Financial Aid Student Handbook

The mission of the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office is to provide information and financial aid support to all eligible students attending Saddleback College. We are devoted to the educational needs of all individuals in the community and the varying specific educational needs of our students.

If you need help with the cost of attending college, the Student Financial Assistance & Scholarship Office has federal and state financial aid programs designed to assist students who need financial help.

The financial aid programs that Saddleback College has to offer students are outlined in this Student Financial Assis­tance/Scholarship Handbook. We hope that you will read it carefully as it is designed to help take the guesswork out of the financial aid process.

Another resource for you is Financial Aid TV (FATV). The service provides instant access to short videos that discuss important financial aid topics. Visit FATV at

Be sure to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application will determine your eligibility for the federal and state programs available at Saddleback College. Once you are in our financial aid system you will be able to view the status of your file on “My Financial Aid”. Visit our website at for further information.

If we have not answered your questions, or if you have additional questions, please call (949) 582-4860 or visit the Student Financial Assistance/ Scholarship Office, located in the Student Services Center/SSC 106 at Saddleback College:

Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Friday.

Important Dates and Deadlines

January/February 2019: 2019-2020 FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms are available on the web.

January 17, 2019: Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office begins disbursing Spring 19 financial aid funds to awarded students.

February 13, 2019: Saddleback College Scholarship Application Deadline.

February 2019: Saddleback College Financial Aid Office to start sending out missing information letters for the 2019/2020 award year (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020). Students may start to submit documentation for the 2019/2020 award year.

March 2, 2019: Cal Grant deadline for 2019 – 2020 award years. If you are a Saddleback College student and have completed the required units at Saddleback College, Saddleback College will electronically transmit your GPA. If you have multiple transcripts that have to be compiled, the Admissions & Records Office will complete this for you. Please contact the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office for more information regarding the GPA Verification Form.

May 1, 2019: Students who have a complete financial aid file for the 2019-2020 award year to receive initial award letter notifications for the Fall 2019 semester.

May 2, 2019: Last day to submit a Loan Request Form to the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office in order to receive loan funds for the 2018-19 award year.

May 18, 2019: Saddleback College Scholarship Ceremony

June 30, 2019: Last day for students to submit a FAFSA application for the 2018/2019 award year (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019)

July 1, 2019: Priority awarding date given to applicants who have filed the 2019-2020 FAFSA application by March 2 and have a complete financial aid file.

July 19, 2019: Last day for students to submit documentation for the 2018/2019 award year (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019).

August 22, 2019: Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office begins disbursing Fall 2019 financial aid funds to awarded students.

September 2, 2019: Additional community college awards for Cal Grant deadline for 2019 – 2020 academic year. If you are a Saddleback College student and have completed the required units at Saddleback College, Saddleback College will electronically transmit your GPA. If you have multiple transcripts that have to be compiled, the Admissions & Records Office will complete this for you. Please contact the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office for more information regarding the GPA Verification Form.

November 2019: Saddleback College Scholarship Application to become available for the 2020-2021 award year.

October 1, 2019: Online FAFSA applications are available for the 2020 - 2021 award year

November 21, 2019: Last day for students attending Fall 2019 semester only to submit a Loan Request Form to the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office.


Apply early, submit documentation completely filled out, as quickly as possible, and monitor your status via My Financial Aid and your email address

  • Remember you can complete your FAFSA Application online as early as October 1st each year for the subsequent award year.
  • If you have not done so already, register for ACH (Direct Deposit) as early as possible. If determined eligible for financial aid funding, this is the most secure and fasted way to receive your awards. Click here for more information

Crucial strategies in the financial aid process: Be prompt, be complete, be consistent, and stay in touch.

CCPG (enrollment fee waiver): recommended that students apply for and receive approval prior to registering for classes.

Check online regularly for news updates and announcements. Make sure you are checking your school provided email account and "My Financial Aid" regularly.

Disclaimer: This form does not list all programs or all deadlines, only the most common for financial aid. Recommended deadlines are established to best assure timely processing to meet federal, state, and institutional deadlines. Receipt of aid is never guaranteed.

What is Financial Aid?

In its simplest definition, financial aid is money which helps you to pay the cost of your education. The money comes from several sources—the federal or state governments and often the institutions you attend. The various types of aid are shown below.

For more information about Financial Aid Programs visit ican .


