Financial Aid Handbook

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What's New in Financial Aid

Student Eligibility Requirements for Federal Financial Aid

How Do I Obtain Financial Aid?

The California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

How Do I Manage My Financial Aid Refunds?

Financial Aid Policy & Conditions of Financial Aid Award

Rights and Responsibilities for Financial Aid Programs

Cost of Attendance

Special (Unusual) Circumstances

Dependency Override

Conflicting & Inaccurate Information

Financial Aid Programs

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Student Loans

Cal Grants

AB 540 and DACA Students

Additional Resources

Financial Aid Vocabulary

Financial Aid Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Conduct

Consumer Information

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Attendance Regulations

Emergency Leave Attendance

Refunds and Repayments

Institutional Refunds

Title IV Refund Process

Student Grievances and Appeals

Policy of Non-discrimination

Policy on Americans with Disabilities Act

Policy on Sexual Harassment

Policy on Drug-Free Campus

Directory Information

What’s New in Financial Aid 2022-23

As of August 2021, students can now submit documents in person. Students must show a picture ID when submitting documents. Check the colleges website for the hours the Financial Aid Office is open. Students can still submit documents using DropBox. Follow the instructions below.

Submit documents securely with DropBox

Ensure your student ID number is on every document you are uploading

1. Go to the DropBox link

2. Click on the Choose files button and locate the file(s) you want to submit

a. *Include your student ID number to your filename

b. In the First name field, *ENTER YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME

c. In the Last name field, *ENTER YOUR STUDENT ID NUMBER

d. Enter your Email address for a confirmation

e. Click on Upload button

*Instructions to ensure we can identify your documents and link them to your financial aid file


New State Legislation Passed

AB2416- If you have not met the District’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, have been disqualified from financial aid, and are experiencing homelessness we encourage you to appeal. Your housing insecurity will be taken into consideration when reviewing your appeal



The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculation for students that receive an EW due to COVID-19 on or after 03/17/20, will have the quantitative measure pace rate excluded. These units will also not be counted in calculating maximum time frame. When the pandemic ends, EW grades will be included. An EW grade does not automatically qualify you for a COVID related withdrawal for financial aid purposes.

Example: A first-year student took 10 units in the Fall 2019, but only passed 7 units. At the start of Spring 2020, the student is at a 70% completion rate; student is in good standing for financial aid.
The student takes 10 units in Spring 2020, but due to COVID-19, the student takes an EW grade in 5 units.

For quantitative measure (total earned units/total attempted units), the Financial Aid Office will count the Fall 2019 and the Spring 2020 units without the 5 units from the EW grades.

If this student completes the Spring 2020 with 5 units (excluding the 5 EW units), the student’s completion after Spring 2020 is 12 out of 15 units or 80% cumulative completion rate. Student is in good standing because they remain above the cumulative 67% completion rate. If the EW was part of the calculation, then the student would have failed SAP because it would have been 12 out of 20 units or 60%.

Students should contact the Financial Aid Office if they are approved for a COVID related withdrawal for a prior term.



On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was passed which provided emergency flexibilities and regulatory relief for institutions of higher education and their students. 

Return of Title IV (R2T4) requires students who receive federal financial assistance and completely withdraw from all classes before completing more than 60% of the semester to return any unearned federal funds. The amount of the repayment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis of the number of calendar days in the term. Pell Grant, FSEOG and Federal Direct Student Loans (Title IV federal financial aid) will be included in the calculation. Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, requirements for students and schools to return unearned federal grants or loans to the Department of Education was waived for the Spring 2020 term. Beginning in the Summer 2020 term, students whose withdrawal is COVID related are required to complete an attestation indicating the reason for their withdrawal. If approved, the waiver may be applied.


All Federal Student Loans Held by the Federal Government—Zero Interest and Suspension of Payments

In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, zero interest will accrue on student loans held by federal government agencies for at least 60 days beginning on March 13, 2020.

The CARES Act extended the interest reprieve and implemented an automatic forbearance until August 31, 2022, for any borrower with a student loan held by the Department of Education. 



Note: AB 2747 (Nazarian) Public postsecondary education: tuition and fees: Team USA student athletes. The purpose of this bill is to ensure a Team USA athlete who is currently residing in California for purposes of Olympic training will be exempt from the payment of the nonresident tuition fee. This bill provides resident classification (in-state tuition) to any Team USA student athlete, as defined, who trains in California in an elite level program approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. This bill requires the student athlete to certify their participation in an Olympic or Paralympic elite level training program through supporting documentation from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and to submit that documentation to the campus Registrar: Skyline College, Cañada College, College of San Mateo


Cal Grant B Eligibility Expansion for Foster Youth 

Foster youth students are able to renew their Cal Grant B awards, while attending full time in an undergraduate program with an equivalency total of eight years. Eligible students are those who have been certified by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and have an active Cal Grant B award.


Foster Youth Cal Grant B High School Entitlement Eligibility Expansion 

Cal Grant B High School Entitlement Award eligibility consideration will be given to current or former foster youth students attending a California Community College who have applied no later than September 2nd of the academic year of enrollment. Also, a student has not reached 26 years of age as of July 1st of the initial award year and a qualify high school GPA or test score has been submitted regardless of graduation date, or the equivalent.

*Note: Current or former foster youth for this program is an individual whose dependency was continued or established by the court on or after the date on which the individual reached 13 years of age. 


Cal Grant A and C updates

Cal Grant A recipients attending a California Community College are now eligible for an Access Award similar to Cal Grant B.

Cal Grant A and B recipients with dependent children under 18 years of age for whom they provide more than 50% support can qualify for an increased Access Award of up to $6,000.

Cal Grant C Books/Supplies award will increase to a maximum of $4,000.

Community College Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)

Students must be eligible for the Cal Grant B or the Cal Grant C and enroll in 12 or more units each term. Students must also maintain and follow a current Student Education Plan and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • Enrolled in 12-14.99 units receive an additional $649 per semester (max of $1,298 per year).
  • Enrolled in 15+ units receive an additional $2,000 per semester (max of $4,000 per year).


You can get more information regarding the Student Success Completion Grant on Skyline’s, College of San Mateo’s and Cañada’s financial aid web sites.


Pell Grant




Pell Grant Award Amounts



Maximum EFC



*Students are limited to a 600% Pell Grant lifetime eligibility (equivalent to 12 full-time semesters/6 years of full-time enrollment). To view your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU), please visit


District Loans Interest Rates

Academic Year



Interest Rate




Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Online Workshops

If you are required to appeal, please complete the online “GetSAP” Financial Aid Counseling Sessions through our Financial Aid TV website. Make sure to print your certificate of completion once you successfully finish The Essentials to Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and What it Means to You and The Key Components to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Financial Aid Appeal Process sessions.


BankMobile Disbursements Financial Aid & Scholarship Refunds

The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) delivers your refund with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. Find out more about how BankMobile Disbursements works.


Student Eligibility Requirements for Federal Financial Aid

Have a high school diploma or GED or the equivalent.


Be enrolled in an eligible program leading to an associate degree, certificate, or transfer toward a university at any of the colleges in the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD).

The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate program is NOT an eligible course of study for federal and most state financial aid.


Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen*. Note: Some State of California programs may have a less restrictive citizenship requirement for non-U.S. citizens.


Have completed the enrollment process which involves assessment, college orientation, and completion of a Student Educational Plan (SEP) with a counselor.


Submit all required forms and documents requested by the Financial Aid Office and/ or Department of Education.


Meet and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements as defined by the SMCCCD colleges in the Financial Aid Handbook.


Have financial need (except in the case of unsubsidized federal loans) as demonstrated by a completed FAFSA (available online at


Register with the Selective Service if you are a male between 18 and 25 years of age.


Do not owe a refund or repayment on a federal grant.


Not be in default on a federal educational loan or owe a repayment to a federal grant program.


Supply an accurate Social Security number and name. (If you are a dependent student, your parent is not required to have a valid Social Security number.)


Not have a conviction for a drug-related crime (possession or sales) that occurred when you were receiving federal aid.


Students with a Bachelor’s Degree are not eligible for Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant funds but may be eligible California College Promise Grant (CCPG) fee waiver, Federal Work-Study and/or Federal Direct loans.


Eligible Non-Citizen: US Permanent Residents with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551) or Conditional Permanent Residents (I-551C) or those with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) showing the designations of Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parole or Cuban-Haitian Entrant; or those with an Immigration Court document approving Asylum or documentation of entering the U.S. under provisions of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act may be eligible for federal financial aid.


How Do I Obtain Financial Aid?

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).


Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you are a US Citizen or Permanent Resident at


Get your FSA ID at to start and complete your FAFSA.


One parent of dependent students will need their own FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA. Parents that do not have a Social Security number can print, sign and mail a signature page.


Be sure to save the FSA ID information, as it will be used for all federal aid and loan processing.


Complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) if you are an AB 540 and/or DACA student at


1. Wait for Notification

Once your FAFSA application is processed, you will be notified by email at the address you listed on your FAFSA.


There is a link to view your FAFSA information. Review the comments to see if more information or corrections are needed and to confirm the schools you listed when you completed the form.

If you do not receive this email within 1 to 3 days, it may mean your FAFSA data was saved but not submitted to the processor. Log back in to and submit.


If you have questions while completing the FAFSA call 800-433-3243 for help.  (TTY 1-800-730-8913)


2. Complete your SMCCCD Documents

Once your SMCCCD college receives your FAFSAA or CADAA, you will be able to check WebSMART under the “My Eligibility” link under the “Financial Aid” tab. An automated email will also be sent to your primary email (usually your college issued email) advising you to check WebSMART to see if additional requirements are needed to complete your file. Follow the instructions below to submit documents to the Financial Aid Office. Once your file is complete, your SMCCCD Financial Aid Office will be able to determine your financial aid program eligibility.

