The MOST Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a glossary of commonly used Financial Aid terms/ acronyms?
You can find a glossary of commonly used Financial Aid terms/ acronyms here.
Do I have to be a full-time student in order to receive financial aid?
You DO NOT have to be full-time to receive most types of Financial Aid.
My award is different this year, why?
This can be due to many variables: change in income, lower-unit enrollment, completion date of FAFSA, etc. Visit our office for a more detailed explanation.
How can I reinstate myself after becoming disqualified?
To resolve this, you must be enrolled in at least Half -Time (6 - 8.5 units), complete at least 6 units, and meet the quarterly and cumulative GPA requirements. Please do not take more units than you can complete! Once you become reinstated come into the financial aid office and fill out a revision request form to be packaged for financial aid.
I live on my own and pay bills, how come I am considered "Dependent"?
The FAFSA has different requirements for what constitutes as"dependent" or "independent" than what students may think. Click here to determine, which status applies to you.
How often do I have to apply for Financial Aid? EVERY YEAR! The FAFSA becomes available every January 1st for the next school year.
What fees does the BOG Fee Waiver cover and if I pay my fees before I qualify for the BOG, do I get reimbursed?
The BOG Fee Waiver covers the $31/per unit enrollment fee and gives you half-off the parking permit for the year that you apply.Yes, you can receive a refund for your enrollment and parking fees, go to the Cashier's office for a refund. Cashier's website: http://www.deanza.edu/registration/cashier.
How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval?
How do I obtain an IRS Tex Transcript?
What is the De Anza College Title IV/ Federal School Code?
Frequently Asked Questions
Unusual Circumstances-Professional Judgment
Questions related to parents
Student Loan Questions
Work Study Questions
General Questions about Financial Aid
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is a general term for different types of money designed to help students pay for their education. There are grants, work-study, loans, scholarships, and the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver (BOG).
How do I apply for financial aid?
You apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. Scholarships may have a different application.
Where can I get help filling out the FAFSA?
You can get personal help by visiting our Financial Aid Office on campus. Our outreach staff can sit down with you to help you with specific questions.
When is the deadline for the FAFSA?
You must apply for financial aid as soon as possible after January 1st of each year, preceding when you want to go to college. Example: Apply as soon as possible after January 1, 2014 if you want to go to college anytime between July 1st 2014-June 30th 2015. The first Cal Grant deadline is March 2nd. Applying early allows us to let you know what aid we can offer to you before the start of the upcoming year.
Is there an income limit required to get financial aid?
There actually is not a clear-cut income limit. The financial aid process looks at many different variables besides income to determine eligibility. The only way we know if you are eligible is if you complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
I have applied for a FAFSA online. When will I receive my financial aid?
The FAFSA is just the first step, not the only step. Within a week or two we should receive your electronic FAFSA from the US Department of Education. Go to our Financial Aid website and click on My Portal. Then login and check your Financial Aid Application Status. That tells you what forms that you need to turn in to our office. Your Pell processor will review your completed documents. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to process. You can continue checking your financial aid status online to see if any new forms are requested. If you are not sure, you can always check with us in person, or use Contact Us from our website.
Will I be notified by mail about my financial aid?
NO, everything is online. You must check your financial aid status frequently from My Portal on our website.
What is the status of my financial aid application?
How to locate the status of your financial aid application online:
1. Go to http://www.deanza.edu/financialaid.
2. Click on My Portal.
3. Next click on the De Anza Financial Aid link.
4. Follow the instructions on the screen to login to the secure site.
5. Be sure your email and educational goal/major are correct.
6. Now choose the Financial Aid tab at the top right of the screen.
7. Select the award year!
8. Click on the Financial Aid Application Status button.
Items marked “Not received” or “Received but incomplete” are needed by our office to determine if you are eligible for financial aid. Click on the item and read the pop-up window for instructions.
I cannot fill out a FAFSA because I lost my tax information. What can I do?
If you paid to get your taxes done you can contact your tax preparer to obtain a duplicate copy or you may contact the IRS at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript to get a free copy. But know that you can use estimated numbers to file a FAFSA and just make corrections at a later date.
I did not file a tax return because my income was low. Can I apply for financial aid using the FAFSA?
Yes. When filling out the FAFSA, please remember to indicate you will not file taxes and how much your earnings for the year were. However, if you were required to file a tax return and just didn’t, then you will need to file it before your application can be completed.
What if my income is much lower this year compared to last year?
There are unusual circumstances that affect some students that may lessen the financial strength of an applicant. This may be the loss of a job, or loss of benefits, or the death of a parent. In some cases, adjustments can be made to re-evaluate your eligibility for aid. Please notify our receptionist or the drop-in Pell processor of your circumstances and we can provide you with instructions on how to handle your circumstances.
I didn’t graduate from high school. Can I still get financial aid?
Sometimes.If not, we can consider you for the BOG Fee Waiver and scholarships only.
