About Financial Aid

 

Important information on Financial Aid:

If you qualify to receive Financial Aid, you have been given an opportunity to help finance your college education.  The grants from Financial Aid will allow you to purchase textbooks and supplies to help you to succeed in your classes.

However, Financial Aid should not be the sole reason that you attend college. Attending college can help you to create a better future for yourself…and Financial Aid is an extra added bonus to help you along the way!

But, before you cash your check or withdraw money from the ATM, here are a few important things to remember about financial aid…

Financial Aid is based on ACADEMIC SUCCESS.  In order to continue receiving Financial Aid, you will need to show satisfactory progress towards your goal.  This means that you must complete at least 75% of your enrolled units with a 2.00 GPA (or higher).  Here is an example below…

Let’s say that you are enrolled full-time this semester with 12 units, but, due to personal circumstances, you withdraw from two courses.  If you complete the semester with a 2.00 GPA (or higher), you have maintained satisfactory academic progress.  However, because you completed 6 units out of the attempted 12 units, you have not maintained the satisfactory completion rate.

So now what?

There is a chance that you will no longer qualify for Financial Aid if you do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy requirements.  If this happens, you will have one opportunity per year to submit an appeal.  Submitting an appeal is not a guaranteed approval…the Financial Aid Office will review your appeal including a typed statement that addresses your progress percentage, GPA, timeframe, or degree earned.  You will want to take the time to type your statement and to give thorough details of the events that have affected your academic standing and provide additional supporting documentation.

Enroll into courses that are required to meet prerequisites, to fulfill major courses, and to satisfy the appropriate general education pattern.  If you received a notice from Financial Aid that your course is “ineligible,” there are people that can help you to understand this.  Visit the Financial Aid “Course Eligibility Q & A” for more information.

Be wise with your Financial Aid check.  In other words, don’t spend your Financial Aid on unnecessary and non-educational items.  Your Financial Aid grant is for the purpose of helping you pay for school-related expenses, so save a little on the side in case emergencies come up.  For example, what if you need to purchase computer software for your Graphic Communication class or what if  you leave your backpack full of books on the light rail and need to buy replacements?

By accepting your Financial Aid grant, you are agreeing to the rules and regulations of the Federal Government.  Although no one is going to monitor every dollar that you spend, it will be up to you to be responsible and mature with your money.

Don’t rely solely on Financial Aid to support you.  Financial Aid is not a permanent source of income.  Although Financial Aid grants are available, many students still need to supplement their monthly income with part-time employment to cover additional expenses such as rent or car insurance.  We know that juggling many responsibilities – such as school, work, and family – can be overwhelming, so it will be important for you to create a healthy balance and to know your limitations.  If you are not able to work while attending school, be sure to make your Financial Aid last throughout the semester.

Please be kind to Financial Aid staff.  Yes – we know that the line to the Financial Aid counter is long, that it is difficult to get through the phone, that the FAFSA is confusing, that your money didn’t come when you thought it would, and that no one told you that you were missing another form.  But, please be patient and please be kind to the staff…they are working hard to complete your Financial Aid package and to disburse the checks as quickly as possible.  The Financial Aid staff supports you and your goals and they know how important it is for you to get your grants.  To avoid situations like this, it will be important for you to be aware of deadlines and to regularly check your status on your eServices account.

Don’t compare your Financial Aid amount to another student.  Not everyone gets the same amount…the amount that you receive is based on different things such as financial need, the type of grants that you qualified for, and/or units of enrollment.  If you have any questions or concerns about the amount that you have received, please speak with the Financial Aid office directly.

WARNING:  At some point, you will no longer be eligible for Financial Aid.  Unfortunately, even if you have an outstanding GPA, your Financial Aid eligibility will discontinue depending on the amount of units that you have completed or if you have earned a degree.  For example, students who have attempted 120 units will no longer qualify for Financial Aid.  For this reason, it is important for students to plan their classes and schedules wisely so that they can obtain their goals without taking excess units.  Also, if you know that you are approaching 120 units, you may want to save your Financial Aid in the bank so that you will have available funds to use in the future.

Realize that Sacramento City College did not make up the rules…the Federal Government did!  In order to continue providing Financial Aid assistance to students, SCC is required by law to abide by the rules of the Federal Government.  As new rules come up or regulations changes, the Financial Aid office does its best to notify students immediately.  Sometimes students may not like the new rules because they may think that they are strict or limiting, but please remember that SCC is obligated to follow them.