The Financial Aid Application Process


Here’s what to expect after you apply.

Step 1: Submit your financial aid application (FAFSA or CADAA)

Please visit our Applying for Aid page for assistance with submitting your FAFSA or CADAA (California Dream Act Application).

  • Make sure you’re applying for the correct aid year, we are currently in the 2020-21 aid year, which covers fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021. 2021-22 will begin fall 2021.

What to expect after you submit your application:

  • FAFSA/CADAA will email you once they’ve processed your application – they will then send your application to all of the schools you listed on your application.
  • The Cypress College Financial Aid Office will email you as soon as we receive your application. This email will provide instructions on the next steps to make sure your file is completed.
  • Review the next steps below for things you can do while waiting (Steps 2 & 3) for your application to be processed.

Step 2: Check your Home Campus

Check to make sure your home campus is Cypress College. You can do this while you’re waiting for your Financial Aid Application to be processed.

To verify if your home campus is Cypress or Fullerton College:

  1. log in to myGateway
  2. click on WebStar (the star icon on top)
  3. click on Student Records
  4. click on View Student Information
  5. Make sure both College and Campus says Cypress College. If the information says Fullerton College, please see below how to update your home campus.

How to change your home campus:

Please complete the Personal Information Change form and email the signed copy along with your valid photo ID to Admissions & Records with the subject line: Home Campus change request.

Complete the following fields on the Personal Information Change form:

Step 3: Check your Residency Status

Check to make sure your residency status is correct. You can do this while you’re waiting for your Financial Aid Application to be processed as well.

The California College Promise Grant (CCPG) fee waiver and Cal Grant require eligible students to be a qualifying resident of California – meaning you must have lived in California for at least one year plus one day prior to the start of the semester.

There are 3 qualifying residency statuses:

  • Resident
  • Indefinite Non-Res Exemption (AB 540)
  • Indefinite Non-Res Exemp DACA

Your residency status is determined by how your answer residency questions on your Cypress College Application (OpenCCC, not your FAFSA or CADAA). If for some reason your residency status shows as a non-resident and you ARE a California resident, you’ll want to correct your residency with Admissions & Records.

To verify if your residency status:

  1. log in to myGateway
  2. click on WebStar (the star icon on top)
  3. click on Student Records
  4. click on View Student Information
  5. Make sure your residency status is correct. If the information is not correct, please see below on how to fix it.

How to correct your residency:

To prove that you are a resident of California, you’ll need to provide 2 forms of proof to Admissions & Records with a copy of your photo ID, student ID number, and the subject line: Proof of Residency. Get residency information.

The most common types of proof are:

  • Bank Statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Car registration
  • California ID or California driver’s license
  • Lease
  • Tax statements from the previous year

If you are eligible under the AB 540 exemption, it is recommend you complete the Exemption Request Form and update your status with Admission and Records. You can email the completed form along with a photo ID to admissions@cypresscollege.edu. For additional questions, please visit Admissions and Records.

Once you have cleared your residency with Admissions & Records, please contact the Financial Aid Office with your student ID number so that we can make sure your financial aid file is updated.

Step 4: Check your SAP Status

We highly recommend that students review and familiarize themselves with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy prior to receiving aid.

You can check on your SAP status while you’re waiting for your financial aid application to be processed.

In order to receive financial aid awards (any awards other than the CCPG) your SAP status must be Good, Warning, or Probation.

Students will be emailed their SAP status prior to the start of each semester. You can also view your SAP status through myGateway:

  1. log in to myGateway
  2. click on WebStar (the star icon on top)
  3. click on Financial Aid
  4. click on My Overall Status of Financial Aid
  5. select the aid year you’re checking on and click submit
  6. You will then see a statement: “Based on your academic transcript, the status of your academic progress is [SAP status] as of [date].”

What do I do with my SAP status?

If your SAP status says “No Academic History,” please email us with your student ID number at financialaid@cypresscollege.edu so we can fix this for you.

If you are disqualified due to “Ineligible major for Aid,” you will need to update your major (see instructions below) with Admissions & Records (A&R). After you update your major, please email us (don’t forget to add your student ID number) at financialaid@cypresscollege.edu so that we can update your SAP status.

How to update your major with A&R:

Please complete the Personal Information Change form and email the signed copy along with your valid photo ID to Admissions & Records with the subject line: Major change request.

Complete the following fields on the Personal Information Change form:

If you are disqualified for Maximum Timeframe, GPA, and/or Completion Rate, you will need to submit a SAP appeal at cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com, if you do not see the appeal when you log in, please contact us and we can add it on there for you.