1. LOANS (Awards of money which must be repaid):

  • Federal Carl D. Perkins National Direct Student Loan (formerly NDSL).
  • William D Ford Direct Student Loan Program

2. GRANTS (Awards of money that need not be repaid):

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs Grants. (BIA)

3. JOBS:

  • Federal Work-Study Program. (FWSP)










* Federal Law requires that institutions participating in Federal Title IV Financial programs establish Drug Abuse programs for students and staff. Following are the programs in place and available, if needed:

1. The Crisis Intervention Team is available every day for counseling and referral.

2. Students may make appointments with a member of our mental health team by contacting Student Health Services.

3. Full-time faculty, staff, and families may make appointments with PacifiCare, which provides counseling.

4. Referrals for on-going drug abuse can be made to the Orange County Mental Health Services.

Federal Carl D. Perkins National Direct Student Loan (formerly NDSL)

This is a long-term, low-interest loan program available to eligible students who are enrolled at least half-time at Saddleback College and who demonstrate exceptional need.

The actual amount that you may receive depends upon the availability­ of funds and your own financial aid eligibility. However, the law prohibits you from borrowing more than $8,000 during your first two years of college and $20,000 for the entire four years of undergraduate work. If you go on to graduate school, the maximum you may borrow is $30,000, which includes the amount you receive as an undergraduate.

Repayment begins nine months after you graduate or cease being at least a half-time student, and you may be allowed up to 10 years to repay the loan. You will be charged 5 percent simple interest on the unpaid balance while the loan is being repaid.

Portions of a Perkins loan may be cancelled if you meet certain criteria specified by law. In addition, payments are deferred as long as you are at least a half-time student at Saddleback College or elsewhere. These points are discussed in detail at an exit interview which every loan holder MUST attend before leaving Saddleback College.


William D. Ford Direct Loan Program

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program is administered directly with the United States Department of Education Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans.These are low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

Direct Loan Eligibility To apply for a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; submit all requested documentation (1)loan entrance counseling, (2) sign the Master Promissory Note. (MPN) (3) submit the Direct Loan request form by the published deadline date and applicants must meet all federal aid eligibility requirements.

The Subsidized Direct Loan is need-based. The federal government pays the interest on the loan during:(1) your enrollment in school on at least a half time basis, (2) a six-month grace period immediately following your separation from school, and (3) a deferment, which is a temporary, authorized time when your payments may be postponed.

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is non-need-based. "Unsubsidized" means the federal government does not pay the interest on your behalf. You are responsible for paying all interest on the loan. Interest is charged beginning the day the loan is paid to you until the day the loan is repaid in full. You either may choose to pay the accumulated interest while you are in school, or to have the unpaid,interest capitalized, i.e., added to the principal balance of the loan. Note: If your loan interest is capitalized, it will increase the amount you have to repay.

Please Note: Saddleback College Does NOT participate in the Direct PLUS Loan Program.

Borrowing can be costly. We recommend you consider borrowing only if you have exhausted all other options. Explore scholarships, grants, and Federal Work-Study opportunities at Saddleback College before making the decision to borrow.

Only borrow what you need. Make a budget for yourself to keep your debt within manageable limits. Budget your own resources to live more economically. Loans must be paid back even if you don't graduate, transfer or are unhappy with your education or training or are unable to obtain employment.

How Much May I Borrow?
The maximum you may borrow depends upon your grade level and dependency status. The Direct Loan amount you request may not be the amount you are eligible to receive. While the loans are not based on your ability to repay, in some cases, the applicant must demonstrate financial need or may only be eligible to borrow the annual maximum.

Grade Level



Sub Unsub



First-year undergraduate
(less than thirty units completed successfully)





Second-year undergraduate
(thirty or more units completed successfully)





Saddleback College reserves the right to refuse to certify a direct loan under conditions established by 34 CFR 684.301. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress. By signing the loan request, applicants agree to all of the terms and conditions for the Federal Direct Student loan. Eligibility requires the applicant to maintain at least half-time enrollment throughout the period of the loan and notify Saddleback College or the Federal Direct Loan Servicing center of any changes in status such as name, address, enrollment status, and change of schools. Borrowing the low-interest, Federal Direct Loan is a privilege. Even though it is a loan, Saddleback College reserves the right to refuse to certify a loan application for high-risk borrowers. Such conditions are: • A previous default on a federal student loan. • Notification of previously discharged federal student loans due to disability or bankruptcy. • Notification of delinquent federal student loan repayment status. • Instances of inconsistent, fraudulent FAFSA, or admissions application information. • Applicants with loan indebtedness in excess of the maximum for two-year public institutions.

