Southwestern College


Important News for aid Applicants & Recipients


Child Development Grant Changes

Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, the Child Development Grant Program will no longer offer new awards. Eligible students who received the grant during the 2016-17 academic year will have the opportunity to renew their awards for the 2017-18 academic year.  Students who received a 2016-17 Child Development grant will receive the renewal application via email and may submit it directly to the Commission:

  • By email:
  • By mail: California Student Aid Commission Program Administration & Services ATTN: Specialized Programs P.O. Box 419029 Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9029


Board of Governors' Fee Waiver (BOGFW) Restrictions 

Beginning the Fall 2016 semester, students will become ineligible for BOGFWs if placed on academic or progress probation for two consecutive primary terms (fall and/or spring). Students will have the ability to appeal the loss of BOGFW due to extenuating circumstances.

Click here for more information.

Early FAFSA application period beginning 2017-18

Starting with 2017-18, the FAFSA application will become available on October 1st each year, which will allow students to apply for college admission and financial aid during the same period. Also, applicants will be required to "prior-prior year" tax information (see below), which will eliminate the challenges some applicants experienced when trying to meet the FAFSA priority filing deadline when taxes had still not yet been filed.

17-18 FAFSA

 Plan ahead now to complete your 2017-18 FAFSA early this year starting 10/1/16!!

 Click here for more information.

Enhancements and improved services for HigherOne cardholders

Starting soon, HigherOne cardholders will enjoy improved services, including access to a nation-wide, fee-free ATM system, the elimination of PIN and overdraft fees, free online bill pay, free checks and more.

Click here for more information.


“Freeze” Date


Each semester will have a “freeze date” for purposes of determining each student’s enrollment level for financial aid eligibility award amounts. On this “freeze date” we will record each student’s unit load (number of units enrolled) as of that date, which will determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid awards for the semester. Any classes that are added or dropped after this “freeze date” will not impact (either increase or decrease) the student’s financial aid unit load for the semester unless there is a complete withdrawal form or failing grades in all classes.


The “freeze dates” for 2016-17 are:
Fall  -  Friday, September 9, 2019 
Spring - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Click here for more information.

              Previous Changes of Importance to Students


150% Loan Limit



Effective July 1. 2013, students will lose the subsidy of existing loans if they do not complete their program of study within 150% of the published length of the program. For more information, please click here.

Effective July 2012, the federal government reduced the life-time eligibility for the federal PELL Grant to a maximum of 12 full-time semesters. Example: After you receive a PELL Grant for six years of full-time study, 12 or more units each semester, you will no longer be allowed to receive the PELL Grant. If you attend less than 12 units, your PELL Grant eligibility will be prorated. Students can click here to check their current Pell LEU (Lifetime Eligibility Use) percentage on the National Student Loan Database.


High School Completion and Ability to Benefit (ATB)



To be eligible for financial aid, students are required to have a High School Diploma, General Education Diploma, (GED) or equivalency. Students who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (e.g.,GED), and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aid. Students will qualify for Title IV student aid under one of the ability-to-benefit (ATB) alternatives if the student completed those ATB alternatives and was enrolled in a Title IV eligible program prior to July 1, 2012. Those alternatives include the student passing an independently administered, approved ATB test or successfully completing at least six credit hours of postsecondary education. Students that possess a Foreign High School Diploma will be required to have the grade transcripts evaluated by an accredited agency in order to determine if the diploma is equivalent to a U.S. High School Diploma.


California Dream Act (CADA)



Legislative bills AB130 and AB131 allow verified AB540 students to apply for and receive State of California financial aid. Students with valid social security numbers (SSN) should complete the FAFSA application and those who do not have valid SSNs or have a temporary SSN through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) should complete the California Dream Act application (CADA). The CADA application will generate an application for both CalGrants and BOG Fee Waivers. For more information on the CADA, please click here

Last updated: 6/4/2017 5:24:12 PM