Submit documents securely with DropBox

Ensure your student ID number is on every document you are uploading

1. Go to the DropBox link

2. Click on the Choose files button and locate the file(s) you want to submit

a. *Include your student ID number to your filename

b. In the First name field, *ENTER YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME

c. In the Last name field, *ENTER YOUR STUDENT ID NUMBER

d. Enter your Email address for a confirmation

e. Click on Upload button

*Instructions to ensure we can identify your documents and link them to your financial aid file


3. Investigate Other Options

After you are notified of your financial aid, you should also investigate other opportunities and support services. Additional campus resources can include EOPS, CARE, TRiO Student Support Services, SparkPoint, Internships, and Scholarships. More information may be found later in this document.


The California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

The State of California offers a CCPG for students who are residents of the State of California and who are eligible for need-based financial aid. The CCPG pays your enrollment fees for the academic year once eligibility has been determined. Other fees, such as the health, materials, parking, student body, and student representation fees must be paid by you. Students with the CCPG are eligible for a reduced rate parking permit.


It is strongly recommended that you complete the FAFSA or CADAA for the CCPG program to see if you are eligible for additional financial assistance. CCPG-only applications are available on-line through WebSMART. You must be admitted to Cañada College, College of San Mateo, or Skyline College before you can access WebSMART. Eligibility for a CCPG may be determined under less strict dependency criteria than federal funding requires (example: a 19-year-old student who is unmarried and does not support anyone may be considered independent for the CCPG if s/he was not claimed on the parent’s federal income tax during the previous year and no longer lives with a parent).


There are Five Types of CCPG:

CCPG-A: If you are independent, to be eligible you must be currently receiving TANF, CALWORKS, General Assistance, or SSI/SSP, or if you are dependent, your parent(s) must be currently receiving any of these types of assistance. You are required to submit proof of benefits to the Financial Aid Office within 21 days of submitting your electronic application.


CCPG-B: To be eligible you must meet the State defined Income Limits. The 2023-2024 income standards listed on the left are based on income for the 2021 tax year. The 2024-2025 income standards are listed on the right and are based on 2022 income.

If you are independent, use your income (and spouse’s) only. If you are dependent, use your parents' income only.

Family Size

Total 2021 Income Total 2022 Income


$20,385 or less $21,870 or less


$27,465 or less $29,580 or less


$34,545 or less $37,290 or less


$41,625 or less $45,000 or less


$48,705 or less $52,710 or less


$55,785 or less $60,420 or less


$62,865 or less $68,130 or less


$69,945 or less $75,840 or less


** Add $7,080 for each additional dependent. ** Add $7,710 for each additional dependent.


CCPG-D:  If you are a homeless youth defined by Section 725 of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, then you will be eligible for the fee waiver.  You may be required to complete the Homeless Youth Certification Form and submit to either the Financial Aid Office or Admissions & Records Office.


“Homeless youth” means a student under 25 years of age, who has been verified homeless or at risk of homelessness at any time during the 24 months immediately preceding the receipt of his or her application for admission.


CCPG-C: Must demonstrate at least $1,104 of need by filing the FAFSA or CADAA for the appropriate aid year.
Note: EOPS requires students to be either CCPG-A or -B eligible, or after filing the FAFSA or CADAA have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 to receive their services.


CCPG – Special Classification:

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may be eligible for a fee waiver under the Special Classification guidelines. Certification is provided by various agencies. Please contact your SMCCCD college Financial Aid Office for assistance:

  • Eligible dependent of deceased or disabled veteran
  • Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor or dependent
  • Dependent of California National Guard
  • Dependent of victim of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack
  • Dependent of deceased California law enforcement/fire suppression personnel killed in the line of duty
  • Students who have been exonerated

Apply for the online California College Promise Grant (CCPG) Fee Waiver in WebSMART.


Loss of CCPG and Priority Enrollment Regulation:


California College Promise Grant

 Part-time and full-time students may qualify for the CCPG. The CCPG fee waiver will waive enrollment fees for the academic year. Other fees, such as parking, textbooks, student body and student representation fees will not be covered by the CCPG. Recent eligibility regulations went into effect as of the fall 2016 semester requiring all California community college students to meet minimum academic and progress standards and maintain eligibility for the CCPG (SB 1456 Student Success Act of 2012)


Students must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (Academic Standard)
  • Successfully complete more than 50% of all units attempted (Progress Standard)

If a student is placed on academic and/or progress probation for two consecutive primary terms (fall or spring semester), they will lose CCPG eligibility and priority enrollment. For more information on this regulation and the conditions by which students can appeal, please see Students are encouraged to utilize the numerous support services on campus to help them regain good academic standing.


CCPG - Skyline College Respiratory Care Bachelor’s Degree:

Students accepted into the Bachelor of Science Respiratory Care program at Skyline College will pay $130/unit for upper division coursework. If eligible for the CCPG, $46/unit will be waived and students will be responsible for the remaining $84/unit. To qualify, student must complete a FAFSA (Free

Application for Federal Student Aid) or a CADAA (California Dream Act Application).


How Do I Manage My Financial Aid Refunds?

All financial aid funds are disbursed on scheduled dates each term. As long as you are enrolled in an eligible program and your file is complete, you will receive two disbursements of federal grant aid each semester, based on your enrollment level and classes actively in session.  If you are enrolled in a late start class that increase your eligibility for aid the additional funds will be paid when your attendance begins. Federal grant aid includes the Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Federal Direct Loans are also disbursed in two payments based on the approved loan period. Cal Grant and Student Success Completion Grant funds will be disbursed after census which is approximately the fourth week of the semester. Intersession courses are considered part of the following primary semester for financial aid purposes. The number of units taken during the intersession is combined with the number of units taken during the next following primary semester– together, they will determine your financial aid award and disbursement. If you decide to withdraw from an intersession course, that course may not be counted in your financial aid. Primary semesters are defined as Fall and Spring. 

Example: TEAM 195 – Women's Basketball Theory begins December 19, 2023. This course begins after the Fall semester but begins before the Spring semester. This course will be considered as part of the Spring semester course load for financial aid purposes.

Access your Award Letter:

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Financial Aid Menu
  3. Click on My Award Information
  4. Click on Award By Aid Year
  5. Select aid year and click submit

Click on Award Overview tab

Acceda a “My Award Information”:

  1. Iniciar sesión en WebSMART
  2. Haga clic el Menú de Ayuda Financiera
  3. Haga clic en My Award Information
  4. Haga clic En Año de la Ayuda
  5. Seleccionar el año de ayuda y haga clic en enviar
  6. Haga clic en Award Overview

*Amounts listed on your Award letter are based on full-time enrollment status. The amount disbursed will be prorated based on your actual enrollment.


BankMobile Disbursements Financial Aid & Scholarship Refunds


The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) delivers your refund with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc.  For more information about BankMobile Disbursements, visit BankMobile Disbursements Refund Choices.

Please Note: If prompted to enter your school name, use San Mateo County Community College District. We are enrolled with BMTX, Inc. as a college district, not as three separate colleges.

Terms of Agreement

For additional information, view our third-party servicer contract for refund management


Financial Aid Policy & Conditions of Financial Aid Award


The Financial Aid Offices within the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) at College of San Mateo, Cañada College, and Skyline College, highly recommends for students who receive a federal and/or state financial aid award to read this notification. 

If you have questions, please contact your college’s financial aid office. 


Financial Aid Award Payment Level Determination: 

Students awarded federal or state financial aid funds – including Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Direct Loans, Cal Grants and other associated awards – will have their payment level determined by the number of units they are currently attending at the time of disbursement. 

Students enrolled in late starting classes will receive additional disbursements as those late starting classes begin. 

Direct Loans will disburse once the student is enrolled and attending at least six units of coursework required for their program of study. 


Financial Aid Award Scheduled Disbursement Dates: 

Students awarded federal and state financial aid will see the scheduled disbursement dates for each awarded fund in WebSMART under the Financial Aid tab by award year. The disbursement date is the date the colleges initiate the process of applying financial aid and scholarship funds to the student’s account. The actual date funds are issued to students is called the refund date and it occurs after the funds are transferred to our third-party disbursement servicer, BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. This generally occurs within 3 business days after the disbursement date. 

  • Pell Grant and SEOG funds are scheduled to disburse twice each semester, the first disbursement occurs at the beginning of the term and the second disbursement approximately the fourth week of the semester.
  • Cal Grants are disbursed in a single disbursement approximately the fourth week of the semester and will be adjusted upwards if late starting classes increase award eligibility.
  • Direct loans are disbursed in two equal payments at the midpoint of the selected loan period or one lump sum depending on the timing when the loan is approved.


Award Eligibility Assumptions and Expectations: 

This financial aid award is based on your most current application information accepted by the institution. Subsequent changes to your application data may decrease or increase your eligibility. You will receive a revised award letter when your eligibility changes. Any current enrollment fees or other institutional fees will be deducted from your disbursement each semester. Other fees may be deducted if you provide authorization through WebSMART. 

Important - If you need to withdraw from the college, you should check with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawal. You may have to return a portion of the Financial Aid you received. 


Selected for verification after funds are disbursed: 

On occasion, a student will be selected for verification after aid has been disbursed. This may be caused by a change the student makes to their FAFSA (without our knowledge) from the Central Processing Service or National Student Loan Data Services. Students must submit all verification documents. In addition, a hold is placed on any undisbursed aid until the verification is complete. Adjustments are not made to the disbursed aid as the student was eligible for the aid at the time of disbursement. Once the verification is complete and if corrections are not required, all holds are removed and the student is eligible for the aid initially offered and/or disbursed. 

If corrections are necessary and result in changes to the financial aid awarded and/or disbursed, necessary adjustments will be made. The student is responsible for repaying all aid for which they are not eligible. If the student is deemed ineligible after verification, all aid will be canceled and/or returned to the Department of Education. If the student fails to return the required verification documents within the time period as established by the school, the school cannot disburse additional funds, or originate or disburse any additional Direct Subsidized Loans. Additionally, the student must repay all federal and state funds received for the year. 


