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Maps, Directions & Parking
Find Your Way to Cañada College and Around Campus

Class Schedule
A Complete List of Classes


Frequently Asked Questions

Message to the Student

Financial aid is money for college. It is provided by taxpayers in order to make sure that everyone who wants a college education has the financial ability to pay for college expenses. Taxpayers contribute to financial aid because helping people with the cost of education guarantees a strong economic future for the country and provides a higher quality of life for the educated individual.

Financial aid is also a partnership between you, the student, and Cañada College. If you receive financial aid, it is expected you will treat your education with the same kind of responsibility that you would a job. You must enroll in courses needed to complete your chosen program, work hard at learning, and move responsibly toward successful completion of your educational goal.

Most financial aid is awarded to students based on demonstrated need. The financial aid application process is set up to measure in a fair way how much each individual student needs. Many of the rules associated with receiving financial aid have been developed to make sure you, as a student, are treated fairly and also to guarantee you take your share of responsibility in the partnership.

These on-line resources provide information about the financial aid services at Cañada College. Please read carefully so you become familiar with the process of applying for financial aid, know what programs are available, and understand what you must do to remain eligible.

We understand that the rules that govern the financial aid programs are often confusing. Our Financial Aid Office staff is available to answer your questions and provide special assistance if and when you need it. Please let us know if you, a friend, or a family member need assistance as a non-English speaking student. We have Spanish-speaking staff and provide information in other languages. We will be happy to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a foster youth or former foster youth?
What is financial aid?
How do I apply for financial aid?
What are the deadlines?
What kinds of financial aid can I receive?
How is my eligibility determined?
What if I have special circumstances?
When and how do I find out how much financial aid I will receive?
How and when will I actually receive my financial aid?
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
What if I drop classes or withdraw from Cañada College?
What is return of Title IV?
Rights and Responsibilities
Where do I find out about other types of assistance?
Other Information/Websites


If you are/were in foster care or another court ordered out of home placement between your 16th and 18th birthday, you may be eligible for up to $5,000 of additional grant assistance through the Chafee Grant. To learn more about this special grant and to apply on-line go to or contact the Cañada College Foster Youth Liaisons, Margie Carrington, Director of Financial Aid Services at (650) 306-3307 or Soraya Sohrabi, Transfer Service Coordinator and Counselor at (650) 306-3493. We look forward to assisting you through the process and being part of your support system at Cañada College. A completed FAFSA is also required for the same aid year. Please contact us even if you were not formally placed in foster care but have similar support challenges in going to college. We are here to help and to connect you with all available resources.

Check out these other resources for foster youth and former foster youth:

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Financial Aid is money for college available in the form of grants (gift aid), fee waivers, work-study (jobs earned for on or off campus work awarded as part of a students total financial aid award), scholarships (both need and merit based), and loans which need to be repaid. To demonstrate need, students must file a FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

You may use your financial aid to pay for school fees and tuition, books, transportation, room and board, and other educationally related costs you have as a student while attending Cañada. Students must be enrolled at Cañada to receive all types of financial aid. An exception can be made if the student will take at least six (6) units at Cañada and three (3) or more units at another school outside of the San Mateo County Community College District. Contact the Financial Aid Office and request approval for a Consortium Agreement. Financial aid is provided by the Federal government, the State of California, and by Cañada College for students who attend this college.

Student Eligibility . . .

To be considered eligible for and receive Federal and most State financial aid, an applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen (permanent resident, resident alien, refugee, asylee). NOTE: The Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW) has a less restrictive residency requirement for non U.S. citizens
  • Be enrolled or eligible for enrollment at Cañada College
  • Have completed the matriculation process which involves testing, placement, college orientation, counseling and completion of a Student Educational Plan (SEP) with a Counselor
  • Be enrolled in a degree, certificate, or eligible transfer program in a declared major as defined in the Student Educational Plan
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress according to financial aid policy
  • Have financial need as determined through the results from the FAFSA
  • Not be in default on a Federal student loan or owe a repayment on a Federal student grant
  • Have a high school diploma, a GED (General Equivalency Diploma), their equivalent, or demonstrate an ability to benefit from the course of study selected based on an assessment test score or successful comletion of at least 6.0 credit hours of college course work
  • Be registered with the Selective Service unless not required to register
  • Supply an accurate Social Security Number and name if applying for Federal Aid

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All financial aid applicants must complete certain forms. Most application forms must be completed once each award year. Some students may be required to complete and submit more forms than others depending on their individual circumstances. Application materials and instructions are available in the Financial Aid Office in January preceding each award year. An award year consists of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. The following is a list of required forms:


All applicants for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application may be completed on-line (strongly recommended) or paper applications in English and Spanish are available in the Financial Aid Office. The FAFSA collects the financial information of the student and/or parents/spouse. When the FAFSA is completed and sent to the Federal processor, the eligibility determining formula is applied to this information and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated. The product of this application is a Student Aid Report (SAR) with the EFC shown on the front page of the report. The SAR is sent to the student by email unless the student files a paper application and does not provide an email address. In this case, a paper SAR will be mailed to the address provided by the student on the FAFSA. Students who file on-line will receive an electronic copy of their SAR. It is the student’s responsibility to check the report for accuracy. Errors are generally easy to fix but can delay processing of a student’s aid. Please feel free to have us review your SAR with you if you are unsure.


