Get the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the financial aid process.

General Application FAQ

You can apply for Financial Aid through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act. CCSF also offers scholarships, which require separate applications.

The FAFSA is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, T-Visa Holders, and eligible non-citizens.

The CA Dream Act is available to AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students who are not eligible for the FAFSA, such as DACA recipients, U-Visa Holders, and TPS recipients. You are only eligible to submit either the FAFSA or the CA Dream Act based on your citizenship status, so you should not submit both applications. Read more about California Dream Act Eligibility. 

You must meet certain dependency requirements to be considered Independent on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act. If you do not meet at least one of these requirements, parent information will be required on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act. 

The parent you lived with most during the last year. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, then the parent who provided the most support in the last year or, the parent who most recently provided support.

Yes, you still have to report their personal and financial information until you meet the dependency requirements to be an Independent student. If your parent earned foreign income and/or filed foreign taxes, please make sure to convert their income information into U.S. dollars. If your parents do not have social security numbers enter all zeroes (000-00-0000) for that question on the FAFSA or DREAM Act application.

When you submit the FAFSA or CA Dream Act, the tax & income information provided creates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is viewable on your Student Aid Report (SAR). It is the estimated amount of money the student /family is responsible for contributing toward the student’s educational costs per year. This amount is used by the Financial Aid Office to determine financial aid and overall grant eligibility. 

You must reusubmit your financial aid application every year. The FAFSA and CA Dream Act application becomes available every October 1 for the next school year. 

Students should submit their FAFSA or CA Dream Act within the October 1 - March 2 filing dates to be considered for the Cal Grant; however, the financial aid application can be considered throughout the academic year to qualify for other types of financial aid.

All males between the ages of 18 and 25 who apply for Financial Aid must register for Selective Service regardless of immigration status. Registering for Selective Service does not mean you are joining the military, but rather in the event of an emergency draft, the registration may be used to determine possible recruits. 

The deadline to apply for Cal Grant is March 2. You must submit two forms: a complete FAFSA or Dream Act application AND a GPA verification form. Community College students have until September 2 if funds are remaining. You can find more Cal Grant information with the CA Student Aid Commission

The FAFSA and CA Dream Act are just the first step. The Financial Aid office should receive your electronic financial aid application from the US Department of Education within a week of your online submission.  Log on to the CCSF Web4 Portal and check your Financial Aid Status. The Web4 Portal tells you what forms and requirements you need to submit to our office. If there are no requirements listed as “Unsatisfied,” then you must confirm with the Financial Aid Office that your file is complete. When the file is complete, you can view our Disbursement Schedule to see when you will receive your funds.

To check status of your Financial Aid application:

  1. Log in to myRAM Portal.
  2. Click on the Financial Aid tab.
  3. Select “Financial Aid Status” and select the academic year you applied for. Complete all unsatisfied student requirements.
  4. Submit ALL requested forms at one time to the Financial Aid office. Incomplete forms will not be accepted and will delay the completion of your file.

You will not be notified by mail about your Financial Aid status. Everything is online. You must check your Financial Aid status frequently on your myRAM Portal.

No, there is not an exact income limit, as the Financial Aid process looks at many different variables besides income to determine eligibility. Since the FAFSA and CA DREAM Act are free applications, you should submit a financial aid application to see if you are eligible for awards, including scholarships and non-need based federal student loans. 

Dependency FAQ

Yes, you must include your parents’ income information until you turn 24 years old or based on how you answer the FAFSA or DREAM Act application questions.

The federal definition of an independent student is based on how you answer the FAFSA or DREAM Act application questions. However, in unusual circumstances, a student may be considered independent if a compelling case can be made to override the dependent status. A Professional Judgment for Dependency Override must be completed and submitted for review. Please visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.

In some unusual cases, we can override the need for parents’ information. A Professional Judgment for Dependency Override must be completed and submitted for review. Please visit the Financial Aid Office for more information.

College student records are private and are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). A “Consent of Release” form allows the Financial Aid office to disclose information to whomever you designate. The consent of release form is available upon request for students to sign and submit to the Financial Aid Office in person.

Verification FAQ

If you paid to get your taxes done you can contact your tax preparer to obtain a duplicate copy or you may contact the IRS to get a free copy.