Receiving aid from multiple schools at the same time:

Students can receive federal financial aid at only one college at a time per term. Students who attend multiple schools at the same time must decide which school they want to receive aid from. If a student does end up receiving aid from multiple schools within the same semester they are only eligible to receive the aid from one school and will have to return all other funds.

Cañada College

College of San Mateo

Skyline CollegeFinancial Aid Contact Form


Rights and Responsibilities for Financial Aid Programs

You have the right to:

Know what financial aid programs are available.

Know the priority dates for submitting applications for each of the programs available.

Be informed of financial aid policies and procedures.

The cost of attending and the policy on refunds for students who drop classes.

Know how and when you will be paid a refund (if applicable).

Know how your financial need was determined and what resources (such as your income, assets, parental contribution, and other financial aid) were considered in the calculation of need.

Request an explanation of your financial aid and how much of your financial aid eligibility has been met as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

Know what portion of your financial aid must be repaid, and what portion is gift aid or aid received from work.

Know how the Financial Aid Office determines whether you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and what the consequences are if you are not.

Know the terms of any loans you receive, deferment options, cancellation, forbearance rights, and repayment options.

Request reconsideration of your financial aid package if you believe a mistake has been made, or if your enrollment or financial circumstances have changed.

You have the responsibility to:

Complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time.

Provide correct information. Intentional misrepresentation of information on financial aid applications is a violation of Federal law and may be a criminal offense.

Return all documentation, verification forms, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which you submitted your application in a timely manner.

Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign and keep copies of them.

Accept responsibility for all agreements that you sign.

Perform the work that is agreed upon in accepting a Federal Work-Study award in a satisfactory manner.

Be aware of refund and repayment procedures (Return of Title IV or R2T4).

Understand the SMCCCD refund policy.

Understand the SMCCCD Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid.

Understand the SMCCCD over award policy.

Understand the required 150% maximum enrollment for financial aid purposes.

Make sure your mailing address is current at all times. Failure to maintain a correct mailing address may delay receipt of your financial aid.

If you are a recipient of a student loan:

Repay all loans, including the interest on those loans.

Notify your servicer, your college Financial Aid, and Admissions and Records Offices of any changes of name, address, phone number, email address and/or enrollment status.

File all required student loan deferment or cancellation forms on time.

Report any change in the information used to determine your eligibility, including enrollment status and financial resources.

Notify the Financial Aid Office and your Federal Student Loan Servicer immediately if you withdraw from school.


Cost of Attendance


Below is a standard budget, which reflects the Cost of Attendance at the colleges in the San Mateo County Community College District. Some expenses such as Enrollment Fees, Student Representation Fees and Heath Service fees are direct costs at the college. Your actual personal expenses will vary depending on your living arrangements, personal and miscellaneous expenses, method of transportation and other factors. These expenses are limits determined by federal and state agencies with an adjustment to cost of living in the SMCCCD service area and are for your planning purposes. Fees are due to the college unless covered by waivers or financial aid. Allowances are not paid to the college but are shown for your planning purposes.


Additional costs (such as exams, licenses, required supplies) will be added to a student’s cost of attendance, if these expenses are aligned with their program of study (POS). Adjustments to the cost of attendance will not be made if student changes their POS at anytime during the academic year.


The table below is based on full time enrollment for the academic year. Enrollment fees will vary depending on the number of enrolled units. Check with your Financial Aid Office for additional information on summer terms or for less than full-time enrollment budgets.


College Costs for Aid Year 2023-2024

COA Component At-Home Away from Home
Books & Supplies                                1,971                                                 1,971
Enroll/Health Fees                               1,332                                                 1,332
Personal Expenses                               3,564                                                 3,996
Housing                             11,625                                               21,410
Food Allowance                               5,060                                                 6,585
Transportation                                1,701                                                 1,917
Non-Res Tuition                                      -                                                        -  
Total  $                        25,253  $                                          37,211


COA Component At-Home Away from Home
Books & Supplies                                1,971                                                 1,971
Enroll/Health Fees                               1,332                                                 1,332
Personal Expenses                                3,564                                                 3,996
Housing                             11,625                                               21,410
Food Allowance                               5,060                                                 6,585
Transportation                                1,701                                                 1,917
Non-Res Tuition                             10,052                                               10,052
Total  $                        35,305  $                                          47,263


COA Component BA Program At-Home BA Program Away from Home
Books & Supplies                                 1,971                                                 1,971
Enroll/Health Fees                                 3,684                                                 3,684
Personal Expenses                                 3,564                                                 3,996
Housing                              11,625                                               21,410
Food Allowance                                5,060                                                 6,585
Transportation                                 1,701                                                 1,917
Non-Res Tuition                                      -                                                        -  
Total  $                          27,605  $                                          39,563


COA Component BA Program At-Home BA Program Away from Home
Books & Supplies                                 1,971                                                 1,971
Enroll/Health Fees                                 3,684                                                 3,684
Personal Expenses                                 3,564                                                 3,996
Housing                              11,625                                               21,410
Food Allowance                                5,060                                                 6,585
Transportation                                 1,701                                                 1,917
Non-Res Tuition                               10,052                                               10,052
Total  $                          37,657  $                                          49,615


Special (Unusual) Circumstances

The process of determining eligibility for financial aid uses standard formulas and standard student budgets. The Financial Aid Office recognizes that some students have unusual or special circumstances that may not be evident in the standard process of determining eligibility.


Students with special circumstances are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office at their campus for review of their financial aid package based on those individual circumstances.


Students should complete the Unusual Circumstances Form and attach documentation supporting those circumstances. Income adjustment requests are based on the prior year information.


Special (Unusual) Circumstances for Families

The income information provided on the FAFSA and CADAA is for the prior-prior calendar year. What if a family’s income changes because of a loss of employment, an accident, or an illness? There may be a loss of benefits such as child support, a divorce or a disability that changes the family’s ability to pay for college.


If a family’s income will change for the coming year, you may submit a “Special (Unusual) Circumstance” application to the Financial Aid Office after you’ve filed your FAFSA or CADAA


Verification and Special Circumstances

A student/family selected for Verification by the Department of Education may not be considered for a Professional Judgement Review until that review process has been completed.


Be sure to check WebSMART for requests for any additional information needed to complete your file.

Students will also be notified through WebSMART for any resulting changes to aid eligibility.


Be sure your file is complete and all documentation has been submitted. The Financial Aid staff can use documented income changes to determine eligibility for programs by either adjusting data elements used in needs analysis calculation such as Adjusted Gross Income or increasing the Cost of Attendance as a result of K-12 school tuition costs or childcare expenses related to employment or college.


Remember, when you complete the FAFSA or CADAA, if you are dependent, a parent cannot be counted in the number in college, unless done under Special (Unusual) Circumstances.


Students wishing to request an adjustment to their FAFSA or CADAA will need to submit a completed Unusual Circumstance form to the Financial Aid Office.

Dependency Override

Federal Policy on Schools Overriding Dependency:

Federal and state guidelines require parental information to be included on the FAFSA or CADAA for a “dependent” student, which is any student who is not yet 24 as of December 31st of the award year or if under 24, any of the following DO NOT apply to them:

  • Are married;
  • Are an orphan;
  • Are a ward of the court (Foster Youth);
  • Are an emancipated minor;
  • Are determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless;
  • Are currently serving active duty for purpose other than training;
  • Are a veteran;
  • Are in graduate school; or
  • Have dependents for which they provide more than 50% of the support

Federal and state regulation allow schools to exercise “professional judgment” in overriding a student’s dependency status when extenuating circumstances exist between the student and parent that could be characterized as abuse, neglect or abandonment and that present a risk of emotional or physical harm. The student would need to verify “unusual’ family circumstances before the Financial Aid Office can change a dependent student’s status to that of independent.


Examples of an “Unusual” Family Circumstance:

There are no absolute definitions for “unusual” family circumstances. However, examples might include abusive family situations, dysfunctional families, or families who have broken up because of alcohol or drug abuse.


A parent’s unwillingness to provide their information on the FAFSA or CADAA or otherwise financially assist a student cannot be the sole justification for a dependency override.


To request an override of your dependency status by the SMCCCD Financial Aid Office you must submit (at least) one of the following: 2023 Dependency Status Change Request Form or 2024 Dependency Status Change Request Form


Additional documentation as outlined on Section C – Submit Documents section of the Dependency Status Change Request form


Please Note: All reviews of dependency override requests are made on a case-by-case basis. Since each case is unique, additional information may be requested

Conflicting & Inaccurate Information

In reviewing application and data match information provided by the CPS (FAFSA processor), a school must have an adequate internal system to identify conflicting information—regardless of the source and regardless of whether the student is selected for verification. The school is responsible for reconciling any conflicting information that it has.


From the Federal Student Aid Handbook Application and Verification Guide, “If your school has conflicting information concerning a student’s eligibility or you have any reason to believe a student’s application information is incorrect, you must resolve the discrepancies before disbursing FSA funds.”


If a discrepancy is discovered after disbursing funds, the information must still be reconciled and appropriate action must be taken. This could result in loss of a previously disbursed financial aid award for which the student would be required to make satisfactory repayment or risk losing future federal or state aid eligibility at any school.


Applicants Selected For Verification

If any information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is believed to be inaccurate or any documentation is believed to be incorrect or incomplete, adequate documentation must be required to resolve it.   Any corrections regardless of magnitude or effect on the EFC must be submitted to CPS for reprocessing.   In reviewing files, the application will be reviewed for other conflicting items beyond those required to be verified.


Applicants Not Selected For Verification

The Financial Aid Office must examine any documents even if they were not requested.   This includes but is not limited to tax return transcripts.   All comment codes on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) must be resolved.


Discrepant Tax Data

Financial aid professionals are required to know whether a person is required to file a tax return, what the correct filing status for a person should be, and that an individual cannot be claimed as an exemption by more than one person.