In the second or subsequent year(s) of application, you may submit a Renewal FAFSA on-line only. The Renewal FAFSA contains prior year data and asks the student to update the information from the previous year. You must use your Federal PIN to access your processed FAFSA. 


The SAR is your notification that the FAFSA has been processed. When you receive the SAR, it must be checked for accuracy. Processing the on-line FAFSA normally takes a few days up to a week and the paper FAFSA from four to six weeks.


Students transferring to Cañada College from a college or trade school outside of the San Mateo County Community College District are requested to provide current official academic transcripts from all prior schools to the Cañada College Admissions and Records Office. Only lower-division coursework with A, B, C, D, Pass, or Credit grades are transferred and counted towards your financial aid maximum time-frame. You should meet with your counselor as early as possible to determine which previous coursework can be applied to your current educational goal.


Students who do not have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent must demonstrate "Ability to Benefit" from higher education.  To do this you may take an assessment test referred to as an Ability to Benefit (ATB) to make sure they are able to benefit from attending college and have sufficient academic preparedness to be successful in achieving their educational goal. If you are required to take an ATB Assessment, you will be referred to the Cañada College Assessment Office, Building 9-110 or call (650) 306-3178 to schedule the assessment. There is an ATB for those proficient in English and one for students not yet proficient in English. The test proctor will help you select the correct assessment.

A second option for determining Ability to Benefit is by completing 6.0 units or more of degree-applicable coursework at an eligibile Title IV school with C or better grades.  If those units are completed outside of the San Mateo County Community College District, official transcripts must be provided as indicated above under "Academic Transcripts".


A minimum of thirty percent of all student financial aid applications are subject to verification. If you are selected for verification, your SAR will note this with both an asterisk (*) to the right of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and as a comment to read. You will be required to submit additional information after the SAR data is received and reviewed by the Cañada College Financial Aid Office. Some forms that may be requested are as follows:

  • Verification Worksheet (for Dependent or Independent students)
  • IRS - 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, e-File or Verification of Non-filing Status
  • INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) documents to verify eligible non-citizen status
  • Verification of Selective Service registration
  • Your Social Security Card
  • An Income Certification Form
  • DD 214 - To verify status as a veteran

The Financial Aid Office will notify you if any of these or other documents are required to complete your file. All of these other forms are to be submitted directly to the Cañada College Financial Aid Office. DO NOT MAIL THEM TO THE FEDERAL PROCESSOR WITH YOUR FAFSA!

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  • March 2 – Cal Grant Deadline (for Entitlement and Competitive Award Cycle)
  • March 2 – Cañada College Scholarship Application Deadline
  • May 1 – Priority Financial Aid Application Deadline for Campus-based Funds (FSEOG and FWS)
  • June 30 – Last day to file FAFSA for previous award year (ex: June 30, 2012 is last day to apply for 2011-12 FAFSA)
  • September 2 – Cal Grant Community College Award Cycle


You may file your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA anytime after January 1 for the next aid year (example: January 1, 2011 for the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters). Because financial aid funds are limited in the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS), your FAFSA should be completed no later than May 1 so that you are considered for these two programs as eligible. If funds remain after awarding students who have completed files by this date, the Financial Aid Office will continue to make awards on a first-come, first-served basis.

March 2 is the priority deadline for the Cal Grant Program. A second deadline of September 2, each year exists only if you will be attending a California Community College at that time. You must submit a FAFSA AND send a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission if you wish to be considered for a Cal Grant. The GPA Verification Form is usually verified by the last school you attended. Students who have completes at least 16.0 units of degree applicable course work at Cañada College will have their Cal Grant GPA submitted electronically.

For financial aid funds that are not limited, such as Federal Pell Grants, the FAFSA can be filed any time during the award year. The filing deadline for a FAFSA for Federal Pell Grant for the 2010-11 award year is June 30, 2011.

The Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW) deadline is the last date of the semester for which the BOGFW is being requested. A BOGFW may be retroactive for a prior term of enrollment during an award year if you apply after school begins.

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There are several kinds of financial aid resources available including waivers, grants, work study and loans. Waivers and grants do not have to be repaid; a waiver offsets a fee that you would normally have to pay and a grant is gift aid that you receive that you can use to pay for your college-related expenses including cost of living needs.  Work-study is need-based employment that allows you to work on-campus or in certain off campus jobs and earn money while a student.  Loans are borrowed funds that you agree to repay after you graduate or stop attending at least half time.  Students are encouraged to seek out other options first, including scholarships or borrowing from family and friends (if an option) before requesting a loan.


The State of California offers a BOGFW for students who are residents of the State of California and who are eligible for need-based financial aid. The BOGFW pays for your enrollment fee for the academic year once eligibility has been determined. Other fees, such as the health, materials, parking, student body, and student representation fees must be paid by you.

It is strongly recommended that you complete the FAFSA for the BOGFW program to see if you are eligible for additional financial assistance. BOGFW-only applications are available on-line through WebSMART and in the Financial Aid Office. You must be admitted to Cañada College before you can access WebSMART. Eligibility for a BOGFW may be determined under less strict dependency criteria than federal funding requires (example: a 19 year old student who is unmarried and does not support anyone may be considered independent for the BOGFW if s/he was not claimed on the parent’s federal income tax during the previous year and no longer lives with a parent).