Loan certification requires all applicants to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and maintain at least half-time enrollment status.. Transfer units are also reviewed for these academic requirements. Notification • Notification of loan eligibility is sent by mail. • Complete electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) at • Saddleback College will electronically transmit loan information to the Direct Loan Servicing Center. • To indicate the loan information is received, the Direct Loan Servicing Center will send a loan disclosure notice to the applicant approximately two weeks after transmission. • Saddleback College will receive the electronic acceptance of your MPN. • Check for your student loan history. Issuing Loan Funds Generally, loan funds are issued twice during the loan period but not before the official drop date each semester. The date the check is issued may vary and is subject to the availability of funds subsidized).

Annual Loan Amounts

The amount in Direct Loan funds that you are eligible to borrow each academic year is limited by (1) your grade level (2) whether you are a dependent or an independent student, (3) your financial need, and (4) your cost of attendance. You cannot borrow more than your financial need or the cost of attendance (your budget.)

Dependent Student

Base Amount
(Subsidized or Unsubsidized)

Additional Unsubsidized Loan
effective July 1, 2008

Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Freshman 1st year




Sophomore 2nd year





Independent Student

Base Amount
(Subsidized or Unsubsidized)

Additional Unsubsidized Loan
effective July 1, 2008

Total Annual Combined Maximum Amount of Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans

Freshman 1st year




Sophomore 2nd year




Lifetime Aggregate Loan Limits

Undergraduate Dependent Students can borrow a maximum total of $31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans).

Undergraduate Independent Students can borrow a maximum total of $57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans).


Interest Rates

Over a four-year period beginning July 1, 2008, the interest rate on Subsidized Loans made to undergraduate students will be reduced. These rates do not affect any prior loans made to borrowers; the terms and interest rates of those loans remain the same. The applicable interest rates for loans made during this period are as follows:

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS - First disbursement of aloan:

Interest Rate on the Unpaid Balance of the Subsidized Loan

Interest Rate on the Unsubsidized Loan Balance

Made on or after

And made before

July 1, 2010

July 1, 2011

4.5 percent

6.8 percent

July 1, 2011

July 1, 2013

3.4 percent

6.8 percent

July 1, 2013

July 1, 2014

3.86 percent

3.86 percent

July 1, 2014

July 1, 2015

4.66 percent

4.66 percent

July 1, 2015
July 1, 2016 4.29 percent 4.29 percent

July 1, 2016
July 1, 2017 3.76 percent 3.76 percent

July 1, 2017

July 1, 2018 4.45 percent

4.45 percent

July 1, 2018

July 1, 2019 5.05 percent 5.05 percent

Loan Fees

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received. : For loans first disbursed on or after 10/1/18 and before 10/1/19 the loan fee is 1.062%.

* Interest rates and origination fees are subject to change based on the date the loan was disbursed/originated and guidance provided by the Department of Education.

Loan Entrance Counseling

Entrance loan counseling is REQUIRED for all student borrowers applying for a Federal Direct Loan at Saddleback College. Counseling can be completed online and will help you understand your rights and obligations as a student loan borrower. Loan counseling must be completed before we will process your Federal Direct Loan. Other required steps are needed before we can process a Direct Federal Loan (please see Direct Loan Processing).

Link for Entrance Counseling as well as completing Master Promissory Note.

You will NEED a FSA Login to complete the loan process on line. FSA Login information is the same information used to complete the FAFSA application. If you do not have your FSA Login.

Please note that the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office will receive correspondence that a Loan Entrance Counseling Test was completed as well as the Master Promissory Note. You should print a copy for your personal records.

Exit Counseling

Federal regulations require that all student loan borrowers must have an exit interview/exit counseling during their final semester at the College. During the exit counseling, students are reminded of their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Topics include: when repayment starts, various repayment plans, deferments, loan consolidation, and consequences of default. You'll receive information about repayment, and your loan provider will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. We can't emphasize enough the importance of making your full loan payment on time either monthly (which is usually when you'll pay) or according to your repayment schedule. If you don't, you could end up in default, which has serious consequences. Student loans are real loans—just as real as car loans or mortgages. You have to pay back your student loans. Exit Counseling can be completed on line at


Student Loan Repayment

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a period of time before you have to begin repayment. This “grace period” will be six months.

