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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to complete your Fresno State Scholarship Application?

You've got questions and we've got answers!

Below you will find common frequently asked questions and our responses. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact our office, otherwise, click the button above to get started on your Fresno State General Scholarship Application!

Scholarship donors are generous people who unselfishly give to support the educational endeavors of students like you. They typically ask for nothing in return, but receiving a well written thank you letter from a student is always special and lets the donor know that his or her scholarship was greatly appreciated. Your letter reminds them why they gave in the first place and often help secure continuing gifts for future students.

Writing A Well Written Letter

Make sure the letter is free of both grammatical and spelling errors. You are an important part of the Fresno State Family, and the literacy demonstrated in your letter is a reflection on all of us.

Thank You Letter Tips:

  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Double-check for typos and grammatical errors
  • Express enthusiasm
  • Be sincere
  • Send it typewritten in business format
  • Use quality paper

You were awarded a scholarship because your personal qualities and academic abilities stood above all other applicants. Sending a typed thank you letter confirms that this scholarship was important enough to you to take the time to present yourself in a professional manner. The sample letters on our web site are to help you compose your own thank you letter in a professional business format.

Need help? Would you like to see a couple of sample Thank You letters? Get inspiration by clicking here.

The scholarship application period for Fresno State starts October 1, 2021 and ends on March 2, 2022.  This application period is for current year scholarship opportunities that may become available during the 2021/2022 academic year as well as for future scholarship opportunities for the 2022/2023 academic year.

Please note there are different deadline dates for the various scholarship opportunities offered at Fresno State. Since these deadline dates can change without notice, please do not procrastinate on finishing the application process.

You need to access and complete our online scholarship application. We do not distribute paper applications and will only accept the online scholarship application for consideration of all institutional scholarship awards. By submitting this application you will have an opportunity to be considered for all possible institutional scholarships.

You must first apply for admission to California State University, Fresno. Within a few business days of submitting your application for admission, you will receive an official acknowledgement (from our Admission Office) that your application was received. Listed within that documentation is your Student ID Number that is assigned to you.

The awarding of scholarships start at the end of April and usually concludes by the end of July. After the scholarship application deadline has closed, you will need to monitor your Fresno State email to see if you have been awarded a scholarship. If you are awarded a scholarship, a congratulatory email will be sent to you instructing you to log in to your scholarship application to view the details of your award. Our award process does not include a notification to all students who applied for scholarships, but only to the selected recipients of a scholarship.

Please Remember
Be sure to send a thank you letter to the donor. Our scholarship funds are provided by private donors who take an interest in supporting our students. Without the support of these donors, many students would not be able to reach their educational goals. Your award notification will list a mailing address on where to send your thank you letter. 

Scholarships are available to all students who are incoming freshman, continuing or transfer (including out-of-state students), undergraduate or graduate students who plan to attend Fresno State.

Scholarship eligibility is administered by the university and qualifications vary according to stipulations of individual donors who provided funding for the program. Factors for consideration typically include scholastic achievement, academic major, involvement in school organizations, participation in community activities, and full-time enrollment. Depending on specific donor criteria these factors can vary, so regardless of your accomplishment, interests, or background, we encourage all students to apply online for scholarships.

International Students

International students who are currently enrolled at Fresno State can apply for institutional scholarships using our online application. Incoming international students who are not currently enrolled, or have not been admitted, are not eligible to apply for institutional scholarships.

If the financial aid you receive (which includes scholarships, grants, stipends, and loans) is more than your calculated need for assistance, then it is possible that some of your federal or state aid may be reduced.  Any reduction is aid would only impact your federal or state aid and not your scholarship funds. 

You may be asked to upload letters of recommendation or other documents that are required for a specific scholarship opportunity. These documents must be uploaded to your online application prior to the scholarship deadline. All documents that are submitted become the property of Fresno State and will not be returned.

