Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Eligible to Receive Financial Aid?

In order to receive financial aid, you must:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States, or be in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and intend to become a permanent resident thereof, or be a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Holders of student visas are not eligible for aid.
  2. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program as a regular student at least half-time or, in the case of a student already attending the institution, be enrolled and in good standing as at least a half-time student. Students attending less than half-time may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and State Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program.
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the course of study according to the standards and practices of the institution.
  4. Not be in default on any loan made from a student loan fund and not owe a refund on grants previously received.
  5. Be in need of financial assistance in order to pursue a course of study at Saddleback College.
  6. Submit all documents requested to complete your file.
  7. Ability to Benefit: Federal law requires a financial aid applicant, who does not have a high school diploma or possess a GED or its equivalent, to pass an ability-to-benefit test approved by the Department before any financial aid funds

The testing is done by the Counseling department at Saddleback College. More information is available in the Student Financial Assistance & Scholarship Office.

GED testing information is also available in the Counseling department at Saddleback College in the Student Services Center, Room 166.

What are the Criteria for Continued Eligibility to Receive Financial Aid Funds?

In order to continue financial aid eligibility, you must:

  1. Reapply for financial aid each year.
  2. Maintain satisfactory progress and good standing as defined by the institution.
  3. Demonstrate financial need.

What is Good Standing and Maintaining Satisfactory Progress?

The Department of Education and Student Financial Assistance Programs require schools and colleges to develop and apply a consistent standard of academic progress in determining student eligibility. Saddleback College adheres to this regulation by maintaining a satisfactory academic progress policy for the awarding of Title IV funds and institutional financial aid. The Colleges award assistance based on demonstrated financial need. In addition, an individual Student Educational Plan that either leads to a transfer to a four-year college or obtain a degree/a certificate is required. By applying for and receiving financial aid, you are expected to demonstrate the ability to succeed by being persistent in maintaining enrollment and a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.00.

Distance Education Courses and Student Eligibility

To be eligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for a distance education course, the student must be a regular student enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program at Saddleback College leading to a degree.

What Review Standards Determine Who Receives Aid?

Your eligibility is determined by a fairly complex procedure called “Federal need analysis.” Once you apply for aid, we respond to your application and ask you for various forms which are then used to determine you and/or your parents’ financial situation. When all the forms are here, we assign you a budget that fits your particular situation.

Secondly, we use the forms you have submitted to verify and sometimes to compute the financial strength of your family and/or yourself. We use the Federal need-analysis system required by the U.S. Department of Education to do this, so everyone is treated precisely the same.

This analysis yields the amount that you and/or your family are expected to contribute toward your yearly costs. Please note that the family contribution is not what the parents say they can contribute, but rather what the need analysis computation shows.

As the third and last step in the need analysis, the student/parent contribution is subtracted from the budget. The remainder, if any, is known as “Financial Aid Eligibility” or “financial need.” This figure is the one we work with when aid is offered. Our aid may not exceed this amount.

In case the number of applications for Federal Perkins NDSL, Federal SEOG or Federal Work-Study positions exceeds the funds available, preference will be given to those with the lowest family contribution and Pell Grant eligibility and those students who have filed early and completed their file by the priority deadline

What are the Financial Aid Awarding Guidelines?

These guidelines apply to the awarding of financial aid to Saddleback College students.

  1. All financial aid recipients must have a Student Educational Plan completed with a counselor on file in the SFASO.
  2. All students must make satisfactory academic progress toward his/her objective. All students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or its equivalent, or have an academic standing consistent with the requirements of graduation from their academic program. An academically disqualified student will be required to appeal to receive federal financial aid. The Board of Governor's fee waiver is an exception. (BOGFW)
  3. Students who have attended six lower-division semesters, or the equivalent quarter periods to a total of six semesters, will not be continued on financial aid except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Students who enrolled for less than half-time over a six-semester period will be permitted an extension commensurate with their part-time status (i.e., a student enrolled for six units per semester will be allowed 12 semesters to complete their course of study).
  • Students who have completed 90 units or more will be continued on financial aid only with the approval of the SFASO.
  • Financial aid will be withheld for a student when the SFASO has knowledge of a discrepancy in the information reported on a student’s financial aid application.
  • Upon approval of the SFASO, financial aid may be reinstated providing a suitable explanation with backup documentation is submitted for clarification of the discrepancy.