Get Your Loan Information

The U.S. Department of Education's National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) allows you to access information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, your loan status (including outstanding balances), and disbursements made. Go to

Paying Back Your Loan(s)

You have a choice of repayment plans. How much you pay and how long you take to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. There are several repayment plans available: Standard, Extended, Graduated, Income Based Repayment (IBR), and Income Contingent Repayment (ICR). For more information see


Avoid default at all costs. Default means you failed to make payments on your student loan according to the terms of your promissory note, the binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your loan. In other words, you failed to make your loan payments as scheduled. Your school, the financial institution that made or owns your loan, your loan guarantor, and the federal government all can take action to recover the money you owe. Here are some consequences of default:

· National credit bureaus can be notified of your default, which will harm your credit rating, making it hard to buy a car or a house.

· You would be ineligible for additional federal student aid if you decided to return to school.

· Loan payments can be deducted from your paycheck.

· State and federal income tax refunds can be withheld and applied toward the amount you owe.

· You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe.

· You can be sued.

If you run into financial problems with your repayment schedule, contact the Student Loan Support Center at (800) 557- 7394. There may be solutions that can keep you on track and protect your credit rating. Visit the Direct Loan Servicing Center at

Federal Pell Grants (FPG)

Pell Grants provide financial assistance to eligible part-time and full-time students based on need. You must be an undergraduate student who does not have a bachelors degree, or professional degree. The maximum award is $6095 for the 2018/2019 award year. Applicants must be US citizens or eligible noncitizen's and complete the FAFSA and other required supplemental documents. Students may apply for a Federal Pell Grant any time after October 1st of each year, for the subsequent fall semester.

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, regardless of completion of their selected program of study or Bachelor’s Degree.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

This is a federal grant program designed to assist students who demonstrate exceptional financial need, and eligibility to receive PELL grant. Other eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen and undergraduate status.

You need not apply specifically for FSEOG: All applications are automatically considered for this award. Funds are limited.

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Grants

If you are of American Indian heritage, and are certified as such by a tribal agency, you may be eligible for a BIA grant while attending Saddleback on a full-time basis. The SFASO will help you process your application, but the final decision rests with the BIA agency which serves you.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)

This program provides jobs for eligible students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half-time at Saddleback College. If eligible, the SFASO refers you to an employer on campus. The number of hours that you may work depends upon your need for financial assistance, your class schedule, and your academic progress.

You may apply specifically for work-study, or a job may be allocated to you as a part of your financial aid award.

Once you have been found eligible, and have indicated that you want to work, the SFASO will try and match your own qualifications and desires with jobs that employers have listed. Sometimes this is difficult, but often the SFASO has the rewarding experience of matching students with jobs they like and enjoy.

Important Reminders:

  1. You must apply for financial aid and receive an award which includes work-study before you can go to work under the FWSP. Funds are limited, so you must file the FAFSA application no later than March 2, and complete your file by the priority deadline date of July 1 to be considered. Funds are awarded on a first serve basis.
  2. You may not begin work without authorization from the SFASO.
  3. Once assigned to a job, you may not earn more than the amount authorized on your award letter.
  4. A work-study student has the same obligations of any other employee. You must satisfy the requirements of your employer in order to be retained in a work-study job.
  5. You may not work during your scheduled classes.

Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS)

If you are a member of the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), a California resident and are enrolled full-time as an undergraduate, you may be eligible for a State Grant dependent upon the availability of funds.

To participate and receive aid from EOPS a student must have exceptional financial need that is beyond the present capability of standard Federal Aid Programs. Students enroll in 12 units per semester. The EOPS Director will determine your eligibility for EOPS Grants. Students interested in applying for EOPS assistance should contact the EOPS office in the Student Services Center, Saddleback College, or call (949) 582-4620.

California Grant Program

CAL GRANTS are state grants awarded to California residents. For Cal Grant consideration the FAFSA and a verified GPA must be filed by the deadline date of March 2. GPA Verification forms available online at

Apply for Cal Grant

In addition to the FAFSA, to apply for a Cal Grant a GPA Verification Form must be submitted to the California Student Aid Commission by the filing deadline. The Cal Grant filing deadline is March 2. Community College award deadline is September 2.

Students who have completed at least 16 transferable units at Saddleback College will have their college GPA sent automatically before the deadline. GPA’s are submitted by social security number please confirm your social security number is correct with Admissions and Records office. You do not have to complete a GPA Verification form.

