Your Guide To Pay For College!
Financial Aid Federal Programs
Federal Pell Grants
The major federal grant program available is the Pell Grant. Students get considered for this program by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going online to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The Department of Education determines the eligibility of a student based on a formula and according to units carried by a student per term.
The amount of Pell Grant you can receive depends on your:
- EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
- Cost of Attendance
- Enrollment Status
- Full Time = 12 or more units
- Three Quarter Time = 9 to 11.5 units
- Half Time – 6 to 8.5 units
- Less Than Half Time – 5.5 and less units
- Attendance in Fall, Spring and/or Summer
The Pell Grant award amount is pro-rated (reduced) if your enrollment is less than full time. There is a 600% lifetime limit to receive Pell Grant (the equivalent of 6 years of full time enrollment). You will use 100% of your Pell Grant lifetime limit if you attend full time for both Fall and Spring semesters during the Academic Year. In certain situations, you may receive up to 150% of your Pell Grant award if you will also attend Summer (known as year-round Pell).
For example, if you are eligible for $4,000 Pell Grant for the Academic Year (Fall and Spring), and enroll full time (12 units or more) for both semesters, you’ll receive $2,000 for Fall and $2,000 for Spring, and this will be 100% of your Pell Grant award. You may receive an additional $2,000 in Summer if you attend full time (150% of your award). If you used 100% of your Pell eligibility for Fall and Spring, you must enroll at least half-time (6 units) to receive Pell Grant for Summer.
However, we do not recommend students enroll in more than 6 units during Summer. If you fail to complete at least 67% of your classes for a semester, you may be ineligible for future financial aid due to not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. Please read the SAP policy here: https://welcome.solano.edu/fa-sap/
Pell grant is split into two disbursements during each Fall and Spring semester, half at the beginning and half at the 50% mid-point of the semester. If your enrollment decreases at the mid-point of the semester, your Pell Grant award will be recalculated. You may owe a repayment of Pell Grant if you drop classes, or you may receive additional Pell grant if your enrollment stays above half-time status.
For the Summer, your Pell Grant award will be awarded at full time status if you have remaining eligibility. The actual amount of your Pell Grant award will be recalculated based upon your enrollment status at Census Date, and it will be disbursed once after all of the summer courses have begun (six, eight, and nine week sessions).
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov This federal program is directed toward assisting exceptionally needy students. On-time applicants with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) receive consideration for this fund. Because funds are limited, it is important for students to meet the application deadline line.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov The Federal Work Study program is a federally funded campus-based program that provides jobs for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need according to the Department of Education formula. FWS allows students to earn money to help pay educational expenses.
How does it work?
- FWS is awarded on a first come first serve basis.
- To receive FWS, a student must do the following:
- File a FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov by the March 2nd priority deadline and answer “Yes” to interest in Federal Work Study.
- Have sufficient unmet need based upon FAFSA.
- Be enrolled in an eligible program of study and maintain 6.00 units. Dropping below 6.00 units will immediately terminate a student from FWS employment.
- Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each term and cumulatively.
- FWS follows the academic aid year; July 1-June 30th.
- Due to extremely limited funds, once the academic aid year funds are exhausted for placed students, no further FWS positions will be filled, and the students still interested will remain on a waiting list.
Federal Direct Loan Program
Solano Community College participates in the following loans under the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Program:
- Direct Subsidized Loans – are loans for students with financial need, as determined by federal regulations. Interest will immediately begin to accrue as soon as the student is no longer enrolled in at least half-time status (6 or more units). The federal government will not pay the interest during the six month grace period. The interest will be the responsibility of the student.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans – are non-need based loans for students as determined by federal regulations. Because this loan is not subsidized by the government, the student is responsible for all interest which accrues during in-school, grace, and deferment periods.
For more information, check out our Direct Loans page featuring our FAQ here.