Student Funding Frequently Asked Questions

​Please see below for frequently asked questions (FAQ) about our student funding programs. 

Graduate Student Research AwardsStudent InternshipsStudent Travel Awards

Undergraduate Student Research Support Program



Graduate Student Research Awards
Have you read the COAST Graduate Student Research Award materials closely, but still have questions about the program? See below for some common questions and answers! 

Remember to check out examples of highly ranked Graduate Student Research Award applications from previous years! 

Q: I am an international or undocumented student. Can I still apply for this program?
Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens; international and undocumented students are eligible to apply. 

Q: I am requesting all funds be sent through my Financial aid office. Do I need to submit a Departmental Commitment Form?
No. If you are requesting that the entire award be paid directly to you to help defray personal living expenses or tuition, you do NOT need to submit a Departmental Commitment Form. 

Q: My advisor will be out of the country when the application is due. Can s/he submit the letter after the application deadline?
No. All materials are due by January 31, 2019, at 5:00 pm PST. It is your responsibility to work with your advisor ahead of time to ensure that s/he will be able to submit your letter of recommendation on or before the deadline. 

Q: If I get an award, and have some or all of the funds go towards Financial Aid, will that impact my financial aid package?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with their campus financial aid office prior to applying to COAST to determine the potential impact of this award to other forms of compensation provided through their university, including financial aid. Portions of awards paid directly to students will be processed through campus financial aid offices. Please be advised that receiving and accepting a COAST award could lead to a decrease in other forms of financial assistance. Ordinarily, adjustments (if any) are made to loans first before other grants or scholarships. Award recipients should contact their campus financial aid office to determine how the award may affect their total financial aid package.

Q: When will I find out if my application was selected for funding?
           All applicants will be contacted in April 2019. 

Q: If my application is selected for funding, when should I expect to be able to start spending the funds?
Barring unforeseen circumstances, award spending can begin on May 15, 2019. 


Still have questions? Contact the COAST Coordinator, Beth Pardieck (epardieck@csumb.edu​).

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Student Internships
Have you read the COAST Summer Internship materials closely, but still have questions about the program? See below for some common questions and answers! 

Q: I am an international or undocumented student. Can I still apply for this program?
Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens; international and undocumented students are eligible to apply. Internships may have additional eligibility requirements-please see individual descriptions for more detail.

Q: Can I submit a cover letter as part of my internship application?
No. We cannot accept cover letters.

Q: Do I need to submit official transcripts?
No. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. 

Q: I attended community college(s) before I came to the CSU, and had some of those credits transferred. Is my CSU transcript sufficient?
No. We need transcripts including GPA from all institutions you have attended (ALL community college, undergraduate and graduate).

Q: I’m a graduate student. Do I need to submit transcripts from my undergraduate institution?
Yes. We need transcripts including GPA from all institutions you have attended (ALL community college, undergraduate and graduate).

Q: How do I know if the person I want to write the letter of recommendation is a CSU faculty member?
This can be a bit tricky, but there are a few ways you can figure it out. Generally speaking, if someone teaches a class (i.e., if someone is a professor or a lecturer) at a CSU, they are a CSU faculty member. To confirm if someone is a member of the faculty, you can do two things:
1. Check the Department faculty list (there is usually a link on the school webpage). If the person you want to write you a letter is not on this list, they may not be a faculty member.
2. Ask the person. 
Please note: your supervisor at your on-campus job (at the library, athletic department, dining services, etc.) or  student advisors who do not also teach classes are generally not CSU faculty members. If a letter is submitted by someone who is not a CSU faculty member, we will not be able to include it with your application. Without a letter that meets the criteria specified in the announcement, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Q: Can my letter of recommendation be from an adjunct professor? 
Yes. Adjunct faculty members may submit letters of recommendation as long as they are on institutional letterhead. 

Q: Can my letter of recommendation be from an emeritus professor? 
Yes. Emeritus faculty members may submit letters of recommendation as long as they are on institutional letterhead. 

Q: The person I have asked to write a letter of recommendation was a CSU faculty member when they knew me but is no longer in the same position. Can they still write me a letter of recommendation?
Yes. The letter should be on institutional letterhead from their current institution and should reference their former position at the CSU when discussing the context in which they know you. 

Q: Can I submit more than one letter of recommendation for a single internship? 
No. We can only accept one letter of recommendation for each internship application.

Q: Can I request one letter of recommendation for multiple internship applications? 
Yes. One letter can be used for multiple applications, but you are welcome to ask a CSU faculty member to write letters specific to each internship you apply for. One CSU faculty member can write multiple letters (one for each internship), or you can ask different CSU faculty members to write letter(s) for some or all of your internship applications.

Q: I am graduating before the internship starts. Can I still be selected for a COAST internship? 
No. Only continuing CSU students can participate in the COAST internship program. A continuing student meets the following criteria: 
1. Was enrolled as a matriculated student at a CSU campus during the preceding term;
2. Enrollment has not been interrupted; and 
3. Is registered, or is expected to register, for the succeeding term at the same institution at the same program level. If you are selected for an internship, we will ask for proof of Fall enrollment.

Q: When will I be notified if I am selected (or not selected) for an internship?
COAST will notify all applicants of their status in late April-early May.

Still have questions? Contact the COAST Coordinator, Beth Pardieck (epardieck@csumb.edu​).

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Student Travel Award
Have you read the COAST Student Travel Award materials closely, but still have questions about the program? See below for some common questions and answers! 

Q: I am an international or undocumented student. Can I still apply for this program?
Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens; international and undocumented students are eligible to apply. 

Q: I submitted my abstract, but it hasn’t been accepted yet. Can I apply for student travel now, or should I wait until I have received my confirmation?
You may apply for an award once you have submitted an abstract and are awaiting notification of acceptance. Please note in your application that abstract acceptance is pending. Your application will be held in the queue and won’t be complete and considered for funding until we receive evidence your abstract is accepted. So, as soon as you receive your abstract confirmation, submit it to studenttravelcoast@share.calstate.edu

Q: I worked on a project with another student and we both want to attend the conference. Can COAST support both of us if we are both listed as authors on our poster or presentation?
No. COAST can only provide funds to the presenting author.

Q: Is a Statement of Endorsement the same thing as a Letter of Recommendation? 
No. A Statement of Endorsement is meant to be very brief. It only needs to confirm that the CSU faculty mentor supports the student’s planned conference presentation and the student’s application to COAST for travel funding, and that the applicant will be an enrolled CSU student or continuing CSU student during the time of travel. 

Q: I am presenting at a conference or meeting after I graduate. Can COAST still support my travel?
No. Awardees must be enrolled CSU students or continuing CSU students during the time of travel. A continuing student meets the following criteria: 
1. Was enrolled as a matriculated student at a CSU campus during the preceding term;
2. Enrollment has not been interrupted; and 
3. Is registered, or is expected to register, for the succeeding term at the same institution at the same program level. 

Q: I received a COAST Student Travel Award last year. Can I still apply?
Travel awards are limited to one award per student per academic year. Previous COAST Student Travel Award recipients are eligible to apply provided they have met the obligations of their previous award, however preference will be given to new applicants.

Still have questions? Contact the COAST Coordinator, Beth Pardieck (epardieck@csumb.edu​).

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Undergraduate Student Research Awards

Q: I am an undergraduate and am very interested in applying for the program. Who should I contact about submitting an application?
These awards are administered independently at each campus. If you are interested in applying for this program, you should speak to the CSU faculty member you are working with, and your COAST campus representatives.  

Still have questions? Contact the COAST Coordinator, Beth Pardieck (epardieck@csumb.edu​).

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