If you receive an outside scholarship, and your donor requires "official" proof of enrollment from our campus, you must contact the Admission and Records Office at (559) 278-4743 to request verification of enrollment. They are located in the Joyal Administration Building, north lobby public contact windows. 

Scholarship checks must be mailed to:

California State University, Fresno
Cashiering Services
5150 N. Maple Ave., JA58
Fresno, Ca 93740-0826

Checks must be made payable to Fresno State or California State University, Fresno. Please ask the organization to include your name and Fresno State Student ID number on the check or cover letter.

All private scholarship funds received will be posted on your financial aid award screen.  The disbursement process for issuing private scholarship funds is identical to the process for disbursing Fresno State scholarships. 

Only students with adequate scholarship funds to cover the cost of tuition and campus fees will be eligible to receive a fee deferment. The scholarship fee deferment delays the payment of tuition and fees until the first week of the semester.  The below criteria defines the qualifications for receiving a fee deferment.

  • Students who are awarded a Fresno State scholarship sufficient to cover the full cost of tuition and fees will automatically receive a deferment.
  • Students who have a private scholarship sufficient to cover the full cost of tuition and fees can request a deferment as long as Fresno State has received those funds prior to the fee payment deadline.

The deferment does not waive the fees or release students from their responsibility or obligation to pay their tuition and fees. If the student still owes fees after their scholarship is disbursed, the student must pay the remaining balance by the first week of the semester.  Failure to pay fees will result in cancellation of classes for the semester.

The scholarship application is not designed to print an exact copy or PDF version of your completed application. Since our on-line application allows you access to view and edit your application throughout our award cycle, we believe this functionality replaces the need to print a hard-copy of what you submitted.

Fresno State Scholarship Awards
Fresno State scholarship awards are traditionally offered for the academic year and are disbursed at the beginning of the fall and spring semester.  However, some awards may only be for a single semester.  Please reference your Fresno State financial aid award screen by logging in to https://my.fresnostate.edu and click on "Student Self Service."  Select the "Student Center" link to view your school related activities.  Click on the arrow pointing to “My Finances” and then select the "View Financial Aid" link to see how your funds are allocated for the academic year. 

Your scholarship award will appear on your financial aid award screen after you have accepted the award offer and after the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships substantiates your eligibility for the award.  Please note it may take a few weeks for the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to confirm your eligibility and post the award on your financial aid screen.

Private Scholarship Awards
When a private organization awards you a scholarship, they typically mail your scholarship check to Fresno State.  If they mail the check directly to you, please bring the check to the Fresno State Accounting Services Office (located in Joyal Administration Building, room 181) for processing.  All scholarship checks that are payable to Fresno State must be cashed by the University.  Private scholarship funds received will be posted on your financial aid award screen.  The disbursement process for issuing private scholarship funds is identical to the process for disbursing Fresno State scholarships.

Disbursement of Funds
Scholarship funds that are processed by Accounting Services, or funds awarded by Fresno State, will not automatically payoff or pay down your tuition fees before the payment due date.  All scholarship funds will be credited to your student account after all requirements for disbursement have been met, but no earlier than one week before the beginning of the semester.  Some of the requirements that are verified before funds are disbursed include full-time enrollment, minimum grade point average, or athletic participation.  However, special arrangements can be made to delay your tuition fee payment until the first week of the semester when your scholarship funds disburse.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for more information about requesting a Fee Deferment*.

If fees are owed to Fresno State (such as tuition, course fees, etc.) at the time your scholarship is disbursed, your scholarship funds will automatically be applied to your outstanding balance.  If you have a zero balance, or your scholarship funds exceed what is currently owed, then the remaining funds will be disbursed to you through your selected refund preference with BankMobile. For more information about BankMobile, please contact Accounting Services at (559) 278-2876 or visit this link: https://bankmobiledisbursements.com/refundchoicessso/.

* Please Note: The fee deferment does not waive the fees or release you from the responsibility or obligation to pay your tuition and fees.  Failure to pay your fees will result in cancellation of classes for the semester.