Your award letter, also known as your financial aid package, is a conditional offer of the financial aid you are eligible to receive.

All awards are contingent on both a student’s enrollment and their satisfactory academic progress status. The amount of aid offered on the award letter is based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), financial need, availability of funds, and in some cases, full time enrollment. You do not necessarily need to be full time to receive financial aid. However, your award will be adjusted, or in some instances canceled, if you are not enrolled full time. Example: if your Federal Pell Grant indicated $3,248 for the semester, and you are enrolled in only 9 units (3/4 status), you will actually receive $2,436 in Federal Pell Grant Funds. Please read your award letter carefully and keep it for future reference. Please note, your awards may change, without notice, if you fail to meet all eligibility requirements, including all Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.  

Award Information

Estimated Cost of Attendance: This figure on your award letter is the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) for our institution.  A breakdown of all COA items are listed on your award letter

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is the calculated amount a student (or family) is expected to contribute toward his/her cost of attendance. This amount is calculated from the information provided on the student’s financial aid application (FAFSA) based on the standard federal needs analysis set forth by the Department of Education.

Financial Need: This amount is determined by subtracting your EFC from the COA.

Financial Aid: A combination of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities you have been determined eligible to receive.  Loans are not automatically awarded, if needed please follow the direction on the Federal Direct Loan Information Page.

Disbursement Information: The disbursement number on your award letter is used to identify disbursement dates on the disbursement schedule.  A link to the disbursement schedule is on the award letter, including instructions on how to select a disbursement method for receiving your financial aid.

  • If you accept all awards offered, no formal acceptance is necessary. Keep the award letter for your records.
  • If you decline any or part of your award(s), notify the Financial Aid Office in writing of the award type declined, as soon as possible.
  • If you decline the Federal Work-Study award it may not be replaced with other aid.

Saddleback College reserves the right to change or cancel financial aid awards based upon the following:

  • Availability of Federal or State funds
  • Enrollment status changes
  • Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress (refer to the Saddleback College Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards)
  • Default on a Title IV loan or owe a Title IV grant repayment
  • Loans borrowed in excess of the annual or aggregate loan limits
  • False statements, misrepresentations or failure to list previous schools attended
  • Other sources of aid received, such as EOPS, CARE, scholarships, etc.

Students may owe money back to the Federal Government and/or Saddleback College if:

  • Student receives Federal and State aid from more than one school for the same or overlapping semester. (This does not affect eligibility for a California College Promise Grant at multiple schools within the same semester).
  • Student received funds and withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of the semester.
  • Student reduces enrollment status.
  • If a student receives financial aid funds and later withdraws from one or more courses, which changes their enrollment status

Saddleback College has partnered with NelNet, to provide financial aid disbursements to students. Through this partnership, Saddleback College will offer 3 refund options: to your personal bank account via ACH direct deposit, direct deposit to a reloadable debit card of your choice or a paper check.  To choose how you would like to receive your disbursement please visit the Refund Information page.

The classes you are enrolled in as of the “Freeze Date” each semester will determine the amount of grant funding you will receive. Financial Aid will only pay for courses added before the freeze date.

Fall 2023 Freeze Date - October 27, 2023
Spring 2024 Freeze Date - March 29, 2024
Summer 2024 Freeze Date - July 12, 2024

What if I am not able to attend full-time (12 units)?

Students may still be eligible to receive financial aid in less than 12 units. 

  • For the California College Promise Grant (CCPG), your enrollment fees will continue to be waived at any number of units. 
  • For the Pell Grant, you will receive your full award at 12 or more units. The table below provides a breakdown of how units enrolled changes your award amount.
Units Enrolled (Per Semester) Enrollment Status Percentage of Award Eligible for Disbursement
12 or more units Full Time 100%
9.0 - 11.5 units Three-Quarters Time 75%
6.0 - 8.5 units Half Time 50%
5.5 or less units Less than Half Time

Pell to be determined if eligible
(Not eligible for loans or Cal Grant)

I am in 12 units but my award letter does not show the full Pell Grant amount?

Students are only eligible to receive financial aid for units they are actively enrolled in. This does not include late start classes that have not begun yet. Once your late start classes begin, your financial aid award will be increased to reflect your full-time enrollment. 

What is the financial aid freeze date?

Your financial aid award is based upon the number of units you are registered for on the freeze date. You can find the date here. Any units added or dropped after this date will not change your financial aid award.

Do I need to maintain a certain GPA for financial aid?

Yes, for students to be eligible for financial aid they must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0, complete 67% of the courses they attempt, and not exceed 150% of the units required for their major. If a student fails to meet these requirements they will be put on a warning status and have one semester to start meeting these requirements. Failure to regain satisfactory standing will result in a unsatisfactory standing and the student will be ineligible for most financial aid.

Do I ever have to pay financial aid back?

In some cases, students receive more financial aid than they are eligible for and are required to payback a portion. This is called a financial aid overpayment. This can occur when a student drops or withdraws from a class before the freeze date or a student withdraws from all of their courses before completing 60% of the semester.

Are there any other grants available to me?

