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Mt. SAC Emergency Alert

Alert: Mt. SAC has Transitioned to Online Classes and Services (see www.mtsac.edu/online). Learn more about our COVID-19 response at www.mtsac.edu/health.

Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions

Download COVID-19 FAQ PDF HERE


    • What are the general eligibility criteria for the CARES Act Emergency grant?

      Based on funding and restricted federal guidelines in administering these funds, eligibility was determined on “greatest need” and unmet need factors for students with incurred expenses such as food, housing, course materials, and/or technology related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Furthermore, students have to be currently enrolled and must meet all Title IV eligibility requirements as outlined in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

       To be a Title IV-eligible student under Section 484 of the HEA, the student must:

      • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree, certificate or other recognized educational credential;
      • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
      • Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) if the student is a currently enrolled student;
      • Not owe an overpayment (refund) on Title IV grants;
      • Not be in default on a Title IV loan;
      • Be a U.S citizen or national, a permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen; Have returned any fraudulently obtained Title IV funds, if the student is convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to charges;
      • Not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits;
      • Have repaid any Title IV loan overpayment amounts in excess of annual or aggregate limits, if obtained inadvertently;
      • Have Selective Service registration verified (males only);
      • Have a valid SSN, except for residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau; and
      • Not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
    • I was awarded a CARES Act Emergency grant, how can I access the monies?

      Funds have been authorized and scheduled to be transferred to the BankMobile system to be distributed to all students according to their refund selection as set up through BankMobile in the Mt. SAC Student Portal.  This process may take 5 to 10 days depending on the refund selection.

       If you have not set up your refund preference yet, visit the Cashier’s Office website for directions at Refunds. Additional information about Mt. SAC’s refund process can be found at Refund Brochure. As a reminder, you can select your refund preference to deposit funds into your own personal account, receive a check, or use your BankMobile card to retrieve funds from almost all fee-free Allpoint® ATMs. It is important that you set up your refund preference immediately to prevent any delays in you receiving the CARES Act Emergency Grant.

    • Why didn’t I qualify for the CARES Act Emergency grant?

      In order to have qualified for consideration of receiving the CARES Act Emergency Grant at Mt. SAC, all students must have otherwise been eligible to receive federal financial aid, demonstrated more than $5,000 Unmet Need and must have met all Title IV eligibility requirements. Additionally, selected students must be enrolled in classes during the Spring 2020 semester in order to have been awarded these funds.

      Please note, we encourage all students to continue monitoring their Student Portal, Mountie Mail, and the Mt. SAC website as we will continue to update the Campus Community in the event more funding is made available to students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Is the Financial Aid Office still open and are disbursements still happening?
       Yes! All essential services are taking place remotely. Contact us at (909)274-4450 or financialaid@mtsac.edu.
    • How can I submit documents now that the campus is closed?
      Students may submit financial aid forms electronically through the Mt. SAC Student Portal or via email at financialaid@mtsac.edu.
    • My financial situation is very different now compared to what was captured on my financial aid application. Can you re-evaluate my financial aid eligibility?
      Yes.  All students have the option for a “Change of Income” request. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.
    • How do I know what financial aid I am eligible to receive?

      We recommend all students to review their 2019-2020 Financial Aid Offer through the Mt. SAC Student Portal. Our webpage has instructions on how to navigate your portal to find your Aid Offer information: Award Status.

      This should help you understand whether you qualify for enough financial aid to actually produce a refund. Please note, students who are only receiving the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) will not have a refund because that type of financial aid is strictly paying for course enrollment fees (tuition). Otherwise, make sure to see if you have any new pending financial aid requirements. Once again, you can find this in your Student Portal under the "Financial Aid" section. Simply go to “Financial Aid” (located on the black navigation bar), and then scroll down till you see the "Financial Aid Requirements” box (there are flag icons). If there are any red flags you will want to make sure to resolve these.

    • What happens if I drop one class or a class is cancelled or if I drop all classes or all my classes are cancelled?
       

