraduate
  • When you begin the 2019-2020 school year, what degree or certificate will you be working on? Answer: Teaching credential (non-degree program)
  • At the beginning of the 2019-2020 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.


  • Eligible Programs

    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

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

  • Non-Eligible Programs

    The following programs do not prepare a student for teaching in a classroom setting.  As a result, students enrolled in the following programs are 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.

  • Cost Of Attendance

    Estimated Cost of Attendance for Non-Degree Credential Program   

    *based on 12 units per term

    Fall 2019/Spring 2020 Off CampusWith Parents/Relatives 
    Tuition & Fees $20,054 $20,054
    Room & Board $18,144 $6,786
    Books & Supplies $1,971 $1,971
    Parking &Transportation $1,278 $1,134
    Personal & Miscellaneous $3,996 $3,564
    Loan Fees $133 $133
    Total Estimated Cost $45,576 $33,642


  • Golden State Teacher Grant

    The Golden State Teacher Grant Program (GSTG) encourages students to consider earning a teaching credential and teach in a high-need field, at a priority school, in California for four years, within five years after completing a teacher preparation program. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will award $20,000 Golden State Teacher Grants to over 4,400 eligible students across California, that are enrolled in a Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved teacher preparation program on or after January 1, 2020. Applicants must agree to all terms and conditions of the GSTG program or be required to repay the grant.

    Please visit the California Student Aid Commission website for more information and application instructions. 

    For more information contact the
    Golden State Teacher Grant Program at: