Federal and State Funding for Education
Grants are a type of financial aid that is awarded to a student and is not required to be paid back. The amount of grant money awarded is based on demonstrated financial need which is determined by the information provided on your FAFSA application.
To establish need and apply for all grant programs, students must complete the FAFSA application. You must be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident or on a special visa such as parolee. You must have a high school diploma (including passing the CAHSEE if it’s in California), GED, or its recognized equivalent. All students who are awarded financial aid must make satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive grants.
If you have a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. or another country, you are ineligible to receive grants.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is the primary form of financial aid and often what people mean when they refer to financial aid. There is a limit of 6 years of receiving the Pell Grant as a full-time student and prorated for part-time students. If you finish your education at LBCC and transfer to another university, this time does not reset and continues until the time expires.
The amount a student receives is based on the Effective Family Contribution (EFC) calculated by the government from your FAFSA, the number of units in which you enroll, and the cost of education at the school. Because this includes indirect costs such as housing and transportation, awards will be generally the same amount at all schools.
Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Limit
There is a new federal law effective with the 2012-2013 school year that limits the amount students can receive from the Federal Pell Grant. Because the new Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) includes all awards received prior to the 2012-2013 school year, some students will already be ineligible at the start of the year. Others will have some eligibility, but not enough to receive 100% of their award. It includes any Pell Grant award received at any school and it’s associated limit to receive it at any school. You cannot transfer and receive additional awards at another school. There are no exceptions and there is no process to appeal the decision. The school also has no legal ability to award students beyond the stated limit.
The limit is 6 years of full-time attendance. It is prorated for part-time students and calculated based on 600% of annual awards. When you are awarded a Pell Grant, you are given a maximum annual Pell Grant award. If you attend full-time for 2 semesters you receive 100% of the award. If you attend part-time for 2 semesters you receive 50% of the award. Each semester you receive a percentage. When that total reaches 600% you are no longer eligible for the grant. To receive the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant you must also receive the Pell Grant when you reach the limit you are no longer eligible for either grant.
Updating of individual LEU’s will be complete by mid-July 2012 on the NSLDS web site. NSLDS is where you can find and track your financial aid history. You will need your federal PIN to access your history, which is the same one you use to sign your FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant is only available for students who are eligible for the Pell Grant. It is reserved for students with an exceptional financial need. The award is much smaller than the Pell Grant and is usually awarded to those with a 0 EFC. Funds are limited so it is awarded based on earliest application date until all funds have been exhausted. You must be enrolled for at least 6 units to receive the grant.
While Cal Grants are from the State of California, they are based on the FAFSA application. The results are sent to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) if a California school is listed at which time the CSAC will determine a student’s eligibility and notify the school.
You must apply before March 2 to be considered for the Cal Grant entitlement program. Community college students can apply up to September 2 to be considered for the competitive grant program.
There are three Cal Grants. Cal Grant A is for university students and is held in reserve for community college students. Cal Grant B is for community college students. Cal Grant C is for students enrolled in a vocational program including those offered by LBCC. Each one can be received up to 4 years.
Please visit the CSAC website for more information on this program including how they determine eligibility.
Student Success Completion Grant
The purpose of the SSCG grant is to provide the student with additional financial aid to help offset the total cost of community college attendance and to encourage full-time attendance and successful on-time completion. To qualify for the SSCG, a student must:
- Be eligible for a Cal Grant B or C award.
- Meet federal satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
- Have an unmet need to receive the SSCG.
- Maintain full-time attendance.
A maximum of $1,298 annually at six hundred forty-nine dollars ($649) per semester, or quarterly equivalent, for eligible students who enroll and attend 12 through 14.99 units per term.
A maximum of $4,000 annually at two thousand dollars ($2,000) per semester, or quarterly equivalent, for eligible students who enroll and attend 15 units per term.