      Generally speaking, as long as you have already received your financial aid disbursement(s), and continue to remain enrolled in at least 1 course, then your financial aid will not be negatively affected by dropping some (but not all) courses at this time in the semester. If you do decide to drop/withdraw from all of your courses then you may be subject to a withdrawal process and may have to pay back a portion of your financial aid. For further information regarding this withdrawal process please visit the following: Return of Title IV Funds Policy

      In terms of your eligibility for future semesters, your dropping may affect your continued eligibility. According to our current Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, all attempted units are counted when evaluating a student’s SAP Status; note, this would include Excused Withdrawals. As such, if as a result of dropping your courses your completion percentage drops below the 67% requirement, then your continued financial aid eligibility may be negatively affected.

      Please note, there is recent legislation passed into law that does contain some student aid provisions which may offer relief for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Courses dropped due to COVID-19 pandemic will not be counted in the SAP completion percentage calculation for future financial aid disbursements.  Courses dropped due to COVID-19 are assigned the “FE” or “GW” status codes on your registration records.

      Please keep an eye on your student e-mail and portal so that you remain up to date about your SAP status.

    • My disbursement schedule or Mt. SAC portal says I should have received my Cal Grant on March 19th, why haven’t I received it?
      There are several reasons your Cal Grant award has not disbursed. We encourage students to reach out to the Financial Aid Office by phone at (909) 274-4450 or by email financialaid@mtsac.edu for more information.
    • What are Cal Grant C eligibility requirements, why don’t’ I see the award on my offer letter?

      If you are seeing that the Cal Grant C award no longer shows up - then that means you were reviewed recently for eligibility and it was determined that you no longer qualify for this particular financial aid program.

      Common reasons for a student not to qualify for Cal Grant are the following

      • Enrollment in less than 6 units
      • Enrollment in no “Core” courses as required by the student’s academic program
      • Enrollment in a major/program of student that does not meet Cal Grant C eligibility requirements
    • What is an Excused Withdrawal?

      The College resource on withdrawals can be found here: https://www.mtsac.edu/health/student-resources.html.

      We encourage all students to stay enrolled and to work with your faculty member.  We realize that this is a new way to be taught, but we are all here to help you.  If you believe the best thing for you to do is to drop (withdraw) from the course, note that you will be able to drop with an “EW”—Excused Withdrawal during this spring 2020 term.  This is an acceptable mark and does not count against your GPA, your academic standing or your ability to repeat the course.

      To take the risk out of trying online learning, the College is extending the deadline to withdraw to Sunday, June 7th, for regular 16-week classes. For short-term courses, the deadline is the day prior to the final class meeting. You can also speak with a counselor online about your options.

    • Will I get reimbursed my classes or parking permit?

      The College resource on Reimbursements can be found here: https://www.mtsac.edu/health/student-resources.html

      Enrollment fees will be reimbursed to students if they withdraw from the class or the College cancels the class AND only if the student paid for the enrollment fees out of pocket; if they received a CCPG (fee waiver) they will not receive a reimbursement. Refunds will automatically be processed regardless of the selection of withdrawal codes. Learn more about refunds from the Cashier’s Office website. Refunds are offered in a number of formats, including through a Bank Mobile Vibe account.

      Parking Permits

      All Spring 2020 parking permits will be extended through Fall 2020.  Students can use them through the Summer and Fall terms.

    • Why hasn’t my financial aid paid out?

      For general guidance on navigating the Mt. SAC Student Portal in order to view your Financial Aid Offer and possible unmet requirements, we encourage you to look at this resource: Award Status.

      Students are also encouraged to also check their student account activity via Number #27 (Statement and Payment History) in their Mt. SAC Student Portal under the “Student” tab (Student Self-Service section) as this will show you, by date, when funding posted on your account and when the Cashier's Office has generated a refund. If you do not see that any financial aid funding that has posted on your account, then one or more of the following may have occurred:

      - You have dropped or withdrawn from all of your classes

      - You are not meeting Satisfactory Academic progress requirements

      - You have pending financial aid (red flag) requirements

      We recommend frequently checking your Mountie Mail, along with the Mt. SAC designated webpage (mtsac.edu/health) for important updates related to this transition period.

    • 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 https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript. 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 is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?

    • What are the Financial Aid Application Deadlines?

