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Financial Aid Services

Federal & State Updates


2019–2020 FAFSA Cycle (Begins on October 1, 2018)

To address both privacy and security concerns related to the IRS DRT, the IRS and Federal Student Aid (FSA) have agreed to implement a solution that will reinstate the use of the IRS DRT beginning with the 2018–2019 FAFSA cycle. However, this solution will limit the information that displays to the applicant in order to enhance the security and privacy of sensitive personal data transferred to the FAFSA from the IRS. This solution will encrypt the taxpayer’s information and hide the information from the applicant’s view on both the IRS DRT web page and on the FAFSA web pages. While students and parents will still be able to electronically transfer their IRS tax return information into the FAFSA, the information will not be visible to would-be malicious actors. Note that Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) sent to institutions and to state grant agencies will include all of the tax return information that was transferred into the FAFSA using the IRS DRT.

We acknowledge that some FAFSA applicants may have concerns about not being able to see the information they are transferring from the IRS into the FAFSA, and that there will be other challenges to applicants and to institutions (e.g., confirming results and making corrections). However, we believe that this solution provides potentially the best balance between access to federal student aid and the privacy of personal information and to maintaining the integrity of our tax collection system. We take our legal obligations to ensure personal data is protected very seriously, as does the IRS. We will continue to work with the financial aid community to address these concerns about ease of use.

Prior-Prior year (PPY) Tax Information on FAFSA
Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, students can now complete the FAFSA using 2 years prior tax information. With the switch to PPY, FAFSA will be available on October 1 of the previous year rather than January 1 of the actual year.

When a student is attending collegeWhen a student can submit a FAFSAWhich year's income information is required
July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 October 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 2020
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 October 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 2021

Federal Student Aid ID replacing the PIN
The U.S. Department of Education is improving identity confirmation. Effective May 10, 2015 the U.S. Department of Education will replace the Student Aid PIN with the new FSA ID for all students and parents. You will need the new FSA ID to log into the Federal Student Aid websites. The process should only take a few minutes and then students, parents, and borrowers will use the FSA ID to access federal websites including:

  • FAFSA on the Web
  • NSLDS Student Access

Please see the instructions for creating your FSA ID.

July 2012: Effective July 1, 2012 students can only a receive a lifetime maximum of up to 600% FEDERAL PELL regardless of when they received their first Pell grant. To view your Lifetime Eligibiilty Used (LEU) visit the NSLDS website. For more information about LEU please visit the Federal Student Aid website.


As of January 1, 2013 AB 540 students are allowed to apply for and receive several types of financial aid, including:

  • California College Promise Grant
  • State financial aid such as Cal Grants & Chafee Grants
  • Assistance from EOPS, CARE or CalWORKS
  • Privately funded scholarships

For more information visit our California Dream Act page.

SB 893 "Free College"

Students who reside in San Mateo County will have their enrollment fees waived for the Spring 2023 semester (except for International Students and Non-Resident or Out-of-State students as described below; but see exceptions for Undocumented students). There are no minimum or maximum units required. Depending on documented financial need, students may also be exempted for paying the student body fee, student representation fee, student union fee, inclusive access fee(s), and materials fees associated with the course*.

If you are a student that does not reside in San Mateo County, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA or Dream Act application.

If you still have questions about SB 893, please refer to the SB 893 Free College FAQ page.