Financial Aid Student Handbook

The mission of the Financial Aid 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 Financial Aid 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 Financial Aid Office 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 Dream Act Application(Dream Act) or 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 Financial Aid Office, located in the Student Services Center/SSC 106 at Saddleback College:

Hours of Operation

Monday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Tuesday: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Wednesday: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Thursday: 8:00 to 5:00 pm

Friday: 8:30 am to 2:00 pm


Important Dates and Deadlines

January/February 2022: 2022-2023 FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms are available on the web.

January 21, 2022: Financial Aid Office begins disbursing Spring 2022 financial aid funds to awarded students.

February 17, 2022: Saddleback College Scholarship Application Deadline.

March 2022: Saddleback College Financial Aid Office to start sending out missing information letters for the 2022/2023 award year (Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023). Students may start to submit documentation for the 2022/2023 award year.

March 2, 2022: Cal Grant deadline for 2022 – 2023 award 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 Financial Aid Office for more information regarding the GPA Verification Form.

Early May, 2022: Students who have a complete financial aid file for the 2022-2023 award year to receive initial award letter notifications for the Fall 2022 semester.

May 1, 2022: Last day to submit a Loan Request Form to the Financial Aid Office in order to receive loan funds for the 2021/2022 award year.

June 30, 2022: Last day for students to submit a FAFSA application for the 2021/22 award year

July 1, 2022: Priority awarding date given to applicants who have filed the 2022-2023 FAFSA application by March 2 and have a complete financial aid file.

August  10, 2022: Last day for students to submit documentation on for the 2021/2022 award year 

Mid-August, 2022: Financial Aid Office begins disbursing Fall 2022 financial aid funds to awarded students.

September 2, 2022: Additional community college awards for Cal Grant deadline for 2022 – 2023 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 Financial Aid Office for more information regarding the GPA Verification Form.

November 2022: Saddleback College Scholarship Application to become available for the 2023-2024 award year.

October 1, 2022: Online FAFSA and Dream Act applications are available for the 2023 - 2024 award year


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 CADAA/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

Disclaimer: Please note not 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.  Dates listed are subject to change.

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


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

  • 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 Direct Loan Program

The Federal 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.

Please ensure you submit your request for a Federal Direct Loan by the deadline listed below: 

  • Fall 2022/Spring 2023 - November 21, 2022
  • Fall 2022 Only - November 21, 2022
  • Spring 2023 Only - May 1, 2023

*Late loan request may not be accepted to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

*Please note loans are not disbursed for Summer

Direct Loan Eligibility

To request a Federal Direct Loan, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submit all requested documentation.

  • You must be enrolled for 6 units at Saddleback College to be eligible for a loan
  • You must be meeting all Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
  • Complete ALL sections of the Federal Direct Loan Request Form (link below)
  • Please note the following documentation will be required (links are provided in the request form):
    • Master Promissory Note
    • Entrance Counseling
    • Government Issued ID 

Steps for requesting a Federal Direct Loan:

  1. Start the process by submitting the Direct Loan request form by the published deadline date.  Please log into your secure portal at Once logged in, click on "request" and then select the "loan request" option.
  2. Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Saddleback College at .
  3. Complete Entrance Counseling each year at
  4. Submit a photocopy of the front and back of your Driver’s License or valid government issued ID .

Tips on Borrowing Student Loans


Thumbnail of A Minute to Learn It - Borrowing Student Loans


Things to Know About Student Loans


Thumbnail of A Minute to Learn It - Federal Direct Student Loans for Undergrads

Subsidized Direct Loan

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.

Unsubsidized Direct Loan

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.

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.

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 deciding to borrow.

Only borrow what you need.  Make a budget for yourself to keep your debt within manageable limits. Budget your 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.

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




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 a loan:

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, 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

July 1, 2019

July 1, 2020 4.53 percent

4.53 percent

July 1, 2020
July 1, 2021 2.75 percent 2.75 percent
July 1, 2021 July 1, 2022

3.73  percent

3.73 percent

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2023 4.99 percent 4.99 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 borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

* 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.

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. You'll receive information about repayment, and your loan provider will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. Exit Counseling can be completed online at

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).

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. 

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.

 Please contact  the Student Loan Support Center at (800) 557- 7394 for assistance.


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

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).


Federal Pell Grants

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 bachelor's degree or professional degree. The maximum award varies each academic 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, regardless of completion of their selected program of study or Bachelor’s Degree.


Thumbnail of What is a Pell Grant?

Thumbnail of Can I receive a Pell Grant if I go to school year-round?

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

This is a federal grant program designed to assist students who are awarded a Pell Grant and demonstrate exceptional financial need.  You do not need to apply for FSEOG funds, all FAFSA applicants are automatically considered for this award. Funds are limited, and are awarded on a first come, first served basis.  Be sure to apply for financial aid as early as October 1st of each year for the upcoming academic year.


Thumbnail of What is an FSEOG?

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 Financial Aid Office will help you process your application, but the final decision rests with the BIA agency which serves you.

