Types of Aid

Students working in a lab

Most of the financial aid we offer you don’t have to pay back!

What you qualify for depends on many different factors. Your first step is applying to the FAFSA or CADAA, even if you don’t think you will qualify, to find out what you are eligible for. Many types of aid are available regardless of your income level.

There are three main categories of financial aid:

  • Grants and Scholarships – this is the largest category that gives you money to go to college you generally don’t have to pay back.
  • Jobs and Work-study – these are part-time, on-campus positions often given to students who qualify for specific federal and state-funded grants.
  • Loans – this is money you borrow and will need pay back at a later date along with any interest that has built up from the time the loan began. Loans can help you cover any costs not covered through other financial aid funds and working.

Federal Financial Aid 

The Federal PELL Grant Program is a federally-funded program, and is the main grant given for those who qualify by completing the FAFSA. 

To be eligible, you 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 your (or your family’s) prior-prior year’s income (as in two years before the academic year you need the financial aid) and your (or your family’s) current asset information that you include in the application.

To apply for the Federal PELL Grant and other federal financial programs, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a full-time student (12 units or more per semester), the maximum PELL Grant amount for:

2019-20 academic year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) is $6,195.

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, please set up an appointment with the Financial Aid Office through our QLESS app to review your case.

Summer PELL Grant: PELL Grants and other financial aid are available for summer school enrollment for eligible students. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for specific details.

The FSEOG program is a federal program designed to supplement other sources of financial aid for students with exceptional need. FSEOG awards range from $100-$4,000 per year

When you apply for financial aid through the FAFSA, and if you have an exceptional need, defined as a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC), you will automatically be considered for this grant. You must be enrolled in six (6) eligible Financial Aid units at LASC to qualify. You can talk with your academic counselor or set up an appointment to visit your Financial Aid Technician to ensure you are enrolled in enough eligible units.

This funding is limited! Not all eligible recipients will receive funding, so we recommend completing your FAFSA as soon as it is available for the academic year you need financial aid.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid program that allows you to earn money to help pay for educationally-related expenses and encourage community service work. FWS gives you an opportunity to gain valuable work experience while focusing on your educational goals.

To qualify, you must meet the eligibility requirements for federal financial aid as listed in the FAFSA. 

The FWS award is based on the availability of funds for students who meet the following criteria:

  • Preference will be given to those that indicate their interest in FWS through the FAFSA and make a selection on the student portal to be included on the FWS list
  • Maintain six (6) or more financial aid eligible units at LASC throughout the employment period and meet all the requirements for financial aid including the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirement

FWS Award Acceptance Process

  • You will receive an email notification that you have been given an FWS award. You must let the Financial Aid Office know if you want to accept the award within 10 working days from when the award email notification was sent. FWS awards that are not accepted within the 10 working days time-frame will be removed from students’ financial aid award(s).
  • FWS awards require attending an Orientation. This Orientation:
  • Must be attended within 10 working days after accepting the FWS award
  • Is where you will receive information about the FWS program, including your assignment, responsibilities, the hiring process, and your hiring packet
  • After your Orientation, you will need to:
  • Locate a job by searching through the list of participating departments
  • Meet with the department supervisor to complete the hiring process
  • Submit the hiring packet to the FWS Coordinator to receive your start date, end date, and individual salary information
  • Pay rates begin at $10.50 per hour to a maximum of $17.39 per hour

The Federal Perkins Loan was a need-based student loan that had a fixed 5% interest rate with a nine-month grace period. This loan program was discontinued as of September 30, 2017. The loan program was discontinued by Congress due to funding issues. 

If you have a Perkins Loan and have questions regarding loan discharge, cancellation, or loan forgiveness, please set up an appointment to meet with your Financial Aid Technician.

LASC offers federal direct student loans, though we strongly encourage you to use every other free financial aid resource available to you, by completing the FAFSA or CADAA, reading our Paying for College webpage, applying for scholarships, talking with your Financial Aid Technician, and using every resource you have first.

We are dedicated to supporting your success and want to ensure you have a clear idea of how loan debt can affect your future. 

We offer loans from the U.S. Department of Education instead of a bank or financial institution. Regardless of income level, most U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and those who are eligible non-citizens can qualify for these loans as long as they have completed a FAFSA. The loans are a type of financial aid and accumulate interest that will need to be paid back. 

