Information about Financial Aid

Federal Financial Aid Programs

  • FEDERAL PELL GRANT
  • FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
  • FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS)
  • FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN
  • FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN

Students can apply for one or more of these programs by filing a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Who is Eligible for Federal Financial Aid?

To be considered for financial aid, students must meet the following minimum requirements:
For federal aid eligibility, be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.  An eligible non-citizen is a U.S. permanent resident who has documentation from the Department of Homeland Security verifying that his/her stay in the U.S. is for other than a temporary purpose.

For state aid eligibility, be either a 1) U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, or 2) be classified as an AB 540 student by your college’s Admissions & Records Office.

Demonstrate financial need (for most programs).

Have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Education Development (GED) certificate, passed a high school proficiency examination, or completed a high school education in a homeschool setting.

Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible certificate program.

Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in a course of study.

Not be in default on any student loan such as Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), or Supplemental Loans to Assist Students (SLS) at any college attended.

Not be in default on any student loan such as Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), or Supplemental Loans to Assist Students (SLS) at any college attended.

Not owe an overpayment on a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), SMART Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Be registered with Selective Service if required to do so.

Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) for federal aid eligibility.

Must have resolved all drug conviction issues.

File a federal income tax return if required to do so.

Student Dependency Status

In order to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (for AB 540 students), it will need to be determined if you are a DEPENDENT or INDEPENDENT student.

If you meet one of the criteria below, complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (for AB 540 students) with your (and your spouse’s, if applicable) income and asset information. If you do NOT meet any of the criteria below, you are a DEPENDENT student and must provide your and your parents’ income and asset information on the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (for AB 540 students).

Dependency Criteria

You were born before January 1, 1991.

You are married.

You will be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program (graduate or professional program beyond a bachelor’s degree) in 2014-2015.

You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.

You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

You have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

You have dependents (other than your spouse or children) that live with you and receive more than half of their support from you now and through June 30, 2015.

At any time since you turned age 13, both your parents were deceased, or you were in foster care, or you were a dependent/ward of the court.

As of today, you are an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.

As of today, you are in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.

At any time on or after July 1, 2013, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.

At any time on or after July 1, 2013, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.

At any time on or after July 1, 2013, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

Special Dependency Exceptions

Under federal and state laws, if you are a dependent student you are required to provide parental information and signatures on your aid application.  Under very limited conditions, you may be able to submit your application without parental information due to special circumstances.  Examples of special circumstances include: your parents are incarcerated, or you left home due to an abusive family environment.  Notify the Financial Aid Office if you feel that you have special circumstances.

If you believe you have a special circumstance and are unable to provide parental information, you will need to provide documentation to verify your situation.  Written evidence may include court or law enforcement documents, letters from school counselor, social worker, or clergy member, and other relevant data that explains your situation.

Student Responsibilities

Submit all financial aid applications and requested documents by specified deadlines.

Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) on file in the Admissions & Records Office for the purposes of processing and reporting federal financial aid and most state aid.

Students must declare an educational goal, and update changes with the Admissions & Records Office.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.  (The SAP Policy is also in the college catalog.)

Complete all federal financial aid forms ACCURATELY AND COMPLETELY.  If this is not done, aid could be delayed.  Errors must be corrected before any financial aid can be disbursed.

Read and understand all financial aid forms and information.  We advise students to retain copies of all documents submitted.

Students MAY NOT receive financial aid from more than one institution at the same time or periods of overlapping terms (except for the BOG Fee Waiver).

Notify the appropriate entity (college, lender, California Student Aid Commission,U.S. Department of Education, etc.) of changes in your name, address, school enrollment status, or transfer to another college.

Repay federal financial aid funds if it is determined that the you were ineligible to receive funds for any reason (i.e., Return to Title IV, overpayments, over-awards).

Do not misreport information.  Intentional misreporting of information on application forms for federal financial aid is a violation of the law and is considered a criminal offence subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code, and the denial of the student’s application.  Additionally, regulations require that all cases of suspected fraud emanating from misrepresentation be reported to the Office of Inspector General.

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