Your Preliminary Award Letter is based on Full-Time enrollment, please reference the chart below for award eligibility based on your anticipated level of enrollment. Disbursements are based on a student's EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and the number of units a student is enrolled in at the time of calculation (calculations are made approximately 7 days before disbursement date).

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)

*Dream Act awards are disbursed in 2 scheduled disbursements throughout the semester, see disbursement schedule below.

*Federal Pell Grants are disbursed in 3 scheduled disbursements throughout the semester, see disbursement schedule below.

*Disbursement eligibility is based on student enrollment status as of the financial aid freeze date. Please see freeze date information below for details.

Disbursement Dates

View the 2023-2024 Financial Aid Disbursement Schedule

Fall 2023 Financial Aid Disbursement Schedule

  • August 25th - First 40% Fall Pell
  • September 29th - First 40% Fall Pell (If awarded after August 11th) & Second 30% Fall Pell
  • November 23rd - Third 30% Fall Pell

Saddleback College disburses financial aid funds to eligible Saddleback College students via Nelnet. Visit this link for more information: Disbursement Information

Nelnet offers 3 disbursement options to receive financial aid funds, if eligible.

  • Your bank account via ACH direct deposit
  • Direct deposit to a reloadable debit card of your choice
  • Paper Check

All students MUST make a selection in order to avoid delay in their scheduled disbursement.

How to select a refund method?

NOTE: It is recommended to use Chrome or Firefox browsers.

Step 1: Log into MySite and click on "My Information" on the top utility bar.

Step 2: Click on Financial Aid Status.

  • You may need to allow pop-ups in your browser window. (Usually accessible in the upper right corner of the browser address bar)

Step 3: Click on "Financial Aid Disbursement Method".

  • Allow for pop-ups.

Step 4: Verify your profile information that was passed into the NelNet system from your MySite profile and ensure it is accurate and complete. Enter a secondary email address and click next.

Step 5: Set Up your security questions.

Step 6: Opt in or out of text messages.

  • Carrier rates may apply.

Step 7: Select your disbursement (refund) method and click "Save". *It is recommended that you select direct deposit to your own personal bank account or reloadable debit card of your choice, to ensure you receive your funds as quickly as possible.

Your refund selection is now complete!

It is important to keep your address up to date.

If you need to update your address:

You can log into MySite at any time to edit or remove your refund method, edit your profile, view history of refunds, profile changes and email notifications.

Please note the following about your financial aid award(s):

The California College Promise Grant (CCPG) and EOPS Book assistance are financial resources available to help you meet your educational expenses and may appear on your award letter. These are not cash awards. If you have already paid your fees, you may be eligible for a refund. You must contact the Student Payment Office at 949-582-4870 to see if you are eligible for refund.

You will only be paid for classes you are actively attending and that are eligible for grant and/or loan funding.

If you dropped a class or classes, received Financial Aid Grants and are still enrolled in units, you may be in overpayment and may owe all or a portion of your disbursement back and it may affect your SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress). For more information on the consequences of dropping a class or classes, please refer to our chapters in this guide regarding dropping classes and overpayments.

It is critical to remain in all of your classes to avoid Return of Title IV repayment. If you are receiving financial assistance at another institution or you have dropped all of your classes, you MUST return the funds to the College. If the funds are not returned, a hold will be placed on your records and you may be reported to the Department of Education affecting your ability to receive financial aid at any other school.

If you receive all FW's/W's grade for the semester which you received Title IV funds, you may be required to repay all or a portion of those funds. Your award is contingent upon the availability of funds from the appropriate agencies and the laws and regulations which govern these programs and are subject to change.

Although you may be registered in a course, you must be in attendance and your classes must have already started before payment is made. Late start classes must begin for units to be included in disbursement; otherwise, they will be included in the subsequent disbursement.

Disbursement will be adjusted according to enrollment status at the time calculation is made and as of the freeze date each semester. Please note that your awards are based upon the number of units you are registered for on the freeze date. If you add classes later in the same term you will not be paid for those additional classes.

The dates for 2023-2024 are as follows: 

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

All students are required to meet all criteria outlined in the Saddleback College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. All awards are contingent on both a student’s enrollment and their satisfactory academic progress status. Please note, due to the short time period between semesters, there may be a delay in the notification of ineligibility due to not meeting satisfactory academic progress.

Any financial aid awarded is subject to change, without prior notice.

Email notifications will be sent to your school-provided email address. Be sure to keep your home address and phone number current and accurate with Financial Aid and in MySite.

If you are receiving loans, your first disbursement will not be made until you have begun attendance in a minimum of 6 units. If you have late starting classes, this may affect the date in which you receive your loan disbursements. (Loans are not available during the Summer semester).

This disbursement schedule is tentative and is subject to change without notice.

For students whose financial aid files are not complete at the beginning of the semester or who were awarded later in the award year, payments will be issued on subsequent disbursement dates. All financial aid disbursements are made based on a student’s selected refund method. To select an electronic disbursement method, please visit the Refunds Information page .

All financial aid disbursements are contingent on funding being received from the governing agencies. Cal Grant disbursements are contingent upon funding from the State and in some cases may be delayed. SSCG and Cal Grant Funds will be released in one payment per semester. Loans are released in two payments per semester.

Students will 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 CCPG Waiver 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 prior to the published Freeze Date.

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU): Students receiving the Federal Pell Grant are limited to six years (12 semesters) or full-time equivalent (600%) of aid. Once a student has received 600% of the Federal Pell Grant, they will no longer be eligible for additional Pell Grant at any college/university in the country, even if their selected program of study or Bachelor’s Degree is not completed.