Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is the PCC timeframe limit 78 units instead of the previous 90 units?
At PCC, students will be notified that they have exceeded the time frame at 78 attempted units because normal matriculation time to complete an AA/AS degree goal is two years. However, if there are exceptional circumstances presented in a petition or appeal, PCC could allow up to three years (90 attempted units). The change will allow PCC to establish a timeframe limit that corresponds to the published program length. The timeframe is applicable to the 2013-14 financial aid award year.
- What is the PCC school code and mailing address for the Financial Aid Office PCC?
The PCC school code is 001261. Our mailing address is: Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., L114, Pasadena, CA 91106
- Do I have to wait for admission to PCC to apply for financial aid?
- No. You do not have to be admitted to PCC in order to apply for financial aid; however, you do have to be admitted and registered in at least 6 units to receive financial aid.
- What types of financial aid are offered at PCC?
PCC participates in most of the Federal and state financial aid programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Student loans and Cal Grants B and C. We also offer scholarships.
- How do I apply for grants at PCC?
To apply for grants, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the FAFSA is processed, PCC will electronically receive your information and then contact you through your PCC LancerPoint account.
- How do I apply for scholarships at PCC?
PCC offers a wide variety of scholarships. Scholarship applications are generally available from October through February. Students can obtain the application at the financial aid office or download a PDF version at www.paccd.cc.ca.us. Additional scholarships are also listed in the PCC "Campus Crier" publication. Most of these scholarships are offered from off-campus sources.
- What types of financial assistance programs are available to International Students?
- Unfortunately, PCC does not offer financial aid to foreign students. Students with a F1 or F2 student visa or only a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G series visa are not eligible for financial aid at PCC.
- Is there a deadline to apply for financial aid and what is the selection criteria?
Yes! There is a deadline. Students are selected for campus-based (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study) on a first come, first-served basis. Students with maximum Pell Grant eligibility will be chosen for campus-based funds first, but only up to the availability of these funds. To receive consideration for campus-based as well as the Cal Grant Entitlement/Competitive programs, students should apply by March 2.
- How will I be notified about my financial aid at PCC?
Generally, students are notified by the email address from the FAFSA. Please notify the Office of Admissions & Records if there is a change in your email address. The financial aid office is not able to identify the student with an incorrect or undeliverable email address.
- How long does it take for a Financial Aid application to be processed?
- Usually, financial aid applications are processed within 3 weeks from the date all requested documents are received.
- Where can I get financial aid disbursement information?
Award information (but not dollar amount) is e-mailed to you with your Financial Aid Award letter. Details on Disbursement information / award amounts can be obtained by logging onto your LancerPoint account. In addition, disbursement dates can be found on the Financial Aid web page in the Terms & Condition page.
- How can I pay for registration using financial aid?
If you are a California resident and have demonstrated financial need, you may qualify for the Board of Governors Fee Waver. This waiver will allow you to register without paying the enrollment fees for your courses. If you register for classes before you are assigned the fee waiver you will be mailed a refund check. However, it is advisable that you have the financial aid office process you for your fee waiver before you register for classes. You need to either present the confirmation page of your FAFSA or present a BOG Fee Waiver application, available on the web site. The fee waiver does not include the Associated Student's, Student Representation, or Student Health fees, and you must be sure to pay these fees.
- For how many years does PCC give financial aid?
- Full-time students are limited to 6 semesters or a maximum of 3.5 years. Three-quarter time students are limited to 9 semesters. Half-time students are limited to 12 semesters.
- How much does it cost to attend PCC?
California Residents: Enrollment fee: $46 per unit; Health fee: $13 ($11 during summer session); Student Representation fee: $1; Student Activties fee $10.
Non-resident/out-of-state tuition fees are $193/unit, plus in-state enrollment fee $46/unit; capital outlay of $16 per unit; $13 Health Fee; $1 ASB Fee and $10 Student Activity Fee per semester
- Will I continue to receive financial aid if I fail classes?
To maintain eligibility for financial aid, you must maintain three (3) requirements: 1. A grade point average (G.P.A) of 2.0, 2. Complete the attempted units with acceptable grades (A, B, C, D, CR), 3. Complete your academic program in a timely manner. For more information regarding these requirements, refer to PCC's Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
- Can I receive financial aid from more than one school?
You cannot receive federal aid from more than one school for the same period of enrollment; however, you may still qualify for the California Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver while receiving financial aid at another school.
- Do I have to re-apply for financial aid every year?
Yes. We strongly advise that you renew your FAFSA application on-line in January of every year. Please go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to do so.
- What is the financial aid office telephone number?
- Our telephone number is (626) 585-7401. Telephone hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Where can I get the 1098-T (Tuition) Tax Form?
The 1098-T Tax Form is automatically mailed out to the address that you have on file with the Records office. If for any reason the form may have been returned to sender, please check with the cashier's office. If you received the BOG Fee Waiver for all semesters you were enrolled then you will not receive a 1098-T.
- My parents won't give me their information. What do I do?
If you are a dependent student, you must submit parental information. Special circumstances which may prevent you from submitting parental information may be discussed with a Financial Aid Advisor.
- I lost my job and need more money.
If your financial situation adversely changed because of unusual circumstances, you may file an Income Adjustment Appeal Form.
- How do I transfer my aid?
You can transfer your FAFSA information to different schools by adding the school code to your existing FAFSA as the top listed school.
- What is my COA?
Each college has its own Cost of Attendance (COA) which includes standardized allowances for tuition, housing, books, transportation and personal expenses for the school year. Students may not be awarded aid (including grants, scholarships, loans, Federal Work-Study, stipends and 3rd Party Sponsored Fee Waivers) above their Cost of Attendance.
- I have an emergency. What do I do?
Please visit the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department to meet with an advisor to discuss your situation.
- What is EFC?
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount students and their families are reasonably expected to contribute toward the year's educational costs. The Student Aid Report (SAR) from your FAFSA application is used to calculate the EFC using a standard federal formula.
- How do I apply for a Fee Waiver?
There are two ways to apply for a fee waiver. The best way to apply for a fee waiver is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. When you apply using the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office may determine your eligibility for a fee waiver as well as other federal and state programs. Under some circumstances certain special programs like Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and CalWORKS also require you to submit the single page fee waiver application. If you are eligible, then all of your enrollment fees would be covered for fall, winter, spring and summer terms for that academic year. You would be required to renew your FAFSA application online and/or submit the new single page fee waiver application the following year after the new federal and single page fee waiver applications become available from the federal and state governments. Fee Waiver applications are also available online in our Forms page or at the Financial Aid Office.
- How do I apply for a Cal Grant?
To apply for a Cal Grant you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit a Grade Point Average (GPA) Form to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). If you have less than 16 college credits then your high school must complete the GPA Verification Form. If you have at least 16 college credits then PCC will automatically send your GPA electronically, provided that you have attended at least one term in the last academic year.
- How do I apply for financial aid?
- Complete the FAFSA application online. Make sure that PCC is listed as the first school on your FAFSA if we are your home school.
- Refer to your current or prior year federal tax returns, wage statements (w-2's) or your last paycheck for completing the FAFSA application.
- Males can verify their selective service registration online.
- All students can check their loan history online at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for students.
- Complete the student and/or parent PIN applications online if you do not have one.
- Give careful attention to the error edits built into the electronic application. Edits are designed to save you time and money. Remember - your application must be error free to process through our system.
- Provide the appropriate e-signatures (student and/or parent) so that your application is not rejected.
- Print a copy of your FAFSA application for future reference in case you need to speak with a financial aid professional. Always keep copies of any documents that you use to process your financial aid.
- What is File Review?
The file review is not actually a form that you need to fill out. It involves the adviser looking at your file to make sure that it is complete. This should happen automatically, so it is not something that you need to worry about.
- What is an Eligible Program?
Financial aid eligibility requires students to be enrolled in an eligible program. According to the US Department of Education, an eligible program is "organized instruction or study that leads to an academic, professional or vocational degree or certificate or other recognized educational credential." A transfer program to a four-year college also satisfies the defintion of enrollment in an eligible program.
- What is a financial aid overpayment?
An overpayment occurs when a student receives more financial aid than he/she was eligible for. Generally, overpayments are the result of changes in enrollment; e.g., full-time to half-time status or a complete withdraw from all classes. Overpayments can also occur when a student’s financial information changes or additional information such as academic transcripts are submitted after a grant or loan payment is made. For more information regarding financial aid overpayments, please see a Pasadena City College Financial Aid Advisor.