There are four types of BOGFW:

BOGFW-A: If you are independent, to be eligible you must be currently receiving TANF, CALWORKS, General Assistance, or SSI/SSP, or if you are dependent, your parent(s)must be currently receiving any of these types of assistance

BOGFW-B: To be eligible, you must meet the State defined Income Limits OR have a "0" EFC on your Student Aid Report. The 2014-15 income standards listed below are based on income for the 2013 tax year. If you are independent, use your income (and spouse’s) only from 2013. If you are dependent, use your parents' income only from 2013:

Family Size Total 2013 Income
1 $17,235 or less
2 $23,265 or less
3 $29,295 or less
4 $35,325 or less
5 $41,355 or less
6 $47,385 or less
7 $53,415 or less
8 $59,445 or less

**Add $6,030 for each additional dependent.

BOGFW-C: Qualify based on $1104 or more of need determined by the FAFSA application.
Note: EOP&S require either BOGFW A or B eligibility to receive their services.

BOGFW – Special Classification

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may be eligible for a fee waiver under the Special Classification guidelines. Certification is provided by various agencies. Please contact the Cañada College Financial Aid Office for assistance.

  • Eligible dependent of deceased or disabled veteran
  • Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor or dependent
  • Dependent of California National Guard
  • Dependent of victim of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack
  • Dependent of deceased California law enforcement/fire suppression personnel killed in the line of duty

Apply for the on-line Board of Governors Fee-Waiver (WebSMART >> Apply for a Fee Waiver)



Students who have not attained a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent are automatically considered for a Federal Pell Grant when they file the FAFSA. If you receive an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 5273 or less on the Student Aid Report (SAR) you may be eligible for a Federal Pell award (provided you meet other eligibility requirements). Less than half-time students have a much lower EFC cut-off to be eligible for a grant. Awards for students are prorated based on enrollment status:
• Full-time 12 or more units
• Three-quarter time 9 - 11.5 units
• Half-time 6 - 8.5 units
• Less than half .5 - 5.5 units
Awards range from: $400 to $5,550. File now, don’t wait!


The SMART grant is a federal grant program that provides funding for students during their junior and senior year at a four-year college or university. Students attending community college are not eligible for this grant but may be when they transfer. Students must meet the following eligibility criteria:
• U.S. citizens
• Recipient of a Federal Pell Grant
• In their third or fourth year of undergraduate study pursuing a degree in math, science, technology or certain foreign languages
• Enrolled full-time (12 units)
• Have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average for each quarter or semester

Maximum Annual Award: $4,000
Eligible majors are determined by the U.S. Department of Education as those fields of study that are critical to national security.


FSEOG is a grant award made to students with exceptional need. Because funds are limited, students who apply early and are eligible for Federal Pell Grant receive first priority consideration for FSEOG. Students are automatically considered for FSEOG when they complete the FAFSA or the Cañada Supplemental Application by the May 1 priority date. Awards for less than full-time (12 units) are prorated based on enrollment level.

Awards range from: $400 to $800

Priority application date: May 1, 2011 for the 2011-12 award year


Cal Grants are for California residents only. They are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission for attendance in schools in California only. Awards are based on financial need and academic performance. If eligible for a Cal Grant A, this grant is put on reserve while attending a California community college as a Cal Grant eligible resident of this State is not charged tuition. Cal Grant A will pay for tuition charges only. The Cal Grant B is awarded to college students who have limited income and meet the State defined standards of disadvantageness. Cal Grant C is awarded to students enrolled in vocational programs. Students who appear to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant C will receive a supplemental form to complete. You must file the FAFSA AND submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2. Many schools submit the Cal Grant GPA Verification for their students – please check and make sure or file the form yourself after having your school complete the GPA verification section.

There is a second award deadline for California Community College on September 2 each year. If awarded a Cal Grant, you must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units) to receive your grant. Awards for less than full-time (12 units) are prorated based on enrollment level.

Maximum awards for students attending community college are:
Cal Grant B $1,551
Cal Grant C $ 576

The Cal Grant A and Cal Grant T are for students attending 4-year colleges and universities. For additional information about these programs, please go to the California Student Aid Commission and review Commission Programs. Awards currently funded up to $9,708 for 2010-11 for actual tuition costs.


The Chafee Grant provides up to $5,000 per year to current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training or college courses. The Chafee Grant does not have to be paid back and you can use it for any of your cost of living or school expenses. The Chafee Grant Program, also known as the Education and Training Voucher (ETV), is a federally funded program and is subject to availability of federal funds each year. Each state has its own ETV, in California, it is called the Chafee Grant. To be eligible for a Chafee, you must have been in foster care for at least one day between your 16th and 18th birthday, be enrolled in at least 6.0 units (half time) and have not yet reached your 22rd birthday by July 1st of the award year.

