The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward applying and getting federal aid for college, career school, or graduate school. Santa Monica College will use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid. All students are encouraged to complete and submit a FAFSA by March 2nd of each year.
The FAFSA is FREE
Be sure to fill out your FAFSA on the Department of Education website to avoid scams and entering your personal information in the wrong application sites!
Key Points & Steps
1. Collect financial related documents for you and parent(s) of dependent student to facilitate the
completion of the FAFSA. To learn about the documents you may need to reference, please visit the
2. Apply by submitting the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov where you will first need to obtain an FSA ID.
The FSA ID has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN.
Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically
sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when
logging in to www.fafsa.gov. If you have a Federal Student Aid PIN, you will be able to enter it and link
it to your FSA ID. Instructions to obtain an FSA ID
Santa Monica College's Federal School Code is 001286.
The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after January 1 of any given year.
3. Once you have submitted the FASFA, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you electronically if
you provided an email address on the FAFSA. Once you receive the SAR, please review it carefully to
ensure that all of the information on the report is accurate. If corrections or updates need to be made,
please login the FAFSA website and make those corrections.
4. Please note that once you have submitted your FAFSA application to the federal processor – it takes
approximately 1 week for the SMC Financial Aid Office to receive your file from the processor. You will
then be able to view your status and document requests on your FINANCIAL AID PORTAL through Corsair
5. Make sure that you have declared an appropriate educational goal, which you can do online on your
Corsair Connect to update. Only students working toward an AA degree, a vocational certificate, or on
the transfer requirements to a 4-year school are eligible to receive Federal Aid at SMC.
6. California Residents
The FAFSA will also determine your eligibility for a California Board of Governors Waiver, as well as
other types of federal and state financial aid programs. If you are not eligible for federal aid and did
not fill out a FAFSA - you can still apply for a BOG fee waiver separately. This will waive the cost of
If you wish to be considered for a Cal Grant, please visit SMC Financial Aid Office and website for more
details. Also note that a FAFSA needs to be submitted in order to be considered for a Cal Grant. The
deadline for submission of the FAFSA for school year 2014-15 is March 2, 2014.
Checking your status:
Login to your SMC Corsair Connect financial aid portal. All communication from the Santa Monica College Financial Aid Office will be sent to you via email or posted on your financial aid portal. For example, your estimated award letter will include information about your eligibility for federal and state financial aid, the type of award (BOG, Cal Grant, Pell, SEOG, Work Study, etc) and dollar amounts awarded to you. *An award is based on the number of units enrolled in each semester and subject to change based on academic standing and availability of federal funds.
Please note: Students can only receive federal financial aid (grants and loans) from one college at a time.