Completing the FAFSA
Prospective and continuing students (and, if applicable, their parents or guardians) can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming school year anytime after January 1.
Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or complete a paper FAFSA and mail it to the Federal Student Aid Processor early enough to meet their priority deadlines for CCA scholarship assistance. Students can request a paper FAFSA by calling 1.800.4.FED.AID.
Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and on several other factors. Students and parents are encouraged to review the Federal Student Aid Eligibility information online at http://studentaid.ed.gov.
CCA federal school code is 001127
Students who completed a FAFSA for the previous school year will find the Renewal FAFSA easier to complete than the original FAFSA, since most of the information will be pre-populated for you. Renewal applicants only have to provide some new information and update information that has changed from the previous application.
Using Estimated Income & Tax Information
Although it is better for financial aid applicants to do their taxes prior to completing their FAFSA, estimates of income and taxes paid can be used to complete the form as long as they are close to the actual figures.
Students applying for a Cal Grant Competitive Award will not have an opportunity to correct or update the information with the California Student Aid Commission, but in general, all applicants can correct any errors after their initial submission.
E-Signing Can Speed Up Your Application
Applicants and their parents can e-sign the FAFSA using their Federal Student Aid personal identification number (PIN). Applicants who do not have a PIN can print, sign, and mail the signature page to the Federal Student Aid Processor. Students who do not have a PIN or printer can still use the online FAFSA; their Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated without an estimated family contribution (EFC), and they would need to sign and return the signature page to the Federal Student Aid Processor before their EFC can be calculated.
Students (and their parents) can apply for a four-digit PIN at www.pin.ed.gov by providing their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and other information. The PIN should be available immediately on-line or within 7 to 10 days by regular mail. If you lose or forget your PIN, you can have it emailed to you within four hours of requesting a duplicate PIN.
Students and parents can also use their PIN to make corrections to their FAFSA, view the status and results of their processed FAFSA, view their federal student aid records online, request a duplicate copy of their SAR, access their Renewal FAFSA for the next school year, complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and a Loan Entrance Counseling Session.
Providing Additional Information
Students may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to the Financial Aid Office. This could include follow-up requests for verification of various data items on the FAFSA including a tax return transcript for the student—and, if applicable, the parent(s), information about expenses and resources from the previous year if the family income is below the poverty level, documentation of citizenship status, or Social Security number.
To avoid delays, students are advised to check all documents before submitting them to the Financial Aid office to make sure that they have been filled out completely and accurately and that the appropriate signatures have been provided. Students are also strongly advised to photocopy all documents for their personal records.
Prospective undergraduate students are encouraged to meet CCA's priority deadlines. Applications received by our priority deadlines of February 1 for fall and October 1 for spring are given first consideration for CCA scholarships. March 2 is an absolute deadline if applying for the California State Grant Program. These deadlines do not apply to the Federal Pell Grant or the Federal Loan Programs.
Prospective graduate students should submit their applications as early as possible since many non-CCA graduate programs may require students to respond to their offers of admission before the May 1 reply date.
We recommend that students apply as early as possible to be given first consideration for CCA scholarships. Students are automatically considered for all forms of financial assistance simply by completing the FAFSA.
Continuing undergraduate and graduate students whose FAFSAs are received by the Federal Student Aid Processor by the April 30 priority deadline (for continuing students), should anticipate receiving an award letter prior to the payment deadline. These students can expect that their total scholarship and grant aid will be maintained from the previous year, provided that there is little or no change in family circumstances (e.g., household size and number in college) and resources (e.g., taxable and untaxed income, savings and investments, and the like) and that they remain in good academic standing.
Students whose applications are received by the Federal Student Aid Processor after the April 30 priority deadline may not receive an award letter prior to the fall payment deadline. Please note that March 2 is an absolute deadline for any student wishing to apply for a California State Grant Competitive Award. Again, these deadlines do not apply to the Federal Pell Grant or the federal and private educational loan programs.
Beginning in March, prospective undergraduate and graduate students are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year. In general, students are awarded in the order in which the applications are completed.
Awards to continuing undergraduate and graduate students re-enrolling for the fall are generally mailed beginning in late May of each year, after final grades have been posted for the spring semester.
The process of reviewing applications and making financial aid awards continues through the summer until all applicants have been awarded. Students should expect a financial aid award letter no sooner than 10 business days from the time all required documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office. During the summer, this time frame may be longer due to the volume of applications that must be reviewed and processed.
Financial Aid for Students in the Mobility and International Exchange Programs
Financial aid is available through CCA for students studying off campus through the college's mobility or international exchange programs. More information can be obtained from the Student Records office on the Oakland campus or the Financial Aid office on either campus.
Students applying to study abroad programs that are not administered by the college are not eligible for financial aid through the college.
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