Maximum Annual Award: $5,000


EOPS is a State-funded program that provides book vouchers, grants, support services, and limited transportation services to high-need, educationally disadvantaged students who are California residents. Students must complete either the FAFSA or the BOGFW for consideration. Final eligibility for EOPS and CARE (Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education) is determined and coordinated through the EOPS Office. Call 306-3300 for more information.


Federal Work Study is need-based student employment funded by the federal government. Students must be enrolled at Cañada each semester in which they plan to work though summer employment may be acceptable for non-enrolled students so long as they intend to enroll in the following fall term. Students are limited to 20 hours of work per week while school is in session. Students who file the FAFSA by May 1 each year and indicate they are interested in a Federal Work Study job are given first priority. An Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 6,000 or less and a completed financial aid file are required for FWS placement. Students who work in FWS positions are paid for the previous month’s work on the 15th of the following month. Hourly wages range from $8.50 to $14.25 per hour depending upon the specific skills and abilities required for each job. The total you may earn depends on the amount of your award. Generally, Federal Work Study awards range from $3,000 - $5,000 per year and are dependent upon remaining unmet need in your overall Cost of Attendance and the number of hours your are able to work. Students have the option of working off campus as reading or math tutors.

Maximum Annual Award: $1,000 - $5,000

Priority application date: May 1, 2011


Direct Stafford Loans are financial aid funds that the student repays after completing a program of study or stops going to school. Educational loans have moderate interest rates and an extended repayment period, which makes them easier to repay than most non-educational loans and other forms of credit. But because loans must be repaid from future earnings, Cañada College recommends that students use all other possible resources first and borrow only when it is absolutely necessary. Students who are planning to transfer to four-year colleges should be aware that loans are often the largest portion of a financial aid package at those colleges and should consider total educational indebtedness before borrowing at the community college level. Students may request a loan by completing the FAFSA and a Loan Request Form. Maximum Annual Award: $100 - $10,500

The Direct Stafford Loan Program offers the following types of loans:
Subsidized: for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods.
Unsubsidized: not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

Students who are enrolled in at least six units and who demonstrate financial need through the financial aid application process can have the interest paid on Direct Subsidized Loans by the Federal government while they are in school. Students who do not demonstrate need may obtain a Direct Unsubsidized Loan; interest will be charged directly to the student. Interest on unsubsidized loans starts to accrue at the time of disbursement.
Loan Application Accepted: Through November 15 for fall term; Through May 20 for spring term; Through July 15 for summer term

Entrance Counseling: First-time student loan borrowers are required by federal law to participate in student loan counseling prior to receiving their first Direct Stafford Loan. This counseling is conducted online, and normally takes less than 30 minutes to complete. To complete Entrance Counseling for Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, go to; you will need:
20-30 minutes to complete
Your Federal Student Aid PIN (if you do not have a Federal Student Aid PIN, please visit the PIN site)
School Name (Cañada College)

Master Promissory Note (MPN) If you have never borrowed through the Direct Stafford Loan Program before, you are required to complete a Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note and can do so through the online process at

Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you will receive a 6-month grace period on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans during which you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.

If you have an in-school deferment on a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan that entered repayment at an earlier date (before you returned to school) and you graduate, drop below half-time
enrollment, or withdraw from school, you will be required to immediately begin making payments on the loan because the 6-month grace period has already been used up; there is no second grace period. Make sure that both your school and loan servicer know that you are no longer enrolled. If you don't begin making payments when required, there is the possibility that you will lose repayment incentives you may have received or even go into default.

Exit Counseling: Cañada College is required to ensure that you receive exit counseling before you graduate or withdraw. If you have federal student loans disbursed through Cañada College, you will be asked to complete exit counseling each year while enrolled at least half-time and then again once you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or withdraw from school. Please complete exit counseling through the National Student Loan Data System for Students (NSLDS) website.

For complete loan Exit Counseling information, please download and read the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide. Refer to this resource often.

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There are four basic steps used to determine how much financial aid you may receive:


Expected family contribution is the amount of money you and/or your family, if you are dependent, can realistically be expected to contribute toward your educational cost while you are in school. The EFC is calculated from the FAFSA information you submit to the Federal processor when you apply for financial aid. Your family contribution is based on the financial information you supply for you and your family. This contribution is subtracted from your financial aid budget when determining the amount of your award. If you are considered an Independent Student, only your information (and your spouse's, if you are married) is used to calculate the expected family contribution. If you are a Dependent Student, your parents' income information is also used.

You are considered an Independent Student if any one of the following applies to you:

  • You are at least 24 years old, or
  • You are married, or
  • You have legal dependents of your own, or
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
  • Possess a Bachelor's Degree, or
  • You were in foster care or a ward of the court as of your 18th birthday or both of your parents are deceased.

You are considered a Dependent Student and must supply information about your parents on your FAFSA if none of the conditions above apply to you.

Dependency Override: There are circumstances for which the Financial Aid Office at Cañada College can make exceptions to the dependency status of the student. There must be a compelling reason to request that this be done. Unusual circumstances, such as parental abuse or a severing of the relationship between the parent and student, are the typical reasons exceptions are made. If you believe that your particular circumstance merits review for a dependency status change, please complete the Request for Dependency Status Change form. Documentation of the circumstances must be provided for the request to be considered.