You may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA. To use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, follow the steps below.

  1. Log into your FAFSA

  2. Click “Make FAFSA Correction”

  3. Proceed to “Student Financial Information” and/or “Parent Financial Information”

  4. You will see the following questions:

  5. Did you file an amended tax return?

  6. Did you file a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return?

  7. Did you file your taxes electronically in the last 3 weeks (or by mail in the last 11 weeks)?

  8. If you can answer ‘No’ to all of the above questions, “Link to IRS” will appear.

  9. Enter your FSA Username and Password. Click “Link to IRS”

  10. Click “OK” to be transferred to the IRS website. Type the name and address EXACTLY (capitalization, punctuation, and spelling must be the same) as it appears on the tax return.

  11. Click “Submit” for the tax information to appear

  12. Check the box and click “Transfer Now” for the tax information to be transferred to your FAFSA. Once the tax information is transferred successfully from the IRS to your FAFSA, do not change the information, otherwise, it will be considered unverified.

Important Notice: If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and you are selected for verification, you will need to order an official tax return transcript from the IRS.

  • Go to Internal Revenue Service under the Tools section select Get Transcripts for Your Tax Records

  • Select either Get Transcript ONLINE or Get Transcript by MAIL

  • Create an account

  • If you request your transcript online, just download the PDF, print and attach to any documents we may need

  • Mailing a transcript can take about 5-10 business days

Yes. When filling out the FAFSA or DREAM Act application, please remember to indicate you will not file taxes and report your total earnings for the year. However, if you were required to file a tax return but didn’t, you will need to file it before your application can be completed.

Disbursements and Payments

You can see our regular disbursement schedule on the Financial Aid Calendar on our website. Pell Grant and Loans will be divided into four disbursements per year, two disbursements in the Fall semester in increments of 50% and two disbursements in the Spring semester in increments of 50%.

Your disbursement will be adjusted to reflect the number of units in which you are enrolled (75% for 3/4-time, 50% for half-time, and you may have eligibility for less than half-time). 

This can be due to many variables: change in income, lower-unit enrollment, completion date of FAFSA or DREAM application, etc. Visit our office for a more detailed explanation.

No, your disbursement will not reflect the waitlist classes. Your disbursement will only include the units you are currently enrolled in. However, if you are added to the class then your second disbursement will reflect the update.

Your second disbursement may reflect late start classes if enrolled and started by specific dates. Your disbursement may include payment for late start Fall classes if enrolled by October 23 and starts by November 2. Your disbursement may include payment for late start Spring classes if enrolled by March 28 and starts by April 6.

 

There is the option to apply for EOPS and if you are eligible they may potentially cover some of the cost for books with a book voucher. Additionally, you can rent two free books per semester under Associated Student's Bookloan Program. For emergecy options: 

  • The library carries textbooks for most classes at the reserve desk, which you can check out for two hours for use in the library. For more information, please visit the library.

  • Emergency Book Loan program is offered by the Admissions & Records office during the first week of Fall and Spring semesters. The loan is available for up to $200.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Maintaining SAP status is crucial to keeping Financial Aid eligibility. Students must meet the below requirements each semester.

  • Maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and

  • Complete at least 2/3 (67%) of units each term and

  • Complete at least 2/3 (67%) of units overall and

  • Complete program within the ‘Maximum Time Frame’ or 150% of the normal program length

Read more about SAP Standards

You are on warning/disqualification because you failed to meet the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. The first time it occurs you will be placed on “Warning” status and the second consecutive semester that the SAP is not met, you will be “Disqualified” from receiving most types of Financial Aid.

Read more about SAP Standards

If you drop all of your units while receiving Financial Aid, you may be required to repay the funds. The repayment amount will be determined after the add/drop period has ended. Students should periodically view there CCSF Portal for any payment notices. Visit the Financial Aid Office to consult a specialist on how this may affect your Financial Aid.

Yes, you can change your major while receiving Financial Aid. However, students are required to declare a degree or certificate or transfer program with the Admissions & Records or Financial Aid Office in person. Students must complete their educational objective (graduation, transfer, certificate, etc.) by the time they have attempted 90 units or 150% of the declared program of study. Consult a counselor or the Transfer Center to decide as early as possible on a major.