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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Application Period for 2024-2025 FAFSA
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available for the upcoming award year. Submit financial aid application  online
March 2nd
Cal Grant application deadline - Submit both FAFSA and GPA Verification
April - May
Submit all required documentation to the Financial Aid Office
Financial Aid Office begins emailing Award Notifications to students who applied and submitted documentation during the early application period
September 2nd 
Cal Grant application deadline - Submit both FAFSA and GPA Verification (applies to FAFSA only)
Application Period for 2024-2025 CA DREAM Act
CA Dream Act Application becomes available for the upcoming year. Submit Dream Act application online
March 2nd
Cal Grant application deadline - Submit both Dream Act and NON-SSN GPA Verification form

You MUST meet at least one of the following conditions to be considered independent:

  • Turn 24 years old within the academic year 
  • You will be enrolled in a master's or doctorate program at the beginning of the school year
  • You are married as of the day you apply
  • You have children who receive more than half their support from you
  • You have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you 
  • At any time since the age of 13, both of your parents were deceased, you were in foster care, or you were a dependent or ward of the court
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • You are or were an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • You are or were in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
  • You were determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless by your high school or school district liaison
  • You were determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • You were determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless by the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program

Contributor is a new term introduced on the 2024-25 FAFSA form. It refers to anyone asked to provide information on a student's FAFSA form, i.e., the student, the student's spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent's spouse (stepparent).
A Contributor is NOT a grandparent, foster parents, legal guardian, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, even if they helped provide for or raise the student. 
A Contributor on the FAFSA form doesn't mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs.  

The student's or parent's answers will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
These contributors will be invited to complete their portion of the FAFSA form by entering their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and email address. They must also provide personal and financial information in their own sections of the FAFSA form.
  1. Contributor receives an email informing them that they've been identified as a contributor. 
  2. Contributor creates a account if they don't already have one. 
  3. Contributor logs in to account using their FSA ID account username and password. 
  4. Contributor reviews information about completing their section of the FAFSA form. 
  5. Contributor provides the required information on the student's FAFSA form.  
Being a contributor does NOT implicate financial responsibility. However, if a required contributor refuses to provide their information, it will result in an incomplete FAFSA form, and the student will become ineligible for federal student aid.  
Students that live with a single/divorced/widowed parent and receive most support from that parent, will report only one parent on the FAFSA.
The parent included in the FAFSA as a contributor must be the parent that provides the greater portion of the student's financial support. If that primary parent is remarried, the income of that parent's spouse (stepparent) will also be required.
  • According to the Future Act, all students and contributors must provide consent to the following: 
  1. Have their federal tax information transferred directly into the FAFSA® form via direct data exchange with the IRS; 
  2. Have their federal tax information used to determine the student's eligibility for federal student aid; and 
  3. Allow the U.S. Department of Education to share its federal tax information with postsecondary institutions and state higher education agencies for use in awarding and administering financial aid. 

Important: Even if students or contributors don't have a Social Security number, didn't file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they still need to provide consent. 

  • If a student or required contributor doesn't provide consent to have their federal tax information transferred into the FAFSA® form, the student will not be eligible for federal student aid—even if they manually enter tax information into the FAFSA form. 
  • Information about how federal tax information will be used and the consequences of not providing consent will be included on the FAFSA form. 
  • Legal parents must provide consent to transfer federal tax information, even if one of the parents didn't file or had no income. If parents fail to provide consent, the student will not be eligible to receive federal student aid. 
Your submission of the FAFSA or CADAA can take roughly 3-5 business days to be received by Mt. San Jacinto College. Your Financial Aid Offer letter will be available depending on when you file and how quickly you submit the required documents. During peak periods, verification may take 3-4 weeks to complete. Please check your financial aid status on your Self-Service account or follow up with the Financial Aid Office to check the status of your file.

Yes, we encourage all students to apply for financial aid! Whether you believe you qualify or not, there are several aid resources available to assist students with educational expenses. Plus, it’s FREE to apply! Apply now at StudentAid.Gov or CA Dream Act.

Yes, undocumented students may be considered for state, institutional, and scholarship aid opportunities. Visit State Financial Aid for a list of eligible aid programs.


What is the California DREAM Act Application?

The passage of AB131 authorized state funded financial aid to AB540 eligible students.  If you are an undocumented AB540 student, you may complete the CA Dream Act application to be considered for financial aid.  


Are there scholarships available for undocumented students?

Yes, there are several scholarship opportunities available for undocumented students.

Please visit our UndocuDreamers webpage for more information and additional resources!  

