Promise Program FAQs

2022-2023 Saddleback College Promise Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have specific questions about the Promise Program and the eligibility requirements. Is there someone I can contact for assistance?
    • Yes, please email Erlynne Ballo, the Success Coach for the fall 2022 cohort, with your questions about the Promise Program.
  2. How do I apply for the Promise Program?
    • The Promise Program uses the Saddleback College application to verify your eligibility for our Program. If you have not already done so, you can submit a fall 2022 Saddleback College application.
  3. How and when will I know that I am in the Promise Program?
    • One of the main requirements for the Promise Program is to be enrolled as a full-time student for the fall 2022 semester. Official email notices accepting students to the program will not be sent until after fall 2022 registration, when the program can confirm a student's full-time enrollment.

      Prior to fall 2022 registration, students who meet all of the eligibility requirements, except for fall 2022 full-time enrollment, will receive a payment deferral. This payment deferral allows prospective Promise Program students to enroll into fall 2022 classes without submitting payment. Prospective Promise Program students will receive notification that they have a payment deferral in mid-April.

      Here is the timeline for prospective Promise Program students starting in fall 2022:

  4. Your flyer states that Saddleback College promises to pay for my “first two years of college.”  What exactly will be covered if I am accepted into this program? 

    If accepted to our Saddleback Promise program, Saddleback College will cover:
    • Enrollment fees (currently $46 per unit)
    • Required Material Fees (if any)
    • Required Field Study Fees (if any)
    • Required Student Health Fee ($20 per semester)
    • Textbook costs (up to $300 - Students are issued a textbook voucher that can only be used at the Saddleback Bookstore for rental or purchase of used or new required textbooks)
    • Incidental costs (up to $100)
    • ASB Stamp ($10 per semester)
    • SC Student Representation Fee ($2)
  5. Is there evidence that Promise Program students benefit from the rigor of the program?
    • Students in the Promise Program get better grades than students who are not in the program.  Also, due to the criteria of the program, Promise Program students successfully complete more courses, take more units, and are closer to graduating and/or transferring after one year in the program than other students population on campus.
  6. What does "first-time college student" mean? I have taken some college classes while still in high school. Would I be eligible for the Promise Program?
    • "First-time college student" refers to any student who has never before attended any college, including Saddleback, as a college student. If you have attended college after leaving/graduating high school, you would not be eligible for the Promise Program.

      If you took classes at Saddleback or any other college while you were still attending high school, you were considered a "Special K-12" student, meaning you were still primarily a high school student. Students who took college classes while still in high school (including Dual and Concurrent enrollment) are eligible for the Promise Program.
  7. What Educational Goals are supported by the Promise Program?

    Please make sure one of the four following Educational Goals is selected in your application.
    • Obtaining a 2-year degree without transfer
    • Earn a career technical certificate without transfer
    • Obtain an associate degree and transfer to a 4-year institution
    • Transfer to a 4-year institution without an associate degree
  8. I am a high school student and I am taking classes concurrently at Saddleback College. After I graduate, I want to start in the Promise Program at Saddleback in fall 2022, do I have to submit a new application for fall 2022?
    • No, you do not need to submit a new fall 2022 Saddleback College application. Please submit an Interest Form to make sure that you receive Promise Program email reminders for fall 2022.
  9. I will be graduating from high school early / I am taking the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) to leave high school before my senior year. Will I be eligible for the Saddleback College Promise Program?
    • Yes, as long as you don't take college classes at any college prior to the fall 2022 semester. You must still meet the "first-time college student requirement" to be a part of the Promise Program. If you begin taking classes at Saddleback or any other college in spring 2022 after you graduate from high school or complete the CHSPE, you are no longer considered a first-time college student.
  10. I am an undocumented/Dreamer student. Am I eligible for the Saddleback College Promise Program?
    • Yes, the Promise Program does accept students who are undocumented. Additionally, undocumented students do not need to qualify for DACA. After submitting the college application, undocumented students should apply for AB 540 Resident Status Exception in order to meet the Promise Program residency requirements.

      It is also recommended that undocumented students complete the CA Dream Act Application for financial aid before March 2, 2022. Although the Promise Program requires students to complete a financial aid application before April 1, 2022, completing the CA Dream Act Application before March 2, 2022 increases a student's chances of receiving other financial aid from the state.
  11. My parents make over $100,000 a year / My family does not qualify for state or federal financial aid. Should I even bother applying for the 2022-2023 Promise Program?
    • Yes. Our Promise Program does not have income requirements at this time.  To be eligible, students must submit the 2022-2023 FAFSA or the Dream Act application. Both of these applications are available on October 1, 2021. 
  12. How will I know if my Financial Aid File is complete or if I need to submit additional documents to the Financial Aid Office? 
    • After the Financial Aid Office receives a student's financial aid application from the FAFSA or the CA Dream Act program, the office notifies students via email if additional documents are required to complete that student's financial aid file. Official notices from the Financial Aid Office are sent to students' Saddleback email addresses, which is accessible through MySite.

      Students are able to view and submit their required additional documents to the Financial Aid Office via My Financial Aid Portal
  13. I received something called the California College Promise Grant. Does this mean I am accepted to the Saddleback College Promise Program? 
    • Not necessarily. Although the California College Promise Grant and the Saddleback College Promise Program have similar names, they are two different things.

