PELL Grant Maximums
Beginning July 2012, the federal government has reduced the life-time eligibility for the federal PELL Grant to a maximum of 12 full-time semesters. Example: After you receive a PELL Grant for six years of full-time study, 12 or more units each semester, you will no longer be allowed to receive the PELL Grant. If you attend less than 12 units, your PELL Grant eligibility will be prorated. Students can click here to check their current Pell LEU (Lifetime Eligibility Use) percentage on the National Student Loan Database.
High School Completion and Ability to Benefit (ATB)
To be eligible for financial aid, students are required to have a High School Diploma, General Education Diploma, (GED) or equivalency. Students who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (e.g.,GED), and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aid. Students will qualify for Title IV student aid under one of the ability-to-benefit (ATB) alternatives if the student completed those ATB alternatives and was enrolled in a Title IV eligible program prior to July 1, 2012. Those alternatives include the student passing an independently administered, approved ATB test or successfully completing at least six credit hours of postsecondary education. Students that possess a Foreign High School Diploma will be required to have the grade transcripts evaluated by an accredited agency in order to determine if the diploma is equivalent to a U.S. High School Diploma.
California Dream Act (CADA)
Legislative bills AB130 and AB131 allow verified AB540 students to apply for and receive State of California financial aid. Students with valid social security numbers (SSN) should complete the FAFSA application and those who do not have valid SSNs should complete the California Dream Act application (CADA) at (website). The CADA application will generate application for both CalGrants and BOG Fee Waivers. For more information on the CADA, please click here.
Board of Governor Fee Waivers (BOGFW)
Beginning the Fall 2015 semester, students will become ineligible for BOGFWs if placed on academic or progress probation for two consecutive primary terms (fall and/or spring). Students will have the ability to appeal the loss of BOGFW due to extenuating circumstances – please check back for more information on this important change.
Online Only Students
Students who enroll exclusively in online courses and apply for financial aid must be a resident of the State of California. Online-only students who are not residents of the state of California or cannot provide verification of in-state residency are not eligible for financial aid.
Transcripts from Prior Institutions Attended
Official transcripts from all prior institutions must be sent directly to the Admission & Records office prior to applying for financial aid. Missing transcripts will delay processing of financial aid. Coursework from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated for an accepted agency and an official copy of that evaluation must be sent to the Admissions and Records office.
HigherOne and Disbursement of FA Funds
Southwestern College has partnered with Higher One®, a financial services company, to enable students to choose how they receive their financial aid funds – direct deposit, HigherOne debit card or paper check. Please click here for more information and FAQs on HIgherOne and services available to students.