If a financial aid applicant who has been selected for verification is required to file taxes and did not file, he or she will be required to complete the appropriate tax form before processing of the financial aid application will continue.


If it is discovered that a student and spouse, or a dependent student’s married parents, have each filed as “head of household” the individuals will be required to amend their tax returns and file under the correct filing status. It is not acceptable to simply add the two tax returns together. If both parents worked and filed “married but separate”, we must review both tax return transcripts.


Unmarried or separated parents living in the same household must submit identifying and financial information for both parents on the dependent student’s FAFSA or CADAA.  If it is discovered that the parents are not married but living together and both parents work, then we will need both IRS tax return transcripts. They are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

IRS Publication 17:  Your Federal Income Tax is an excellent resource, which may be viewed at


Other Applicant Information Received By the School 

A school must have an adequate internal system to identify conflicting information that it may have, regardless of the source, such as information from the Admissions and Records Office as to whether the student has a high school diploma.  At SMCCCD, if there is a conflict between the college admissions application and an ISIR regarding high school completion status, a tracking requirement is set up and the student is notified he/she must resolve the conflict.


Cal Grant Eligibility

It is necessary to review financial eligibility for all new Cal Grant recipients who have been selected for verification or who have an ISIR loaded into our system with a transaction number of 2 or greater. The purpose of this review is to ensure that changes to a student’s application do not result in the student’s information exceeding the Cal Grant income and assets ceilings.


Independent Status

If a student is below the age of 24 and answers “Yes” to one of the Dependency questions on the FAFSA, we may require documentation to verify the student’s independent status. Failure to provide documentation or parent information if later requested will halt processing of the financial aid application.


Other Discrepant Information

Financial aid funds will not be disbursed until there is resolution on all conflicting information. If the conflict involves a previous award year, it must still be resolved as long as the student is attending any college within SMCCCD.


The resolution is considered to be complete when a final determination has been made as to which information is correct and that determination has been made in writing.


Referral or Fraud Cases

If we suspect that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, we will report our suspicions and provide any evidence to the Office of Inspector General. The contact information for OIG is:


(800) MIS-USED



Financial Aid Programs

Summary of Federal and California State Aid Programs Available to Help You Pay for Your School


Funding Source

Repayment Obligation

Additional Information

Federal Pell Grant

Grant does not require repayment

Available to undergraduate students and those is a qualified credential program. Eligibility is determined by the federal review of FAFSA data, the EFC and a student’s enrollment status.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Grant does not require repayment

For undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Funds are limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis to Pell Grant eligible students only. March 2nd is the internal priority deadline.

Federal Work-Study

Money earned while attending school; does not require repayment

All applicants must complete the FAFSA and should answer “Yes” to the question that asks “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?” so they can easily be identified. Funds are limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. March 2nd is the internal priority deadline.

Federal Direct Loans

Loans MUST be repaid

Low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education.

State Cal Grant A

Grant does not require repayment

Students with 3.00 GPA meet the basic requirements.

Apply by March 2nd. There is a secondary deadline, specifically for California Community College students, September 2nd. There will be a limited number of awards for the second deadline.

State Cal Grant B

Grant does not require repayment

Students with 2.00 GPA meet the basic requirements.

Apply by March 2nd, or September 2nd (California Community College deadline).

State Cal Grant C

Grant does not require repayment

Helps vocationally oriented students acquire marketable job skills.

Community College Student Success Completion Grant

Grant does not require repayment

A new grant created by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office for Cal Grant recipients attending full-time. Students must maintain and follow a current Student Education Plan and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
• Students enrolled in 12-14.99 units - may receive an additional $649 per semester
• Students enrolled in 15 or more units - may receive an additional $2,000 per semester (max of $4,000 per year)

State Chafee Grant

Grant does not require repayment

Provides up to $5,000 annually to foster youth and former foster youth to use for college expenses.

California College Promise Grant (CCPG) fee waiver

Fee waiver does not require repayment

Must meet eligibility requirements and be able to provide documentation.


Grant does not require repayment

Must meet eligibility requirements and be able to provide documentation.


Grant does not require repayment

Must meet eligibility requirements and be able to provide documentation.


Please note that general financial aid award amounts are based on full-time enrollment (12 units or more each semester) and for a full academic year. Students enrolled less than full-time may have their awards prorated and reduced.

Free College

The San Mateo County Community College District and its three colleges, Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College, are committed to reducing the financial barriers to college so you can achieve your dreams. Two levels of support in the Free College program can dramatically reduce or eliminate your out-of-pocket student fees.

Level 1: Enrollment-Fee Waiver

  • What it covers: $46 per unit enrollment fee
  • Who qualifies: Individuals who live in San Mateo County*, including those who are undocumented, and intending to earn a certificate or degree.

Level 2: Other Fees & Assistance (in addition to Level 1 Enrollment-Fee Waiver)

  • What it covers: Health fee, student body fee, student representation fee, student union fee, inclusive access fee(s), and materials fees. You may also qualify for additional transportation, technology, and textbook support!
  • Who qualifies: Students receiving the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) or those that meet the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) cutoff (amounts listed below). EFC is determined by the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
  • EFC Cutoff Amounts for 2023-2024

    • Dependent Students EFC equal to or less than $72,447
    • Independent Students EFC equal to or less than $108,321

*The Enrollment-Fee Waiver does not apply to international, non-resident, or out-of-state students. Please see the FAQ below for details. For more information please visit the FAQs site.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Work-Study is a financial aid award that provides the student the opportunity to work and earn a portion of the funds needed to cover education or living expenses while attending school.


The benefits of work-study jobs include:

  • Student oriented employers who work around your class schedule
  • Income earned from Work-Study in the tax year used on the FAFSA is excluded Jobs are located on campus which makes them convenient to work in between classes
  • Co-workers and district employees help you broaden contacts and your circle of friends
  • 13–15 hours per week is the optimal number of hours for full-time students to work

To receive a work-study award, you should have answered ‘Yes’ to the FAFSA questions “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”. In addition, for priority consideration, you need to have your FAFSA completed and submitted by March 2nd.


If you are a priority applicant who did not receive a Federal Work-Study Award but would still like to work, contact the Financial Aid Office to see if you might still qualify and if there are still Federal Work-Study funds available. Federal funds made available to the schools are very limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants. Consideration will be given to renewal students who meet all the federal conditions and requirements outlined in the Federal Student Work-Study Program. Unfortunately, due to limited available federal funds, employment in a work-study job is not guaranteed.

All students working on a SMCCCD college campus are subject to district hiring policies. Students must not begin working until they receive notification that they have been approved.

Student Loans

SMCCCD Loan Policy

In an attempt to decrease the number of student loan defaults, and lower the level of student loan indebtedness, the SMCCCD Financial Aid Offices will adhere to the following student loan policy:


While SMCCCD believes that student loans are an integral part of the federal aid programs, we are deeply concerned about student loan default and high student loan indebtedness.


Therefore, whenever possible, we will encourage students to select work-study or off-campus employment instead of student loans. In addition, we will encourage students to borrow as little as possible at the community college level where educational costs are lower than at four- year colleges and universities.   

Loan Application: Case-By-Case

SMCCCD requires loan applicants to submit a written request for student loans. Forms are available online at Loan requests are generally approved but could be denied or reduced on a case-by-case and year-by-year basis. Since research has shown that students who have academic progress problems are more likely to fall into default, a student's academic progress (or lack of it) will play a substantial part in the determination of the loan request.


Loan Approvals

Student loan requests will not be reviewed until all steps of the process are complete. This includes, but is not limited to, completing a Master Promissory Note (MPN), Entrance Counseling and the student loan repayment calculator. During the counseling process, the student will be provided with essential repayment and deferment information regarding the loan. Students whose loan requests are approved will be sent an award letter. The loan request will then be certified by the Financial Aid Office on your campus.

To be eligible for loans, students must be enrolled in an eligible program at least half-time. Students who fail to complete the minimum 6 units requirement with at least a 2.0 GPA may have their subsequent disbursement(s) cancelled.

There are Subsidized Usage Limits on Direct Subsidized loan eligibility for first time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.

Refer to the Department of Education's Fact Sheet.  

If you are applying for a one semester loan, it will be disbursed in two equal amounts-one at the beginning

of the term and one at the half way point. You must be enrolled in at least 6 units to be eligible for both disbursements.

There is a deadline for Federal Direct Loan Applications. Check with your Financial Aid Office as deadlines may vary from term to term as the academic calendars change.

Exit Counseling 

When a student graduates, transfers to another college or university, drops below half-time enrollment status or otherwise leaves school, the student must complete the required Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Counseling.  Exit Counseling information is emailed to every student borrower as required.


For additional information visit the website: or contact Luanne Canestro at


Emergency Loans

Emergency Loans are temporary, short term loans arranged on a case by case basis to qualifying students. These loans are made through the Financial Aid Office at the SMCCCD College that is or will be processing the student’s financial aid award.


Your Financial Aid Office has an Application for Short Term Emergency Loan. Generally, these loans are for 30 days (or less). No interest is charged on these short-term loans. For financial aid recipients, repayment is due upon receipt of financial aid funds from the school.


Parent PLUS Loan

Parents of dependent students may borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. An SMCCCD Parent PLUS Loan application is available upon request. If interested, contact your student’s college financial aid office.


Cal Grants



Submit the FAFSA or CADAA as soon as possible on or after October 1st, and no later than March 2nd.


Submit your GPA verification form by March 2nd.


More information at


A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back. To qualify, you must meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.


There are 3 kinds of Cal Grants:

Cal Grant A helps pay for tuition and fees at four-year colleges. The Cal Grant A does not cover your tuition and fees while attending a community college, however your award eligibility will be held in reserve for up to two years until you transfer to a four-year college.

*If you are attending a baccalaureate program at a community college, you may receive funds to help pay for your tuition and fees. Please contact your Financial Aid Office at the college for more details.