Student who have completed 16 to 23 transferable units have the option to use their high school GPA (if it is higher than their college GPA) or course GPA. To do so, you must have the High School you attended complete a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and send it to the California Student Aid Commission postmarked by deadline.

Students who have NOT completed at least 16 transferable units at Saddleback College must have the GPA verification form completed by their high school by the filing deadline.

California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

This is probably the most popular financial aid program at Saddleback College. It waives enrollment fees for eligible residents of California. For best results, apply several months before you plan to register for classes. Eligible family size and income standards are:

Family Size / Income 2017/2018

Number in Household Income Ceiling

















Each additional family member $6,240

If you have already registered and paid your fees, you can still apply for a CCPG. If you are eligible for the CCPG, you can then request a refund of your enrollment fees (but only for the semester in which you apply).

Note: Saddleback College prefers to use the FAFSA application to determine eligibility for the California College Promise Grant (CCPG). We prefer the FAFSA because more students qualify for the fee waiver using the federal eligibility index number than would qualify if we were to use the more restrictive guidelines on the shorter state CCPG application. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their FAFSA application online for consideration for CCPG and other eligible financial assistance.

California Chafee Grant Program

The California Chafee Grant Program gives up to $5,000 annually in free money to foster youth and former foster youth to use for vocational school training or college courses. You don’t have to pay it back, and you can use the money for lots of things like childcare, transportation and rent!

You must be enrolled in a:

  • vocational school or college that is Title IV-eligible
  • course of study at least half time
  • course of study that is at least one year long and Title IV-eligible.

And you must keep those grades up, or “maintain satisfactory academic progress.”

To apply, you must:

  • be eligible, or have been eligible for foster care, between your 16th and 18th birthday, and not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1 of the award year.
  • File two forms:

1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

2. California Chafee Grant Program Application. Log on to the Commission’s Chafee Grant Program Web site at: There, you can fill out the online application and submit it electronically, or call the Commission and ask for an application.

  • You can call 1-888-224-7268 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:55 p.m.
  • You can write the Commission, or mail your application to:

California Student Aid Commission
Specialized Programs
Attn: California Chafee Grant Program
P.O. Box 419029
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9029

Child Development Grant Program

The Child Development Grant Program is a newly established state program designed for students attending California public or private two-year or four-year postsecondary educational institutions who intend to teach or supervise in the field of child care and development in a licensed children’s center. Selected recipients attending a two-year postsecondary institution will receive up to $1,000 each academic year. The California Student Aid Commission administers the Child Development Grant Program which provides a grant with a maximum of one-year renewal for up to 100 selected applicants:

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Be a legal resident of the State of California.
  • Intend to be enrolled in a Commission on Teacher Credentialing Approved course of study leading to a Child Development Permit.
  • Maintain no less than half-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress as defined by the postsecondary educational institution.
  • Commit to maintaining full-time employment as defined by the employing agency in a licensed child care center in California for a period of one year for each year in which grant assistance was received and annually provide the Student Aid Commission with evidence of compliance with this requirement.
  • Be nominated by Saddleback College.
  • Meet federal Selective Service filing requirements.
  • Obtain and submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor

Chemistry Education Program Scholarship

The Chemistry Education Foundation has been established for the purpose of providing scholarships to students who have demonstrated a high degree of academic proficiency in the physical sciences at Saddleback College, and who desire to pursue a course of study in chemistry leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Scholarships of up to $750 per school month for the student’s junior and senior years may be given annually by the foundation to Saddleback College students. Students who are interested in applying for the scholarships should contact one of the chemistry faculty members. The application, screening and awards processes are handled totally by the chemistry faculty.

Employment as Student Help

Anyone interested in working as a student aide must apply to the office concerned or the Placement Center. The SFASO does not handle these jobs.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

Financial Aid Satisfactory Standards must meet the criteria set by Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), Title IV Regulations, published in 668.16 of the Federal Register.

These guidelines apply to all students requesting Title IV aid regardless of whether the student has previously received Title IV funds. To view our SAP Policy in detail click here

You can still receive the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver) regardless of your SAP status. However effective Fall 16, students who are not meeting academic and progress standards may lose their CCPG. Click here for more information

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards:To provide factors which are measurable against a norm, the following standards apply:

1. Grade Point Average: A minimum GPA requirement of 2.0.

2. Normal Unit Completion:

  • Recipients of federal financial aid are required to pass 67% of all coursework attempted. 
  • Course grades A, B, C, D, and CR are counted as successful completion of units in relation to financial eligibility; grades of NC, I, F, W, EW, FW and IP do not signify successful completion of units for financial aid eligibility and will be included as attempted units for financial aid purposes. However, under District academic policy, the grades of I and IP may be replaced with letter grades which may yield unit credit.