How is Financial Aid Packaged?

Once your financial aid eligibility (or need) is determined, then our task is to provide a package of aid which best serves your particular situation.

We prefer to meet your need with grant money, which need not be repaid. However, our funds are always limited. We expect that at least a part of all awards will be as a grant, as we require all applicants to apply for the FPG also, all applicants are considered for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW).Whether or not you receive grant aid other than the FPG is indicated by your own financial need, plus the availability of funds.

If funds allow, a truly needy student might receive an FSEOG and if an EOPS student, an EOPS grant. How­ever, this cannot be guaranteed, due to fund limitations and legal restrictions.

Let’s take an example: Presume that you are a freshman student who will live at home. The college budget for this category of student is $11,238 for the academic year as a full time student.

Therefore: College Budget $11,238
LESS: Effective family Contrabution (EFC) 0
  Financial Need $11,238
LESS: BOGW $762
LESS: Federal Pell Grant $5,550
  Remaining Financial Need $4,962

If funds allow, we could meet this remaining need by awarding an FSEOG for $600 plus a Federal work-study job of $3,000. If you prefer a loan, there are additional steps that you must do. First, you must accept the award package that includes the grant funding. Complete and submit a Loan Request Form to the SFASO to determine your eligibility and the amount of loan money.

As another example, let us take the same case but this time assume a higher parental contribution.

Therefore: College Budget $11,238
LESS: Effective family Contrabution (EFC) $2,926
  Financial Need $11,238
LESS: BOGW $762
LESS: Federal Pell Grant $2,600
  Remaining Financial Need $4,950

This need could be met by a $3,000 Federal work-study job or a Federal Stafford Loan. Complete and submit a Loan Request Form to the SFASO to determine your eligibility and the amount of loan money.

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

To apply for Financial Aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
View the following tutorial 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA for step by step assistance in filling out your FAFSA.

Here are a few key things to remember when applying for Financial Aid:

  • To complete a FAFSA, you and your custodial parent (if applicable) will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Complete a new FAFSA for each academic year
  • Complete the FAFSA before March 2. If you miss this deadline, you will only be considered for Federal Direct Loans and Pell Grant
  • Remember to list Saddleback College’s school code (#008918) in the "School Selection" section of the FAFSA

Other Application Requirements

  • Cal Grant: The Cal Grant, a grant awarded to California residents, has additional application requirements beyond the FAFSA. Refer to WebGrants for Students for more information

After the FAFSA

  • Approximately 1-2 weeks after you complete the FAFSA, you will receive an e-mail informing you to check your processing status on the FAFSA website. If you did not provide an e-mail address, the FAFSA processor will mail you a Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully review your status and follow the instructions if you need to make any corrections. Our office will receive your information as long as Saddleback College, school code #008918, is listed in the "School Selection" section
  • All students will be sent a E-Mail informing them to check the status of their Financial Aid application in My Financial Aid.

Filling out the Financial Aid Forms

While reading this explanation of financial aid, you have probably concluded that it is a pretty complicated subject. You are right. However, if you follow the instructions, you can avoid a lot of hassles. In other words, if you do a good job, we can respond quickly to your application.

  1. You will have to provide income figures for the last year from your Federal tax return. You may have to submit a signed copy of the Federal tax return to the SFASO, so make a copy.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Use “0” where you mean zero, and enter “N/A” when a question is not applicable to your particular situation.