Can I get financial aid if I’m taking college classes while I’m in high school?
The only aid you can be considered for while you are still in high school is the BOG Fee Waiver.
Will a GED help me get financial aid?
A GED is just as good as a high school diploma as one criteria for eligibility for financial aid.
I attended another college before. How will this affect financial aid?
Any units that you have from a prior school can be evaluated toward for credit toward your De Anza degree or certificate.
I just want to take some classes for job skills or to improve my language skills. Can I get financial aid?
We can consider you for the BOG Fee Waiver, but not for federal and state financial aid. Federal and state financial aid is reserved for students who are pursuing a college degree or certificate.
I have applied for my “green card”. Can I apply for financial aid?
Yes, you can apply for financial aid, but you would not be considered eligible unless your permanent residency is granted within the school year.
I’m an International Student. What aid can I apply for?
International Students on F-1 visas are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. You can apply for scholarships. There are some lenders who will offer loans with a co-signer.
Can financial aid help me with out-of-state tuition?
Any financial aid that a student receives can be used toward tuition. If a student receives Pell Grant and is a non-resident of California, we can credit their account. See us for details.
I’m interested in Campus Abroad, can I get financial aid?
Students who are interested in Campus Abroad through Foothill-De Anza should apply for financial aid as early as possible so we can maximize your eligibility before leaving on the trip. There is no special financial aid available, but any and all financial aid can be used for any and all educational expenses, including trip costs for Campus Abroad.
What is full-time in the summer?
Full-time is 12.0 units for all quarters, including summer.
How can I buy my books if I don’t get my financial aid until the first week of school?
You are not eligible for most financial aid until you have attended at least one class. Therefore, most financial aid is paid during the quarter. You are expected to budget your financial aid with any other income you have to pay your expenses when they come up, including budgeting to have money available before the quarter to purchase books.
When do I get my money (refund schedule)?
You can view our regular refund schedule online In between the regular refund dates, initial refunds for newly awarded students may be made.
Can I change my major and still get financial aid?
Changing a major is a normal thing to do. Financial Aid requires that you be working toward a degree or certificate or transfer. However, if you change your major too many times and start to accumulate too many units, you may lose financial aid eligibility because you have exceeded a normal time frame. Best advice is to get help from a counselor or the Transfer Center to decide as early as possible on a major.
Why am I on financial aid warning/disqualification?
You are on warning/disqualification because you failed to meet the financial aid’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. The first time it occurs you will be placed on warning and the second consecutive quarter that the SAP is not met, you would be disqualified from receiving most types of financial aid. Please visit our satisfactory progress web-site to get the details of our SAP requirements.
Can I get financial aid if I’m in default on a student loan?
The only financial aid you can be considered for while in default on a student loan is the BOG Fee Waiver and scholarships.
What happens if I drop my classes during in the quarter?
If you are not enrolled in 12 or more units during any quarter, your actual disbursement will be adjusted up and down to reflect the number of units in which you are enrolled (75% for 3/4-time, 50% for half-time, and some eligibility for less than half-time).
Why did my friend and I get different financial aid awards?
Each student is considered for aid based upon the information on the FAFSA. You and your friend are probably not exactly alike on the FAFSA. Even if you and your identical twin apply for financial aid you could have a different award if you apply earlier or later in the year.
What can financial aid do for me if my rent goes up?
All colleges use an average rent for all applicants. It is on our website under Cost of Attendance. So, there is nothing we can do for a student whose rent goes up or down during a school year. However, if a student started the year living at home and moves away from home, they should notify us.
What is the EFC?
The EFC is the Expected Family Contribution that comes from the information you provided on the FAFSA. It represents a financial strength of the applicant. It would be the amount of money the student could contribute toward their own cost of education. It is used by financial aid offices to help determine eligibility for financial aid.
Can I get financial aid at two colleges during the year?
Yes and No! If you are attending two colleges at the same time, you can receive a BOG Fee Waiver at both colleges but not federal or state financial aid. However, if you transfer from one college to another college during the year, you can get financial aid at each college as long as you apply to each college separately.
I’m taking classes at two colleges at a time. Can all those units be added together for financial aid?
Only if the classes you are taking are from Foothill College. You will need to fill out a Consortium Request in that case.
What is selective service?
Selective service is the military draft. All male applicants for financial aid must have registered with the selective service between the ages of 18 and 26. Some exceptions can be made if a student did not knowingly and willfully fail to register.
Return to top of page
Questions related to parents:
My parents do not claim me on their tax return and I don’t live with them. I think I’m completely independent. So why do I need to include their income information?
Independency and dependency is determined by the US Department of Education and is not based on where you live or if you are claimed on your parent’s tax return. For federal and state financial aid, you must include your parent’s income information until you turn 24 years old, get married, have a child or other dependent, are a U.S. veteran, become an orphan, or are (or were) a ward of the court until the age of 18.
My parents are separated or divorced and living separately. Who should fill out my FAFSA?
