Many financial aid programs are available to help students and their parents or spouses with the cost of attending college. However, the deadlines to submit applications are drawing near. Several forms of aid and scholarships have March and April deadlines.
One of the most well known forms of financial aid is the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW). This program waives the $11 per unit fee and the $6 Student Service Fee. BOGW is available to California residents who meet income eligibility requirements and is effective throughout the entire academic year.
Federal Pell Grants provide federal money to assist with college expenses, and most students who apply receive some form of aid. The amounts are determined by the federal government and are based on the number of units enrolled.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) and State Work-Study are an option for students in need who want to work while attending college. FWS provides part-time employment for students in financial need. Students can work up to 20 hours per week. The Placement Office assists students in finding a job.
Students who take part in SWS are placed in tutorial positions in area schools by the financial aid office. Students must show strong academic performance in addition to financial need.
Cal Grants are a type of California State Aid for students pursuing undergraduate degrees or occupational/career training. Cal Grants are awarded based on financial need and academic achievement and do not have to be repaid. There are three types of Cal Grants: A, B and C.
Cal Grant A awards assistance to low to middle income students attending four-year institutions only; however, the Grant can be held in reserve for up to two years, until transfer to a four-year college.
Cal Grant B assists low income or disadvantaged students with “access costs.” Access awards assist with living expenses, books, supplies and other non-tuition costs. Some eligible students may receive Cal Grant B to cover tuition costs. People who apply cannot have completed more than 16 units or one full semester prior to June 30, 2000.
Cal Grant C assists low and middle income students enrolled in occupational or career training programs with tuition and training costs. The students’ program must be at least four months long at a vocational school, community college or independent college. Selection is based on grades, vocational interests and aptitude.
In order to be eligible for financial aid a student must meet certain criteria. A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Males over 18 must be registered with Selective Service. Students need to demonstrate financial need according to both State and Federal guidelines.
Students must have a high school diploma or GED, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and be working towards a degree, certificate or transfer. A student cannot be in default on a loan or owe a refund on an educational grant.
A student applies for financial aid by completing a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be used to apply for state and federal aid as well as aid from other sources. The FAFSA should be submitted to the Federal Processing Board by July 2, 2001. Students can also apply using FAFSA via the internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
When applying for Cal Grants, a student needs to complete a Grade Point Average Verification Form. The filing deadline is March 2. The California Student Aid Commission uses the GPA Verification form in addition to the FAFSA to determine eligibility for Cal Grants A, B and C.Students receive financial aid money by checks, except for the BOGW. Checks are mailed twice a semester, the first around the beginning of the semester.
Federal financial aid guidelines exist for returns of federal aid money. If a student withdraws from college before completing a term, incorrectly reports resources or drops units once a semester has begun repayment may be necessary. Furthermore, if a clerical error is made a student may be responsible for repaying any over award.
Hundreds of privately funded scholarships are available nationally for qualified students. Scholarships are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Scholarships are awarded based on special interests, religious affiliation or ethnic background.
The Yuba College Foundation and local public and private organizations sponsor several scholarships as well. The financial aid office has a booklet of scholarships available. Applications for these scholarships must be submitted by April 1.