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

4. Financial Aid Warning: 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 the terms of their Warning semester, he/she will be suspended for further financial aid in future semesters.

5. Unsatisfactory 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.


If you are placed on Unsatisfactory status due to not meeting Minimum Standard Requirements AND had extenuating circumstances beyond your control (federal regulations specify these as ‘student illness or injury, or death of a relative’), you may submit an Appeal Request with official supporting documentation explaining the extenuating circumstances as described above. Appeals are not automatically approved and will ONLY be considered for extenuating circumstances.

If you did not have extenuating circumstances, your status will remain Unsatisfactory. You must successfully complete at least one semester of classes within your program without financial aid (other than the CCPG) and may request an appeal the following semester.

If your appeal is APPROVED, your status is Probation and you can receive financial aid; however it is not retroactive.

If your appeal is DENIED, you must successfully complete at least one semester without financial aid (other than the CCPG). You may request reinstatement the following semester.

6. Maximum Time Frame Requirements

Program Maximum Time Frame

  • Associate Degree or Transfer 90 Units attempted
  • Certificate of Achievement 45 Units attempted
  • Bachelor Degree or beyond has exceeded 90 units

Maximum Time Frame Exceptions

If you have reached the Maximum Time Frame for your program and have continuously met Minimum Standard Requirements but have classes remaining to meet your goal, you may appeal for an extension. NOTE: Extensions may not be granted for changes in majors or multiple degrees.

To be considered for an extension, you must meet with an academic counselor and obtain a My Academic Plan (MAP) that clearly states your academic goal, what remaining classes you need to obtain that goal and a completion date. Submit a copy of your MAP with a Maximum Time Frame Appeal form to the Student Financial Assistance and Scholarship Office. Students may be approved for a Maximum Time Frame Appeal only once while at Saddleback College.

If your appeal is APPROVED, your status will be Probation and you will be given a specific length of time to complete your program based on the MAP you submitted with your appeal.

While on Probation you must earn C's or better in all courses attempted, you may not receive any substandard grades and must complete 100% of all enrolled units, you must follow the courses outlined on your MAP and you must be enrolled in an eligible program of study throughout your extension period. If you do not, your status will be Unsatisfactory and you will no longer be able to receive aid (other than the CCPG) at Saddleback College.

If your appeal is DENIED, your status is Ineligible and you will no longer be able to receive aid (other than the CCPG) at Saddleback College.


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. You may only receive aid for up to 150% of your academic program. This is called your Maximum Time Frame. If you reach the Maximum Time Frame for your program you will be suspended from receiving federal financial aid.

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 Saddleback College.

General Stipulations:

  • All financial aid recipients are encouraged to have a MAP completed with an academic counselor. All prior units and degrees from other colleges will be counted as units attempted toward your Maximum Time Frame.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees: If you have a Bachelor’s degree and are interested in a student loan, you must complete the Maximum Time Frame Appeal process. If approved, your loan funding will be restricted to the units on your MAP.
  • Remedial and/or ESL Courses:If you are required to take remedial and/or ESL courses in order to meet your educational goal, your Maximum Time Frame can be extended. Up to 30 units can be deducted from the total units attempted when determining a student satisfactory academic progress.
  • 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.

Return of Title IV Funds

Title IV 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.

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 Saddleback College that must be repaid.


Title IV Refund Process

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 would 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 Direct Stafford Loans

• Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans

• Direct PLUS Loans

• Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required

• All other Federal Grants for which a Return of funds is required


Title IV Refund Repayment Policy

A bill will be sent with the amount due. You 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 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.

Scholarship Information

2019 -2020 Saddleback Foundation Scholarship Application - Currently Closed

Scholarship Applications Available for Download:

Live Your Dream Women’s Scholarship Opportunity 

Scholarship Links:

Scholarship Information Video

The following organizations provide reputable, free scholarship searches. Never pay someone to search for scholarships for you. Try these free services instead *.

Scholarship Fraud:

Scholarship fraud information is available at the FTC’s Scholarship Scams web site.