Rights and Responsibilities of Students Receiving Aid

RIGHTS:

  1. All students are entitled to and are guaranteed fair and equit­able­ treatment in the awarding of financial aid. In addition, there shall be no discrimination of any kind. Appeal procedures exist for anyone who feels that a violation of the above has occurred. Contact the Director of Financial Aid.
  2. All students have the right to receive full and open information about various financial aid programs and their eligibility. Therefore, in addition they have the right to know the selection and review process used in awarding financial aid.
  3. All students have the right to know the cost of attending Saddleback College, the refund policies in case of withdrawal, the academic programs offered by the college, the faculty and physical facilities of the institution and the various types of accreditation under which the college operates

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. All financial aid recipients agree to carry and complete a specific number of units each semester, report graduation or withdrawal, and notify the SFASO of any changes in financial status, marital status or unit load.
  2. Recipients of financial aid must use the funds to meet only educational costs. Any other use of the funds is prohibited by law.
  3. Students receiving aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Locating Information Mentioned in Students’ Rights

This information brochure explains the various financial aid programs and eligibility criteria, the selection and review process, and the costs of attending Saddleback College. Other information, such as the academic programs offered by the college, the faculty and other instructional personnel, and the physical facilities of the institution, is contained in the college catalog. Please refer to that document for further information .

Where Do You Turn for Further Information and Help?

The SFASO has several financial aid personnel who will provide any further information you may need. We are located in the Student Services Center, SSC-106, Saddleback College, and our telephone number is (949) 582-4860

Denial of Aid

  1. The law requires that we deny financial aid to those who are delinquent in repayment of loans or grants previously received from Saddleback College or any other educational institution.
  2. Aid also will be denied to students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress.
  3. A student may not receive Federal Pell Grant or campus-based aid if he or she is a member of a religious community, society, or order that directs the student’s course of study or provides subsistence support to the student. Members of a religious order are not considered to have financial need.

Reinstatement of Aid

Aid will be reinstated if one of the following occurs:

  • You earn the deficient units while not in receipt of Title IV aid,

OR

  • You successfully appeal your disqualification by submitting a written request and required documents for review and approval by the Financial Assistance Appeal Committee.

Disbursement Procedures

Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, California Grant, EOPS Grant and Loan awards will be disbursed on the Higher One Saddleback Card according to the date of disbursement schedule on your award letter. Award letters are mailed to the address on record in the SFASO computer system.

IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make CERTAIN that your correct mailing address is in the SFASO. Address changes made in other college offices will NOT change your address in this office.

The Fiscal Office (Administration and Governance building, Room 131) will disburse ALL OTHER CHECKS such as Scholarship, and Emergency Loan checks between 8:00 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m. on Friday.

Federal Direct Loan:Proceeds are disbursed in two installments, regardless of the loan period.

NO LOAN CHECKS WILL BE DISBURSED UNTIL AFTER THE TWO (2)-WEEK ADD/DROP PERIOD FOR FALL SEMESTER AND AFTER THE THREE (3)-WEEK CENSUS DATE FOR SPRING SEMESTER.

IF A STUDENT IS IN THE FIRST YEAR OF AN UNDER-GRADUATE PROGRAM AND IS A FIRST-TIME DIRECT LOAN BORROWER, YOUR SCHOOL MAY NOT DISBURSE THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE STAFFORD LOAN UNTIL 30 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER THE STUDENT’S PROGRAM OF STUDY BEGINS.

Federal Work-Study:You must turn in your time card by the due date, which varies each month. A calendar of time-card due dates will be available to supervisors. FWS checks are mailed or available by direct deposit through the Payroll Department. You will be given this option during the hiring orientation.

Other Programs:IF you are expecting assistance from a program other than the ones listed above, consult the SFASO concerning disbursement procedures.

Scholarships:Scholarship winners who are returning to Saddleback College will receive their award funds upon verification of their fall classes and receipt of a donor thank you note. Checks will be mailed out beginning fall semester to the address on record on the scholarship application.

Scholarship winners who are transferring to another school must provide proof of enrollment to the Student Financial Assistance & Scholarship Office. Checks will be mailed to the other school within two weeks from the time our office has received the verification and thank you note for the donor

Loans vs. Work ?