How to submit a SAP appeal:

1: Go to the Student Verification Website (cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com/). 
2: Log in using your myGateway login information.
3: Complete the Online SAP Appeal Form.
4: Upload proof of your extenuating circumstances.
5: Upload your current Comprehensive Educational Plan (Academic Counselor*). 
*Please note: the Comprehensive Educational Plan is provided by Academic Counselors. You may request it by completing this online form: https://forms.gle/uUHPW3nPBQwin52X9. An Academic Counselor will review your transcripts and provide the necessary items. You will be contacted upon completion or if they have any questions. If you have a current Comprehensive Education Plan, you can locate it in DegreeWorks under the Plans tab.

6: Submit your appeal for review.

Please note: appeals are processed in the order they are received. Your appeal should be processed within 1 week from the day you submit it.

Step 5: Complete any requested documentation

Complete any requested documentation at cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com (your login will be the same as myGateway, to initially set up your account they will ask you to verify some information – make sure you type it exactly as you typed on your FAFSA/CADAA).

  1. Your technician will review your documents – they may send documents back to you for clarification or to make edits so please check your email regularly for updates.
  2. Once everything is accepted by your technician – they will either be able to complete your file or they may need to send a few corrections to FAFSA/CADAA first.
    1. If corrections are sent: we typically get them back within 3-5 business days and then be able to complete your file. On rare occasions, when the corrections come back we may need to collect additional information, you will receive email notifications throughout this process to let you know where we are in the process.

Cal Grant eligibility: you may also receive an email from CSAC letting you know that you might be eligible for a Cal Grant award. If you do not receive an email from them, please follow the instructions in Step 5 below to check your eligibility. You will need to complete any required information requested by them as well.

Step 6: Check your Cal Grant eligibility

You can check on your Cal Grant eligibility about 1-2 weeks after submitting your FAFSA/CADAA or while you’re waiting for your verification documents (Step 4) to be reviewed.

To check your eligibility, please log into WebGrants4Students at mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/. When you log in, you’ll see a Cal Grant menu with four cards.

The card to the very left-hand side is the ‘Application Status’ or ‘Award Status’ card (see Figure 1).

  • If the card is an ‘Application Status’ card, you will need to submit your FAFSA/CADAA and wait for it to process.
  • If the card is an ‘Award Status’ pending card, you will need to click the ‘To Do’ button in the middle of the card.
Award Status Pending
  • After you click the ‘To Do’ button, the ‘High School Entitlement’ form (Figure 2) will open. In order for you to complete this you need to have submitted a FAFSA/CADAA, and must have a submitted GPA. The form contains required actions.
    • Beginning in February, students must confirm their school of attendance, or select a different school if they do not intend on attending the school listed and they have to self-certify their graduation date after they graduate high school. After the student graduates from high school they must return to their ‘To Do’ and certify the High School Graduation Date.

GPA – any high school or college can submit a GPA for the student. If you are a Cypress College student, we can only submit your GPA if you have completed at least 16 units. You can verify in your WebGrants account. When you log in, you will see tabs for the school year under Cal Grant, 2021-22. You can click ‘Show Details’ and then will be able to view your submitted GPA from your high school or college along with FAFSA/Dream act information if it is submitted.

Step 7: What happens once my file is completed?

Once your file is complete, your award information should be calculated and a revised award letter should be sent to you in about 24 hours. If you are eligible for disbursable aid (such as a Pell Grant or Cal Grant – please note that the CCPG Fee Waiver does not disburse to students), you will be able to set up a refund preference with BankMobile.

Here’s what to expect once your file is complete:

  1. Award Letter: you may receive an award letter several times. A new letter is sent whenever there is a change on your file (SAP status, file status, or any changes to your EFC or award amounts). If you aren’t sure what an item is on your letter, please hover over or click on the question mark button (?) next to the item for a brief explanation. Your award letter also includes additional helpful resources at the bottom.
  2. SAP Status:  (as mentioned in Step 3 above) in order to receive your awards (any awards other than the CCPG) your SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) status must be Good, Warning, or Probation.
    1. Students will be emailed their SAP status prior to the start of each semester. You can also view your SAP status through myGateway (see Step 3 above).
    2. If Disqualified, you will need to submit an appeal at cypresscollege.verifymyfafsa.com, if you do not see the appeal when you log in, please contact us and we can add it on there for you.
  3. For Disbursement information such as disbursement dates, Frequently Asked Questions, and how to select your refund preference, please visit our Disbursement Page.
    1. Refund preference: please note that once you select a refund preference, your disbursements will be delivered that way in the future (you can change/update your refund preference anytime directly in BankMobile).
  4. Transfer Monitoring: Students are only able to receive Pell grant funds from one school per semester. Each semester (about 2 weeks before the semester starts) we run a process called Transfer Monitoring (this happens with every student), which places a temporary hold on your account for 7 days while we double check to make sure no other school has already paid you Pell grant funds for the semester.

To reduce any impact on your Financial Aid disbursements, make sure to enroll AND complete your Financial Aid file as soon as possible however, if you complete your file after the semester has started, then transfer monitoring will run once your file is completed. That means if you’re eligible for Pell grant, you should receive your disbursement about two Fridays after your transfer monitoring is complete.