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Financial Aid Services

Types of Financial Aid

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The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC) (see below); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the family EFC. The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student's income (and assets if the student is independent), the parents' income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family's household size, and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending postsecondary institutions. The EFC is the sum of: (1) a percentage of net income (remaining income after subtracting allowances for basic living expenses and taxes) and (2) a percentage of net assets (assets remaining after subtracting an asset protection allowance). Different assessment rates and allowances are used for dependent students, independent students without dependents, and independent students with dependents. After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), or the institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and provides the student's EFC.
A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while the student is enrolled in school to help pay his or her education expenses. The student must seek out and apply for work-study jobs at his or her school. The student will be paid directly for the hours he or she works and the amount he or she earns cannot exceed the total amount awarded by the school for the award year. The availability of work-study jobs varies by school.
The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public institution.

Awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need and who have not earned a bachelor’s degree, graduate or professional degree.  Students who are Pell Grant recipients get priority.

How do I apply?

To get an FSEOG, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form so your college can determine how much financial need you have. The financial aid office will award FSEOGs to students that have the most financial need. The FSEOG does not need to be repaid, except under certain circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant.

How much money can I get?

You can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on your financial need, when you apply, the amount of other aid you get, and the availability of funds at your school. Each participating school receives a certain amount of FSEOG funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. Once the full amount of the school’s FSEOG funds has been awarded to students, no more FSEOG awards can be made for that year. This system works differently from the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student. So, make sure you apply for federal student aid as early as you can. Each school sets its own deadlines for campus-based funds. You can find a school’s deadline on its website or by asking someone in its financial aid office.

How will I be paid?

If you're eligible, your school will credit your student account, pay you directly, or combine these methods. Your school must disburse (pay out) funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.

What is the California Dream Act?

The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California.

Who can apply for the California Dream Act?

Students who live in California and meet the eligibility requirements for a non-resident exemption, as well as students who have a U Visa or TPS status, can use the California Dream Act application (CADAA). Similarly, students without Social Security Numbers or students who have lost DACA status (or never applied for DACA), may still be eligible. The full language of the law and eligibility requirements is stated in CA Education Code 68130.5.

You are eligible to complete the CADAA at https://dream.csac.ca.gov if you are:

  • Undocumented
  • Have a valid or expired DACA
  • U Visa holders
  • Have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540.
The Promise Scholars Program is a degree and certificate completion program. Its focus is on supporting students through the completion of their post-secondary pathways. We support the completion via a number of program engagement requirements, providing progress reports, meeting with your Promise counselor monthly, and engaging in additional Promise program support workshops. The program provides you with multi-year tuition support, individualized counseling support, textbook vouchers, and food and transportation incentives through the completion of your degree or certificate here at College of San Mateo.