The financial aid office will award you every grant that you are eligible for. If you need additional financial assistance, you may still be eligible for Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Loans, and Scholarships

I am going to transfer or attend a different college, does this financial aid apply at other schools?

No, you will need to submit your financial aid application to your new school and follow up with their financial aid office on any further steps. Some grants, like the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) are unique to California Community Colleges. While other grants, Federal Pell Grant, can be received at Title IV eligible institutions. 

The information I provided on my FAFSA is not accurate anymore. Should I update my application?

No, please speak with a financial aid specialist and they will advise you on how to proceed. It is not recommended to make a change to your FAFSA, as this may result in delays in your aid or a repayment of financial aid that has already been disbursed.

How often do I receive financial aid disbursements?

The Pell Grant is disbursed three times a semester. The first disbursement is 40% of your total award and the second two disbursements are each 30%. The disbursement schedule can be viewed here.

I just received my award letter and a disbursement has already passed, will I still receive these funds?

Yes, if the first disbursement has already passed, you would receive the first and second disbursement at the same time. If the first two have passed, you would receive all the funds at once on the next disbursement date.

I just received my award letter. When will I receive the funds?

Financial aid is only disbursed on set disbursement dates. Your award letter will have a disbursement number on it. When viewing the disbursement schedule, your disbursement number will show you which dates your disbursements will be on.

Additional Information

View Our SAP Policy in Detail
View Our Video: "What Does SAP Stand For?"

SAP Appeal Deadlines by Semester 

Students notified that they are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, may have the opportunity to appeal, the deadlines to appeal are listed by semester below:

  • Fall 2023 - December 13, 2023
  • Spring 2024 - May 17, 2024
  • Summer 2024 - July 31, 2024

Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

You are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), in order to continue to receive your funds - this will be true for all forms of Federal and State financial aid except the California College Promise Grant, which has it's own academic progress standards.  These measures include:

Qualitative Standard

A minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.0 in all coursework attempted. (This can be found on the last page of your transcript)

Quantitative Standard

Pace or Progression:

A minimum course completion rate of 67% of all coursework attempted. (This can be calculated by taking the "units enrolled' divided by the "units complete" for the last completed term on your transcript)

For example a student who attempts 20 units, and successfully completes 12 of those units, would have a 60% Pace of Progression (12/20 = .60).

Maximum Time Frame Requirements

Students must complete their educational goals within 150% of the program length.  A student's maximum time frame is based on the total number of credits attempted at Saddleback College/Irvine Valley College plus any transfer credits that have been determined applicable to their current program of study at Saddleback College by Admissions and Records.  

For example a student enrolled in a program with 60 required units for completion and the maximum time frame is 150% then the student would be eligible for funding for up to 90 attempted units.  You must complete your program of study within 150% of the required units.

Frequency of Evaluation

 Academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each term to determine continued eligibility. Students who fail to meet academic progress will receive an updated status based on this policy.

Satisfactory Status

Your status is Satisfactory if you meet Minimum Standard Requirements and have not reached the Maximum Time Frame for your program.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Failure to complete 67% of courses attempted or earning less than a 2.0 GPA will result in the student being placed on Warning the first semester this occurs. You can still receive federal financial aid and you must take a manageable course load to be successful. Students are sent a Financial Aid Warning letter. If the student fails to meet SAP standards at the end of their Warning semester, he/she will be suspended for further financial aid in future semesters.

Unsatisfactory Status

If you do not meet Minimum Standard Requirements after your Warning semester, your status will be Unsatisfactory and you will not be eligible to receive financial aid in the following semester. Additionally, if you have reached the maximum time frame allowed, you will be considered Unsatisfactory and you will not be eligible to receive financial aid in the following semester.

Students are prohibited from appealing retroactively for prior terms. Any appeal submitted past the deadlines provided on the appeal form will only be considered for future terms. No exceptions will be made for late submissions.

SAP Appeals - Extenuating Circumstances

If you are placed on Unsatisfactory status, you can appeal for additional aid if there is a documented reason/circumstances which led you to not meet SAP. You must have had extenuating circumstances beyond your control and be able to to provide documentation supporting those circumstances.

SAP Appeals - Maximum Time Frame

If you have reached the Maximum Time Frame for your program and have continuously met Minimum SAP Standard Requirements but have classes remaining to meet your goal, you may appeal for additional aid by submitting a SAP Appeal Request form.

General Stipulations

  • All financial aid recipients are encouraged to have a MAP completed with an academic counselor. All units that have been evaluated by Admissions and Records from other colleges that are applicable to a student's program of study will be counted for Maximum Time Frame and Pace of Progression purposes.
  • Financial aid funds will not be provided for more than one degree program beyond the initial degree without an appeal and approval by the Appeals Committee. Approvals for multiple degrees are not guaranteed and are determined on a case-by-case basis. 
  • These guidelines apply to all students requesting Title IV aid regardless of whether the student has previously received Title IV funds.

View Title IV Policy

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. If students withdraw (officially or unofficially) or are dropped from classes prior to completing 60% or more of the semester, they may be required to return “unearned” aid.

