Promise Program FAQs

2021-2022 Saddleback College Promise Program Frequently Asked Questions

1.    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.

2.    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 (Amount TBD - 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 (Amount TBD)
  • ASB Stamp ($10 per semester)

3.    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.

4.    My parents make over $100,000 a year.  Should I even bother applying for the 2021-2022 Promise Program?

Yes. Our Promise Program does not have income requirements at this time.  To be eligible, students must submit the 2021-2022 FAFSA or the Dream Act application. Both of these applications are available on October 1, 2020. 

5.    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

6.    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 (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. 

7.    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. 

8.    I need to work full-time during the fall 2021 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.     

9.    Can my sibling apply too?

If your sibling meets Promise criteria, he/she may apply.

10.    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. 

11.    I had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) 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

12.    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 2021-2022 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.

    13.    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.

    14.    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. 

    15.    Can I be part of the Promise Program if I enroll in a certificate program, such as Cosmetology?

    Yes.  The Promise Program will cover tuition and material fees for your two years of college for certificate programs, such as Cosmetology. This does not include Occupational Skills Awards (OSAs), such as the Esthetician program.

    16.    I am having a difficult time completing the 2021-2022 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. 

    17.    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 Eligibility Appeal 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.

    18.    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 2021 to applicants that have met eligibility requirements regarding their acceptance into our 2021-2022 Promise Program. The program will continue to accept students through the spring and summer as program capacity allows.

    19.    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.