- How do I sign my FAFSA on the Web application if I am having problems obtaining my Personal Identification Number (PIN)? Do I really need a PIN?
Please remember that a PIN number is an electronic method of "signing" your FAFSA but it is not the only way to certify your application. For example, you can submit your application online but opt to print, sign and mail a Signature Page through postal mail instead of using a PIN. The Department considers the receipt date and time of your FAFSA to be when you successfully submit your online application and this is recorded on the Confirmation Page. Please print a copy for your records. The date/time stamp is valid provided that your Signature Page is received within 14 days of transmission.
- What if I forgot my FAFSA PIN number?
If you have lost or forgotten your PIN, you need to request a duplicate. You can request a duplicate PIN at www.pin.ed.gov and click on "Request A Duplicate PIN". You can choose to receive your duplicate PIN by e-mail, postal mail, or you may choose to view it instantly online.
- When do I file the FAFSA?
You may submit a FAFSA starting January 1st thru March 2nd of each year to meet priority filing deadline. If you miss the priority filing deadline of March 2nd, you can still file a FAFSA, but you may not be considered for certain state and institutional grants.
- If I do not sign my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will it still be processed?
No, your application will be rejected for missing the signature. As a result, you may miss important deadlines. If it is determined that you are an independent student on the FAFSA, the federal processor is required to collect your signature. If you are dependent student on the FAFSA, both you and at least one parent must sign.
- What is a PIN (number)? Where can it be used?
The PIN is issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The PIN allows you to retrieve and update your records at certain federal student aid websites and it serves as an electronic signature for applications like the FAFSA. For example, you can use the PIN to sign and submit a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, and to make corrections to a previous application. A parent can also apply for one PIN number for all his/her dependent children.
- How do I apply for a FAFSA PIN? How long does it take?
If you have never been issued a PIN, go to www.pin.ed.gov and click on "Apply for a PIN." You will be assigned a PIN instantly. After you receive the PIN assigned to you, we recommend you change it to something easy to remember.
- I do not live with my parents and I am not financially dependent on them, so why does the FAFSA still consider me "dependent"?
You must be able to answer "Yes" to at least one of the conditions in the dependency section of the FAFSA to be considered "Independent". You can complete the dependency status worksheet through the FAFSA website to determine if you are considered a dependent student. Financial independence alone does not make a student "independent" even if you file your own tax return or if you live on your own. If you feel that you have unusual circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department at Pasadena City College.
- What about an alternative loan at PCC?
At PCC, students are responsible for making sure that they are seeking lending opportunities that demonstrate a reasonable repayment alternative and to also be aware that PCC will determine if a student borrower demonstrates responsible educational intent. Please read the Alternative Loan Certification document for more important information on this topic.
- How do I apply for loans at PCC?
Federal student loans are part of a financial aid package. To apply you must complete the FAFSA. To submit their request for a loan, students must complete a separate application. While PCC does not encourage borrowing, interested students must also educate themselves about the loan program by attending loan entrance counseling. The loan application will not be accepted until the entrance requirement has been successfully completed. For further information, please contact the financial aid office.
- Do I really have to repay student loans?
Yes. A loan is an obligation and usually contains a promise to repay. However, students should consider incentives offered by federal programs. These incentives can pay the loan in full or reduce the amount owed.
- What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans?
Subsidized Stafford Loans are for students with financial need. The federal government pays the interest only while you are enrolled at least half-time. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are for qualified students regardless of income or assets. You are responsible for any interest accrued from the date the loan is disbursed to when the loan is repaid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
- How do I maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress?
To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress you must:
- Maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (this is a "C" average).
- Complete all the units you attempt (or the units you begin at the start of the term) by the last day of each semester. For example, a full-time student who registers for 12 units on the first day of classes must complete no less 12 units by the last day of classes. Students completing their first academic year at PCC must complete 51% of units attempted with acceptable grades. Students in their second academic year must complete 75% of units attempted with acceptable grades.
- Not have more than a cumulative total of 90 attempted units (which is equal to 3 years of full-time enrollment in an undergraduate program). A total of 30 units (attempted or completed) of ESL and/or basic skills courses may be excluded from the 90 unit limitation. Units attempted include all transfer and previously earned units with or without receipt of financial aid. Unit limitation is not excluded if you are pursuing multiple educational objectives; e.g., students who change their major.