If you are receiving financial aid and need to withdraw from all of your classes, contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

As a student receiving financial aid at Saddleback College:

  • The information given to the Financial Aid Office will be treated confidentially as mandated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Information regarding all means of financial assistance is available, including all federal, state, and institutional aid programs.
  • The procedures and deadlines for submitting applications for each financial aid program (including federal, state, and institutional aid programs) will be made known and accessible to students.
  • How your financial aid awards were calculated, the criteria to receive each award, and how the funds will be distributed or disbursed will be explained.
  • You may accept or decline any of your financial aid award(s)
  • All terms of any employment program you participate in will be made known to the student.
  • Information on Saddleback College’s refund policy and the federal Return to Title IV policy will be made accessible to the student.
  • If you request an educational loan, you have the right to know the lender, interest rate, the total amount to be repaid, deferment options, repayment procedures, and the length of time you have to repay the loan, and when repayment begins.
  • You may submit an Academic Progress Appeal if you do not meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

As a student receiving financial aid at Saddleback College, you are responsible for:

  • Providing accurate information to the Financial Aid Office.
  • Reapplying for financial aid each and every year.
  • Completing applications correctly and on time.
  • Meeting appropriate deadlines.
  • Reading and understanding all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office and all forms you are asked to submit or sign.
  • Requesting personal assistance if you have questions or don’t understand the information provided to you.
  • Submitting documentation and information requested by the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner and keeping copies for your own records.
  • Checking your My Financial Aid account regularly.
  • Notifying the Financial Aid Office of any name or address changes.
  • Knowing and complying with the rules governing your financial aid awards.
  • Attending classes and completing the requirements for each course in which you enroll.
  • Compliance with Saddleback College’s refund policy and Federal Return to Title IV Aid policy, should you withdraw from the College (either officially or unofficially).
  • Notifying the Financial Aid Office of any financial awards you receive from outside resources (including scholarships, grants, tuition waivers, or other educational/tuition assistance) not already listed on your Financial Aid Award information available via your My Financial Aid account.
  • If you borrow a student loan, you are responsible for completing loan entrance and exit counseling.
  • The repayment of all loans in accordance with the terms of your promissory note.
  • Notifying your lender if any of the following occurs before your loan is repaid: change of address, graduation, withdrawal from or less than half-time attendance, name change, or transfer to another institution.
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Using financial aid for educational expenses incurred while attending.
  • The repayment of any over award of financial aid.
  • In accordance with federal regulations set forth by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, a summary of consumer information that must be provided to all students at Saddleback College, can found on the Student Consumer Information page.

Saddleback College participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program and does not offer private loans or participate in private or alternative loan programs.

The Higher Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 requires institutions of higher education to develop and enforce a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. Accordingly, Saddleback College has created the following code of conduct.

The policy applies to all employees who work in the Financial Aid Office and all other school employees, officers, and agents who have responsibilities with respect to education loans.

  1. Ban on revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender. All employees are banned from participating in a “revenue-sharing arrangement” between the institution and lender under which the lender makes Title IV loans to students attending the institution.
  2. Employees within the financial aid office will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will reserve this task to an institutionally designated person, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  3. No amount of cash, gift, or benefit in excess of a de minimums amount shall be accepted by a financial aid staff member from any financial aid applicant (or his/her family).
  4. Ban on employees of the financial aid office receiving gifts from a lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer. No financial aid officer or employee of the institution may solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans. A "gift" is defined as any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having monetary value of more than a de minimums amount.
  5. Ban on contracting arrangements. No officer or employee of the institution's financial aid office may accept from a lender, or an affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide service to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
  6. Prohibition against steering borrowers to particular lenders or delaying loan certifications. For any first-time borrower, an employee of the institution's financial aid office may not assign, through the award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender.
  7. Prohibition on offers of funds for private loans. The institution may not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds for private loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of Title IV loans made, insured, or guaranteed; a specified loan volume; or a preferred lender arrangement. An "opportunity pool loan" is defined as a private education loan made by a lender to a student that involves a payment by the institution to the lender for extending credit to the student.
  8. Ban on staffing assistance. The institution may not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing, except that a lender may provide professional development training, and educational counseling materials.
  9. Ban on advisory board compensation. Any employee of the institutions financial aid office who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender or guarantor is prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group.

NOTE: This Code of Conduct pertains to any alternative/private loans.

Saddleback College Cal Grant Qualifying Institution Disclosure

Per California Assembly Bill (AB) 2086, the following information is made available to provide access to California license examination passage rates for graduates of Saddleback College programs that require California licensure. Data will continue to be updated as California licensing and/or regulatory agencies make the data electronically available.

California Government Licensing Agencies

Cosmetician (Esthetician)



Real Estate
The California State Department of Real Estate publishes aggregate figures only, with no breakdown of pass/fail rates by school at


Currently Available Statistics

Medical Lab Technician Pass Rates
Year # of tests pass rate
2015 15 100%
2016 1 100%

NOTE: All results are based on first attempt pass rates for program and national.