Admissions & Aid

Applying for Financial Aid


Completing the FAFSA 2020-2021

Spanish Version of Video: Completing the FAFSA 2020-2021 

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.


Be sure to fill out your FAFSA on the Department of Education website to avoid scams and entering your personal information in the wrong website!

Key Points & Steps

  1. Collect financial related documents for you and parent(s) of a 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, visit the FAFSA Help! web page.

  2. Create an FSA ID.

    • Santa Monica College's Federal School Code is 001286.

    • Complete FAFSA form as early as possible. FAFSA opens October 1.

  3. Once you have submitted the FAFSA, 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, log in to the FAFSA website to make those corrections

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Submit the requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office via Corsair E-docs in your Student Portal as soon as possible.

California Residents

The FAFSA will also determine your eligibility for a California College Promise Grant, as well as other types of federal and state financial aid programs.

You can apply for a California College Promise Grant separately, but we encourage you to fill out the FAFSA. If eligible, the California College Promise Grant will waive the cost of your classes.

Check Your Status

Log in 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 (California College Promise Grant, 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. See the orientation page for the breakdown of enrollment.

Note: Students can only receive federal financial aid (grants and loans) from one college at a time.  If you plans to attend two colleges concurrently, you must decide which college you will receive your financial aid assistance from.