SAI, or Student Aid Index, is replacing the term Expected Family Contribution, known as EFC. The SAI brings a change in the methodology used to determine aid.

The SAI is a number used to determine eligibility for need-based aid. It is calculated using information the student (and contributors, if required) provides on the FAFSA form.

The SAI will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) starting in the 2024-25 award year. 

The SAI can be as low as -1500. 

Important: Your federal award equals Need = Cost of attendance (COA) - Student Aid Index (SAI) - Other Financial Assistance (OFA).

Maximum Pell Grant - Students may qualify for a maximum Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income, poverty guidelines, and tax filing status. Students qualifying for a maximum Pell Grant will have a Student Aid Index (SAI) between –1500 and 0. 

Students who don’t qualify for a maximum Pell Grant may still be eligible if their calculated SAI is less than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year. The student’s Pell Grant award will be equal to the maximum Pell Grant for the award year minus their SAI.  

Minimum Pell Grant - Students whose SAI is greater than the maximum Pell Grant award for the award year may still be eligible for a Pell Grant based on family size, adjusted gross income, and poverty guidelines.  

According to the IRS tax year 2022, these are the thresholds by filing status, if parents of a dependent student or an independent student (and spouse, if married) were not required to file a federal income tax return for 2022, the student will automatically receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) equal to –1500.  
Students with a negative or 0 SAI will be eligible for the maximum Pell Grant. The difference is that the negative -1500 SAI indicates the student has a higher need than the student with 0 SAI, being eligible for other grants, if available, like Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access financial aid information and is used to electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents.  If you do not already have an FSA ID, create an FSA ID.

I previously created an FSA ID and password, but I forgot my information. Can I create a new account to renew my FAFSA or make corrections to current FAFSA?

If you previously created an account, you will not be able to create a new account,  but will be able to reset any password or username by clicking “forgot my password”. If you no longer have access to the email or phone number previously used, please contact FAFSA at 1- (800)- 433-3243. 

Students may also elect to sign the application manually by printing out the signature page and mailing it to the central processor. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, you may contact 1 (800) 433-3243.  

*Note that manual signatures have extended processing times.

All students and contributors must create a account to complete the FAFSA form online. 

Students and contributors will use their FSA ID account username and password to log in to their accounts. 

Even if a parent or spouse contributor doesn't have a Social Security number, they can still get an FSA ID using their ITIN to fill out their portion of the student's FAFSA form online. 

To create an FSA ID, you'll need your Social Security number (SSN). Other information required is full name and date of birth. You'll also need to create a memorable username and password and complete challenge questions and answers to retrieve your account information if you forget it. You'll be required to provide your email address or mobile phone number when you make your FSA ID. Providing a mobile phone number and/or email address that you have access to will make it easier to log in to ED online systems and allow you to verify your FSA ID before using it on the FAFSA and additional account recovery options. 

This Federal Student Aid video can help create a step-by-step FSA ID.  

Yes. Starting 2024-25, parents and/or spouses who are not U.S. Citizens or Eligible Noncitizens can use their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to create an FSA ID once their taxes are still required.
Your parents' citizenship status doesn't affect your eligibility for federal aid. They cannot create an FSA ID, but you can complete the FAFSA on paper and ask for their signatures. For FAFSA purposes, you must provide your parents' income, no matter where they reside.  
If the parent you indicate on the FAFSA is the parent who remarried, it'll depend on how they filed taxes. If they filed jointly, only one parent needs an FSA ID. If they filed separately, both parents would need their own FSA ID.  
No. You can retrieve your existing FSA ID if you forgot your username and password.
Yes! For example, a student and parent cannot use the same phone number for MFA.  
This depends on the family's situation. For example, if a student has married parents filing taxes separately, both parents will need to make an FSA ID. 
  • Starting 2024-25, a separate signature page will no longer exist. There are two alternative options for contributors to provide consent who do not want to or refuse to create an FSA ID: 
  1. The first example would be the student applying using the paper FAFSA and obtaining wet signatures from all contributors, including the parents, who also affirm their consent. 
  2. The other option is for the student completes their section and self-reports information for the parent section on the FAFSA form. When the student submits their FAFSA form without the parent's signature, it will be placed in rejected status by the FAFSA Processing System (FPS). The parent can then provide their signature and consent on a paper copy of the FAFSA Submission Summary. Now this method is not recommended due to complexity and increased processing time. 

No, you don’t need to be accepted for admission to apply for financial aid. However, students must be admitted and enrolled to receive any financial aid for which they are eligible. The FAFSA and CA DREAM Act applications open every year on October 1st for the upcoming academic year. We encourage students to apply early to ensure their applications are received and active before their registration appointment. For important enrollment dates and deadlines, visit the Enrollment Services webpage.

