Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions
When should I apply for Financial Aid for the following school year?
You should apply as soon after October 1 as possible, after you and your parents have completed your federal income tax returns.
What deadline dates do I need to remember?
The priority date for financial aid is March 2 each year. The Cal Grant deadline is March 2; however, you may continue to apply for Federal Aid at Cypress College through the end of the academic year provided you are still enrolled. If you plan to take classes in the Fall semester at any California college or university, always complete your FAFSA on or before March 2. March 2 is the absolute deadline for Dream Act Applications to be submitted for Cal Grant consideration.
If I am enrolled at two colleges, can I receive aid at both colleges?
No, you cannot receive aid at more than one college for the same enrollment period. Cypress College does not honor consortium agreement requests from other colleges and universities. A consortium agreement can be used if units taken concurrently at Cypress College and another college/university to combine the student’s unit count. However, Cypress College only accepts consortium agreements that list Cypress College as the secondary institution, while the other college/university is listed as the primary (the school that disburses out aid). There is an automatic consortium in place with Fullerton College.
Is Financial Aid available only to “poor” people (a common financial aid myth)?
No. Financial Aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Some loans and scholarships are available regardless of “need.”
What if I don’t have a Social Security number or don’t want to report it on the FAFSA?
It is necessary to provide your Social Security number on the FAFSA. If you do not yet have a number, you should contact your Social Security Administration office to obtain one. It is required before you can be considered for any Federal student aid program. The FAFSA will be returned unprocessed if the student’s Social Security number is blank.
I plan to go to college half time. Will that lessen my chance for aid?
Almost all funds are available to students who attend college at least half time. Some institutions, however, give preference to full-time students. Some programs are available for less than half-time attendance.
My neighbor and I both applied for financial aid at the same college. Why did she get more aid then I did when they’ve got a bigger house than ours and their parents make more money than mine?
The circumstances in your neighbor’s family may be different than they appear, and home equity is not used to determine eligibility for Federal Aid. What doesn’t necessarily show are other factors, such as some debts or number in college, which affects the computation of the family contribution.
What happens if I purposely provide inaccurate information and I’m caught?
If you use the FAFSA to apply for Federal Student Aid funds and provide false information, you are subject to fines and/or imprisonment under the U.S. Criminal Code. State and local laws may also apply in such cases.
I don’t feel it is the college’s right to request my U.S. tax information. What happens if I don’t submit it?
If you fail to comply with a request for any forms or documentation from the Financial Aid Office, we will discontinue processing your application for aid.
Must I be accepted for admission before I apply for Financial Aid? Must I be admitted before I receive aid?
You may apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission. Many colleges require that you be admitted before they offer aid. However, you must actually enroll in college before you receive any funds.
Do I have to apply for Financial Aid each year?
Yes. Your financial situation must be reassessed each year. However, after the first time you apply for financial aid, you will be sent a Renewal FAFSA that will ask you to answer some questions again and recheck the answers to others. Remember, always apply by March 2 each year to ensure priority for various programs and funding that is available.