Q. Why should I apply for Financial Aid?
Financial Aid is made available to assist students and families in meeting the costs
of a postsecondary education. If you believe you will need assistance in meeting those
costs, you should apply for Financial Aid.
Q. I've been out of school a long time. I'm not ready to be a full-time student, but
I still need help with college costs. Is there any aid for me?
You don't have to be a full-time student to receive Financial Aid. At California Community
Colleges, there is no unit requirement for enrollment fee waivers through the California
College Promise Grant Program. To receive assistance from the other state and federal
programs, you can take as few as six units and still qualify for Financial Aid as
long as you are taking classes towards an AA/AS degree or a certificate.
Q. If I am not a U.S. Citizen, am I still eligible to apply for Financial Aid?
To be eligible for federal and/or state aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen, an
eligible noncitizen or an AB540 student. For Financial Aid purpose, an eligible non-citizen
is one of the following:
- a U.S. permanent resident who has an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551);
- a conditional permanent resident (I-551C);
- a non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure record (I-94) from the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services with one of the following designations - "Refugee," "Asylum Granted,"
"Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant."
Student who are residing in the United States with an F-1 or F-2 student visa or a
G series visa are not eligible for federal or state Financial Aid. Review criteria for AB540 students
Q. I probably don't qualify for aid because of family finances. Should I submit a
financial aid application anyway?
Yes. Even though you may not think you qualify for aid, you should at least complete
the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application. The application is free and the college uses
it to assess your eligibility for some scholarships and non-need-based loans, including
the unsubsidized and PLUS loans.
Q. How do I get Financial Aid?
A. To receive Financial Aid you must apply for it. The biggest mistake students make
is to not apply because they don't think they'll qualify. To apply for federal, state
and college Financial Aid programs, you need to complete a FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application,
and for the Cal Grant program you must submit a GPA verification by March 2nd. Foothill
College automatically submits the GPA of all students who have completed at least
24 units and have a valid Social Security Number in their Foothill student record.
You may also be requested to submit additional documents such as tax return transcripts
to complete your Financial Aid file so please respond immediately to all requests
made by the Financial Aid Office. To check your Financial Aid status, go to your MyPortal.fhda.edu
Q. If I don't qualify for need-based aid, what options are available?
If you are not eligible for need-based Financial Aid, many options are still available.
One option is to look for merit-based scholarships, which consider academic or other
talents. Additionally, you may consider borrowing through the unsubsidized loan program,
or having your parents borrow through the PLUS program.
Q. My neighbor got more grants than I did. Why?
A student's eligibility for Financial Aid is based upon a number of factors, including
the size of your family, how many members of the family are in college, how close
your parents are to retirement, and, of course, family resources (income and assets).
Even though your family's circumstances may appear to be very similar to your neighbor's,
there may be substantial differences in the components used to calculate Financial
Aid eligibility. One of the most common differences is meeting deadlines. Missing
a deadline could substantially impact the amount of grant aid for which you may be
Q. I filled out the financial aid application. How do I find out the results?
You can fill out and submit your application through FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov
or CA Dream Act Application on the web at www.caldreamact.org. Electronic filing is
the fastest and easiest way to apply for financial aid. After submitting your application,
you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the processor through the Internet.
The SAR will list all of the information you put on your application. This information
also is forwarded to the colleges you indicated to receive copies of the information.
Once the colleges receive the information and verify it with any additional documents
you submitted at their request, they will notify you of your aid eligibility or send
you a letter requesting additional information.
Q. I’m taking classes at both Foothill and De Anza Colleges. Can I add those units
together to get more financial aid?
Yes, if the classes you are taking at De Anza can be confirmed by your Foothill College
counselor to apply to your personal educational goal, we usually can add the units
together to see if you are eligible for additional money.