Federal Aid Programs


CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant is for emergency financial assistance as a response to COVID-19. This is a grant that does not need to be repaid and will not affect a student’s future financial aid eligibility. Funds are limited and awarded to eligible students on first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 & Financial Aid page.

Pell Grants and SEOG Grants

The Federal Pell Grant Program and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG) provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Pell Grants are entitlements that are available to all who qualify. SEOG grants are based on first-come, first-served with the greatest amount of financial need.

Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) as calculated by completing the FAFSA; the cost of attendance (as determined by Cypress College); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the family EFC.

The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student’s income (and assets if the student is independent), the parents’ income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family’s household size, and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending postsecondary institutions.

The EFC is the sum of: (1) a percentage of net income (remaining income after subtracting allowances for basic living expenses and taxes) and (2) a percentage of net assets (assets remaining after subtracting an asset protection allowance). Different assessment rates and allowances are used for dependent students, independent students without dependents, and independent students with dependents. After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), or the institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and/or SEOG Grant and provides the student’s EFC.


Loan Information

An educational loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Grants, scholarships, work-study and other forms of gift aid typically cover the full cost of an education at Cypress College. However, some students find that they must supplement their savings with student loans.

Community colleges remain an affordable option for students. Loan debt and increasing loan default rates are concerning for Financial Aid Offices due to the impact it can have on the institution. As a result, the Cypress College Financial Aid Office has adopted the following loan procedures for student borrowers. These procedures were implemented due to increasing student loan debt for graduates who eventually earn a BA/BS degree. Therefore, Cypress College Financial Aid has a strict policy on established loan limits to (1) help students minimize debt, (2) help students keep aggregate loan eligibility available for when they transfer to four-year institutions, and (3) help improve financial literacy and responsibility so that future economic hardships and credit damage can be prevented.

The Cypress College Financial Aid Office strongly discourages students to borrow loans without first discussing their options with a Financial Aid Technician.

If you are interested in obtaining a loan, please contact Financial Aid Technician Nishad Marathe at nmarathe@cypresscollege.edu.

Deadline to submit for spring 2024 loan application: Friday, May 10, 2024

Online Loan Orientations

  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 @ 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 @ 5:45 – 7:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday February 28, 2024 @ 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday March 12, 2024 @ 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 @ 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
  • Wednesday April 24, 2024 @ 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday May 8, 2024 @10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

In-Person Loan Orientations

  • Wednesday January 17, 2024 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. CCCPLX-414

Student Loan Repayment Resources

We have teamed up with ECMC Solutions to provide you with a single resource for all your federal student loan-related questions! Solutions, a service of the non-profit organization ECMC, is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans, and their resources are available to you free of charge.

Contact ECMC for any of your student loan repayment questions:

  • One-on-one federal student loan repayment advice.
  • Repayment plan options – choosing a long-term option.
  • Forbearances and deferments – what they are and when might you need them.
  • Use the resources at Solutions as often as you need them — they are free.

Contact a Solutions counselor through live chatemail, by phone at (877) 331-3262 or visit the ECMC Solutions website.


Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Education. Under the program, grants are provided to institutions to create job openings for eligible students. The program is administered on the Cypress College campus by the Financial Aid Office in accordance with federal regulations and North Orange County Community College District Guidelines.

The FWS program provides opportunities to students who have financial need and want to earn a part of their educational expenses through employment. Student may work up to 6 semesters. Funds are extremely limited for Federal Work-Study, once funds are exhausted, we cannot place any additional students in FWS jobs, regardless of how successful they were in being placed in a FWS job in the past.

Who is eligible?

In order to qualify for employment under Federal Work-Study, students must:

  • be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • submit a FAFSA for the aid year they plan to attend
  • have $5,000 of unmet need (please refer to your Award letter for this information)
  • be in Good standing for SAP (Warning and Pro 1 also accepted)
  • enroll in and maintain 6 units or more during the spring and fall semesters

How do I apply?

  1. Submit a FAFSA for the academic year you plan to attend.
    • Answer “yes” to the question asking if you are interested in FWS.
  2. Complete your financial aid file.
  3. Email the Financial Aid Office (please include your student ID number) to join the FWS interest list.
  4. Eligible students will be notified via email with instructions on how to apply for jobs.

What is the hiring process?

Employment begins and ends in the Financial Aid Office. Students must receive a referral form from the financial aid office before discussing any Work-Study employment possibilities with any department.

How much will I get paid?

All Work-Study students are paid at a rate consistent with current student assistant wages established by the District and based upon the level of skills required to perform the job (upon approval by the Financial Aid Office), not by the length of time the student has been employed. A student’s Work-Study allocation is for one year beginning July 1 for returning students, the first day of the fall semester for new students, and ending May 30 for all students. Returning or continuing students must be rehired each year and may not continue working after May 30 until they have been awarded or rehired.