      Federal and State Aid for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

      Applying for Financial Aid: What is a Cal Grant?What is a Loan?What is a Federal Work Study Job?
      Aid Type Application Due Date Videos
      Pell, SEOG, CCPG (Fee Waiver) FAFSA  2019-2020 FAFSA
      Apply from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
      2020-2021 FAFSA: 
      Apply 
      from 10/1/2019 to 6/30/2021

      Applying for Financial Aid

      Cal Grant FAFSA  Priority Deadline:
      March 2nd!
      What is a Cal Grant?
      Direct Loans FAFSA 2019-2020 FAFSA
      Apply from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
      2020-2021 FAFSA: 
      Apply 
      from 10/1/2019 to 6/30/2021
      What is a Loan?
      Federal Work Study (FWS) FAFSA and FWS 2019-2020 FAFSA
      Apply from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
      2020-2021 FAFSA: 
      Apply 
      from 10/1/2019 to 6/30/2021
      What is a Federal Work Study Job?

      State Aid for Undocumented Students and AB540 Students

      What is a Cal Grant?What is the California College Promise Grant?
      Aid Type Application Due Date Videos
      Cal Grant CA Dream Act 
      Priority Deadline:
      March 2nd!
      What is a Cal Grant?
      CCPG (Fee Waiver)  CA Dream Act 2019-2020 CA Dream Act
      Apply from 10/1/2018 to 6/30/2020
      2020-2021 CA Dream Act: 
      Apply 
      from 10/1/2019 to 6/30/2021
      What is the California College Promise Grant?
    • 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 was asked to verify that I did not file a Federal income tax return. How do I do this?

    • I've filed my FAFSA/Dream Act Application 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.

      What is the CA Dream Act?



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

    • Do I have to fill out a FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application to get financial aid?
      Yes, all financial aid programs, require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA). 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 or CADAA to apply for other aid.
    • When should I file my FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application?
      You should file your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application every year between October 1st and March 2nd (the priority Cal Grant deadline) for the following fall. If the March 2nd priority deadline has passed, you should file the FAFSA or CADAA before the June 30th deadline.
    • 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) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) can be filed any time after October 1st for the coming academic year; the priority Cal Grant deadline is March 2nd. We recommend applying early to maximize your potential financial aid offers.
    • Once I file my FAFSA, what happens next?
      Once you fill out your FAFSA or CADAA, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be available online to review a summary of the information you provided on your FAFSA or CADAA. If you provided an e-mail address on your FAFSA or CADAA Application, you will receive an e-mail with a link to an online copy of your SAR. You should log into your Mt. SAC Portal to check your application status.
    • Are there any other forms I need to fill out in order to apply for financial aid?
      The FAFSA or CADAA are the only applications you need to apply for federal and/or state financial aid at Mt. SAC. Once your FAFSA or CADAA has been processed, you might be asked to submit some additional forms and/or documentation to the Mt. SAC Financial Aid Office. These forms and/or documents 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. To access a GPA Verification Form visit the California Student Aid Commission Website.
    • 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 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
      • Not having an eligible program of study

      What Does SAP Stand For?

    • 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 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.

      What is the FAFSA?

    • How do I Apply?
      Apply online at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Applying online will reduce the errors through edit checks.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • I lost my SAR. How can I get another one?
      To request a duplicate SAR, call: 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243); TTY Assistance at 1-800-730-8913.
    • What is the income cut-off to qualify for financial aid?
      Financial Aid is available to students and their families who need assistance paying for education beyond high school. 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 my financial aid application?
      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.

      For CA Dram Act Applicants, a Social Security number is not required to successfully complete and submit the application. However, if you are a CA Dream Act Applicant and have a Social Security number, you should provide it on your application. 
    • 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 than 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 financial aid. What doesn't necessarily show are other factors, such as family size or number in college, which may affect the computation of the family contribution.
    • What happens if I purposely provide inaccurate information and I'm caught?
      If you use the FAFSA or CADAA to apply for student financial 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 tax forms. What happens if I don't submit them?
      If you fail to comply with a request for tax forms, the college will not be able to complete and process your financial aid file. Consequently, you may not receive all the aid that you may qualify for.
    • 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 to receive any funds.