Your financial aid questions answered.

In today’s economy, many students face tough financial choices but being able to pay for college shouldn’t be one of them. More than 6 billion dollars of financial aid is available every year just to help community college students with tuition, books, supplies and sometimes even rent. Don’t just assume you won’t qualify for aid, nearly half of all California college students qualify for some type of financial aid to help with their education. We understand many of our students are facing financial difficulties for themselves and their families but we’re here to help.

Be sure to check this page often for new information and updates about financial aid during the crisis.

Many colleges are loaning laptop computers so that students can continue their coursework while at home. Students should check with their financial aid office to see if their college is offering laptops.

Several companies throughout California are offering free or low-cost internet access to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. A list is available here.

Some work-study programs allow students to still receive payment if you are not able to work due to COVID-19 closures. You should check with your work-study employer to see if you are eligible to still receive payment.

Colleges have been authorized to transfer financial aid funds between programs on an emergency basis. Make sure to explain your situation to your college to see if you can receive emergency assistance.

Possibly not. The CARES Act does not require Pell grants or federal student loans to be returned if you had to drop out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with your college on how state assistance or other financial aid may be affected.

If you drop a class due to COVID-19 you will most likely receive EW (emergency withdrawal) grades. These will not affect your financial aid status. However, any letter grades you earned for the semester will be counted toward your GPA. Pell Grant and student loan Satisfactory Academic Progress eligibility will not include grades for the courses that the student dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Colleges have flexibility in the use of leaves from attendance. Work with your college to find out the best way to maintain your enrollment and academic progress.

There will be some temporary relief for Federal Student Loan borrowers. Student loan payments will be deferred for 6 months, including principal and interest, through September 30, 2020, without penalty to the borrower for all federally owned loans. Please note this relief program is scheduled to expire September 30, 2020. You should contact your loan servicer to verify your loans have been placed on a non-interest accruing forbearance.

Pell Grants paid to students who dropped all of their units as a result of COVID-19 will be excluded when counting lifetime Pell eligibility.

In most cases, if a student receiving a Promise Program (AB19) fee waiver and has to drop below full-time, they may still be eligible to receive a Promise Program fee waiver as long as they enroll full-time in the next semester. Since Promise Programs vary by college and district, it is best to check with your financial aid office to verify your eligibility.

If your income has decreased due to reduced hours or layoffs because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional financial aid. You should contact the financial aid office at your college to explain the decrease in your income.

Your college will determine your eligibility to receive emergency grants made available from the CARES Act. The financial aid office will notify you if you are eligible and when you can expect to receive any emergency aid.