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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Common Processes

After you submit your financial aid application, you might find yourself needing to submit additional information to satisfy a financial aid To Do item or hold on your account. You may also be participating in a special program and/or taking courses that are handled differently. Here are common processes that you may encounter as you go through the finanical aid process:

The verification process is essentially an audit on the information that you have reported on your financial aid application to ensure that it is accurate and that you are receiving the financial aid that you are eligible for. You may be selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education and/or our office.

If you are selected for verification, we are required to complete verification on your file before awarding and/or disbursing financial aid. The process can take several weeks, especially during the summer, so it is important to submit any requested documents to our office as soon as you can to ensure that your financial aid is ready prior to the fee payment deadlines!

How do I know if I need to submit documents? You'll want to log in to your Student Center and take a look at your To Do list. If there are items on your To Do list, you can click the "details" link in the corner and then click on each item's hyperlink to find more details on what is being requested. Check out our tutorial for how to check your To Do list!

How do I find the documents that I need to submit?  It depends -- Some of the documents that we are requesting can be completed directly from our Student Forms portal and some of the documents that we are requesting you will need to get directly from the IRS. When you click into the To Do item, you will be directed to our Student Forms portal, which will let you know how to complete the task and if you will need to get documentation from the IRS. Check out our tutorial on How to get a tax transcript from the IRS!

Tips for making the process easier:

  • Request your Federal Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS when your complete your FAFSA, so that you have them available should they be requested!
  • Monitor your To Do List on your Student Center
  • Respond quickly to requests from our office... Really, putting this off can cause you a lot of stress if your financial aid is not ready in time!
  • When completing the forms, provide as much information as possible to avoid the need for additional requests or clarification
  • Make sure your documents are signed correctly. We can only accept electronic signatures that are completed through our Student Forms portal. All other signatures must be handwritten, wet signatures.
  • Submit your documents prior to our priority deadlines to ensure you are considered for as many aid opportunities as possible!

If you have questions about your situation, contact our office for additional guidance!

A review of student Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or certificate is required by federal, state, and institutional rules as one condition for financial aid eligibility.  Students that are not meeting the standards for satisfactory academic progress are not eligible to receive financial aid funding.  There are opportunities to appeal.  SAP is reviewed at the end of each term.  Appeal procedures and deadline information are posted on the Financial Aid website.  All appeal decisions are final.

To view our policy, or for more information on requirements and the appeal process, please view our Satisfactory Academic Progress Page under Policies.

If you are interested in attending the summer intersession or summer session, there may be financial aid available to you. You will want to make sure that you have completed your financial aid application for the appropriate academic year and all financial aid Holds and To Do items have been taken care of. 

Once you have enrolled in summer courses, you will then complete our Summer Request Form, which usually becomes available in mid-April with a deadline of the end of June.

Financial Aid Available for Summer:

Federal Pell Grant:

Students may be eligible for the Pell Grant during the summer semester. In most cases, students will need to be in at least half time units to be eligible. 

Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans:

Students that did not borrow their full annual loan limit earlier in the academic year may have student loan eligibility for summer. In order to be eligible for the subsidized or unsubsidized loan, the student must be enrolled in at least half time enrollment.

Federal PLUS Loans:

Parents of dependent students may borrow the Parent PLUS Loan and Graduate students may borrow the Graduate PLUS Loan during the summer. Both the Parent and Graduate PLUS loan can be applied for at and require the student to be enrolled in at least half time enrollment.

If you are applying for the Graduate PLUS loan, you will also need to submit the Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form to our office for continued processing.

Private Loans:

Students may apply for private loans during the summer. Once you have an approved loan through your private lender, you will want to submit the Private Loan Request Form to our office for continued processing.

Teaching Credential students must be admitted into a teaching credential program and are required to complete a FAFSA every academic year. If selected for verification, they need to submit all required documentation to complete their financial aid file. After the file is verified and awarded, an award notification will be emailed. These students are considered undergraduates for financial aid purposes. They must be enrolled in at least 6 units to qualify for financial aid, and they must enroll in at least 12 units per semester to be considered full-time.

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), credential students must provide the following answers:

  • What will your college grade level be when you begin the school year? Answer: 5th year/other undergraduate
  • What degree or certificate will you be working on when you begin the school year? Answer: Teaching credential (nondegree program)
  • At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program? Answer: No

If you are dually enrolled as a credential and masters student, you are considered a graduate student for financial aid purposes. You will not qualify for Pell Grants or Subsidized Direct Loans.

Additional Information for Credential Students

  • You may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, State University Grant (SUG), Cal Grant, and Federal Work-Study funding. You may also qualify for Federal Direct loans.
  • Credential students are only eligible to receive Pell Grants and Cal Grants for coursework that is required by the State to receive a teaching credential, for the program in which they are enrolled. Courses not required by the State will not be funded, even if they are in related subject areas.
  • To be eligible for a Pell Grant or Cal Grant, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units of coursework required by the State of California to receive a teaching credential. The Pell Grant and Cal Grant are not available for prerequisite courses, courses that are suggested as beneficial, or elective courses. Pell Grants and Cal Grants are available only for your initial credential. If you have completed a teaching credential, a second bachelor's degree, or a master's degree and have been awarded a Pell Grant or Cal Grant for the academic year, please contact our office immediately. Repayment will be required for any student who receives a Pell Grant or Cal Grant and has earned a teaching credential, second bachelor's degree, or master's degree.
  • Students in an administrative, non-teaching credential program only qualify for private loans.
  • Your eligibility for Federal Direct Loans is the same as for undergraduate seniors.
  • The TEACH Grant is available for credential students who meet specific criteria.
  • Changing enrollment or dropping classes after funds have been disbursed may result in a billing of grant funds already received.