Financial Aid Programs

What is the difference between a grant and a loan?

FEDERAL

Students can apply for one or more of these programs by filing a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additional information can be found on the LACCD Financial Aid page.

CODES U.S. Dept. of Education’s Central Registry number: 1952587353A7 FICE code: 001227 U.S. Dept. of Education’s IPEDS number: 117724

STATE

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR 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 valid high school diploma (as determined by the Admissions & Records office) 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. (Students who were enrolled in a college or university prior to July 2012 who do not meet this requirement should check with their Financial Aid Office for alternative qualifying options.)
  • Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible associate degree, transfer program, or Certificate of Achievement program.
  • Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in a course of study leading to a certificate, AA or AS degree, or transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.
  • 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.
  • If a male, be registered with Selective Service (including California Dream Act applicants).
  • 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.

I don't think I will qualify for financial aid. Should I still apply?

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.

What is the difference between a dependent and an independent student?

If you meet one or more of the criteria below, you are considered an INDEPENDENT student for financial aid purposes.  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, 1993.
  • You are married.
  • You will be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program (graduate or professional program beyond a bachelor’s degree) in 2016-2017.
  • 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, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
  • 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, 2017.
  • 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, 2015, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless, or self-supporting and at risk for being homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, 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, or self-supporting and at risk for being homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, 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.

 

SUMMER 2016 FINANCIAL AID

Students must submit their 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive a Federal Pell Grant.  To receive a BOG Fee Waiver you must complete a 2016-2017 FAFSA, BOG Fee Waiver application, or California Dream Act Application (for AB 540 students).

 

ENROLLMENT AND AID ELIGIBILITY

Students must be enrolled at the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) college at which they have been processed for financial aid in order to be eligible for federal and state aid (other than the BOG Fee Waiver).  If you are enrolled in more than one college in the LACCD, you can only have your financial aid processed at one college, preferably the college at which you will complete your program (associate degree, certificate, or transfer program).

 

ENROLLMENT AT OTHER COLLEGES

Can I receive financial aid at more than one college?

Consortium Agreements are in effect for all colleges within the LACCD.  If you are attending more than one college within the District in the same academic period, your enrollment status will be the sum total of all units in which you are enrolled throughout the District.

For financial aid programs that are limited in funding, enrollment in a minimum of six (6) approved units may be required at your financial aid processing school.  Check with your campus for specific financial aid enrollment requirements.

Approved units refers to courses within a student’s academic program.  For students who have had an Extension Petition approved, approved units refers to the units/classes listed on their Student Education Plan (submitted with their petition) that have been approved by the Financial Aid Office for financial aid eligibility.

Please note that if you have an Extension Petition approved by your Financial Aid Office, you must be enrolled in at least one approved class at your financial aid processing school.  If the classes you are enrolled in are not approved, the units will not be included in the calculation of your aid.

If you plan to enroll in courses outside of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and wish to have those courses count for enrollment and payment, you must complete a consortium agreement form.  The institution outside of the LACCD must be an eligible institution in order for your financial aid processing school to process the consortium agreement.

Please note:  Not all LACCD colleges participate in consortium agreements with schools outside of the LACCD, so be sure to check with the Financial Aid Office.

 

FINANCIAL AID REFUND/DISBURSEMENT

Students who are new to the LACCD will receive information by mail regarding the process to select their refund/disbursement preference.  Students have two choices: have their refunds routed to a currently-open bank account, or open an account through Bank Mobile Vibe (formerly known as Higher One).  Students who open a Bank Mobile Vibe account will receive a myLACCDcard debit card and information on how to activate your card and account.

AB540 students who receive Cal Grants will receive their disbursements by paper check.

It is important that students update their address on file with the Admissions & Records Office, Business Office or Financial Aid Office to ensure receipt of information regarding the disbursement process.

Disbursement dates and deadlines are governed by Federal, State, District and/or Institutional regulations and policies.

Students receiving a disbursement from a federal student loan have the right to cancel their loan disbursement.  Contact the Financial Aid Office at your college for details on loan disbursement cancellation.

Disbursements will be adjusted if enrollment is less than full-time.  Supplemental disbursements occur throughout the academic year.  Any outstanding non-mandatory institutional debts must be paid in full before we can process your disbursement, unless you have authorized the LACCD to deduct such debts from your financial aid disbursement. Disbursements for late starting classes will not be issued until the class begins.  Not all disbursements will adhere to this schedule because disbursements depend upon when your award was processed and the date your classes began.  Students are encouraged to logon to the Student Information System (SIS) at https://services.laccd.edu/districtsite/sis_logon.asp to view their disbursement information.

CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT STATUS

If I drop a course or withdraw, what will happen to my financial aid?

Colleges must review payments of funds to students each enrollment period to determine if students have received an overpayment.  If you did not attend any of your classes prior to the first day of instruction, and were dropped by the instructor after you already received financial aid funds, you will have to repay all of the funds you received.  If you are paid at one level of enrollment and then drop units, you may be subject to repayment of some or all of the funds you received.

Students who receive federal financial aid and then withdraw from ALL classes at their financial aid processing school will not receive further disbursements and may owe for an overpayment.

It is your responsibility to drop your classes through the Admissions & Records Office if you do not attend.  Failure to drop classes may result in a financial aid overpayment, which may require repayment of the financial aid you received.

Example:  You were enrolled in 12 units (full-time) at the beginning of the semester and received your first disbursement for $1,000.  You then drop 3 classes (9 units) and remain in 3 units (less than half-time).  The disbursement for less than half-time enrollment is $432.  You are overpaid $568 and you must repay this amount before receiving any future financial aid.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Students must take responsibility for:

  1. All official communication will be done through the LACCD issued email.  Students are responsible for checking their email on a regular basis.
  2. Submitting all financial aid applications and requested documents by specified deadlines.
  3. Having a valid Social Security Number (SSN) on file in the Admissions & Records Office for the purposes of processing and reporting federal aid and most state aid (this does not apply to California Dream Act applicants).
  4. Enrolling in an eligible program, which is defined as a certificate (Certificate of Achievement), an associate degree (AA/AS), or a two‐year academic transfer program that is acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree. Students must declare an eligible educational goal and major.
  5. Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards.
  6. Completing all 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.
  7. Reading and understanding all financial aid forms and information. We advise students to retain copies of all documents submitted.
  8. Choosing a financial aid processing school to process financial aid. 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).
  9. Notifying 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.
  10. Drop or withdraw from classes for which you are no longer attending and actively participating.
  11. Repaying financial aid funds if it is determined that the student was ineligible to receive funds for any reason (i.e., Return to Title IV, overpayments, overawards).
  12. Provide accurate information. Intentional misreporting of information on application forms for financial aid is a violation of the law and is considered a criminal offense 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.