The parent you lived with most during the last year. If you didn’t live with one parent more than the other, then the parent who provided the most support in the last year. If that doesn’t narrow it down, then the parent who last provided the most support in the most recent year.
I am over 18 years old. Do I still have to include my parent’s information?
Yes, you must include your parent’s income information until you turn 24 years old, get married, have a child or other dependent, are a U.S. veteran, become an orphan, or were a ward of the court until the age of 18.
My parents live in another country do I still have to report their information?
Yes, you still have to report their personal and financial information until you meet the federal criteria for an independent student. Please remember to convert their income information into U.S. dollars. For social security numbers of your parents list all zeros, unless they already have their social security numbers.
What if my parents’ income is much lower this year compared to last year?
There are unusual circumstances that affect some families that may lessen the financial strength of a family. This may be the loss of a job, or loss of benefits, or the death of a parent. In some cases, adjustments can be made to re-evaluate your eligibility for aid. Please notify our receptionist or the drop-in Pell processor of your circumstances and we can provide you with instructions on how to handle your circumstances.
Can you give my parents information about me?
College student records are private and are protected by FERPA. Therefore, most information about your college experience is not available to your parents, unless you share it with them yourself. For purposes of completing your financial aid application, some information is required from both parents and the student on the FAFSA so that information is shared. The student and parent may fill out the Financial Aid FERPA Release Form to allow access to Financial Aid information.
I was abused by my parents and it would be unhealthy for me to have contact with them. How can I complete the FAFSA?
In some unusual cases we can override the need for parent’s information. The student must make a compelling case each year if this situation exists. More detailed information is on the Request for Dependency Review form on our website.
Return to top of page
What is a scholarship and how do I apply for one?
A scholarship is money donated from an individual or company designed to assist students in obtaining their education goals. Like a grant, scholarships do not require repayment. However, they often require a separate application. At De Anza College scholarships are posted on our website. Other colleges may list their scholarships differently. Scholarships have their own deadlines, so be sure to check frequently and be aware of when the applications are due.
How do I know what scholarships I can apply for?
A scholarship list is published in October and is posted both on the scholarship bulletin board in front of the Financial Aid Office entrance and on our website. Once a student identifies a scholarship they are interested in, they can then apply online. It is very important that all minimum qualifications are met. If there is something missing, the application will be considered incomplete and withdrawn from consideration. Take time to review your application carefully before submitting it.
How can I attach my letter of recommendation to my scholarship application? You can either attach your letter of recommendation as a Word document or as a PDF. Alternately, you can scan a paper letter, save it as a PDF and then attach it. If you do not have a scanner you can fill out the scanning request form and printing services can scan it for you. We cannot accept paper letters they must be submitted electronically.
Where can I look for other scholarships?
Please keep in mind that the selection process for scholarships can be highly competitive. If you do not win a scholarship at De Anza, there are other scholarships for which you may apply. Information is available on the Internet at FinAid as well as FastWeb, which are free scholarship search services.
Return to top of page
Questions about Student Loans
How do I take care of a defaulted student loan?
You would need to contact the holder of your loan. Go to the federal National Student Loan Database (NSLDS) and login with your federal PIN number. This will list all loans you have received from every college and their current status. Contact information for each loan is also available.
Do I need to fill out the FAFSA in order to receive the Federal Direct loan?
Yes. Although the unsubsidized Direct loan is not based on need, you must start your loan application with the FAFSA to receive either the subsidized or unsubsidized loan. The Direct Loan is available only through the federal financial aid programs.
I’m in default on an old student loan. Can I get financial aid?
Not until you clear up your old defaulted student loan. We can help you take the first step.
What is the difference between the subsidized Direct loan and the unsubsidized Direct loan?
The subsidized loan is awarded to eligible students based on need, and interest does NOT accrue on the principal of your loan while you are enrolled in school at least half-time. The unsubsidized Direct loan is not based on need, and interest accrues on the principal of your loan from disbursement.
Is there a credit check required to receive a Federal Direct loan?
No credit check is required to receive a Direct loan.
Return to top of page
Questions about Work Study
How do I know if I am eligible for Federal Work-Study? You are eligible for Federal Work-Study if you have qualified through the FAFSA application and have been awarded by the Financial Aid Office. Federal Work-Study money is limited each year so students who complete their applications early in the year have a better chance of being awarded Work-Study.
When can I begin my Federal Work-Study position? You may begin working as soon as you have been interviewed and accepted by a Work-Study employer, and have completed the employment packet and had the packet authorized by Financial Aid.
How much money can I earn as a Work-Study student? The award amount available is based on financial need. The maximum you can earn is listed on your online Financial Aid Award.
Why does the Financial Aid Office sometimes cancel a FWS student employee? There are some circumstances in which a Work-Study student employee must discontinue work before the maximum award has been achieved. The most common reasons for cancellation are disqualification from Financial Aid, receipt of some additional awards or scholarships, or students deciding to quit their job.
Return to top of page