- How many semesters can I receive financial aid?
- The number of semesters you can receive financial aid is determined by your overall enrollment status and the number of units you attempt each semester; for example, if you are a:
- HALF-TIME student, attempting at least 6 to 8.5 units overall, you are limited to 12 semesters.
- THREE-QUARTER TIME student, attempting 9 to 11.5 units overall, you are limited to 9 semesters.
- FULL-TIME, student attempting 12 units or more (overall), you are limited to 6 semesters.
- What are acceptable and unacceptable grades?
- These are the grades we use to calculate how you are progressing in your educational objective.
Acceptable grades are: A, B, C, D, CR, P, RD
Unacceptable grades are: F, I, W*, NP, NC
*Includes no record drops
- What is financial aid probation?
A student is on financial aid probation if:
- He/she did not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for prior term(s) of enrollment.
- While on probation, your academic performance is being monitored by a financial aid advisor on a term-by-term basis. If a student fails to maintain progress during probation, the financial aid offer is terminated.
- While on probation student loan certification is postponed.
- What I can do to improve my academic performance?
We recommend all students enroll in Counseling 10, Introduction to College, Counseling 11, Learning Strategies and College Skills Devleopment. Students must also see success as completing all units attempted with acceptable grades. For purposes of financial aid, W's, F's and INC's are not acceptable grades.
- What is financial aid disqualification?
You are disqualified when you receive:
- A notice about Satisfactory Academic Progress Disqualification at PCC
- Unacceptable grades while on financial aid probation
- Less than a 2.0 GPA after your second year of enrollment at PCC
- An A.A., A.S. from PCC or a B.A. or higher degree from another college or university
- How can I regain my financial aid eligibility?
- Submit a petition to the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid. There are two (2) levels of petition. The first level is a committee of student services personnel. The second level is an appeal to the Assistant Dean of Scholarships & Financial Aid. The petition must include a statement, your most recent Student Educational Plan and documentation to support exceptional circumstances beyond your control (i.e. illness, family emergency, etc.). If you have attempted more than 75 units, explain why you need more time to complete your educational goal, what circumstances prevented you from reaching your educational goal and how long it will take you to complete that goal. Only an appeal denied at the first level is submitted to the second level.
- Why is it important to know about Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Satisfactory Academic Progress is an eligibility requirement for federal or state financial aid. It will apply even if you never received financial aid. To achieve satisfactory academic progress, students are expected to complete their objective (degree, certificate, or transfer) in a timely manner. Since academic progress rules can occur at any point during your education, failing to meet these requirements could lead to termination of your financial aid at PCC.
- What is my LancerPoint User name and Password?
Your user name is automatically assigned to you. In general, your user name will be the initial of your first name with your last name, and possibly a number(s) on the end.
You can look up your LancerPoint ID at https://reset.pasadena.edu/LookupID.asp, by typing in your PCC ID Number (which is the last 8 digits on your LancerCard) and your last name. Your IIN is printed on your original PCC enrollment receipt, which was either given, mailed or e-mailed to you when you first enrolled at the college.
Your Password is created by you when you first activate your LancerPoint account. If you forget your password you can reset it at https://reset.pasadena.edu/Identify.asp?Action=reset.
- Why didn't I get payed on the date listed with Disbursement in the My Awards section?
If you see a disbursement listed in your LancerPoint Award Payment Schedule section (under the "Tuition and Aid" tab), there will be a date next to it. This is not the date that you will be receiving the disbursement. This is a processing date. You will receive the disbursement some time after that date. Please see the disbursement schedule for disbursement dates.
- Will financial aid cover everything?
No. Financial aid is a supplement and only covers costs related to educational expenses. Those costs are: fees, books and supplies, a reasonable amount for room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.
- How much financial aid can I receive?
The amount of financial aid can vary from student-to-student or family-to-family. In order to determine the amount of financial aid you can receive, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may apply via the internet at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
When your FAFSA is processed, the U.S. Department of Education calculates what you and your family is expected to contribute to your education or you Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This formula is what the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will use to determine how much financial aid you can receive. The amount of aid you receive is contingent upon your level of enrollment. A minimum of six units are required per semester to qualify for most aid programs.
- What if my circumstances change after I file the FAFSA?