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 office 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  California Dream Act or 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 Dream Act/FAFSA application being submitted before March 2 , to be eligible 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.

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Cal Grant Program Information


General Cal Grant Requirements

  • submit the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria
  • be a California resident for 1 year
  • attend a qualifying California college
  • not have a bachelor’s or professional degree
  • have financial need at the college of your choice
  • have family income and assets below the minimum levels
  • be enrolled or plan to enroll in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
  • be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time
  • not owe a refund on any state or federal grant or be in default on a student loan
  • not be incarcerated
  • maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as established by the school. Recipients who do not meet the standards are ineligible for Cal Grant payment and will not use eligibility during the terms they are ineligible for payment.


Cal Grant A

  • Provides grant funds to help pay tuition and fees at qualifying institutions offering degree programs of at least two years in length.
  • Does not pay at a California Community College (CCC). The awards are held in CCC Reserve status and are renewed for up to two consecutive years while attending a CCC. Your Cal Grant funds may become available to you when you   transfer to a Cal Grant eligible 4‐  year college if you meet all the renewal requirements at the time of transfer.


Cal Grant B 

  • Provides   grant   funds  to   help   pay   for   your tuition,  student  fees   and  other   educational costs in a for‐  credit instructional program of not less than one academic year in length.
  • Provides funds for access costs each year such as living expenses, transportation, supplies and books.
  • Pays tuition and fees for students attending a Cal Grant eligible 4‐year college, beginning in  their second year. 
  • Pays access costs at a California Community College until you transfer to a tuition/fee‐charging school and become eligible for both tuition/fees and access costs.


Cal Grant C

  • Provides   grant   funds  to   help   pay   for   books, tools, and equipment for students pursuing at vocational, technical, or career education not less than four months in length.  
  • Provides tuition and fees at a private college.

Other Grant Information Awarded by the State of California


Cal Grant Contact Information

If you have questions about financial aid call us toll free at (888) CA GRANT (888-224-7268), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., or e-mail

Cal Web Grants Account

To access your WebGrants account, please go to

  • Understand and manage your Cal Grant award.
  • Update your address or school of attendance. The California Student Aid Commission communicates with students using their e‐mail address on file so it is critical that you keep this information updated.
  • Post a leave of absence.
  • Allow a third party (such as a parent or guardian) access to your Cal Grant information.
  • Satisfy outstanding requirements.




California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

Thumbnail of What is the California College Promise Grant?
The California College Promise Grant - CCPG- (formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver) waives your course enrollment fee ($46/unit) if you are a California resident, and if one of the following conditions applies to you when you enroll:

  • You are qualified for federal financial aid during the same academic year for which you are seeking a CCPG and have $1104.00 of need.
  • You or your parent(s) are receiving TANF/Cal WORKS benefits, SSI or General Assistance at the time that you apply for the CCPG - A. You will be required to provide documentation to show participation in one of these programs.
  • You fall into the qualifying income bracket as determined by filling out a CCPG - B application. The CCCApply will process your application and notify you if you qualify.
  • You qualify according to one of these groups:
    • Certification from the CA Department of Veterans Affairs that you are eligible for a dependent's fee waiver.
    • Certification from the National Guard Adjutant General that you are eligible for a dependent's fee waiver.
    • Certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs that you are eligible as a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor or as a child of a recipient.
    • Certification form the CA Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board that you are eligible as a dependent of a victim of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
    • Certification from a public agency employer that you are eligible as a dependent of a deceased law enforcement/fire suppression personnel killed in the line of duty.



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 expenses such as childcare, transportation and rent!

You must be enrolled in a:

  • Vocational school or college that is Title IV-eligible
  • Enrolled at least half time
  • Enrolled in a program that is at least one academic year

*And you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress*

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a current or former foster youth*
  • Not have reached your 26th birthday as of July 1 of the award year
  • Not have participated in the program for more than 5 years (whether or not consecutive)

*To qualify, foster youth dependency of the court must have been established between the ages of 16 and 18. KinGap youth who are or were eligible to receive Independent Living Program services, guardian placements and voluntary placements may not be eligible for the California Chafee Grant unless court dependency was established between the ages of 16 and 18.

To apply, you must:


1. Complete the California Dream Act  or Free Application for Federal Student Aid  application for the current academic year.


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

For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

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Keep Up to Date With Your Chafee Grant Status on WebGrants4Students:

To access your WebGrants account, please go to to set up your account.
Access information and manage your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also update your e-mail address, mailing address, telephone number, or school of attendance.

Find out more about the Chafee Grant and other services for foster youth:

You can also visit the following websites:


Employment as Student Help

Anyone interested in working as a student aide may check Handshake for job postings. The Financial Aid Office assists students who are interested in and eligible for Federal Work Study positions. To see if you qualify for Federal Work Study, please stop by the Financial Aid Office in SSC 106 for further information.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

To view our SAP Policy in detail click here

                                                      Thumbnail of 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 2022 -  December 12, 2022

Spring 2023 -  May 24, 2023

Summer 2023 -  August 11, 2023

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.

