Take the time to go over this brief orientation for essential information about your financial aid award.
Through this online orientation, you will get important information about the following questions:
Your financial aid status can now be viewed through Corsair Connect by following these steps:
Login to Corsair Connect
On the left panel, click Financial Aid
Select Financial Aid Year from the dropdown menu.
Scroll down to view the Award and Disbursements Chart (example below)
A Grant is money that does not need to be paid back.
A Federal Work Study (FWS) award is money that does not need to be paid back. You must work to access funds.
A Loan is money that you (or your parents) borrow from a bank. These funds need to be repaid.
The amount listed for a Pell Grant, a SEOG Grant, or a Cal Grant is usually based on full-time attendance.
If you are enrolled full-time (12 or more units) on the Financial Aid Census Date: you will receive 100% of your semester grant award.
2023-24 students enrolled full time are not eligible for a Pell Grant if their Pell EFC is 6657or higher.
If you are enrolled 3/4 time (9 to 11.5 units) on the Financial Aid Census Date: you will receive 75% of your semester grant award.
2023-24 Students enrolled 3/4 time are not eligible for a Pell Grant if their Pell EFC is 6401 or higher.
If you are enrolled 1/2 time (6 to 8.5 units) on the Financial Aid Census Date: you will receive 50% of your semester grant award.
2023-24 Students enrolled 1/2 time are not eligible for a Pell Grant if their Pell EFC is 5901 or higher.
If you are enrolled less than 1/2 time; (0.5 to 5.5 units) on the Financial Aid Census Date: you will receive up to 25% of your semester grant award.
2023-24 Students enrolled less than 1/2 are not eligible for a Pell Grant if their Pell EFC is 4401 or higher.
Summer Pell Grant Payment
Santa Monica College is currently offering Pell grants for summer courses (provided you are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress).
For Summer Pell Grant purposes, the enrollment requirements are the same as Fall and Spring.
(See comments above regarding the percentage of your actual Pell payment in Summer)
Students need to be enrolled in at least 12 units to be considered full time.
Students enrolled in 9 to 11.5 units are considered 3/4 time.
Students enrolled 6 to 8.5 units are considered 1/2 time.
Students enrolled in less than 6 units are considered less than 1/2 time.
For Work Study
The amount listed for Federal Work Study or Cal Works Work Study is an allocation. You have to work in order to earn the money. Also, the Work Study Allocation is based on the availability of funds.
For California Promise Fee Waivers
The amount listed is an averaged amount of enrollment and health fees that are waived. You will not be paid this amount.
Enrolling At Two Or More Colleges Within The Same Academic Year
Students cannot receive Federal Financial Aid at two schools at the same time.
Financial Aid Census Dates
Financial aid census dates are the days SMC will take a snapshot of your enrollment for the semester.
Check Deadlines to view the Census Dates for each semester.
- Fall 2023: October 31
- Spring 2023: April 23
Key Financial Aid Census Notes
- Since your enrollment level (full time, 3/4 time, 1/2 time, or less than halftime) determines your grant eligibility for the term, this enrollment snapshot will determine what your actual grant payment will be.
- In addition, if you drop below half time by FA Census Day and already received a payment at the full time, 3/4 time, or 1/2 time level you will be considered to have been overpaid and will need to return funds to SMC.
- If you add classes after the FA Census Day. They will not be counted for grant payment purposes.
- If you drop classes after the FA Census Day (as long as you do not drop all classes). You will not owe any money back to SMC. However, if you drop too many classes it could affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress status by lowering your completion rate.
For GrantsPell, SEOG, and Cal Grants students will be paid twice a semester.
Once an award has been posted on the Financial Aid portal screen, the processing for that disbursement takes approximately 7 to 10 days.
The first computer disbursement will be during the first week of the fall and spring terms. The actual check will be mailed 7 to 10 days later.
The second computer disbursement will be made after the FA Census date.
It is the students' responsibility to update their mailing address information in Corsair Connect as checks will automatically be sent to the address in the SMC system at the time of mailing.
For Work Study JobsPayments will be on the 10th and the 25th of each month. (Generally, the pay checks will be mailed around three weeks after the end of the two week period.)
All schools that participate in Federal Financial Aid programs must establish a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy that establishes certain minimum academic progress requirements for students who are receiving Federal Aid.
Here's what you must do:
Maintain an overall GPA of 2.0
Complete 67% of all units that you attempt
- Complete your academic goal at SMC with the maximum time frame
(If you are in an AA program or are transferring to a four year college,
you will be expected to complete your studies by the time you attempt 90 units).
To find out more information about SMC's Financial Aid SAP Policy Page
If you withdraw from all classes before the 60% point, you may owe part of the federal aid you received (also known as Title IV funds) back to the Federal Government.
Students that fail to return all unearned Federal Aid will be reported to the Department of Education as an overpayment. Students reported as owing an overpayment are no longer eligible to receive Federal Aid at any school.
What happens if I drop classes after I receive my financial aid check(s), but do not drop all classes?
Your Pell, Cal Grant, and SEOG eligibility for a term is based on your enrollment level on the Financial Aid Census Day which will be around the 10th week of the Fall term and the 11th week of the Spring term.
If you receive your first payment based on an enrollment level of full time, 3/4 time, or 1/2 time — and then drop to less than 1/2 time before the Financial Aid Census Day, you will be considered to have been overpaid. The difference between your less than 1/2 time eligibility and what you were already paid—must be repaid!
Students that do not repay their overpayment will have a hold placed on their records!
If you have a Work Study allocation, you must:
Go to the Student Employment Website to find a job through SMC.
After you find a job that interests you, contact the supervisor for an interview. Print out the Student Employment/Application/Contract and Payroll Forms from the SMC website.
Complete the "Student Section" and take it with you when you meet the potential supervisor of the job.
If you are hired, you will need to have the supervisor complete the rest of the Application/Contract.
You will also need to get a live fingerprint scan done at Campus Police. You can obtain the form at the Financial Aid Office.
Submit the completed packet of all forms along with your Application/Contract, pink copy or proof that you have submitted a live fingerprint scan and a copy of your signed social security card and drivers license (or other appropriate ID) to the Financial Aid Office.
Students may begin working only when the Financial Aid Office has sent an email to your new supervisor that you have been authorized to work.
Santa Monica College awards Direct Stafford Loans on a case-by-case basis.
To apply for a Direct Stafford Loan, please submit a SMC Loan Request Form and complete all of the necessary steps outlined on the request.
This form may be obtained from the SMC Financial Aid Department or it may be downloaded from the Loans Page.
Santa Monica College awards Parent (PLUS) Loan on request.
To apply for a Parent (PLUS) Loan for a dependent student, please submit a PLUS Loan Request Form
This form may be obtained from the Loans Page
Winter Grant Information
Winter units are added to Spring units for Pell Grant purposes. Winter units do not count for CalGrant disbursements.
Summer Grant Information
If you have remaining eligibility from the previous Fall and Spring terms (provided you are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress) you will be eligible for a Summer Pell grant.