Financial aid programs
There are three basic sources of funds for college: grants and scholarships, loans, and part-time employment. Most students rely on a combination of these sources to finance their education.
Grants and scholarships are monies that do not have to be repaid. Loans are funds that must be repaid.
Financial Aid Programs Offered By LASC
- Federal PELL Grant Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work Study (FWS)
- Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver Program
- Special Criteria Fee Waivers
- Cal Grants
- Other Types of Grants
- Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Direct Loan Programs
Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal PELL Grant Program is a federally funded program. To be eligible, an applicant must be an undergraduate student who can demonstrate financial need. The amount of the award, as determined by the Federal PELL Grant Program, is in most cases based on prior year income and current asset information provided in the application.
Students who want to apply for the Federal PELL Grant and other federal financial programs should use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
In certain cases, a family’s financial situation can change because of death, separation or divorce, loss of a job, or loss of non-taxable income or benefits. In such cases, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
The FSEOG program is a federal program designed to supplement other sources of financial aid for students with exceptional need. FSEOG awards range from $400-$800 per year. When students apply for financial aid, they will automatically be considered for this program.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
The FWS program provides part-time jobs on or off campus to eligible students who indicated “Yes” on the FAFSA application. Award amounts are based on unmet financial need, and the actual amount earned depends on the number of hours worked and your wage rate.
Board of Governor's Fee Waiver Program
The Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver Program is offered by the California Community Colleges. Under this program, enrollment fees are waived for students who qualify. Students do not have to be enrolled in a specific number of units or courses to receive the waiver, and no repayment of funds is required.
You are eligible to apply for a waiver if you are a California resident and you are enrolled in at least 1 unit.
You qualify if any one of the following statements applies to you:
- At the time of enrollment you are a recipient of benefits under the TANF/ CalWORKs Program (formerly AFDC), SSI (Supplemental Security Income), General Assistance (also known as general relief), or you have certification from the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or the National Guard Adjutant General that you are eligible for a dependents fee waiver.
- You and/or your family meet the specified income standards by household size.
- You qualify for financial aid. If you qualify under these criteria, you will need to Complete the FAFSA. If you qualify after you pay your enrollment fees, you should complete a "Request for Refund" form available in the LASC Business Office.
Dependent's Fee Waiver
You are eligible if you have Certification from the California Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Guard Adjutant General that you qualify for a Dependent's Fee Waiver.
If you are a dependent of deceased law enforcement/fire supression personnel killed in the line of duty, you must show documentation from the public agency employer of record.
Congressional Medal of Honor Fee Waiver
You are eligible if you are a recipient or a dependent of a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the annual income, including the value of any support received from a parent, does not exceed the national poverty level. Certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs must be provided.
Surviving Dependents of Terrorist Attacks 9/11/2001 Fee Waiver
You are eligible if you are a dependent of any individual killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, or the airline crash in Pennsylvania and meet the financial need requirements of the Cal Grant A Program. Certification from the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board will provide a letter to the applicant certifying eligibility for the BOGFW.
Students must meet the following eligibility requirements for the Cal Grant Programs:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid Social Security number (SSN)
- Be a California resident
- Be attending at least half-time at a qualifying California college
- Have financial need at the college of attendance
- Be making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the college
- Have not already earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, or the equivalent.
Students must complete a FAFSA to apply for the Cal Grant Programs.
Deadline date: First deadline is March 2. A second deadline for community college applicants is September 2, but we highly recommend that applicants meet the March 2 deadline when more funding is available.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification is required for Cal Grant A and B awards. Students must submit a GPA Verification form by March 2 to the California Student Aid Commission. GPA verification for students enrolled within the Los Angeles Community College District will be electronically sent to the Commission by the deadline date for those who meet the specific criteria. Contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you meet the criteria to have your GPA electronically sent and for other possible options.
Types of Cal Grants Available
- Cal Grant A – provides grant funds to help pay for tuition/fees at qualifying institutions offering baccalaureate degree programs. If you receive a Cal Grant A but choose to attend a CA community college first, your award will be held in reserve for up to three years until you transfer to a four-year college.
- Cal Grant B – provides subsistence payments for new recipients in the amount of $1,648 for a full-time, full year award. Payments are reduced accordingly for three-quarter and half-time enrollment for each payment period. Cal Grant B recipients who transfer to a tuition/fee charging school after completing one or two years at a community college may have their grant increased to include tuition and fees as well as subsistence.
- Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award is for eligible CA community students who are transferring to a four-year college and are under age 24 as of December 31 of the award year.