Cal Grant B provides a living allowance of up to $1,656, in addition to tuition and fee assistance after the first year, at a two- or four-year college.

Cal Grant B Foster Youth Award
On July 1, 2018 California expanded the Cal Grant Program to allow students who are current and former foster youth to be eligible for increased Cal Grant eligibility.
• Foster youth students may renew their Cal Grant B awards for the equivalent of eight years of full-time attendance in an undergraduate program.
• Foster youth students have until their 26th birthday to apply for the Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award.
• Foster youth students attending a California Community College can apply for a High School Entitlement award through September 2nd (rather than March 2nd).


Cal Grant C assists with the costs of a technical or career education and provides up to $1,094 for books, tools and equipment.

Students with Dependent Children

Cal Grant recipients who have a dependent child under the age of 18, and who are providing more than 50% of their support, are eligible to receive an increased award.  For full time attendance, 12 or more units, a Cal B recipient can receive up to $3004 per semester, or $6008 per year. A Cal C recipient is eligible for $2000, per semester attending full time, or $4000 per year. If you are taking fewer units, the amount will be prorated down.

Further information is available at

Cal Grant Grade Levels:


Associate and Eligible Certificate Program Grade Levels:

# of Credits/Hours

Grade Level



30 +



The grade level is tracked on the FAFSA application for reporting.

ESL courses will be considered when determining the grade level for the Cal Grant programs.

The Cal Grant Application Process

FAFSA and CADAA information is sent to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Your confirmation from the FAFSA (Student Aid Report or SAR) will be emailed to you at the email listed on the FAFSA Application. There is a link in that email which will let you confirm the release to CSAC.


All students need to submit Grade Point Average verification to CSAC. Most colleges and high schools do this automatically for their students. You must confirm whether your school will file your GPA, otherwise obtain the Cal Grant GPA Verification form at, and have your high school or college verify your GPA before mailing it to CSAC.


Skyline College BA RPTH Pilot Program Grade Level Policy and Procedure:

In order for a student to meet Entrance Eligibility into the BA RPTH program at Skyline College they must meet the following:


Student Entrance Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply:

  • Students currently enrolled in AS Respiratory Care program at Skyline College and intend to continue to BS Respiratory Care program


  • New graduates from other programs who have completed an accredited Respiratory Care program equivalent to an AS in Respiratory Care and are California licensure eligible


  • Respiratory Care Practitioners who have completed an accredited Respiratory Care program equivalent to an AS in Respiratory Care and are California licensure eligible


  • Completed minimum 30 units of the CSU/IGETC General Education pattern


Eligibility Process Review:

  • Once the program application is submitted along with transcript(s), Allied Health counselors reviews the coursework and determines the eligibility for each applicant.
  • Upon acceptance into the Bachelor’s Degree program, each student is required to submit the following documentations:
    • Submit official transcripts from all institutions
    • Provide proof of RT credentials

Lastly, students submit TES request. The progression for grade level is as follows:

The progression for grade level is as follows:

# of Credits/Hours

Grade Level



30 +


60 +


90 +



Web Grants for Students lets you track your Cal Grant 24/7

WebGrants for Students provides the resources, information and tools needed to assist with the college financial aid process. WebGrants for Students allows you to manage your Cal Grant and/or Chafee Grant account(s) online – you can view updates, make school or address changes, make corrections, post leave-of- absence requests and complete forms at


Cal Grant Self Service for Students

Financial aid applicants are able to check the status of their Cal Grant at FAFSA and CADAA filer information is automatically forwarded to the California Student Aid Commission. It can take two to three weeks from the time the FAFSA was filed for your information to post at this web site.

Chafee Grant for Foster Youth:

The California Chafee Grant Program provides up to $5,000 annually to foster youth and former foster youth to use for college expenses. You may also qualify for other on campus resources such as EOPS, Health Center, Psychological Services, and Career Center. To qualify, a student must have been in foster care between their 16th and 18th birthday and not have reached their 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year.  Eligible students may have been foster youth in another state and now live in California. This is a need-based grant awarded to students enrolled in at least 6 units. Applications are available online at or call 888-224-7268, option #3.  Students must apply for FAFSA or CADAA.


Off Campus Resources for Foster Youth

Casey Family Programs -

California Youth Connection -


AB 540 and DACA Students

If you are an undocumented or under-documented student, attended at least three years of high school in California and graduated from a California high school or received its equivalent, or meet expanded eligibility by completing a combination of three years of high school, adult school or community college, you may qualify for in-state tuition rates at California’s public colleges.  Cal Grants and privately funded scholarships may be considered when you transfer to a four-year California college.  Questions regarding AB540 enrollment eligibility should be directed to your college’s Admission and Records Office.


If you filed an application for permanent residency at least one year before enrolling in college, you may already be eligible for in-state tuition rates and California state aid - contact your college’s Admissions and Records Office.  Any student, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).


What is DACA?

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, grants consideration for deferred action to certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines. An individual who has received deferred actions, or DACA status, is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.


For more information about DACA, please refer to:


What is AB 540 and AB 2000 and SB 68?

AB 540 is a state law that exempts certain students who are not residents of California from paying nonresident tuition at California Community Colleges and California State Universities. The current SMCCCD rate is $46 per unit.  Two additional laws were passed that expand eligibility for AB 540 to more students.


Beginning January 1, 2015 AB 2000 amends the school attendance requirement of AB 540 and designates that if a student has not attended a California High School for at least three years, that portion of the eligibility criteria may be replaced with the following:


Attainment of three years’ worth of high school credits from a California High School (equivalent to 3 or more years of full-time high school coursework), and


A total of 3 or more years of attendance in California elementary or secondary schools, or a combination of those schools (the years do not have to be sequential).


Who is Eligible?

Starting in January of 2013 AB 540 & AB 2000 students will also be able to apply for:


Certain scholarships which require BOG fee waiver eligibility


Institutional financial aid like EOPS grants & fee waivers and community college BOG fee waivers



The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.

The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).

Students who are non-immigrants (for example, those who hold F [student] visas, B [visitor] visas, etc.) are not eligible for this exemption.


The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.


Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “nonresidents.”



Additional Resources

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS): EOPS is a student support program for educationally and economically disadvantaged students. It is designed to provide opportunities in higher education for students with academic potential that historically would not have attended college.


CalWORKs: CalWORKs (California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids) is a state funded Welfare-to-Work Program designed to help individuals on public assistance become self-sufficient. The program includes education, training and support services, as well as employment opportunities related to the individual goal of each participant.


Dream Center: Are you concerned about immigration and undocumented community issues? The Dream Center can help you with issues like AB 540 admissions, DACA, the California Dream Act and more. We are here to answer questions and provide support in a welcoming and safe space.  Connect with a representative located on each campus who can answer many immigration questions or connect you with an Ally on campus.


Promise Scholars Program: The Promise Scholars Program provides full-time students a full scholarship through completion of their AA/AS or certificate program, text book assistance, transportation vouchers, and academic and professional support. The program is open to first-time college students who can commit to attending a SMCCD school full-time (12 units minimum per semester, with 15 units highly encouraged).


The intention of the Promise Scholars Program is to accelerate your path toward achieving your educational goals, whether you hope to earn a certificate or an associate degree. This is more than a scholarship. The program aims to provide all Scholars a supportive, engaged, and inclusive community – a home on campus. We expect all students in the program to regularly participate in counseling, career and professional development, and utilize the program’s academic support.


Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant: This grant is available to dependents of California law enforcement officers who were killed or totally disabled in the line of duty. These need-based grants range from $100 to $9,873 a year, up to four years, and may be used to attend any California college.


AmeriCorps: By becoming a volunteer with AmeriCorps, you will receive an education award of up to $5,730 (prorated according to unit level) each year for up to two years. This program provides full-time educational awards in return for work in community service. Funds are requested through the Financial Aid Office. For more information, call 1-800-942-2677 or go to


U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs: If you are a veteran or you are the dependent of a veteran, Veteran’s Educational Benefits may be available to you. Inquire on campus for more details. For more information, call 1-888-442-4551 or go to


Armed Forces: The Army, Navy and Air Force award college scholarships based on physical aptitude and merit to students who will serve at least four years on active duty after graduation. U.S. Coast Guard: The Coast Guard, part of the Department of Homeland Security, can be reached at (877) NOWUSCG.


Support for Native Americans: Members or close descendants of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or Nation may be eligible for grants to help pay for college. To learn more, contact the Office of Indian Education Programs go to (FAFSA application is required)


IRS Tax Benefits: The Lifetime Learning Credit is available for college juniors, seniors, graduate students, and working Americans who are pursuing learning to upgrade skills. The credit is also available for students who have already completed the first two years of general education at a community college, and who are attending more than part-time to improve or upgrade job skills.

Financial Aid Vocabulary

Award Notification Letter: A letter notifying financial aid applicants of the types and amounts of aid offered, as well as the responsibilities and conditions of each award. The letter will include the method and dates of payment. 


California Aid Report (CAR): Correspondence you receive from the California Student Aid Commission regarding your Cal Grant eligibility after you file the FAFSA and GPA Verification form.


Cost of Attendance (COA): The total estimated cost of college for the school year, also referred to as the student budget; includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, food, housing, and personal expenses. Some components of the COA are obligations to the school and others are estimates for planning purposes.

For example, a student has a food allowance but does not pay the institution for food.


Default: Failure to make loan payments or otherwise honor the terms of a loan; reported to credit bureaus and can influence future credit and ability to receive financial aid.


California Dream Act Application: A financial aid application for students who meet the criteria of AB 540, that analyzes the information on your application, calculates your EFC and sends you a California Student Aid Report.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education, assessed from resources such as employment and assets.

Financial Need: This amount is determined by subtracting your EFC and other financial resources from your cost of attendance. Financial aid awards are offered to meet your financial need based on program requirements and available funds.