They are a long-term commitment and should be used as a last resort. If you need to apply for a loan, it is required you complete every step of the process.

If you qualify for a loan amount that’s larger than what you actually need, you do not have to accept all of it. Borrow only what you absolutely need! Consider finding a part-time job to work your way through school so you can avoid needing to borrow too much money.

 

What Loans Are Available to Me?

We offer Federal Direct Stafford Loans which are federal loans the government offers college students that are either:

Direct Subsidized Loans: These loans are based on financial need and don’t start charging interest as long as you are enrolled half-time (6 units or more per semester) or not until six (6) months after you leave school. The interest is charged later because the federal government is subsidizing your loan while you are in college.

OR

Direct Unsubsidized Loans: are loans that allow you to qualify regardless of your financial need. These loans start to accrue interest as soon as you take out the loan until you completely pay it in full. We do NOT RECOMMEND these loans.

We also offer Federal PLUS Loans that a parent of a dependent student can apply for. These loans require the parent to start repaying the loan 60 days after the second disbursement of the loan.

 

Before Applying for a Loan

  • Read Your Federal Student Loans document. Understanding student loans is very important! Before applying for a loan, you should make sure that you fully understand its terms and conditions. You should also be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
  • Read the Los Angeles Southwest College Student Loan Guide for important information about Stafford Loans and general financial aid eligibility. In addition to the requirements indicated in the student loan guides above, you must be enrolled in at least six (6) eligible semester units to be considered for student loans.

 

How Do I Apply for a Student Loan?

Follow these steps to apply for a Federal Stafford Loan:

You must complete the steps below even if you are applying for your 2nd loan at LASC.

Use this Stafford Loan Checklist to verify that you have included all required items
before you submit the loan packet to the Financial Aid Office.

  • Complete the FAFSA (fafsa.ed.gov) for the academic year you need to apply for a student loan.
  • Review the Application Deadlines below.
  • Loans incur interest that will also need to be repaid. If you find you still need to apply for a loan, it’s important to review how you will be able to repay the loan.
  • Award Notification: Complete your financial aid file in your SIS account and receive your award notification or an email indicating that your file was reviewed but you are not eligible for need-based aid.
  • Find and begin completing your ‘TO-DO LIST’ in your SIS account.
  • Are you a first-time borrower? If so, you must attend a Loan Workshop and you must sign up for a loan workshop before attending one. 

NO WALK-INs accepted.

  • Don’t be late for your Loan Workshop! 

There is ABSOLUTELY NO ENTRY 10 MINUTES PAST THE HOUR!

  • You must bring your Award Summary and have your ‘TO-DO LIST’ completed before you attend the Loan Workshop. You need to have these steps completed in order to submit a Loan Application.
  • Direct Loan Entrance Counseling: All new borrowers must complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. Proof of completion must be submitted with the loan packet. Please note that this requirement does not apply to repeat borrowers.
  • Student Loan Data Form: Complete the Student Loan Data Form. After completing the form, print it, sign it, and submit it with the complete loan packet.
  • Borrowers at LA Southwest College must complete these CashCourse lessons:
    1. Complete module – Paying Back Student Loans
    2. Complete module –Test Your Student Loan IQ
      • Must score at least 80% on both modules
      • Results will go directly to your school email
      • Print out the test results from your email and submit them with your loan packet
  • Student Loan History: Submit a printout of your Student Loan History. If you have never borrowed before you still need to print out the history. It will be blank.
  • Picture ID: Submit valid state-issued picture identification or U.S. passport.
  • NSLDS Disclosure: Any loan you or your parent borrow will be submitted to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) and will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders, and schools determined to be authorized users of the data system.

2019-2020 Federal Direct Stafford Loans

Deadlines:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, is the last day to submit a loan application or supporting documentation for Fall 2019

Thursday, May 8, 2020, is the last day to submit a loan application or Supporting documentation for Spring 2020

Direct Stafford Loan Status
It may take up to 45 calendar days to process a student loan.

You are eligible for this fee waiver if you are a recipient or a dependent of a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and your annual income, including the value of any support received from a parent, does not exceed the national poverty level. A Certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must be provided.

