Starting with the Essentials
As you start your journey at CSUSM, it is important to identify the early steps you can take to set yourself up for success. Transitioning to a new university, however, is more than enrolling in classes. Before the start of the semester, we ask that you take the time to think through the following items. Being proactive and addressing these topics early on will help ease any stress you may feel towards the start of the Fall semester.
Beyond tuition and fees, have you thought about how much it will cost to attend CSUSM?
If you have never set up a budget before, now is the time! Review the cost of attendance, housing costs, living expenses (including food and transportation), books/supplies, and compare these to your financial aid award (if applicable) and any other financial support you may be receiving to attend CSUSM (including employment income).
1. Confirm that all required documents have been received by Financial Aid.
2. Create a checklist of anticipated expenses, including, tuition & fees, housing, textbooks and other supplies, utilities, phone, Food, parking fees, car – gas, insurance, car payments, etc., transit pass costs.
3. Verify the financial aid you’ll be receiving and how much of your anticipated expenses it will cover.
NOTE: Financial Aid does NOT cover all of campus housing cost.
4. Apply for grants and scholarships.
Things to consider:
Will you need to request a payment plan for tuition/fees?
Will you need to secure a job to assist with your expenses?
Tip!: You can review the Managing Your Finances page through Financial Aid for tips on budgeting.
Have you thought about where you will live?
On-campus? If you are planning to live away from home, you can start thinking through
your options now. If you are considering living on campus, get in touch with the Housing and Residential Education Office early to discuss your options, including floor plans and rent.
1. Apply for campus housing after intent to enroll.
NOTE: Campus housing costs are separate from Tuition/Fees and are not all covered by Financial Aid. Compare costs of each housing unit with your Checklist of expenses and estimate of financial aid received.
Off campus? If you plan to live off campus, consider looking for a place to rent early.
The campus has an off-campus housing database that can assist you starting your search.
If you have a car, check costs of parking permits.
If no car, ensure your apartment is near public transportation, check costs of transit passes.
Tip! If you will be living off campus and commuting, consider the amount of time and gas it will take to commute to campus and back. This may help you in determining the course schedule that is best for you.
It is helpful for students to be aware of the resources the campus offer to ensure students have reliable and stable access to food, such as the ASI Cougar Pantry. Many students may also qualify for CalFresh and should talk to someone about applying. If you are not sure if you qualify based on your residency status, please speak with a CalFresh Specialist before you apply.
Health and Well-Being
We encourage students to keep their health and safety a priority during their time at CSUSM. CSUSM has a number of resources available to students to address mental health concerns, emotional wellbeing, physical health, and more.
Make sure you review all of the resources available to you at CSUSM:
- Student Health and Counseling Services
- Campus Recreation
- Hope and Wellness Center
- Cougar Care Network
The month you start classes
Contact Cougar Care Network for assistance
- Check Library Reserves