Federal Processor: The federal government’s computer system, also referred to as the “central processor” that analyzes the information on your FAFSA, calculates your EFC, and sends you a Student Aid Report.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The FAFSA is the official financial aid application used to determine federal and state aid. There is no charge to have your FAFSA processed online at


Grant: A grant is a form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based.


Loan: A loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest over a period of years.


Renewal FAFSA: This application simplifies the process of reapplying for financial aid. Some information from the previous application is pre-populated on the Renewal FAFSA making the application process faster. Students must re-apply every year.


Residency: This is a determination of a student’s status as a California resident. This determination is made by the Admissions Office and will affect which financial aid programs a student may be eligible for.


Return of Title IV Funds: If a student receives federal student aid funds, including grants, and withdraws from all classes before 60% of the enrollment period has passed, the student could owe money back to the federal government or the college. Contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from classes.  


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, a student must be progressing satisfactorily toward completion of an approved educational program. 


Selective Service Registration: By law, certain students are required to register, or arrange to register, with the Selective Service in order to receive federal and some state student aid. This includes males born on or after January 1, 1960, who are between the ages of 18 and 25, citizen or non-citizen, and not currently on active duty in the Armed Forces.  Students who complete the Dream Act Application now have the option to have their information sent to Selective Service.


Student Aid Report (SAR): The report summarizing the information you provided on your FAFSA or Dream Act Application. The Financial Aid Office will receive this same information electronically and begin the process to determine your eligibility.


Untaxed Income: All income received that is not taxed or may not be reported to the IRS, including Social Security Benefits, Earned Income Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, clergy and military allowances, Disability benefits, tax sheltered income reported on W-2 forms, welfare and child support payments, any cash income not reported to the IRS, bills and support paid on the student’s behalf, or any other income received not reported on your tax form.


Verification: A federal process in which the college checks the accuracy of the information you submitted on the FAFSA or Dream Act Application. Documents will be requested such as Federal Tax Return Transcript and W-2 forms. Quick response to any request for documentation will help expedite the process.


Veteran: For the FAFSA, a person who has engaged in active duty or was a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, and who was released under a condition other than dishonorable.

Financial Aid Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Conduct

The SMCCCD Student Financial Aid Office and its staff have always been bound to act in compliance with the philosophy outlined in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator’s Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals.


The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires educational institutions to develop and comply with a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. Any SMCCCD Financial Aid Office officer, employee, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student educational loans must comply with this code of conduct. The following provisions bring SMCCCD into compliance with the federal law.


I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to prohibit conflicts of interest in situations involving student financial aid and to establish standards of conduct for employees with responsibility for student financial aid.


II. Applicability

This Policy applies to all employees who work in the Student Financial Aid Office and all other SMCCCD employees who have responsibilities related to education loans or other forms of student financial aid.


III. Definitions

Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest exists when an employee’s financial interests or other opportunities for personal benefit may compromise, or reasonably appear to compromise, the independence of judgment with which the employee performs his/her responsibilities.


Gift: Any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount. The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred. The term “gift” does not include any of the following:


Standard materials, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention, or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop, or training.


Training or informational material furnished to the SMCCCD as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of educational loans to the SMCCCD, if such training contributes to the professional development of the SMCCCD employees.


Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by the University or an employee who is the parent of a student if such terms, conditions, or benefits are comparable to those provided to all students of SMCCCD and are not provided because of the student’s or parent’s employment at SMCCCD.


Entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet the SMCCCD responsibilities for entrance and exit counseling under federal law, so long as the SMCCCD employees are in control of the counseling, and such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender.


Philanthropic contributions to an institution from a lender, servicer, or guarantor of education loans that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution from any lender, guarantor, or servicer that is not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans.


State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State.


Opportunity pool loan: A private education loan made by a lender to a student attending SMCCCD or the family member of such a student that involves a payment, directly or indirectly, by points, premiums, additional interest, or financial support to such lender for the purpose of such lender extending credit to the student or the family.


Revenue-sharing arrangement: An arrangement between SMCCCD and a lender under which (a) a lender provides or issues a loan to students attending the college or to their families; and (b) SMCCCD recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other materials benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to SMCCCD or its employees.

Consumer Information

Academic Program Information

The Colleges of the San Mateo County Community College District work very hard to maintain compliance with all federal requirements. These include fiscal, social and legal aspects of college life. Information is included below. There are links to more details of these requirements on the district web site at


Complete information about all degree and certificate programs is available at the district colleges’ individual web sites at A catalog is provided to all new students as part of the college orientation program. Students are encouraged to download or keep the catalog as a valuable reference about program requirements for all educational programs. Class schedules are available both on the web and in print copy several months before each semester begins. Students may select courses each term to advance toward completion of a degree or certificate.


For more information, please see the links below:




Accreditation Information

The colleges of the San Mateo County Community College District are approved by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the recognized local accrediting agency which is affiliated with the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education.


Privacy Rights of Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires educational institutions to provide access to students’ official educational records; provide opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on certain grounds; obtain written consent of the student before releasing certain information; and extend these rights to all students of the college.

The Act provides that the College may release certain types of “Directory Information” unless the student submits a request in writing to the Admissions and Records Office that certain or all such information not be released without his/her consent. Currently enrolled students may request that “Directory Information” be withheld by notifying the Admissions and Records Office in writing each term or semester.


External entities have access to only the following directory information (1) student’s name and city of residence; (2) email address; (3) participation in recognized activities and sports; (4) dates of enrollment; (5) degrees and awards received; (6) the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; and (7) height and weight of members of athletic teams.


Appropriate college personnel as noted in No. 3 above have access to full address information.

The Federal Solomon Act requires colleges to release full directory information (including address) to U.S. Armed Forces.

A copy of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Sec. 438, P.L. 93-380) is available in the Office of Admissions and Records, Administration Building, during normal business hours.


For more information, please see the Admissions and Records office links below:





Release of Information for Financial Aid Purposes Forms are available in the district financial aid offices and online at, or


Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act

In order to make the San Mateo County Community College District a safe and pleasant environment for students and employees, the District has established procedures in compliance with the Student Right-to-Know (SRTK) and Campus Security Act (Federal Public Law 101-542). Persons seeking information concerning District law enforcement procedures, crime prevention efforts, and crime statistics should contact the Public Safety Office at your campus.


As part of our reporting under the Campus Security Act, the district colleges are required to report any crimes committed on campus. Reports are available from the Campus Safety Office.


For more information, please see the links below:

The Act also requires institutions to make available the completion or graduation rate of certificate or degree-seeking full-time students. A paper copy of this information may be obtained at the Admissions and Records Office at your campus.


For more information, please see the Admissions and Records office links below:







Student Conduct

Students enrolled in the Colleges of the District are expected to conduct themselves as responsible citizens and in a manner compatible with the District and College function as an educational institution. Students are also subject to civil authority and to the specific regulations established by each College in the District. Violators shall be subject to disciplinary action, including possible cancellation of registration, and may be denied future admission to the Colleges of the San Mateo County Community College District. A list of actions which are prohibited and may lead to appropriate disciplinary action is contained in the College Catalog, which is available for review in College offices and for free in the district college bookstores. All information is also available on line.

For more information, please see the links below:







Academic Integrity Policy (Cheating and Plagiarism)

As members of the college community, students are expected to demonstrate integrity on all academic endeavors. Students are evaluated on their own merits, so they should protect academic integrity at district colleges and be proud of their achievements.


General principles of academic integrity include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others and to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. Faculty, with the full support of the colleges, have the right to take standards of academic integrity into account when assigning grades. All students are expected to understand and abide by these principles.


Any act which gains or is intended to gain an unfair academic advantage or which compromises the integrity of the academic standards of the college may be considered an act of academic dishonesty.

Cheating and Plagiarism are violations of the Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Conduct Code and will result in appropriate disciplinary action.


Students seeking further information concerning these guidelines should contact the Office of the Vice President or see the College Catalog.


For more information, please see the links below:







Student Ability for Financial Aid Eligibility Changes

Recent federal legislation has limited the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provisions by which a person who does not have the equivalent of a high school diploma may receive federal financial aid effective on or after July 1, 2012. The equivalent to a high school diploma includes passing the GED or California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), homeschooling and the completion of a two-year post-secondary program that is fully transferable to a baccalaureate program, (such as an AA/AS degree). Those without the equivalent of a high school diploma are not eligible for federal financial aid except under the following conditions:


Prior to July 1, 2012 they were enrolled in an eligible program as defined by the Department of Education and have previously met one of the ATB provisions below; or


On or after July 1, 2012, they can demonstrate enrollment prior to July 1, 2012 in an eligible program as defined by the Department of Education and subsequently fulfill one of the ATB provisions below:


Satisfactory completion of 6.0 units of degree-applicable coursework acceptable for college credit at a SMCCCD college; or achieving a passing score on a previously administered Ability to Benefit Test. The SMCCCD Colleges no longer administer the Ability to Benefit Test.


If ineligible to demonstrate Ability to Benefit because the students was not enrolled in an eligible program as defined by the Department of Education prior to July 1, 2012, the student may not receive any federal financial aid from any college/university until having the equivalent of a high school diploma. There is no appeal to this statutory requirement.


For GED testing information, interested persons should call the unified school district in their area. Students who are still attending high school are not eligible for federal financial aid as they must also be regularly admitted college students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal and State regulations require that the standards applied to students receiving federal and state financial aid (Cal Grant) also apply during periods when a student is not receiving aid. This policy does not apply to the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) fee waiver.


The Financial Aid Office uses the following policy to measure SAP:


Complete at least 67% of the units you have attempted (referred to as Pace Rate)


Maintain a cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average.


Complete your educational objectives within 150% of the published length of your educational program (all units of ESL and up to 30 units of remedial courses are excluded from the maximum time frame).