When you have received all the grant aid to which you are entitled, we have only three more programs with which to serve you, namely, Federal Carl D. Perkins National Direct Student Loan (formerly NDSL), or Federal Direct Loan, and the Fed­eral Work-Study Program.

As a general rule, these programs are interchangeable. For example, we can meet a need of $1,000 with a $1,000 job or a $1,000 loan. Or, if you ask us to, we can split the award, making a $500 loan and authorizing a $500 job.

Whether you take a loan or job depends entirely upon you and your circumstances. As a general rule, we encourage work over a loan, simply because the loan must be repaid in the future, and perhaps you will have other places to put your money at that time. On the other hand, work often interferes with study time, and it is particularly burdensome if you are taking a lot of solid subjects during a semester. In this case, a loan might be for you.

Perhaps the best way to handle this problem is to plan your schedule in advance. During your freshman year, for example, you may accept a job and perhaps a small loan, to cut down the total owed. Then, during your sophomore year, your schedule may allow you to accept a job only, and the total you owe when you graduate will be at a modest figure.

Each person, however, must make his or her own decision about the work/loan mix. We are available to discuss this with you.

Special Facilities and Services

The program of Special Services available to disabled students is outlined in the Saddleback College Catalog. Students may contact the Special Services Office by calling (949) 582-4885. The Special Services Office is located in the Student Services Center, Room 113.

Academic Programs/Employment Data

Purchase a catalog in the Saddleback College bookstore for infor­mation on current academic programs. Also available in the catalog is a list of faculty with the subjects they teach. Contact your individual academic division or instructors for information on college facilities and retention rate.

Contact the division for your educational program to obtain a written statement regarding employment of students previously enrolled in your program or courses. Inquire as to the percentage of students employed, the starting salaries, and the long-range prospects for employment in your field.

Procedures by Which Students May Review the School’s Accreditation, Licenses and Approvals

Saddleback College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This information is on file in the reference office of the library on Saddleback campus.

World Wide Web Information

  1. SADDLEBACK COLLEGE STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE & SCHOLARSHIP OFFICE WEBSITE: www.saddleback.edu/fao
  2. FAFSA IS ON THE WEB: www.fafsa.ed.gov
  3. STUDENT AID ON THE WEB:
    www.studentaid.ed.gov
    www.mapping-your-future.org
    www.Icanaffordcollege.com
    www.studentloans.gov
  4. SERVICES OFFERED – FREE OF CHARGE:
    INTERNET ADDRESSES:
  • FinAid! – www.finaid.org
  • College Board Scholarship Search: http://apps.collegeboard.com/cbsearch_ss/welcome.jsp
  • CASHE – College Aid Sources for Higher Education: http://scholarships.salliemae.com
  • International Education Financial Aid and Scholarship: www.iefa.org
  • Free College Scholarship Search & Financial Aid Information: Scholarships.com
  • CollegeNET: www.collegenet.com/mach25/app
  • WiredScholar – lets you take control of virtually all aspects of the “go to college” experience. This site also lets you tap into a database of scholarships: www.wiredscholar.com
  • Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship: www.jackkentcookefoundation.org
  • Student Jobs: www.studentjobs.gov/e-scholar.asp
  • Fastweb: http://www.fastweb.com – Personalized scholarship matching

Financial Aid Terminology

BCIS Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
BIA  Bureau of Indian Affairs
BOGFW Board of Governors Fee Waiver
EFC Effective Family Contribution
EOPS Extended Opportunity Programs & Services
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid
FPerkins Federal Perkins Loan
FPG Federal Pell Grant
FSEOG Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
FDL Federal Direct Loan Program (William D. Ford)
FWSP Federal Work-Study Program
ISIR Institutional Student Information Record
(Electronic Student Aid Report received by the SFASO from the Federal processor.)
MAP My Academic Plan
SAR Student Aid Report
SFASO Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office