There are three types of federal financial aid:
Grants: A grant is money that does not need to be paid back
Loans: Loans are borrowed from a bank and MUST be repaid
Work Study: Work study is a job on campus
After SMC receives an electronic version of your financial aid application we will send you a Document Request Form for any additional documents or information that is needed.
Note: About a third of the applicants will be chosen for verification. Aid applicants requesting student loans will have to submit a loan request form application, a loan budget worksheet, and other documents. See Loans for directions.
During verification, the college financial aid administrator will ask the applicant to supply copies of documentation, such as income tax returns, W-2 statements and 1099 forms, to verify the data that was submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Verification is intended to improve the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA. It is not intended to function like a forensic audit. But the college financial aid office may not process requests for professional judgment or disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete.
Financial aid administrators have the right to ask for any documentation they feel is necessary to complete verification. If the family refuses to supply this documentation, the college is prohibited from disbursing federal student aid to the student.
The set of data elements potentially subject to verification has been significantly expanded and may change from one year to the next. Data elements currently subject to verification include household size, number in college, child support paid, adjusted gross income, taxes paid and several untaxed income items (untaxed IRA distributions, untaxed pensions, education credits, IRA deductions, and tax exempt interest).
No. If your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is 0, then you will receive financial aid even if you take a single unit. Federal work study students must maintain at least 6 units per semester while working. State aid requires to be at least 6 units for the CalGrant and 12 units for the full-time Student Success Grant (FTSSG).
Generally, grant recipients receive two checks per semester. One check comes at the beginning of the term and one check comes at the middle of the term. Loan recipients usually get two checks a year, one in fall and one in spring. College Work Study students are paid twice a month.
The maximum awards for a full-time student with a $0 EFC is:
Pell Grant - $5815 per year (2016-17 school year).
SEOG - $200 per year
Subsidized Stafford Loan for a first year student is $3500.
Work study allocations usually begin around $2,000 per year.
CalGrant B - $1670 per year
Not necessarily. Applicants under the age of 24, are considered to be dependents. Unless they are married, a veteran, an orphan, a ward of the court, or have dependents (usually children).
Approximately 8 to 12 weeks after submitting your required documents to the Financial Aid Office.
Many people are applying for financial aid. But here's a rough breakdown of the steps and the approximate time-frame for each:
After you have submitted the FAFSA and then submitting the requested documents to the Financial Aid Office: 2-3 weeks.
SMC to process your paperwork and awards your financial aid: 4 to 8 weeks.
The county to process your grant or loan check: up to 2 weeks.
Note: If you provided an e-mail address, the SAR will be sent to you electronically.
It might be difficult, especially in the first year. However, regardless of your income in the previous year, you will probably qualify for student loans. You will likely also be eligible for a work study job on campus. You can go to SMC Student Employment for more information regarding SMC job opportunities.
For student loans, you will need to submit a loan request, see a counselor for an educational plan, and complete a financial literacy exercise. Go to the Loans for more details. For parent loans, your parent should also go to the Loan Page for guidance.
Yes. Payments for student loans begin once a student leaves school for six months (or falls below half-time enrollment for six months).
Yes. Students that apply by March 2 will receive priority consideration for several types of Federal Financial Aid. Students that don't meet the priority deadline can still apply throughout the school year June 30th of the respective academic year.
Yes. For each semester that you receive aid you will need to complete a certain number of units with a minimum GPA of at least 2.0. In addition, you need to maintain an overall completion rate of at least 67% and an overall GPA of at least 2.0. (This is called maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress).
Provided that you maintain satisfactory academic progress, you can receive Federal Financial Aid until you exceed 150% of the published length of an eligible program. (Students in 60 unit A.A./A.S. programs or planning to transfer to 4-year schools will need to complete their studies by the time they earn 90 units). Students who exceed the maximum time frame may petition for an extension of funding through an appeal process. See Appeals for more information.
No. SMC no longer participates in Financial Aid Consortiums with other local community colleges.
Yes, after you receive your award letter, you need to view the on-line Financial Aid Orientation.
- You can get to the Financial Aid Portal by logging into Corsair Connect and clicking Financial Aid under “Quick Links”.
- The FA Portal consist of 8 sections: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status, California College Promise Grant Satisfactory Academic Progress (CCPG SAP) Status, Financial Aid Application Process, Required Documents and Actions, Messages, Budget EFC and Need, Awards and Disbursement, and Disbursement History.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status - gives you the status of a student for Fall and Spring semester based on the G.P.A and completion rate from prior sessions. It will also show attempted units based on SMC transcripts. You can be in Eligible Status (Good), Probation Status (Warning), or a Suspended Status that will require the SAP Appeal Process to receive Financial Aid.
- California College Promise Grant Satisfactory Academic Progress (CCPG SAP) Status - gives you the current Fee Waiver status of a student for Fall or Spring. You can be in Eligible Status (Good), Probation Status (Warning), or a Suspended Status that will require the Fee Waiver Appeal Process to receive the Fee Waiver.
- Financial Aid Application Process – This section lets you know if we have your FAFSA or Dream Act on file. It also lets you know if you have the CCPG on your account. Lastly it lets you know if all required verification documents have been completed by a Green Check mark. Anything in Red is not completed.
- Required Documents and Actions – This section gives you specific items that need to be completed for verification before you can be awarded. This section needs to have all Green Check marks when complete.