A standard student budget is developed for all financial aid recipients based on average costs associated with attending Cañada College. Average student costs for categories in the budgets are developed using annual survey information provided by the California Student Aid Commission, the Chancellor's Office for California Community Colleges, and surveys conducted on behalf of the Financial Aid Office.

Student budgets are developed for four categories of students:
1. Students who are Independent are assigned an Away from Home Budget (assumed to be self-supporting)
2. Students who are Dependent are assigned an At Home budget (assumed not to be fully self-supporting as parent income is required on FAFSA)
3. Students who are not residents of California
4. Students who attend less than half time (Less than half-time budgets are used to determine Pell eligibility only.


  At Home
with Parent
Away from Home (Self-Supporting) Away from Home (Out of State) Less than half time
Books $1,638 $1,638 $1,638 $1,260
Room & Board $4,664 $11,160 $11,160  
Transportation $1,470 $1,470 $1,470 $1,440
Personal Expense $2,772 $2,664 $2,664  
Enrollment/Health Fees $1,008 $1,008 $1,008 + $5,348 Non-Res Tuition $312
Total $11,532 $17,940 $29,112 $3,012

BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS are automatically made to add tuition for non-resident students and additional fees for students when applicable. You may request an adjustment to your budget when you have additional expenses related to your education (e.g. a computer, childcare, uninsured medical or dental expenses, supplies or tools required for a program, disability expenses which are not paid for by another agency) that exceed the basic book and supply allowance.


When the Financial Aid Office has determined an accurate expected family contribution, the family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from your standard student budget. The result is the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

YOUR COSTS (per budgets shown above)


When your financial aid eligibility has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will first offer any grant funds you are eligible to receive in your award package. If there is remaining eligibility, you applied by the priority date and indicated you would accept work, you will be offered Federal Work Study.

As funds are limited, it is often not possible to meet the full financial need of a student with the aid available at Cañada College.

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The process of determining eligibility for financial aid uses standard formulas and standard student budgets. The Financial Aid Office recognizes that some students have unusual, special circumstances that may not be evident in the standard process of determining eligibility. Students with special circumstances are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office for review of their financial aid package based on those individual circumstances. Students should complete the Unusual Circumstances Request form and attach receipts or other documentation of unusual circumstances.

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The Financial Aid Office normally begins notifying students who meet the May 2 priority application date of the amounts and types of their awards during late spring or early summer. Applications received after the priority date are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Award notification normally takes between one to two weeks from the time the student's application file is complete in the Financial Aid Office.


Please note that eligibility for Cal Grant B or C, and other scholarships, would be in addition to these sample award packages. Because most financial aid awards are need-based, your total award package cannot exceed your total financial need. Sometimes award funds are reduced or adjusted so that you receive no more than your total financial need. It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office to first reduce Federal Work-Study awards, then FSEOG awards, if applicable, to prevent a student being over-awarded.

Awards as shown below reflect offers made based on a full year, full-time enrollment. Because the funds for FWS and FSEOG are limited, early applicants with high need will have the first option for funding from those funds.

Full Year Awards At Home with Parent Self Supporting
  High Need or 0 EFC Moderate Need High Need or 0 EFC Moderate Need
Pell $5,550 $2,155 $5.550 $2,155
FSEOG $400 $0 $800 $0
BOGFW $728 $728 $728 $728
FWS $3,000 $3,000 $5,000 $5,000
Total Financial Aid Award $9,478 $5,883 $11,878 $7,763

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The amount of financial aid you receive may be different than your award depending on how many units you are enrolled in. Your actual enrollment is verified at the time a disbursement of financial aid is requested and you will be paid accordingly.


The mail check disbursements for each term are scheduled twice a semester. The first half of your Federal Pell and FSEOG are paid at the beginning of the semester or within two weeks of awarding. The second payment is made approximately 4 weeks in to the semester. Checks are sent to your mailing address. Be sure your address is current with the Financial Aid Office and the Admissions Office.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) checks are produced by the Payroll Office once a month based on hours worked in the previous month. You must submit a timesheet for the previous month's hours to be paid for the hours you work.


You will be required to present one type of photo ID (Student ID, California driver's license or California Identification Card) anytime you inquire about your financial aid award in-person or are approved for a special circumstance to pick-up your check. No personally identifiable information will be released over the telephone.

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Federal and State financial aid regulations require Cañada College (Cañada), to establish, publish and apply qualitative, quantitative and incremental standards by which Cañada can determine whether a student requesting and/or receiving financial aid is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in his/her course of study. Financial Aid recipients are required to have a declared educational goal and enrollment in a Title IV eligible program.

Qualitative: The quality of a student’s academic progress is measured by the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. Courses completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P will be considered acceptable for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Quantitative: The Cañada Financial Aid Office measures academic progress by the number of units a student has attempted and completed.

A. Maximum Time Frame: All financial aid students will be expected to complete their program within 150% of the published length of the program. Students enrolled in 60 unit AA/AS, 4-year transfer, or vocational programs will be expected to complete their program by the time they attempt 90 units. Students enrolled in vocational programs of less than 60 units will be given a maximum time frame (attempted units) that is 150% of their chosen program's length.

