Applying for Financial Aid
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 at www.fafsa.gov to avoid scams and entering your personal information in the wrong website!
Key Points & Steps
- Collect financial related documents for you and parent(s) of dependent student to facilitate the completion of the FAFSA (Such as Social Security Numbers, Date of Births, Tax Returns, Wages (W2)). To learn about the documents you may need to reference, please visit the FAFSA Help! web page.
- Create an FSA ID at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid.
Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. Click here for instructions on how 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.
- 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
- It takes approximately one week for the SMC Financial Aid Office to receive your FAFSA from the processor. You will receive an email from financial aid to your SMC Email Account. You can also view your status and document requests on your Financial Aid Portal through Corsair Connect, or you can visit the Financial Aid Office.
- 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 transfer requirements to a 4-year school are eligible to receive Federal Aid at SMC.
- Submit the requested documentation to Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
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.
You can apply for a Board of Governor's Fee Waiver (BOGW) separately, but we encourage you to fill out the FASFSA. If eligible, the BOGW will waive the cost of your classes.
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. Please see the orientation page for the breakdown of enrollment.
Please note: Students can only receive federal financial aid (grants and loans) from one college at a time.