* These links will take you to a website not affiliated with Saddleback College and may offer different privacy policy and level of security. Saddleback College is not responsible for and does not endorse, guarantee, or monitor content, availability, viewpoints, products or services that are offered or expressed on other websites.

Drug Conviction

A student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds if the student has been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Federal Student Aid, for the period described below:

POSSESSION—If a student has been convicted

Only one time for possession of illegal drugs, the student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for one year after the date of conviction;

Two times for possession of illegal drugs, the student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for two years after the date of the second conviction; or

Three or more times for possession of illegal drugs, the student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for an indefinite period after the date of the third conviction.

SALE —If a student has been convicted …

Only one time for sale of illegal drugs, the student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for two years after the date of conviction; or

Two or more times for sale of illegal drugs, the student is ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for an indefinite period after the date of the second conviction.

REHABILITATION — If a student successfully completes a drug rehabilitation program after the student’s most recent drug conviction, the student regains eligibility on the date the student successfully completes the program.

A drug rehabilitation program is one which:

A. Includes at least two unannounced drug tests;

B. and the following,

  • Has received or is qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly under a Federal, State, or local government program;
  • Is administered or recognized by a Federal, State, or local government agency or court;
  • Has received or is qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a Federally or State-licensed insurance com­pany; or
  • Is administered or recognized by a Federally or State-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility after completing any of the following options:
  1. Successfully completing a rehabilitation program, as described below, which includes passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program);
  2. Having the conviction reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record; or
  3. Successfully completing two unannounced drug tests which are part of a rehab program (the student does not need to complete the rest of the program).

If you need more information regarding your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid, as it relates to this new law, please contact the SFASO in SSC-106

Nonresident Tuition Refund Policy

A request for all or partial refund of nonresident tuition may be made in any of the four categories listed below:

  1. Tuition fees collected in error. In such cases, 100 percent of the nonresident tuition will be refunded.
  2. Tuition fees refundable as a result of the cancellation of a class or some similar action on the part of the college, clearly beyond the control of the student and for which the fees have been paid. In cases of cancellation of a class, 100 percent of nonresident tuition will be refunded.
  3. Tuition fees refundable as a result of a student’s reduction of units through the second week of classes, according to the following schedule: 100 percent refund through the first two weeks of class. NO refund thereafter. Equivalent period will apply for less than full-semester classes.
  4. Tuition fees refundable as a result of a student’s total withdrawal­ are subject to the conditions of the law, “RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS,”

Tax Credits

College can be very expensive. To help students and their parents, the IRS offers the several ways to offset education costs. For more information, see Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, which can be obtained online at or by calling the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).


The Hope Scholarship

The credit provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,500 (40% refundable) per student based on the first $4,000 in postsecondary tuition, fees and course materials paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. The Hope Scholarship tax credit is 100% of the first $2,000 and 25% of the second $2,000. The tax credit is limited to the first four years of postsecondary education. The Hope Scholarship tax credit is also known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). The AOTC improvements to the Hope Scholarship will expire at the end of 2017.

The Lifetime Learning

This credit provides a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 per taxpayer based on the first $10,000 in postsecondary tuition and fees paid by the taxpayer during the tax year. The Lifetime learning tax credit is 20% of the first $10,000. The tax credit may be received for an unlimited number of years.


IRS Form 1098- T is used to determine eligibility for the tax credits referenced above.  To learn more about the process click here.

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Borrowers of federal and private education loans may deduct up to $2,500 in interest as an above-the-line exclusion from income. This deduction may be taken even if the taxpayer does not itemize.


To watch short video clips on Education Credits

To see a list of  Education Tax Benefits.


For students who have applied for financial assistance and have permission to register, you should be aware of the following conditions: Upon prior approval, a code will be placed in the registration system and your enrollment fees will be waived automatically. You will be required to pay the health fee, any lab fees, material fees and any optional fees. Fees waived by financial assistance will not be included in this total.

If you do not have a code in the system to waive your enrollment fees, you are not prevented from registering. HOWEVER, if you go ahead and enroll in classes, you will be required to pay ALL registration fees unless you exit the registration system and call the Student Financial Assistance/Scholarship Office.

Please note: The health fee is not waived through the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) (formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program).

IMPORTANT NOTE:Students must be determined eligible for the CCPG before the end of the semester in order to receive a reimbursement of the semester enrollment fees.