B. Pace Rate: It is expected that financial aid students will make continuous and steady progress towards their educational goals, referred to as Pace Rate. To measure whether students are progressing in their course of study within the maximum time frame, SMCCCD will evaluate the Pace Rate of financial aid students after each term (Fall, Spring and Summer). At the end of each term, students will be expected to have completed at least 67% of all units attempted. Classes with grades of A, B, C, D, and P (Pass) are considered to
have been completed. Classes with grades of F, NP (No Pass), I (Incomplete), and RD (grade delayed) will not be considered as completed. All classes taken at other institutions through a consortium agreement will also be included in the Pace Rate assessment.

Academic Load Full-time (100%) Three quarters-time (75%) Half-time (50%) Less than half-time
Minimum Unit Requirement 12 units or more 9-11.5 units 6-8.5 units .5 up to 5.5

Associate Degree or Transfer Program maximum time frame is 90 units.

Increments: The academic progress of financial aid students will be evaluated after each payment period. Progress will be evaluated after grades for the previous term are posted.

Financial Aid Warning: When the academic progress of financial aid students is evaluated, students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR whose cumulative Pace Rate is below 67% will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. In addition, students who are either transferring
to a SMCCCD college or who are continuing SMCCCD students, but never previously applied for financial aid, will be placed on Financial Aid Warning if their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 OR if their cumulative Pace Rate is below 67%. Students on Financial Aid Warning will be eligible for financial aid during the term that they are placed on warning. After the warning term, if a student's GPA AND/OR Pace Rate meet the District's minimum standard, the student will no longer be on Financial Aid Warning. Students who do not meet the GPA and Pace
Rate standard will be deemed ineligible and required to appeal. If the appeal is approved, they will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Financial Aid Probation: Students who have two consecutive or three cumulative evaluations where they fail to maintain the minimum GPA OR Pace Rate requirements will become ineligible and required to appeal to reinstate their financial aid. Students whose appeals have been approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. In addition, students who exceed the maximum time frame will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Students on Financial Aid Probation must be following an academic plan.

Other Requirements

Repeated courses: Students are allowed to repeat classes for financial aid purposes, provided the classes are allowed under the SMCCCD repeat policy as specified in the college catalog. All repeated courses will be included in the maximum time frame assessment, the
cumulative GPA assessment, and the cumulative Pace Rate assessment.

Transfer courses: All courses taken at other institutions will be included in the maximum time frame assessment and the cumulative Pace Rate assessment, provided the courses will apply toward degree or certificate requirements. Transfer coursework GPA is not included. Courses at proprietary and trade schools will generally not be accepted for credit toward SMCCCD degree or certificate requirements. Upper division courses from four-year colleges and universities will be counted when calculating maximum time frame. All students with prior Associate and Bachelor Degrees will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Foreign courses will be counted if they have been professionally evaluated and accepted by the district. Students with a foreign Bachelor’s Degree will be considered to have exceeded the maximum time frame and must be approved by the appeal committee before being funded. Students with prior Bachelor’s Degrees, foreign or domestic, are ineligible for both federal and state grant assistance.

English as a Second Language (ESL): ESL courses will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in ESL courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and Pace Rate.

Remedial courses: The first 30 remedial English and math units attempted will not be counted when determining the remaining maximum time frame for a student. The academic progress in these remedial courses will be considered when assessing both the student's cumulative GPA and cumulative Pace Rate.

Incomplete courses: "I" (incomplete) grades will be considered as "attempted," but will not be considered to have been "completed." If a student's "I" grade changes during a term, it is the student's responsibility to inform the financial aid office of the change. If the change of grade will affect the student's financial aid eligibility, a recalculation to determine eligibility will be conducted during the term. If the change of grade will not impact eligibility the new grade will not be factored into the cumulative Pace Rate until the next incremental

Special (SAP) Considerations:

Pace Rate calculation is as follows:

Units Completed   =   Pace Rate
Units Attempted

Withdrawals and Grades of “Incomplete”: Students who withdraw from classes or receive grades of "incomplete" will have those classes included in the "Pace Rate calculation."  "Withdrawals" and "incompletes" will be included with all other classes attempted.

Grades of “F” and “NP”:  Students who receive grades of "F" or "NP" do not receive units for the classes attempted, but the units will be counted towards the maximum time frame. Note, “F” grades will be used in calculating the GPA.

Grades of “D” or better and “P”: Students who receive grades of "D" or better and "P" will receive units for the classes attempted. Thus, these classes would be considered to have been completed and will be used on calculating the maximum time frame, Pace Rate and GPA.

Repeated Courses: Cañada Financial Aid will follow the SMCCCD policy regarding repeated courses.

Progress in Summer Session: A student's progress in summer session will be counted when assessing cumulative Pace Rate and cumulative GPA.

Please Note: Students who have been placed on suspension may appeal SAP requirements to request reinstatement of financial aid.

Questions, please contact:
Financial Aid Office, located in Bldg. 9-109 
Telephone:  650-306-3307

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If you withdraw completely from classes during the College tuition and fee refund period and you received a BOGFW, you will not receive a refund of these fees. If you do not receive a BOGFW and your financial aid was used to pay your tuition and fees, your refund will be based on either the College refund policy and/or the Federal Refund Policy, as appropriate.

