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Financial Aid

Although international students are not eligible for most forms of financial aid, the US Department of State has provided an excellent list of funding sources that may assist students with their efforts to efforts to fund their education.

*These links are independent of California State University San Marcos’s own financing options.

In addition, tthe CSU system allows for a limited number of tuition waivers to international students.  At CSU San Marcos, international students are eligible to apply for these tuition waivers after their first year of residence.  Generally, these tuition waivers are partial, which means that only a portion of the tuition fee is waived.  Applications are due in May and with waivers being granted for fall semester, with a possibility of renewal.

CSUSM Bachelor's/UG Tuition Waiver Program

General Principles

The primary purpose of the tuition waiver is to recognize international students enrolled at CSU San Marcos who display exceptional scholastic ability and prior scholastic achievement.

Normally, tuition waivers will be partial, and awarded for three or more credit units per semester. These waivers are the equivalent of scholarships with no work assignments involved.


  • Undergraduate international students must:
    • hold an F-1 visa
    • be in good academic standing
    • have been in residence for at least one semester and be enrolled at the time of application
    • be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit units.
  • Graduate international students must conform to all of the requirements for undergraduate students, except be enrolled in a minimum of 10 credit units or if enrolled for fewer than 10 units, be employed by the University less than full time, but at least twenty hours per week.
  • Students who have already received a CSUSM fee waiver are eligible to reapply.

Criteria for Selection

  • No minimum GPA is required, but the overall academic record of the student will be evaluated, especially work done at CSUSM.
  • In addition to academic performance, service to the campus community will be taken into consideration.

Selection Process

  • A Selection Committee, composed of no fewer than three members of the University Global Affairs Committee, will make recommendations to the President who will decide to whom and the number (if any) of tuition waivers that will be granted.
  • Among the criteria that will be considered in addition to the student's scholastic record will be diversity among students selected, including geographical distribution, when possible. Economic need will not have to be demonstrated.
  • Awards will be made in the spring of each year for the following academic year.
  • An application notice will be mailed to all currently enrolled international students at least three weeks prior to the submission deadline. Applications are mailed to current students from the Office of Global Education.

  • Applicants must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a CSUSM faculty member that assesses academic performance. Letters from other faculty/staff addressing service and other contributions may be submitted.

  • After reviewing all applications the committee will select finalists who may be interviewed by the committee members. Students recommended for a fee waiver shall come from the group of finalists.


CSUSM Masters/GR Tuition Waiver Program

  • Each masters academic department at CSUSM manages their nonresident tuition waiver application process.
  • After admission to a program, please reach out to your graduate coordinator for details.
  • Extended Learning graduate program students are not eligible for this nonresident tuition waiver consideration due to the programs being managed through Extended Learning.


#YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship


Scholarships for Women:


Outside Scholarships by Country:

All Countries

Fulbright Program

International Student Loan Service

Nippon Foundation Fund for Marine Science

Study California Scholarship:The Study California Scholarship is designed to help students who seek to study in California.  CSUSM is a proud member of the consortia and students are eligible for scholarships through this program. 


Business Majors:  The Asia Institute offers a number of scholarships for students in Business (graduate and undergraduate) to study abroad.

Student applicants should be seeking to participate in a global learning experience in Asia. The global learning experience can be:

  • Short-term faculty led program (10 days – 8 weeks)
  • Semester or fully year study abroad program
  • International internship (6 weeks minimum)
  • Virtual learning programs (4 weeks minimum)
  • International scholarly research (4 weeks minimum)

Please consult the following website Asia Institute for deadlines.


Engineering Majors: To support the global competencies and knowledge of engineering students, The Asia Institute offers $1,000 in scholarship funding each year. This scholarship support students seeking to participate in global learning experience in Asia. Scholarship applications on March 1 and must include a student-faculty join submission.

Please consult the following website Asia Institute for further information.


MasterCard Foundation

Central and South Asia

Aga-Khan Foundation


United Kingdom

BUNAC Master Degree Funding

Latin America and The Caribbean

Organization of American States Loan Program


Lyford Cay Scholarship




Colfutoro Scholarship and Loan Program


Dominican Republic





IFARHU Scholarship Program Loan Program

IFARHU Loan Program