      The California College Promise Grant or CCPG, formerly known as the Board of Governor's (BOG) Fee Waiver, is a type of financial aid that students qualify for through completion of their financial aid application. The CCPG waives the enrollment fees (currently $46/unit) that a student would usually pay during registration. The CCPG does not include the textbook voucher or other Promise Program benefits. Some student may qualify for the CCPG, but if they do not complete all other Promise eligibility requirements will not qualify for the Promise Program.

      To be part of the Promise Program, students are required to complete a financial aid application, in addition to meeting the other Promise eligibility requirements. Students do not have to qualify for any form of financial aid to be part of the Promise Program. A student can qualify for both the CCPG and the Saddleback College Program. 
  14. Will all applicants who meet your program requirements, be accepted into the Promise Program?
    • Space in the program is limited. Students who have met all eligibility requirements by the posted deadlines will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. 
  15. What does “conditional acceptance” mean?
    • Conditional acceptance means students are guaranteed the benefits of the Promise program as long as they register for at least 12 units before the registration deadline. Conditionally accepted Promise Program students will receive a payment deferral. This will allow them to register for classes without paying out-of-pocket. Failure to register in at least 12 units by the registration deadline will result in revocation of acceptance to the program. Registration deadline will be published in your conditional acceptance email.
  16. I need to work full-time during the fall 2022 semester and will not be able to enroll in 12 units.  How do I address this issue so that I can still participate in the Promise Program?
    • To be eligible for the Promise Program, you must be enrolled in 12 units or more to be eligible. Keep in mind that it typically takes 15 units/semester to finish within two years.
  17. My high school GPA is or was very low.  Are there any GPA requirements associated with the Promise Program? 
    • You are still eligible to apply for the Promise Program, however, you should be aware that to continue in the Promise Program during your second year of college, you will need to maintain a 2.0 GPA. 
  18. I had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or 504 plan in high school. Will I be able to get these same accommodations through the Promise Program Saddleback? 
    • The Saddleback College Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) office supports all students who have verified disabilities to access the accommodations they need to succeed at the college. To learn how to qualify for DSPS accommodations please visit their website at
  19. I am a student with a disability and I don't think I can manage taking 12 units in one semester. Is there a way that I can still be eligible for the Promise Program?
    • Yes, the Promise Program does admit students with verified accommodations, including reduced course loads. Please get in contact with the DSPS office to learn more about the accommodations that you may be eligible for at Saddleback College.
  20. I am not going to graduate from high school in June due to unit deficiency.  I plan to graduate in the summer.  Am I eligible for the Promise Program?
    • Students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be able to complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA or Dream Act application which is a requirement for the Promise Program. If you do not complete your High School Diploma or the equivalent by the end of the summer, you will not qualify for the Promise Program.
  21. I am eligible for book vouchers through other programs at Saddleback College.  Will I also get the textbook voucher through the Promise Program benefit?
    • No, with the exception of the EOPS/CARE program*. A requirement of the program is that the Promise students must access all other financial assistance for which they are eligible before accessing Promise benefits. If all of your textbook costs are covered by book vouchers from other Saddleback College programs, then you will not receive an additional textbook voucher for books from the Promise Program. 

      *If you are a student who is in the College Promise program and EOPS/CARE  Program you are required to completely spend your College Promise Book Voucher prior to utilizing your EOPS/CARE Book Voucher.
  22. I am enrolled in Saddleback’s Automotive Technology program that requires us to buy our automotive tools, costing up to $2,000.  If accepted into your Promise program, will the cost of these tools be covered by the program?
    • The Promise program will not cover the cost of these automotive tools. Students enrolled in our Automotive Technology program are not required to purchase automotive tools as a condition of enrollment.  Some students qualify for financial support to purchase tools via industry-supported scholarships or professional tools from industry suppliers. 
  23. *NEW Can I be part of the Promise Program if I enroll in the Cosmetology Program?
    • No, the Promise Program can no longer pay for the Cosmetology Program offered through Saddleback College. Please contact a counselor at 949-582-4572 for further questions.
  24. I am having a difficult time completing the 2022-2023 financial aid application.  Is there help available?
    • Yes.  The Financial Aid Office offers students support through Zoom Monday - Friday during their posted business hours. The Financial Aid Office also offers a series of workshops to assist students with their FAFSA or CA Dream Act applications. 
  25. I don’t meet all of the stated requirements for the Promise program. What can I do to be considered?
    • Eligibility requirements were established with the student’s success in mind. If you would like your case and specific circumstances taken into account, please complete our Promise Program Special Request Form. While your situation will be given full consideration, there are no guarantees that exceptions will be made. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
  26. When will I be notified that I have been officially accepted into the Saddleback College Promise Program?
    • Saddleback College will start sending out official notifications beginning in late May 2022 to applicants that have met eligibility requirements regarding their acceptance into our 2022-2023 Promise Program. The program will continue to accept students through the spring and summer as program capacity allows.
  27. I have a lot of questions regarding your Promise Program and can’t seem to find the answers I need on your Promise website.  Can I speak to a live person?
    • Yes. Please contact our office at (949) 348-6882 if you need additional assistance or need more information.
  28. Does the Promise Program pay for summer classes?
    • The Promise Program does not require students to attend summer classes nor does it cover summer school. Promise students wishing to attend summer school should contact the Financial Aid Office to see if they qualify for the California College Promise Grant or CCPG. The CCPG is a need-based form of financial aid that can cover summer tuition. See questions 13 for the difference between the CCPG and the Promise Program.