Cal Grant A and B awards are used for the same purpose as the A and B entitlement awards, except that they are not guaranteed and the number of awards are limited.
- Cal Grant C recipients are selected based on financial need and vocational aptitude. Students must be enrolled in a vocational program at a California Community College, independent college, or vocational college, in a course of study lasting from four months to two years. Cal Grant C awards may not be used to pursue a four-year degree program, graduate study, or general education.
Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant
The Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents (LEPD) grant is a program administered by the California Student Aid Commission that provides grants for eligible students.
- Students must be a child (natural or adopted) or spouse, at the time of death or injury of a California peace officer or law enforcement officer, officer or employee of the Department of Corrections, or the Department of Youth Authority, or firefighter.
- Be enrolled in a minimum of six units at a California postsecondary institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
- Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office at the institution in which students are enrolled.
The grant will be in an amount equal to the amount provided to a student who has been awarded a Cal grant. Awards may be used for tuition and fees, book, supplies, and living expenses.
Obtain an application by calling the California Student Aid Commission’s Specialized Programs Branch at (888) 224-7268, #3, or submit a request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on this grant program, go to www.csac.ca.gov, Publications, Program Brochures.
Summer Financial Aid Pell Grant
PELL Grants and other financial are available for summer school enrollment for eligible students. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for information on specific details.
Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant
BIA grants provide money to help defray the costs of education for students with American Indian Heritage. Students may apply if they:
- Are at least one-quarter American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut, as certified by the BIA and/or by tribal group services of the BIA;
- Are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe;
- Have financial aid eligibility and scholastic ability;
- Are working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree;
- Have completed all of the application requirements.
The amounts of the grants vary according to the individual agency of the BIA. The BIA Grant is advantageous because, unlike most other grants, it may be used to replace the loan or work portion of the financial aid package.
For Higher Education Grant applications, write to: Office of Indian Education, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 95825. (916) 978-6057
Child Development Teacher Grant
The Child Development Grant is for students who plan to teach or supervise at a licensed children’s center. The grants, renewable for an additional year, are awarded to students attending a public or private two or four-year College in California. For additional information contact the campus Child Development Office at (323) 241-5279.
The California Chafee Grant Program provides free money to foster youth and former foster youth to use for college courses or vocational school training. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) either by paper form or online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and visit www.csac.ca.gov. For further information phone (888) 224-7268
The college receives information regarding various scholarships throughout the year. The focus of each scholarship is different; some require financial need, and some are for outstanding performance regardless of the student’s major field of study. Information about scholarships is available in the Financial Aid Office and the Student Services Office.
Federal Loan Programs
Loans are self-help funds that you must repay! You are not obligated to borrow a loan. All loans require a minimum unit enrollment of six (6) approved units at Los Angeles Southwest College. If you have defaulted on a student loan, you are ineligible for financial aid with the exception of a Board of Governors Fee Waiver. Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss possible options for resolving your student loan default.
Students who request a loan are required to attend Loan Entrance and Exit Counseling Sessions. These sessions inform the borrower about his/her rights and responsibilities as a student borrower. Students must have received an Award Letter prior to signing up to attend an Entrance Counseling session.
Federal Perkins Loan Program
The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a low 5% interest loan to help students with exceptional need meet their educational expenses. Loan amounts will be determined annually based on funding. Priority funding will be given to students who submit all paperwork by the May 1st priority date.
Federal Direct Loan Program
Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) are loans borrowed from the federal government (which serves as the lender) and must be repaid.
Subsidized Direct Loan: Interest does not accrue on a subsidized loan while students are enrolled in school at least half-time (six (6) units) and during the six-month grace period after they leave school.
Unsubsidized Direct Loans: Interest begins accruing on an unsubsidized loan at the date of disbursement by the lender. Students must pay the interest or allow it to be capitalized (added to the principal or original loan amount) while they are enrolled in school in at least half-time (six (6) units) and during the grace period.
The current (2014-2015) interest rate charged on a Direct Subsidized Loan is fixed at 4.66%. The interest rate for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan is 4.66%. These rates are applicable to loans disbursed on or after July 1st, 2014. Visit http://www.dlservicer.ed.gov/ to obtain the current loan interest rate, repayment, deferment, cancellation, and consolidation information.
Please Note: Should a student experience unforseen circumstances with any of the loan programs discussed above which prevent repayment at the minimum level, please contact the Financial Aid Office or the Loan Servicing Center immediately. We do not want you to default on your student loan(s) because there are serious consequences which will negatively affect your future. There may be other options available, so please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office.