To view our SAP Policy in detail click here


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. 

Overpayment Policy


Saddleback College Financial Aid Office continuously makes every effort to work with students and families to ensure information is accurate for financial aid eligibility determination. At times, information will come in from other sources that would change the financial aid eligibility for the student. In the cases where financial aid is already disbursed, the student can be in an overpayment situation. In an overpayment situation, the Financial Aid Office will determine the difference and notify the student. Saddleback College will repay the federal or state agency on behalf of the student. The student will then be obligated to repay the difference to the college.

The Financial Aid Office will place a hold in MySite which will prevent the student from registering in or dropping classes. This hold will not impact a student’s ability to obtain transcripts, transfer to another institution, or receive additional financial aid assuming the student meets all eligibility requirements. Outstanding debts with the college are not deducted from a student’s future financial aid disbursements. Students are required to repay the college via cash, cashier’s check, or money order.

To ensure compliance with Article XVI, Section 6 of the California Constitution, Saddleback College Financial Aid Office will request repayment of any funds disbursed to a student in error, which was repaid to the issuing agency using District liability funds. Every effort is made to avoid errors when disbursing financial aid to students. However, in cases where financial aid is disbursed to a student in error, when required to do so, Saddleback College will repay the issuing agency using District funds and will notify the student of their obligation to repay their outstanding debt with Saddleback College within 30 days of repaying the funds to the issuing agency. To view this policy please open the PDF.

Return of Title IV Funds

Title IV Refund Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraws from all courses prior to completing more than 60% of the semester. Students who withdraw from all courses prior to completing more than 60% of the semester will have their financial aid eligibility recalculated based on the percentage of the semester completed and will be required to pay any unearned financial aid that may have been received in accordance with Return to Title IV guidelines. Student's who receive all W's, F's, FW's, EW's or a combination of W's, F's, FW's or EW's" are assumed to have completely withdrawn. 

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

Financial aid recipients earn the aid originally received by remaining in the courses in which they were paid for. The amount of federal assistance earned is based on a pro-rated system in accordance with federal regulations, 34 CFR 668.22. Saddleback College is required to perform this calculation within 30 days of the date the school learns that a student has completely withdrawn. The school must return Title IV funds for which it is responsible within 45 days of the date of determination. The R2T4 calculation is completed automatically by the Financial Aid Office.

The following explains the formula used to determine the percentage of unearned aid to be returned to the federal government:

• The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the payment period.
• The percent of unearned funds is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.
• Scheduled breaks in course attendance, based on the academic calendar, of 5 days or longer are not included in the total number of days for the payment period.

Institutional scholarship funds, Federal Work Study and Cal Grant funds are not subject to the R2T4 policy.

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 your certificate or degree 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.

Our full Return to Title IV Policy is available here.


Scholarship Information

Click to apply for Saddleback College Foundation Scholarship Application

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Drug Conviction

Drug convictions no longer affect federal student aid eligibility. When you complete the FAFSA form, you will be asked whether you had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid. If the answer is yes, you will be provided a worksheet. Please do answer the questions on the worksheet; however, your answers won’t affect your federal student aid eligibility.

If I’m incarcerated, can I get federal student aid?

If you are in a federal or state institution

-you can’t get a Federal Pell Grant or federal student loans

-you can get a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS), but you probably won’t because

  • priority for FSEOGs must be given to those students who also will receive a Federal Pell Grant (for which you’re not eligible), and because

  • the logistical difficulties of performing an FWS job while incarcerated would likely be too great for you to be awarded FWS funds

If you are in an institution other than a federal or state institution

-you can’t get federal student loans

-you can get a Federal Pell Grant

-you can get FSEOG and FWS, but you probably won’t because

  • schools are limited in the amount of FSEOG funds available, and because

  • the logistical difficulties of performing an FWS job while incarcerated would likely be too great for you to be awarded FWS funds

Once you’re released, most eligibility limitations will be removed. In fact, you may apply for aid before you’re released so your aid is processed in time for you to start school. However, if you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense, your eligibility may be limited.

If I’m on probation or parole, can I get federal student aid?

Yes; if you are on probation or parole or living in a halfway house, you may be eligible for federal student aid. But remember, if you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense, your eligibility may be limited.


What other convictions might affect my aid?

If you have been convicted of a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense, and you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for that offense, you cannot receive a .



If you need more information regarding your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid, as it relates to this new law, please contact the Financial Aid Office 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 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 aid and have been given a registration date, 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 aid will not be included in your total upon checkout in MySite.

If you have not applied for financial aid or you do not qualify for financial aid you will not have a code in the system to waive your enrollment fees but you are not prevented from registering. However, if you go ahead and enroll in classes, you will be required to pay all registration fees. Students are strongy encouraged to submit a FAFSA or Dream Act application as early as possible so their fees can be waived. If you submit your FAFSA or Dream Act application after you register and pay for your classes and are determined eligible for the CCPG, you will receive a refund for your enrollment fees.

Please stop by the Financial Aid Office in SSC 106 for additional support.

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.