Contact the Veterans Resource Center if you have any questions.

You are eligible if you are a dependent of any individual killed in 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. A Certification Letter from the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board will certify your eligibility for the California College Promise Grant.

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) grants provide money to help with the education costs for students with American Indian Heritage.

To qualify, you will need to show that you:

  • Are at least one-quarter American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut, as certified by the BIA and/ or by the tribal group services of the BIA
  • Are an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe
  • Have financial aid eligibility 
  • Are a full-time student working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Have completed all of the application requirements 

Each Tribal Agency within the BIA establishes its own award. The amount of your grant will vary according to the local agencies within the BIA.

The BIA Grant is advantageous because, unlike most other grants, it may be used to replace the loan or work portion of a financial aid package.

For Higher Education Grant applications, write to Office of Indian Education, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 95825. (916) 978-6057

State Financial Aid

To qualify for the Cal Grant program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a California resident (or eligible nonresident)
  • Be attending at least half-time (6 units or more per semester) at a qualifying California college
  • Have financial need at the college of attendance as shown in your FAFSA or CADAA
  • Have not already earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, or the equivalent
  • Completed the FAFSA or CADAA each year you wish to receive a Cal Grant

Types of Cal Grants:

  • Entitlement Grants
  • 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 California 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 cost-of-living payments for new recipients in the amount of $1,648 for a full-time, full-year award. Payments are reduced accordingly for three-quarter (9-11 units per semester) and half-time (6-8 units per semester) 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 living expenses.
  • Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award is for eligible California community students who are transferring to a four-year college and are under age 24 as of December 31 of the award year.
  • Competitive Grants
  • Cal Grant A and B awards are used for the same purpose as the A and B entitlement awards, except they are not guaranteed and the number of awards is limited. This is why we highly recommend you submit your FAFSA or CADAA as soon as possible to get the maximum funding available to you!
  • Cal Grant C recipients are selected based on financial need and vocational aptitude. You 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.

Deadline date: The first deadline is March 2. A second deadline for community college applicants is September 2, but we highly recommend you meet the March 2 deadline when more funding is available, as these grants are on a first-come, first-served basis. AB540 students must apply by March 2.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification is required for Cal Grant A and B awards. You must submit a GPA Verification form by March 2 to the California Student Aid Commission. If you are enrolled at LASC or within the Los Angeles Community College District and meet the Cal Grant criteria, your GPA verification will be electronically sent to the Commission by the deadline date. Contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you meet the criteria to have your GPA electronically sent and for other possible options.

The California Full-time Student Success Grant (FSSG), also called the Student Success Completion Grant, provides additional funds to students who have received a Cal Grant B or C and are attending college full-time (12 units or more per semester). It’s to help you complete college sooner so you can reach your career goals faster.

To qualify, you will need to:

  • Be a Cal Grant B or C recipient who receives a full-time student Cal Grant payment
  • Be enrolled full-time
  • Be a California resident, or exempt from paying non-resident tuition
  • Have unmet financial need

The award for this grant depends on how much unmet need you have along with how many units you are enrolled in:

  • 12-14.99 units can give you a maximum of $1,298/year ($649/semester)
  • 15 units or more can give you a maximum of $2,000/year ($1,000/semester)

The total grant amount is up to the amount of your unmet need determined by your FAFSA or CADAA.

Watch this video by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office about the FSSG to find out more.

The California College Promise Grant (CCPG), formerly known as the Board of Governor’s (BOG) Fee Waiver, is offered by the California Community Colleges system. Under this program, per-unit tuition fees are waived for students who qualify.

You are eligible to apply for this grant if you are a California resident (or exempt from non-resident fees under the California Dream Act), enrolled in at least 1 unit, and have a financial need that is shown after completing either the FAFSA or CADAA.

You qualify if any one of the following statements applies to you:

  1. 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 Dependent’s Fee Waiver.
  2. You and/or your family meet the specified income standards by household size as outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. You qualify for financial aid. 

If you qualify under these criteria, you will need to complete the FAFSA / CADAA. 

You will receive an email notification if you qualify for this award. 

If you qualify after you pay your enrollment fees, you should complete a "Request for Refund" form available at the LASC Business Office, SSB, Room 103.