- Messages – This section pops up when the specialist reviewing your Financial Aid needs to give you direct instructions on what needs to be done by the student to complete a verification item and ultimately your Required Documents and Actions section.
- Budget, EFC and Need – This section is not what the student will be receiving for Financial Aid. This is
to let the student know the unmet need for the year determined by the Department of
- The Budget is defined by various estimated costs you will assume when going to SMC college. Tuition is the most obvious. But tuition is also a generic term. Tuition at SMC is made up of the $46 per unit and/or Non-resident Fees and surcharges per unit. It also includes Books and Supplies, Personal Expenses, Room and Board, and Transportation.
- The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index number that our financial aidstaff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend SMC. The information you report on your FAFSA form is used to calculate your EFC.
- The Need is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria. You can’t receive more need-based aid than the amount of your financial need. We calculate the Need by the Budget minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which equals your Financial Need at SMC.
- The Unmet Need is the gap between the cost of college and all student resources that do not need to be repaid, such as scholarships, grant aid, and a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), calculated in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Awards and Disbursement – This section is where you will see your Financial Aid award based on Full-Time status for each semester.
- Disbursement History – This section is where you see the actual amount of Financial Aid sent out in check form based on real figures from the students current Enrollment. You can also see the Disbursement date of the Financial Aid checks in this section.
- The Disbursement Amount is what we send out to students based on the units enrolled for that semester. We typically send 2 checks out per semester for Pell and SEOG Grants. You can find this in the Disbursement History section of the Portal.
- The Awarded Amount is always based on Full Time status (i.e. 12 units) this is what you see on the Portal when you have been awarded. You can find this in the Awards and Disbursement section.
- CCPG – a CA Fee Waiver that students can apply for based on Income and Household size. The Fee Waiver can waive Summer through Spring depending on when it is approved.
- SMC Promise Grant – a program that is for CA residents or AB 540 student who have graduated from High School and came straight to SMC. They get their first 2 years waived by the Fee Waiver and additional Fee Waived as well as Book Vouchers for Fall and Spring if eligible. These students need a FAFSA or Dream Act completed and must maintain 12+ units per semester.
- FAFSA – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form you need to fill out to get any financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college. Each year, over 13 million students who file the FAFSA get more than $120 billion in grants, work-study, and low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education. Lots of states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine which students get financial aid—and how much they’ll get. The FAFSA asks for information about you and your family’s finances, including tax returns, so you’ll need your parents’ help to complete it.
- Financial Aid - Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college. This financial assistance covers educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. There are several types of financial aid, including grants and scholarships, work study and loans. You can also get Federal State Aid .
It typically takes three to five days to process a Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA®) form that was submitted using fafsa.gov or using the myStudentAid mobile app. If you provided a valid email address on your FAFSA form, you’ll receive an email notification that includes a link to your electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) at fafsa.gov. Check Corsair E-Docs to find out requirements for receiving your financial aid at SMC.
- You have 3 ways to apply for the CCPG: You can access a paper version on our Financial Aid & Scholarships Homepage. You can apply for the CCPG form on the Corsair Connect under the Enrollment tab. You can get the CCPG through your FAFSA and Dream Act applications.
- You can submit the paper version and CCPG Signature page via email to Financial Aid or mail it to the Financial Aid Office. (email@example.com)
- SAP Status is how we see if eligible students can receive a Financial Aid Check. There are 3 important statuses for SAP: Good Standing, Warning status, and Suspension. A student can get Financial Aid with Good standing and Warning Status. Students who are suspended for Lack of Progress or Over the Maximum Time Frame will need to request an SAP Appeal on Corsair E-Docs and be approved to receive their Financial Aid for that semester on suspension.
- Warning Status means you are in danger of falling below 2.00 G.P.A. and/or 67% Completion Rate. You can also be close to attempting 90 units. You can still receive Financial Aid under this status.
- Suspension means you have fallen below 2.00 G.P.A or 67% Completion Rate, or you have a 2-year degree, 4-year degree, or have attempted 90 units or more and will need to be approved for a SAP Appeal in order to receive Financial Aid.
There is a process to receive your Financial Aid funds. After submitting your FAFSA you need to log in to Corsair E-Docs to see if you need to verify anything on your FAFSA with the Financial Aid Office. Once you have submitted all verification items there is a 2 to 4-week review process. Once your Financial Aid account has been reviewed and awarded, then it will take 7 to 10 days to mail out checks to students. We start sending Financial Aid monies out the week before the semester starts.
- Incoming students will get their Award Letter emailed to them after we have received their FAFSA and reviewed their file.
- Continuing students can use the Financial Aid Portal on Corsair Connect as their Financial Aid Award Letter. We have designed the Financial Aid Portal to encompass all the Financial Aid information needed for outside use.
Students who submitted their FAFSA app and Dream App before March 2nd will be able to check the status of their Cal Grant on the webgrants4students.org website. Once the student has completed all task on the Cal Grant website their Cal Grant will appear on their Financial Aid Portal on Corsair Connect before we disburse checks to the students.
- Cashiers Office sends out refund checks for any student with a negative Balance amount after the refund deadline for that semester. The checks take 7 to 10 days to be mailed.
- Please check your Fee Assessment on Corsair Connect under the Enrollment tab to see if you have a Negative