You may be eligible for a recalculation of your contribution based on special circumstances such as change or loss of employment, or unusual medical, dental expenses.
- Who is my Financial Aid Interviewer?
Your Financial Aid Interviewer is assigned based on your last name (see below).
Financial Aid Interviewers are available Monday-Friday 9:00 am-12 noon and 2:00pm-4:00pm
Last Name Financial Aid Interviewer Last Name Financial Aid Interviewer A-D Anita Sum L-P Han Dao E-K Elizabeth Garcia Q-Z Rebecca Arden
- When will I be notified about how much financial aid I receive and when will I get it?
It will take approximately three weeks to receive notification after you submit a completed financial aid application. Most students who work closely with their Financial Aid Interviewer receive their funds at the beginning of the semester or just before their departure date.
- Will financial aid pay the deposit?
No. All payments are the responsibility of the student.
- What could delay the disbursement of my financial aid funds?
The most common delay is Satisfactory Academic Progress. Before you receive notification of an award, we must determine if you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress and are enrolled at PCC as a regular student. We review each student's grade point average (GPA), unit completion rate and the number of units attempted. For more information regarding academic progress, please please see Terms & Conditions of Financial Aid award under Finanical Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
- May I receive financial aid for summer or winter study abroad programs?
With the exception of the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW), PCC does not provide financial aid for the summer or winter. We recommend that interested students enrolled in the previous fall and spring terms complete the FAFSA for financial aid consideration during either of those terms. Prior term eligibility is subject to applicable processing deadlines.
- What is PCC's Federal School Code?
Pasadena City Colleges Federal School Code is 001261
Verification & Financial Aid Documents
- Why do I have to turn in my IRS Tax Transcripts?
Your IRS Tax Transcripts are necessary in order to verify the information submitted on your FAFSA.
- Why was I selected for verification?
The Department of Education requires that all schools providing financial aid select a percentage of financial aid applicants to verify information on the FAFSA. If selected for verification, you must submit all requested documents to be considered for aid.
- How do I apply for the Work-Study Program?
PCC participates in the Federal and state work-study programs. To apply you must complete the FAFSA form. Because these funds are limited, we recommend interested students apply for financial aid no later than March 2. If funds are available, you will receive a work-study offer up to the amount of your eligibility. Some jobs require a background check.
- What is Federal Work-Study?
- The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for PCC students with financial need, allowing them to earn money while they are in school. The program encourages community service and work related to your course of study.
- How much will I make?
- Your Federal Work-Study wages will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but it may be higher, depending on the type of work you do and the skills required. At PCC, the minimum Federal Work-Study hourly wage is $9.00 per hour. The maximum hourly wage is $11.00 per hour. (off campus) Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply your level of need, and the funds available at PCC.
- How will I be paid?
As a Federal Work-Study employee, you'll be paid by the hour. At PCC you are paid twice a month according to the Payroll Schedule. Students are paid directly by mail. Work-Study funds must be used to pay for your educational expenses; i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, transportation and other school-related expenses.
- Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?
- Yes, the work-study jobs may be on or off-campus. If you work on campus, you can choose to work for a variety of PCC offices, departments or organizations. On-campus employment includes but is not limited to the Shatford Library, Engineering and Technology Department or the Office of Admissions and Records. If you work off-campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. Each employer has a job description that explains the duties and the work schedule.
- Can I work as many hours as I want?
- No. Federal law says student workers are limited to 20 hours per week. However, the amount you earn can't exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When determining work hours, you and your supervisor should create a work schedule based on your class schedule, total Work-Study Award and hourly pay rate.
- How do I qualify for Federal Work-Study at PCC?
It's simple! All you do to apply for Federal Work-Study is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you apply by March 2nd you may be considered for Federal Work-Study funds. Additional qualifications include: financial need, US Citizenship or eligible non-citizen (permanent resident), half-time; enrollment (6 units) satisfactory academic progress and you may not be in default on a student loan or owe a grant repayment. Funds are subject to availabiliity.
- How do I obtain a Work-Study job?
You can view on and off campus Work-Study job opportunities at the website below. After you find a job you are interested in, speak to the Work-Study coordinator at the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid (L-114). At this meeting, you will be given information to refer you to the employer. You cannot start work until you receive a signed referral from the work-study coordinator. Student employment is at the discretion of the work program supervisor.