To keep your award funds, you must:

  • Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher. 
  • Complete over 50% of your coursework.
  • If over two consecutive terms (not including summer) your cumulative GPA drops below 2.0 and/or you do not complete over 50% of your coursework, you could lose your grant award. Setup an appointment with LASC’s Financial Aid Officeas soon as you think you may lose your grant award so we can review your options.

You are eligible for the Dependent’s Fee Waiver, also known as the CalVet Fee Waiver, if you have Certification from the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) or the National Guard Adjutant General that states you qualify for a Dependent's Fee Waiver.

If you are a dependent of deceased law enforcement/fire suppression personnel killed in the line of duty, you must show documentation from the public agency employer of record.

Contact the Veterans Resource Center if you have any questions.

The Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents (LEPD) grant is a program administered by the California Student Aid Commission that provides grants for eligible students.

To qualify for this grant, you will need to:

  • 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 (6) units at a California postsecondary institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. (LASC qualifies.)
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by LASC Financial Aid Office.

If you qualify, your 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.

For an application, call the California Student Aid Commission’s Specialized Programs Branch at (888) 224-7268, #3, or submit a request in writing to specialized@csac.ca.gov. For further information on this grant program, go to www.csac.ca.gov 

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 colleges in California. 

For additional information, contact LASC’s 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 a vocational school training. If you are or were in foster care between the ages of 16 and 18 as a dependent or ward of the court and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. And, these are funds you don’t have to pay back.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the FAFSA(Free Application for Financial Student Aid). If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), submit the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) online. SSN or Dream Act ID is required to submit a Chafee Grant Application.
  2. Provide documents confirming that you are a current or former foster youth who is or was a dependent or ward of the court, living in foster care, between the ages of 16 and 18.
  3. Submit the California Chafee Grant Application online at www.chafee.csac.ca.gov

How to Qualify

You need to be enrolled in at least six (6) units, meet SAP standards, and have not reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1st of the award year (typically, this is the summer before you will start at LASC).

For further information, visit https://www.chafee.csac.ca.gov/ or call 888-224-7268.

There are plenty of scholarship opportunities available to you! Scholarship funds so often go untouched as not enough students apply to them. Don’t let these funds go unused!

LASC receives information regarding many different 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 or income level. 

Go to our Scholarshipswebpage for a list of some of the thousands of available scholarships, or contact us in the Financial Aid Office or the Student Services Office for more information about scholarships. 

The Extended Opportunity Program & Services Grant (EOPS) is state-funded and helps those who could use extra support because of barriers with language, learning, social needs, and/or finances. And, if you qualify for EOPS, we have additional services you can apply for if you take care of young children, and if you were or are currently a foster youth.

Find out eligibility requirements, grant benefits, and more on our EOPS / CARE webpage.

LASC does not certify any private loans. If you are interested in a student loan, you may be eligible to apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Your first step is to complete the FAFSA or CADAA regardless of if you think you’ll qualify, to see if you are eligible for the loan.

Local Financial Aid

The Los Angeles Southwest College Promise is similar to the California College Promise Grant (CCPG), designed to prepare you for academic success and to help you in selecting the career path that's right for you. 

Whether you are transitioning from high school or just beginning your college education, the demands of college life can seem overwhelming with so many decisions and adjustments to make. That’s why we created a supportive environment here at LASC where there are people and programs to assist you with your college career.

To qualify for the upcoming LASC Promise, you must:

  • Be a 2020 graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
  • Complete a FAFSA
  • Attend college full-time (12 units or more per semester)

If you are eligible, you will automatically be considered for the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) fee waiver, so a separate application is not needed.

The deadline to apply for each year’s LASC Promise is the end of May before the beginning of the next school year. For example, the 2019-2020 LASC Promise deadline was May 30, 2019. 

If you missed this year’s LASC Promise, we recommend you:

  • Complete your FAFSA or CADAA to find out if you are eligible for an enrollment fee waiver
  • Join student support programs, such as Puente, EOPS, TRIO Scholars and/or TRIO STEM.

If you complete these steps and are eligible for them, you will receive many of the same benefits of LASC Promise students.

Please contact the Coordinator/Counselor with any questions at 323-241-5390.