Who We Are
Financial Aid is the department on campus that can help students with grants, scholarships, loans, or work study. These financial resources are usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations.
If you need help paying for the cost of attending college, we are here to help you.
Our office provides information about the kinds of aid available, how to apply for aid, aid you are eligible for, how and when you will receive your aid, and the terms of your aid financial. We also help you understand how to eligible for aid and the limits on how long you may receive aid.
There are three types of Federal Financial Aid: grants, loans, and work-study. A grant is free money. Loans are borrowed from the government and MUST be repaid. Work-study is a job on campus.
The FSA ID is your official Federal Student Aid ID, which you will use to log in to your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
You must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) . You can do it electronically at www.fafsa.gov. Once completed you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via e-mail or in the mail. Please review your SAR and bring it to the Financial Aid Office in Building A-101 to check if there are any corrections to make.
Students need to send their official transcripts (from ALL non-district schools that they have attended) to the COA Financial Aid Office. In addition, about a third of the applicants will be chosen for verification and will need to submit the required documents prior to their file being processed.
Verification is proving that the income you reported on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is correct. Usually, verification is completed by submitting a photo copy of your and/or your parent’s federal tax return. In addition, you will be asked to submit a Verification Worksheet to confirm your Dependent or Independent status.
No. You will be eligible for most Federal Financial Aid if you attend school half-time. However, with the Pell and SEOG Grants, your awards will be larger if you attend full-time.
Generally, grant recipients receive two checks a 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 get one paycheck a month.
It depends upon your family’s situation. The maximum Pell Grant would be $5,815 per year. The maximum Subsidized Stafford Loan for a first year dependent student is $3,500. Work-study allocations usually begin at $3,800 per year.
Not necessarily. Applicants for Federal Financial Aid (below 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).
How long does it take from the time I complete my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to when I receive my first check?
It may take at least 4-8 weeks.
Because many people are applying for financial aid. But here’s a rough breakdown of the steps and the approximate timeframe for each: For you to receive your SAR after you have submitted your application online (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): 2 to 4 weeks; For COA to process your file: 4 to 6 weeks.
Call 1-800- 4-FED-AID / (800) 433-3243 (Note: If you provided an e-mail address, the SAR will be sent to you electronically.)
I have a “dead end” job and want to go back to school full time. Can I afford to quit my job and then go to school?
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.
Yes. Payments for student loans begin once a student leaves school for six months
(or falls below half-time enrollment for six months).
Yes & No. Students may submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student
Aid) application as early as January for the academic year that begins in the following Fall. 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. (However, some Federal Financial Aid may no longer be available for those that apply late.) There is also a second deadline of Sept. 2 for Cal Grant consideration.
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. (In other words, 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.”
Yes. Please make sure to visit your college Financial Aid Office 7 – 10 days after you have done so.
No. You need to complete a separate COA Application for Admission.
Monday 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday 8:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Note: Hours are subject to change
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