Financial Aid

Emergency Financial Support

Cal Poly Cares

One-time emergency grants are available to students struggling with housing and meals, tuition and academic supplies, medical and transportation needs, and more.

→ Learn more about the Cal Poly Cares grants

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Financial Aid Office still open?

The Financial Aid Office remains fully operational. Our physical office on campus is not open, but our team is working remotely.

Do you expect financial aid processing delays?

At this point, we are not experiencing any processing delays.

What happens to my financial aid if I attend part-time?

Financial aid’s Part-Time Enrollment page provides details about how enrollment status may affect your aid.

Can I still meet with my financial aid counselor?

Absolutely! Students, parents, and supporters can send requests for a video meeting (via Zoom) to If you'd prefer not to use the video feature, you can disable it and use the Zoom's audio-only option as well.

How do I submit my documents?

Students can still e-mail and fax non-sensitive documents. At this time, if students are still local and want to drop off paper documents, they can be left in the secure drop box in Building 1 (outside Room 212) where they are being collected regularly for processing. Please be sure that documents are complete, signed if necessary, and include the student EmplID number each page.

What if my family's financial situation has changed as a result of COVID-19? Is there a way to have our financial aid re-evaluated?

We understand that many families are facing economic adversity and a financial situation that may be significantly different than what was reported on the FAFSA application. We encourage families who have experienced a loss of income to submit a Change of Income appeal, which will be available on our website after June 15, 2020.

We begin accepting these appeals in June because we will be requesting documentation of your current income for the first six months of 2020 to use as rationale for any potential adjustments. During this process, we can re-evaluate your eligibility for financial aid based on this updated income information.

Where can I go to find more information on fees and financial aid disbursements?

For more information and support, please visit the Cal Poly Student Account website,


Federal Cares Act Emergency Student Grant and Institutional Grant Reports

Updated 4/7/22

According to the Federal Cares Act Requirements, the following information regarding the Student Emergency Grants are being made available and per federal guidance will be updated Quarterly (October/January/April/July) until the emergency grant funds are fully expended. 

Additionally, the campus must provide a public report for each quarter on how the institutional portion of the grant funds have been utilized to offset COVID related expenses incurred by Cal Poly.

Institutional Grant Report - Federal CARES Act

The total amount allocated to Cal Poly is $14,095,976 of that, 50% or $7,047,988 is allocated for emergency student grants (see below).  The remaining 50% is allocated to be used for institutional costs resulting from COVID.  As a Minority Serving Institution, Cal Poly has been awarded another $57,643 to support institutional expenses related to COVID for a total of $7,105,631. 

Emergency Student Grant Report

Cal Poly signed and returned to the Department of Education the signed certification and agreement to receive Cares Act funding which assures that no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) will be used to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

The total amount allocated to Cal Poly under the CARES ACT provision is $14,095,976.

Of that, $7,047,988 is to be spent as direct emergency grants to students.  At this time, all of the student emergency grant funds have been spent.

The estimated total number of students at Cal Poly eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in the Title IV of Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants to students under section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES act is 15,167.

The total number of students who have received an emergency grant under the CARES Act is 6,736.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant (HEERF II)

On December 27, 2020 additional federal emergency funds (HEERF II) were authorized.  Cal Poly’s portion is $20,752,799 of which $7,047,988 must be used for direct grant aid to students.

For these funds Cal Poly awarded block grants in the March 2021 to 4,535 students who completed a FAFSA, had an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 0-9,000, and were enrolled in the winter quarter at least half time.   The grants ranged from $650 to $1500. The remaining funds are being used for emergency and technology needs and continue to be awarded to eligible students through the Cal Poly Cares application ranging from $50-$2000. The language in the second relief bill was to provide direct aid to students with the highest need and those are the students this funding is concentrated on. 

As of 3/31/22 a total of $6,654,622 has been disbursed to 4,674 students.

All currently enrolled students who have additional expenses related to the disruption of campus activities due to COVID can apply for grant assistance through the Cal Poly Cares application.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting

HEERF I, II, and III (a)(1) Institutional Portion and (a)(2) Minority Serving Institutions

American Rescue Plan (HEERF III)

On March 11, 2021 the American Rescue Plan (HEERF III) was signed into law. Cal Poly’s portion is $36,886,641 of which $18,444,062 must be used for direct grant aid to students.

In October of 2021 Cal Poly disbursed $9,017,150 in block grants to 5,700 students who completed a FAFSA or CA Dream Act, had an EFC of 0-15,000 and were enrolled at least half-time. Grants ranged from $150 to $2000 depending on enrollment and EFC.

The primary goal of the remaining funds was to assist students who show financial need based on the FAFSA or CA Dream Act to purchase a laptop computer that meets the minimum standards of most majors (16G RAM and 512G SSD storage) As of 1/9/2022 Cal Poly has disbursed funds or provided bookstore credit totaling $4,650,012 to 2,572 students. As of 3/25/22, except for Pell eligible students, the tech grant is no longer automatically approved. Students in need of technology, or any other assistance are instructed to submit a request via Cal Poly Cares.

As of 3/31/2022 Cal Poly has disbursed funds or provided bookstore credit totaling $17,061,453 to 6,859 students.

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