Transfer coursework will be included in the maximum time frame assessment and the cumulative pace rate assessment.  Transfer coursework is not included in the cumulative GPA assessment. These transferable courses will count towards unit maximum based on the number of units accepted by the SMCCCD Admissions and Records Offices after students submit an official academic transcript from all prior schools and request an evaluation by the SMCCCD Transcript Evaluation Service.


Cumulative GPA will take into account academic renewal and grade alleviation however, maximum time frame still counts all units attempted.

Dual Major

  • Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for more than one major
  • Once students meet the degree requirements to complete one of the majors, they are considered to have earned a degree, even if they are still completing the requirements for their other major

SAP is monitored every term of enrollment including summer terms.  Students who fail to meet GPA or Pace rate are placed on financial aid warning (only once) after the first deficiency. Students are notified by email and through the SMCCCD WebSMART account.


Students whose total units exceed the maximum time-frame requirements or those who have been placed on financial aid probation for two semesters in a row or a total of three non-consecutive semesters within the District will be disqualified from financial aid eligibility.


At any point, when it is mathematically impossible for a student to graduate within the maximum credit standard, that student will be considered in violation of the SAP Policy, and ineligible for financial aid.

Students may have their financial aid eligibility reinstated after disqualification by attaining the minimum GPA or Pace Rate requirement.


Students may appeal their financial aid suspension by filing a written request with all documentation listed on the Appeal Form and return all materials to your Financial Aid Office. An explanation of the circumstances that caused the lack of progress and your plan to remedy this deficient status are required for all appeals. As part of the appeal process the student must meet with a counselor and attach a current Student Educational Plan (SEP) with the other appeal materials. Incomplete appeals will not be considered.


If you are required to appeal, please complete the online SAP Counseling Sessions through our Financial Aid TV website at:








IMPORTANT!  Make sure to print your certificate of completion once you successfully finish the session and submit to your Financial Aid department along with a complete Student Educational Plan and 2122 Appeal form.


A student whose Financial Aid Appeal was denied may make a written request for the denial to be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. Check with your Financial Aid Office for requirements. The student will be notified by email and letter of the decision. The Appeals Committee decision is final.

File your appeal by the deadline date. Check the calendar since dates may vary by term. An appeal must be approved before the payment period (term) ends in order to regain eligibility. If it is approved after a term ends, financial aid cannot be paid, however, students become eligible for Federal Aid in the next term.


Special Considerations for SAP

Each semester, when counting credits to determine aid eligibility for that semester, many repeated classes will be excluded from the financial aid eligible credit count. A student can be paid on a repeated class IF the class was never previously passed. A student can also be paid for repeating a previously passed course as long it is the first repeat of the class. Transferable courses taken at other colleges will be counted when calculating a student’s maximum timeframe provided the courses would apply toward degree or certificate requirements. ESL Courses are not counted in the maximum timeframe for SAP. Thirty (30) units of remedial coursework will be exempt from the maximum timeframe evaluation.


Repeated enrollment that is not aid eligible will be excluded from the student’s enrollment status for the term.


Federal Title IV financial aid (Pell Grant, FSEOG, Direct Loans, FWS) will be recalculated based on the student’s adjusted enrollment status. This recalculation will be applied regardless of whether a student received aid for previous course enrollments.


Waitlisted courses do not count toward official enrollment status for financial aid purposes.


All repeated courses do affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course along with the original attempt must be counted as attempted credits.


Suspension and Extension Appeals cannot override federal regulations. If you are in a class that is not eligible for payment, but the class is part of your approved educational plan, you will not be penalized for repeating the class, but you cannot receive financial aid for that class.

There is a deadline for Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeals each term. Dates vary as academic calendars change. Check with your Financial Aid Office for these dates.


Prior Bachelor and Associate Degrees

All students with prior Bachelor and/or Associate Degrees will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Foreign courses will be counted if they have been professionally evaluated and accepted by SMCCCD. Students with a foreign Bachelor’s Degree will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Students with prior Bachelor Degrees, foreign or domestic, are ineligible for both federal and state grant assistance.


Incomplete Courses

"I" (incomplete) grades will be considered as "attempted”, but will not be considered to have been "completed”. If a student's "I" grade changes during a term, it is the student's responsibility to inform the financial aid office of the change. If the change of grade will affect the student's financial aid eligibility, the financial aid office will then do a recalculation of aid eligibility during the term. Otherwise, the change of grade will not be factored into the cumulative pace rate until the next incremental assessment.


Measuring SAP

Pace Rate Calculation

Units Completed

 = Pace Rate

Units Attempted


All financial aid applicants must complete 67% of classes attempted as a part of the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. This is also known as the “Qualitative” measure of progress.


The second measure of progress is the requirement to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. This is referred to as the Quantitative measure of Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Withdrawals and Grades of "Incomplete"

Students who withdraw from classes or receive grades of "incomplete" will have those classes included in the "pace rate calculation." "Withdrawals" and "incompletes" will be included with all other classes attempted.  If a student should receive an approved “W” or “EW”, they may still have to repay all or a portion of their financial aid.


Grades of "F" and "No Credit"

Students who receive grades of "F" or "No Credit" do not receive credit for the classes attempted. Thus, these classes would not be considered to have been completed.


Completed unit’s means that credit was received for the enrolled units.  Classes in which a student receives a grade of “F”, “I”, “NP”,”IP”, “MW”, or “W” “EW” will not be counted as completed classes for satisfactory academic progress, but will be counted as units attempted.


Financial Aid:

Credits earned via Credit for Prior Learning are not applicable to unit load requirements for Financial Aid. However, any credits awarded through Credit for Prior Learning will be counted toward maximum timeframe under the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. These credits will not be calculated towards a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) or Pace Rate for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.


Grades of "D" or Better and "Credit"

Students who receive grades of "D" or better and "credit" will receive credit for the classes attempted. Thus, these classes would be considered to have been completed.


Progress in Summer Sessions

A student's progress in summer session will be counted when assessing cumulative pace rate (completion rate) and cumulative GPA.


Record Delay (RD) Grades

Should a student’s record reflect a Record Delay (RD) grade for a course taken the previous terms at the time of the initial financial aid award disbursement, the student’s aid will be withheld until the grade is reported by the faculty person and posted on the student’s record.


Attendance Regulations

Regular attendance in class and laboratory sessions is an obligation assumed by each student at the time of his/her registration. When a student fails to attend class, he/she misses the content of the session, and course continuity is lessened. When failure to attend class places a student’s success in jeopardy, the instructor may drop the student from the class.


Total hours of absence which exceed twice the number of hours a class meets in a week define “excessive absence” as used by many instructors in dropping students for nonattendance.  Instructors may, however, utilize stricter attendance requirements.


Absence due to participation in college-sponsored activities may be considered excused when the student informs and receives permission from the instructor in advance of the absence and makes up all work missed.


A student dropped from any class for nonattendance may appeal in writing to the Division Dean within five College calendar days of such a drop if the student thinks the absences should be excused, and reinstatement in class can be justified. Students may, with the permission of the instructor, remain in class while their appeal is being reviewed. A recommendation regarding the appeal will be forwarded to the instructor whose decision is final.


Financial aid applicants and recipients are required to follow all attendance requirements.

Emergency Leave of Absence

A student who finds it necessary to withdraw from all enrolled courses at any time after registration must obtain a petition for semester leave of absence. This petition may be obtained from the Health Center if the emergency is of a medical nature. A petition for non-medical emergency leave of absence may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the petition process. The leave of absence shall only be used when verified circumstances beyond the student’s control force a complete withdrawal from all courses. Withdrawals resulting from an approved leave will not be included in the determination of the student’s academic progress.


A student absent 5 days or more with a medical problem should notify his/her instructor(s).


Financial Aid recipients should be aware that the federal Leave of Absence regulations may have different requirements than institutional policies.


For Student Financial Aid (SFA) Purposes refund and repayment requirements apply when a student receives SFA Program funds and withdraws, drops out, takes an unapproved leave of absence, fails to return from an approved leave of absence, is expelled, or otherwise fails to complete the period of enrollment for which he or she was charged.

Refunds and Repayments

There are two processes used in determining if a credit balance on a student account is to be returned to a student. If there are no federal funds involved the process is a refund. If federal funds are involved, the Federal Return to Title IV Funds process is mandated. Some examples of federal aid are: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), or Federal Direct Student Loans. Cal Grants will not be included in the Return to Title IV calculation. More information on each the above process is shown below.


The last day to withdraw from an Academic Session that is shorter than the semester length class and retain eligibility for a refund is 10% of the scheduled length of the course.


The last day to withdraw from an academic session that is shorter than the semester length class without a “W” appearing on the transcript is 30% of the scheduled length of the course.

Institutional Refunds

A student may either choose to maintain a credit balance on their account or contact the Cashier’s Office to arrange for a refund. Refunds are NOT issued automatically. Credit balances remain on student accounts for a maximum of five (5) years.


Prior to the first day of classes:

Students dropping ALL classes will receive full credit toward future registration fees for the amount of all feeds paid. A $10 processing fee (plus an additional $50 processing fee for non-resident students and F-1 Visa international students) will be retained by the College if a refund is issued to the student.


On or After the First Day of Instruction:

Enrollment Fee/ Non-resident Tuition
Students will receive full enrollment fee and non-resident fee credit toward future registration fees if they reduce their program or officially withdraw from all courses within the first 10% of class meetings. For example: if a course has 12 meetings, 10% of 12 = 1.2; the College will round up to 2.0; therefore, the student must withdraw no later than the end of the day of the second-class meeting. Students who officially withdraw from all courses and request a refund will be subject to a $10 processing fee. An additional $50 processing fee will be retained by the college for non-resident and F-1 Visa international students who request a refund.


Health Services Fee

Students will receive a full refund through the second week of instruction for semester-length classes and through the first 10% of the class meetings for students enrolled in less than semester-length classes. Thereafter, these fees are not refundable or transferable unless an action of the College (e.g., class cancellation) prevents the student from attending.


