External ScholarshipS & SCHOLARSHARE

External Scholarships

External scholarships are scholarships provided from outside sources, such as local clubs, churches, a national organization, or another entity.

External Scholarships must be reported to the SDSU Financial Aid Office. As part of San Diego State University’s participation in providing federal and state financial aid, federal law requires that all resources are considered when determining eligibility and awarding financial aid. Therefore, we will adjust the student’s financial aid when necessary.

External scholarships have varying requirements and deadlines, so make sure to review their application information carefully. Contact the external scholarship donor directly if there are questions. 

List of external scholarships: View a list of selected scholarships not administered by SDSU.

Mailing an external scholarship check to SDSU 

In order for SDSU to apply external scholarships to the student’s account, checks need to be mailed to the following address:

San Diego State University
Attention: SDSU Financial Aid Office
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7436

Information donors should include when mailing a check to SDSU

Cover Letter: The donor should include a cover letter with the student’s full name, RedID and amount of the scholarship. The cover letter should also include the name of the organization/ scholarship agency, and a contact name and phone number.

The donor should also note the following:

  • Grade point average requirement (if any)
  • Enrollment status required by student (full time or part time)                                                                                      *Note that funds are usually released once the student enrolls, regardless of enrollment status (full or part time).       
  • Semester or academic year
    • Fall or spring semester
    • An academic year (both fall and spring semesters)

Scholarship Check: The donor should make the check payable to San Diego State University, and include the student’s name and SDSU student RedID on the check's memo line.

Sending an external scholarship to SDSU via EFT/ACH

To properly apply scholarships to a student's account that are paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Automated Clearing House (ACH), SDSU requires donors to submit the following information to us at [email protected]:

  • Donor Organization/Scholarship Name/Bank Name
  • Date of wire transfer
  • Total amount of wire transfer
  • Student(s) full name and ID number
  • Semester and academic year for which the funds are intended, e.g., Fall 2023, Spring 2024, etc.


Disbursement of funds

All funding (grants, loans, scholarships, etc.) begins disbursing seven to ten days before the start of each semester; so even if the donor sends the check early, the student will not see it applied to their account until just before the term. Check processing can take up to 2-3 weeks.

Verification of enrollment

Oftentimes the donor will require enrollment verification before they will send the check.  Students may obtain enrollment verification from the Office of the Registrar, at (619) 594-6871.


ScholarShare is California's 529 College Savings Plan. Learn how to withdraw funds from your savings account, if you have one.

Additional Questions

Contact the Cal Coast Student Financial Center, or email us at [email protected]