Verification is a secondary review process in which files are selected at random to check certain data elements on the FAFSA or CADAA.  If your file is selected for verification, the school is required to verify the information reported. Your SAR will tell you if you are selected for verification and your school will notify you via student email or Self-Service.

Students may complete and submit any outstanding tasks online using our secure document upload, StudentForms.  

Within StudentForms, all MSJC students have access to:   

  • Complete financial aid forms on any phone, tablet, or computer 
  • Securely upload documents from any device 
  • E-sign documents—both student and/or parent(s)  
  • Manage financial aid tasks online 
  • Request SAP, Dependency Override, or Income Reduction Appeals 
  • Receive automated reminders about outstanding tasks and next steps 

Visit StudentForms to register your account and get started! 

Mt. San Jacinto College Financial Aid Office considers 12 or more units as full-time for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Please see the Disbursement Schedule for a detailed breakdown of enrollment statuses below 12 units.

The Federal School code for the FAFSA is 001246.  The Federal School Code for CADAA is 00124600. Please note: Only schools listed on your FAFSA or CA DREAM Act will receive your application.

Federal and State regulations require that students seeking financial aid must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a published degree objective and ensure progress toward the degree for all periods of enrollment whether or not the student has received financial aid. MSJC SAP Standards requires students to: Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0, complete a cumulative 67% of attempted units, and complete their education program within 150% of the minimum required units.

The FAFSA provides specific criteria for determining when a student can apply for federal aid without using contributor income information. Please refer to the “What makes me an independent student?section for more details. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, you may be eligible for an Unusual Circumstances - Dependency Appeal. Feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office for additional assistance. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal privacy law that protects your educational records, and prohibits the Office of Financial Aid from disclosing your financial aid information without your authorization. If you wish to authorize release of information to someone else, you may do so by submitting a Consent to Release form.

Documents being requested can be found on your Financial Aid Checklist in Self-Service. Depending on the required document, you may be redirected to StudentForms to complete the action. will display the documents being requested to complete your financial aid file.

Students may check their Financial Aid status on Self-Service. In Self-Service, students may view their FA Checklist for outstanding documents, Offer Letter, and SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) status.

Your document's status should be updated around 3-5 business days after submission for the current academic year. 

Some eligible programs of study for financial are AA, AS, and Certificate programs. Please see the MSJC Course Catalog for a list of eligible programs.   

You will not receive a 1098-T form if your tuition fees were waived by the California College Promise Grant or a K-12 fee waiver. If you are eligible to receive the 1098T form, you will be able to access this via Self-Service beginning January 31st, if you have one available to you.  

Once you submit your FAFSA, please allow 3-5 business days for your application to be processed and sent to us.  If you log into your Self-Service and your Financial Aid Checklist does not reflect "Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)” as complete, it may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. MSJC's school code was not included on your financial aid application
  2. You may have completed the wrong application for the current school year or are under the wrong academic year on Self Service
  3. Your social security number does not match what is on your FAFSA and the MSJC Enrollment Application
  4. You did not put your social security number on your admissions application

If you do not see a CA College Promise Grant awarded on your Self-Service Financial Aid Offer Letter, it may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1.  Your FAFSA or CA Dream Act application has not been received
  2. You are not considered a CA resident or AB540/ exempt group
  3. Based on your FAFSA, you do not demonstrate a financial "need"
  4. You have been placed on Academic Dismissal
The CCPG waives tuition fees only. You will be responsible for paying all other mandatory student fees at the time of registration or risk being dropped from your courses.
Non-resident tuition is considerably higher than in-state tuition. If awarded a Pell Grant, these funds are not automatically applied to your nonresident tuition. Therefore, payment plan options are available. Once you have registered for classes, you must visit the Enrollment Services office prior to the payment deadline to set up a payment plan. Unless you are approved for Financial Aid, a 25% deposit of tuition is required at the time your payment plan is setup. Please come prepared to pay this amount

If you paid for your courses out of pocket and have been awarded the CA College Promise Grant, you should automatically be rebilled.  The refund takes 3-4 weeks to be processed and issued back to the original method of payment.  If a debit or credit card were used, the funds will be returned to the same card.  If cash or money order were used, a check will be mailed to the address on file.

Students need to select a refund preference with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc.

Students will receive instructions on how to select their refund preference from BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. Visit this link for more information:


Financial Aid Office Hours
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: Closed
*In-person services are not available at the Temecula Valley Campus at this time.
Reach us by phone at 951-465-7891 or email