Parking Fee

Parking permits are non-refundable unless an action of the College (i.e. cancellation of all of the student’s classes) prevents the student from attending. If a parking permit has been issued, it must be returned to the Cashier’s Office before a credit or a refund of the Parking Fee will be processed. Lost and stolen parking permits are nonrefundable.


Student Body Fee

This fee can be waived and if already paid, is refundable. To request a credit or refund of this fee, contact the Student Activities Office.


Student Representation Fee

This fee will be waived for students who refuse to pay for religious, political, moral, or financial reasons. This waiver must be submitted in writing within the first 10% of the period of instruction of the course(s).


Contact the Cashier’s Office at your district college regarding credit and refund questions.


Federal Funds Refund Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence. Prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.


If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the Financial Aid Office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula: Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. The start and end dates of academic programs may vary within a semester. This may have an impact on the midpoint and 60% of the semester which could impact student financial aid eligibility.


Withdrawing From a Modular, Condensed or Class Shorter Than the Standard Academic Semester

The new federal regulations change the way withdrawals are determined and calculations are done when dropping one or more courses offered in a modular, or session, format:


A modular class is one that is shorter than the entire length of the semester or summer term, such as an 8-week session course, or an intersession course.


A student is considered to have withdrawn from the semester, for financial aid purposes, if that student does not complete all of the days in the semester or summer term that they were scheduled to complete. In other words, if, at the time you withdraw from a session course, and your remaining enrolled classes begin at a later date that term, you will be considered to have withdrawn from the term for financial aid purposes. If that occurs, we will be unable to re‑determine your financial aid eligibility for that semester, or term, until we receive verification that you have attended the classes that begin later in the term. In some cases, that will mean waiting until grades are posted for the semester before we can re‑determine your aid eligibility.


Unofficial Withdrawals

If a student does not officially withdraw from all classes but fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course, federal aid regulations require that we assume the student has “unofficially withdrawn,” unless it can be documented that the student completed the enrollment period. Unofficial withdrawals require a Title IV refund calculation at the midpoint of the enrollment period. The reduction of federal aid may create a balance due to the district college that must be repaid.

Title IV Refund Process

The SFA refund and repayment requirements do not apply to a student who:

Withdraws, drops out, or is expelled before his or her first day of class (see 34 CFR 668.21, 685.303, and 682.604.)


Withdraws from some classes, but continues to be enrolled in other classes, or


Does not receive SFA Program funds for the period in question.


Please note, students whose parents received a PLUS Loan are considered to have received SFA Program funds and so are covered by the SFA refund and repayment requirements.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.


If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.


If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 180 days of the student's withdrawal. The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.


Refunds are allocated in the following order:

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Direct PLUS Loan

Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of Title IV Funds is required

All other Federal Grants for which a Return of Title IV Funds is required

Title IV Refund Repayment Policy

Many students realize after the fact that decisions they made require them to repay some or all of their financial aid for a semester. The consequence can amount to several hundred dollars. Save yourself this stress by understanding the impact of your decisions before you make them.


These situations include, but are not limited to:

Changing credit load during the Add/Drop period at the beginning of each term

Dropping a class or workshop that you never attended

Failing to meet prerequisite requirements for classes offered in a sequence for the same semester

Changing your degree plan or academic career

Completing withdrawing from all your classes for a semester

Receiving grades of all “Fs” for a semester

Receiving an “F” for a class you never attended

Receiving additional educational assistance, such as scholarships, after your financial aid has been disbursed


Discovering that you have been awarded over the annual or lifetime limits for federal grants or loans.


If financial aid has been disbursed and you reduce your credit load, you may have to repay funds. The amount of a Pell Grant is based on the number of credits in which a recipient is enrolled. The amounts will be adjusted each time you drop and add classes between the dates of your Pell Grant disbursement and the “Freeze” date or the last day to drop a semester length class without a “W”. Summer dates and classes that are less than a standard academic semester length will differ for each session.


A bill will be sent with the amount due. A student will not be eligible for further student financial aid funds until the overpayment is paid in full. In addition, your school records will be placed on “HOLD.” You will not be able to register for classes or request academic transcripts until this bill has been paid in full.


If you do not pay this bill or make payment arrangements, your overpayment will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS notifies all other colleges and universities that you now owe money. You will be ineligible to receive further financial aid at any college. The NSLDS notification will be removed when your bill is paid in full.


If you continue to ignore this bill, your account will be turned over to the Department of Education for all future collection. The Department of Education has the ability to garnish your wages, withhold your tax refunds, send your account to a collection agency, and take you to court to recover the money owed. You must pay this bill in full within 45 days.


Learn more about the Return of Title IV policy.

Student Grievances and Appeals

Students are encouraged to pursue their academic studies and become involved in other sponsored activities that promote their intellectual growth and personal development. The College is committed to the concept that, in the pursuit of these ends, the student should be free of unfair and improper actions on the part of any member of the academic community. If, at any time, a student feels that he/she has been subject to unjust actions, or denied his/her rights, redress can be sought through the filing of an appeal or grievance. Detailed information is provided in the Student Handbook which is available in the Student Activities Office. For further information concerning any aspect of student grievances or rights of appeal, students should contact the Vice President of Student Services.


Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues involving a California Community College (CCC). You are encouraged to work through the campus complaint process. See the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office website for additional resources in resolving issues.


For more information, please see the links below:

Policy of Non-discrimination

The San Mateo County Community Colleges are committed to equal opportunity regardless of age, gender, marital status, disability, race, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or other similar factors, for admission to the College, enrollment in classes, student services, financial aid, and employment in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (45CRF 86), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


It is important that students, staff, and all others associated with the College understand the importance of reporting concerns about possible violations of this policy. The College’s commitment to equal opportunity demands full investigation of possible violations and an opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing on any matter relating to these laws and policies.


Any person seeking information concerning these laws and policies or claiming grievance because of alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact the Vice President of Student Services.

For more information, please see the links to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services below:








All grievances will be reviewed in terms of Title VI and Title IX law, and persons involved will be advised of the provisions of the law and their legal rights. If normal channels are not available or fail to meet legal requirements, the necessary action will be initiated.

Inquiries regarding Federal laws and regulations concerning nondiscrimination in education or the District’s compliance with those provisions may also be directed to:


Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education

50 United Nations Plaza, Room 239 San Francisco, CA 94102 

Policy on Americans with Disabilities Act

The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), PL 101-336, is to extend to people with disabilities civil rights similar to those now available on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex and religion through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in private sector employment, services rendered by state and local governments, places of public accommodation, transportation, and telecommunications relay services. The ADA says that no covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures; the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees; employee compensation; job training; and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.


Major employment provisions of the ADA require equal opportunity in selection, testing, and hiring of qualified applicants with disabilities (applicants with disabilities may request that special accommodations be made in order to complete these processes); equal treatment in promotion and benefits; reasonable accommodation for applicants and workers with disabilities when such accommodations would not impose “undue hardship”; and prohibits discrimination against workers with disabilities. This provision is similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.


Employers may require that an individual not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others; may not make pre-employment inquiries about an applicant’s disability or conduct pre- employment medical exams; and may conduct a test for illegal drug use and prohibit all workplace use of illegal drugs and alcohol.


Students needing further information or if there are any problems or complaints regarding compliance issues please contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Services.


For more information, please see the links to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services below:







Policy on Sexual Harassment

District Colleges prohibit, in any and all forms, the sexual harassment of its students and staff. Sexual harassment of students by other students or staff, and/or the harassment of staff by students or other staff are considered intolerable behavior that will be investigated and acted upon immediately.


Students or staff claiming grievance because of alleged violations of this policy should contact the Vice-Chancellor of Human Resources and Employee Relations.

Policy on Drug-Free Campus

The San Mateo County Community College District, in compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, prohibits the use, possession, sale or distribution of alcohol, narcotics, dangerous or illegal drugs or other controlled substances, as defined in California statutes, on District or College property, or at any function sponsored by the District or College. Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible citizens and in a manner compatible with the community college function as an educational institution. Students are subject to civil authority and to all District and College rules and regulations.


Students found to be in violation of the drug-free campus policy by manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using controlled substances, as defined in California statues, on any District property will be subject to disciplinary procedures up to and including possible cancellation of registration.

Persons seeking further information concerning this policy or the health risks and effects associated with alcohol and narcotics or other dangerous or illegal drugs, should contact the College Health Center. Policies and other information are sent to all students, faculty and staff each academic term.


For more information, please see the links below:

Directory Information

Federal and State laws provide that the College may release certain types of "Directory Information" unless the student submits a request, in writing, to the Records Officer that certain or all such information is not to be released without his/her consent. "Directory Information" in the San Mateo County Community College District includes: student's name and city of residence, participation in recognized activities and sports, dates of enrollment, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, height and weight of members of athletic teams, student photographs and email addresses.

Criteria SMCCCD Uses to determine the Transfer of Credit Earned at Another Institution

Information about how coursework and examinations completed outside the San Mateo County Community College District can be applied to Certificates, Associate Degrees, CSU GE certification and IGETC certification can be accessed here on the SMCCD Transcript website.


List of Postsecondary Schools with which SMCCCD has Articulation Agreements

Information about articulation agreements between College of San Mateo, Cañada College and Skyline College and other postsecondary educational institutions can be accessed at the following locations below.   These links identify how courses taken at the 3 colleges can be used to satisfy subject matter requirements for specific majors or general education requirements at another college or university campus. 

Completion, Graduation, Transfer, Retention, and Placement Rates

The completion and transfer rates of the three colleges in the district can be found on their Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) web pages.



Information on its Retention Rates Reported to IPEDS

Information regarding the retention rates of first time students of the three colleges in the district can be accessed on the Department of Education’s College Navigator web site.



Job Placements.

Information regarding job placement rates of students enrolled in technical education programs in the three colleges can be accessed here on the California Community College Chancellor’s Office web site.  Enter the report type, the college name, select the year and Technical Preparation under the Special Population.