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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Trending Financial Aid Questions

  • How do I get a tax transcript for a prior year tax return?
    You can request your Tax Transcript to either be mailed to you or you can print your Tax Transcript online by visiting If you are unfamiliar with what an IRS Tax Transcript looks like, refer to the image below for clarification:

IRS Tax Transcript Highlighting Title of Tax Return Transcript Document

What are the Financial Aid Application Deadlines?

Federal and State Aid for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Aid Type Application Due Date
Pell, SEOG, CCPG (a.k.a BOG Fee Waiver) FAFSA  2018-2019 FAFSA
Apply from 10/1/2017 to 6/30/2019
2019-2020 FAFSA: 
from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
Cal Grant FAFSA  Priority Deadline:
March 2nd!
Direct Loans FAFSA 2018-2019 FAFSA
Apply from 10/1/2017 to 6/30/2019
2019-2020 FAFSA: 
from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
Federal Work Study (FWS) FAFSA and FWS 2018-2019 FAFSA
Apply from 10/1/2017 to 6/30/2019
2019-2020 FAFSA: 
from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020

State Aid for Undocumented Students and AB540 Students

Aid Type Application Due Date
Cal Grant CA Dream Act 
Priority Deadline:
March 2nd!
CCPG (a.k.a. BOG Fee Waiver)  CA Dream Act 2018-2019 CA Dream Act
Apply from 10/1/2017 to 6/30/2019
2019-2020 CA Dream Act: 
from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020


  • I have a red flag asking me for an IRS tax transcript, I didn't file - what do I do?
    When completing the required verification worksheet (additional red flag), in the section titled "Income Tax Information", mark the appropriate box for non-tax filers. Once this worksheet is received by the Financial Aid Office, the flag asking for an IRS tax transcript will be updated to reflect your tax-filing status.

  • I've filed my FAFSA/Dream Act for the current year, what happens next?
    Log into your Mt. SAC Portal and click on the "Financial Aid Tab".  Check your financial aid status by clicking on "Financial Aid Status".  By clicking on “Financial Status”, you will have access to view detailed information regarding the status of your financial aid, including the following:  Satisfied Requirements and Unsatisfied requirements – documents needed to complete your file. Promptly submit required documents in the drop box located next to counter number 1 (one) of the Financial Aid Office.  

    For specific instructions, visit the Viewing Your Award Status page.
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    General Questions

    • Do I have to fill out a FAFSA to get financial aid? Yes, all federal financial aid programs, including Direct Loans, require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who only want to apply for a fee waiver, can fill out a simpler form, but we recommend that such students also fill out a FAFSA to apply for other aid.

    • When should I apply for Financial Aid for the following school year?
      You should apply as soon as possible beginning on October 1st, after you and your parents have completed your federal income tax returns.

    • When should I file my FAFSA?
      You should file your FAFSA every year between October 1st and March 2nd (the priority Cal Grant deadline) every year for the following Fall. If the March 2nd deadline has passed, you should file the FAFSA as soon as possible.

    • What is the School Code for Mt SAC?
      The code is: 001245

    • Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
      Yes. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed anytime after October 1st for the coming academic year. We recommend filing early because many funds are limited.

    • Once I file my FAFSA, what happens next?
      If you fill out your FAFSA online (highly recommended), your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you by email in about three days. About one week after that, you should get an Acknowledgment Letter in the mail from the Mt. SAC Financial Aid Office with instructions on your next step.

    • Are there any other forms I need to fill out in order to apply for financial aid?
      The FAFSA is the only form you need to apply for federal financial aid at Mt. SAC except for the Scholarship Program. There is a separate application. Once your FAFSA has been processed, you may be asked to submit some additional forms to the Mt. SAC Financial Aid Office. These forms are needed to complete your file. Community College students may apply for the Cal Grant Competitive Award by March 2nd or September 2nd . For State grants a GPA Verification Form needs to be completed. Since the number of awards available in September is limited, it is best to have your FAFSA and GPA Verification form in no later than the March 2nd deadline.

    • What delays disbursement of financial aid funds?
      The following are reasons why the student's funds may not be available on the first day of classes:
      • Having outstanding requirements
      • Having holds
      • Not submitting and/or correctly completing required documents
      • Not being enrolled
      • Not making Satisfactory Academic Progress towards a degree or certificate
      • Being in default on a student loan or owing a repayment to any Title IV financial aid program

    • What are the office hours for the Financial Aid Office?
      Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Mon - Thurs., and 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. These hours are subject to change.

    • If I am enrolled at two colleges, can I receive aid at both colleges?
      NO, you cannot receive aid at more than one college for the same enrollment period.

    • Is Financial Aid available only to poor people?
      No. Financial Aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Some loans and scholarships are available regardless of "need".

    • What if I don't have a Social Security number or don't want to report it on the FAFSA?
      It is necessary to provide your Social Security number on the FAFSA. If you do not yet have a number, you should contact your Social Security Administration office to obtain one. It is required before you can be considered for any Federal student aid program. The FAFSA will be returned unprocessed if the student's Social Security number is blank.

    • I plan to go to college half-time. Will that lessen my chance for aid?
      Almost all funds are available to students who attend college at least half-time. Some institutions, however, give preference to full-time students. Some programs are available for less than half-time attendance.

    • My neighbor and I both applied for financial aid at the same college. Why did she get more aid then I did when they've got a bigger house than ours and their parents make more money than mine?
      The circumstances in your neighbor's family may be different than they appear, and home equity is not used to determine eligibility for Federal Aid. What doesn't necessarily show are other factors, such as some debts or number in college, which affects the computation of the family contribution.

    • What happens if I purposely provide inaccurate information and I'm caught?
      If you use the FAFSA to apply for Federal student aid funds and provide false information, you are subject to fines and/or imprisonment under the U.S. Criminal Code. State and local laws may also apply in such cases.

    • I don't feel it is the college's right to request my U.S. tax forms. What happens if I don't submit them?
      If you fail to comply with a request for U.S. tax forms, the college will probably discontinue processing your application for aid.

    • Must I be accepted for admission before I apply for Financial Aid? Must I be admitted before I receive aid?
      You may apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission. Many colleges require that you be admitted before they offer aid. However, you must actually enroll in college before you receive any funds.

    • Do I have to apply for Financial Aid each year?
      Yes. Your financial situation must be reassessed each year. However, after the first time you apply for financial aid, you probably will be sent a Renewal FAFSA that will ask you to answer some questions again and recheck the answers to others

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    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    1. Is the FAFSA the only aid application I must fill out?
      The FAFSA is the only form you need to complete to apply for Federal Student aid funds. Some colleges and State grant agencies may require supplemental data for awarding institutional and state funds. Any supplemental data must be collected on a separate form(s). You will not be charged a fee for processing and reporting data from the FAFSA but if you file a supplemental form, you may be charged a fee for processing and reporting data from it.

    2. How do I Apply?
      Apply online at Applying online will reduce the errors through edit checks.

    3. Who can help me with questions about the application?
      Financial Aid Seminars are available at most colleges, check with the Financial Aid office for availability, dates and times.

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    Student Aid Report (SAR)

    1. How do I make corrections?
      Use your SAR to correct information you submitted on your original FAFSA. Check with the college before you send the SAR back to the processor to confirm this is the action they recommend. Many colleges can process corrections for the students electronically. If filed on the web, you may make corrections electronically.

    2. I lost my SAR. How can I get another one? 
      To request a duplicate SAR, call: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

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