If you partially drop classes during a term but do not completely withdraw, your financial aid disbursement may be adjusted according to your decreased level of enrollment. A partial withdrawal could affect your meeting the SAP standard, but will not usually require a repayment of funds.

Repayment requirements:

In accordance with Public Law 105-244, students who receive federal financial assistance and completely withdraw from all classes before completing more than 60% of the semester will be required to return any unearned federal funds. The amount of the repayment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis of the number of calendar days in the term. FWS earnings are excluded from the calculation. Pell Grant, ACG, FSEOG and Stafford Loans (Title IV federal financial aid) will be included in the calculation. At this time, Cañada does not certify student loans.

A student's withdrawal date for the purpose of calculating repayment to a Title IV fund will be:

  • The date the student provides notification in writing to the Admissions Office that s/he intends to withdraw, or
  • The midpoint of the semester for students who do not officially withdraw, or
  • The date posted by the instructor indicating the student's last date of attendance in class.

The Financial Aid Office will identify on a weekly basis through the 60% point in a term all students who completely withdraw by one of the methods shown above. Cañada College will return any funds due from the institution to the program and will simultaneously notify the student of any funds s/he must repay. If the student has not received unearned funds, s/he will be notified of the availability of those funds. Determination of a repayment will occur within a forty-five day period of the withdrawal. If a student does not officially withdraw, the final grade reports will be used to determine the withdrawal date and Cañada College will return funds and notify students within 45 days of receipt of final grades.

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Return of Title IV is a calculation of federal financial aid fund disbursed to a student who completely withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of the enrollment period. This amount of aid is considered unearned and must be returned to the Federal government.

The percentage of Title IV aid earned (student may keep money) is determined as follows:

Number of days student completed = the percentage of Title IV earned.
Number of calendar days in the term
Multiply the amount of Title IV funds paid (disbursed) by the percent shown above. This is the amount of Title IV aid the student is entitled to keep or earned.

If the earned amount is greater than the amount the student has received, the student is owed an additional disbursement. The student will be notified of the amount that can be paid.

If the earned amount is less than the amount the student has received, a repayment of Title IV funds is due.

The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (student must repay money) is determined as follows:

Subtract the amount of aid earned from the total financial aid paid = the amount of aid to be returned or the student's unearned financial aid.
Subtract the college's repayment from the amount shown above (the college's unearned part of the fees).

If the student received a grant, 50% of the balance due will be subtracted from the debt. The remaining amount due must be applied to repayment of the federal funds from which financial aid was received.

The repayment will be applied to Title IV funds in the following order:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • Federal Stafford Loans

Repayment will be required within 45 days of notification by the College or by the last day of the term of the complete withdrawal. Grant repayments will be reported to the Federal Government immediately. If a student fails to repay the debt due, the student will be reported to the Federal Debt Collection Center in Greenville, Texas.

Any student owing a grant repayment will not be eligible for any federal financial aid until the debt is repaid.

If you have questions about the repayment requirements, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 650-306-3307 for more information about the calculations or the consequences of complete withdrawal.

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  • Know what financial aid programs are available
  • Know the priority dates for submitting applications for each of the programs available
  • Be informed of financial aid policies and procedures
  • Know how your financial need was determined and what resources (such as your income, assets, parental contribution, and other financial aid) were considered in the calculation of need
  • Know how much of your financial aid eligibility has been met as determined by the Financial Aid Office
  • Know what portion of your financial aid must be repaid, and what portion is gift or aid received from work
  • Know how the Financial Aid Office determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress and what the consequences are if you are not
  • Request an explanation of the various programs in your financial aid package
  • Know the terms of any loans you receive, deferment options, cancellation, and forbearance rights


  • Complete all application forms accurately and submit them on time
  • Provide correct information. Misrepresentation of information on financial aid applications is a violation of Federal law and may be a criminal offense
  • Return all documentation, verification forms, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Financial Aid Office or the agency to which you submitted your application in a timely manner
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign and keep copies of them
  • Accept responsibility for all agreements that you sign
  • Repay all loans including the interest on those loans
  • Perform the work that is agreed upon in accepting a Federal Work-Study award in a satisfactory manner
  • Be aware of refund and repayment procedures
  • If you are a recipient of a student loan, notify your lender, Cañada College Financial Aid, and Admissions and Records Offices of any changes of address, name and/or enrollment status
  • If you have a loan, attend a loan Entrance Interview prior to receiving the first disbursement of your loan(s) and an Exit Interview prior to receiving the second disbursement or prior to leaving Cañada College for any other reason
  • File all required student loan deferment or cancellation forms on time
  • Report any change in the information used to determine your eligibility, including name or financial resources
  • Notify the Financial Aid Office immediately if you withdraw from school

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Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) provides academic support, book vouchers, child care payments, and other services for low-income, educationally disadvantaged students. Contact 306-3300, or go to Building 9-133 for more information.

Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) provides accommodations such as mobility assistance, special parking, loan of special adaptive equipment to students with disabilities. Contact Regina Blok at 306-3132, or go to Building 5-207 for more information.

The CalWORKs Program is available to TANF recipients providing payments for childcare, books, transportation costs and job preparation assistance. Contact Gloria Darafshi at 306-3479 in the Counseling Center for more information.

MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) provides mentoring, tutoring and support for students in Math, Engineering and Science planning to transfer to a 4-year school in these fields of study. Contact Cathy Lipe at 306-3156, or go to Building 9-Learning Center more information.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program provides payment for enrollment fees, books, child care, parking permits, or bus passes, and job placement assistance for eligible students. Contact Julie Mooney at 325-6936 at the Menlo Park Center/OICW for more information. Eligibility is determined by the Employment Development Department.

Veteran's Benefits information and certification is provided through the Admissions & Records Office. Contact Edith Flores at 306-3492, Building 9-103 for more information.

Scholarship information and applications for local scholarships are coordinated through the Financial Aid Office. Call 306-3307, or go to Building 9-109. Also, check out the scholarship resources in the Career Center, Building 9-113.

Counseling Center: Counseling, Career, and Transfer Services provides assistance for academic counseling, career skills and self-assessment, and transfer to other colleges. Call 306-3452 or go to Building 9 lobby for more information.

TRiO Student Support Services is a federal funded program. Tutoring, mentoring, supplemental counseling and student grants are provided. Contact Romeo Garcia, 306-3345, Building 9-213.


In compliance with the provisions of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (45 CRF 86), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504.104.7 and 104.8 A and B (PL93-112), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, and Cañada College policy, the College Financial Aid Office does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or disability in the determination of financial aid eligibility.


This Act requires educational institutions to provide: access to official education records directly related to the student; an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate; that the College must obtain the written consent of the student before releasing personally identifiable information about the student except to those persons or agencies specified by the Act; and that these rights extend to present and former students of the college.

The Act provides that the College may release certain types of "Directory Information" unless the student submits a request in writing to the Director of Financial Aid that certain or all such information not be released without his/her consent. Such restriction will remain in effect until a written request from the student is submitted to the Director to remove it.
"Directory Information" in the San Mateo County Community College District includes: (1)student's name and city of residence; (2)participation in recognized activities and sports; (3)dates of enrollment; (4)degrees and awards received; (5)the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; and (6)height and weight of members of athletic teams.

A copy of the College Policy, FERPA and other pertinent information and forms are available in the Office of Admissions and Records during normal business hours.


Cañada College is approved by the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the recognized local accrediting agency, which is affiliated with the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education. The Office of Private Postsecondary Education also approves Cañada College to offer courses to U.S. Veterans for collection of veterans' benefits. The accreditation reports and approval are available for review in the Office of the President.


Complete information about all degree and certificate programs are available in the Cañada College Catalog. This is a reference about program requirements for all educational programs. Class schedules are printed and available several months before each semester begins. Students select courses each term to advance toward completion of a degree or certificate. The current and prior year Cañada College Catologs and current Class Schedule are available online at


Comprehensive information about College policies is available in the College Catalog.


The library, the learning center, media services, computer and science labs, a bookstore, physical education equipment, and other academically related facilities are available for coursework and study. Special equipment and assistance is available for disabled students through the Disabled Student Services Office.


Cañada College prohibits the use, possession, sale or distribution of alcohol, narcotics, dangerous or illegal drugs or other controlled substances, as defined in California statutes, on District or College property or at any function sponsored by the District or College. Students found to be in violation of the drug-free campus policy on any district property will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including possible cancellation of registration. The College Health Center will provide information pertaining to the health risks and effects associated with alcohol and narcotics or other dangerous or illegal drugs. Students may be referred to various outside agencies for enrollment in a drug recovery program.

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FEDERAL STUDENT INFORMATION for questions about Federal student financial aid:
8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Eastern Time
1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243)
TTY users: 1-800-730-8913 (general information) (general information for FA professionals)

1-800-801-0576 (general information and technical assistance)

CALIFORNIA STUDENT AID COMMISSION for questions and information about Cal Grant A, B, C and T:
P.O. Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027
(916) 526-7590 or

EDFUND for questions and information about Student Loans, Default Prevention, College Budgeting, Using Credit Wisely, etc.
P.O. Box 510845
Sacramento, CA 94245-0845
916-445-5105 (Student Loans)
1-800-298-9490 (Default Prevention)

AFSA for questions about Federal Perkins (NDSL) repayment:
2505 South Finley Road
Lombard, Illinois 60148
(800) 826-4470

Appraiser's Bldg., Room 300
630 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 705-4411

Data Management Center
P.O. Box 94638
Palantine, Il 60094-4638
(847) 688-6888

A free, comprehensive and independent guide to student financial aid resources and scholarships; has an estimator to determine financial aid eligibility.


  • Cañada College Financial Aid Handbook
  • EdFUND Fund Your Future Workbook (English and Spanish)
  • Scholarship announcements posted on the Scholarship Bulletin Board by the office
  • All forms and worksheets required to complete your financial aid application, appeal, request for reinstatement, request review of an unusual circumstance or dependency override.

A student who attempts to obtain financial aid by fraud may be suspended from Cañada College and from financial aid for unsatisfactory conduct. The College may report such instances to local law enforcement agencies, to the California Student Aid Commission, and/or to the Federal Government. If you suspect someone of fraud, please notify the Cañada College Financial Aid Office at (650) 306-3174 or contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General (800-MIS-USED) 800-647-8733.


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