Additional Resources & FAQs


Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions

When should I apply for Financial Aid for the following school year?

You should apply as soon as possible once the application opens October 1.

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.

What if my income has significantly decreased, compared to my income from 2020?

If your (or your spouse’s or parent’s) income or employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, or you have extenuating circumstances related to your income that the financial aid office should be aware of, you may be able to request an appeal to use your more recent income on your 2022-23 application.

This type of appeal is referred to as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Appeal. The purpose of this appeal process is to evaluate any special circumstances that may have impacted the amount or type of aid a student may be eligible to receive. These decisions happen on a case-by-case basis. Students will need to complete verification prior to completing an EFC appeal.

Before you request an appeal, log in to the Student Forms website and check to make sure you’ve completed verification. If you have not yet completed Verification, and do not see that option when you log in, please contact your designated Financial Aid Technician.

To request an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Appeal: (View a video tutorial)

  1. Log in to the Student Forms website (using your myGateway information).
  2. Click the blue request button on the top right-hand side.
  3. Choose “Family Contribution Appeal” by clicking on the green + button.
  4. Briefly explain your reason for request, such as “loss of employment” or “decrease in salary.”
  5. Click submit – you should now see the Appeal in your task window (it will be in its own tab).
  6. Click the gray button to fill out the form, select the special circumstance that applies to you.
  7. Provide a detailed statement that explains your change in income, then sign your form and click submit.
  8. Upload any documentation that helps support your case (such as your most recent pay stubs, letter of last date of employment, and proof of any unemployment benefits received.).

If you have specific questions, please reach out to your designated Financial Aid Technician, or contact us through Cranium Café for live assistance.

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. 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 are selected for verification, FAFSA requires us to collect tax information. 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 until we receive the required information.

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. You must enroll in college before you can 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 able to renew your FAFSA  – which will transfer some information from your previous year to save you time. Remember, always apply by March 2 each year to ensure priority for various programs and funding that is available.

How does an Excused Withdrawal impact my financial aid?

Students may select an Excused Withdrawal (EW) with a refund via myGateway. For Financial Aid purposes, EW’s are treated similarly to a Withdrawal (W) from a class and will impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Receiving an EW will directly impact the completion rate portion of your SAP since you attempted the class and did not complete it. For more information on how your SAP is calculated, please review the SAP link provided above.