Student Terms of Agreement

Updated for 2013-2014

1. Effective July 1, 2012, all students have a new lifetime limit on how long you can receive a Federal Pell Grant. There is a new 600% limit (6 years or 12 semesters full-time) or until you earn a Bachelor’s Degree, whichever comes first. If you have received over 600% in Pell Grant for your lifetime, you will no longer be eligible for a Pell Grant. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.

2. There is a new Satisfactory Academic Progress policy that is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. This policy became effective starting with the Fall 2011 semester. For complete information, go to our webpage called Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

3. Federal regulations require that you and/or your parents file the appropriate Federal Tax Return if your income and/or your parents income exceeds the IRS filing requirements. If you fail to file a Federal Tax Return when required by the IRS then our office will not be able to continue processing your application.

2012 TAX Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers

IF your filing status is... AND at the end of 2012 you
THEN file a return if your
gross income was at least...**
single under 65 $9,750
65 or older $11,200
married filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $19,500
65 or older (one spouse) $20,650
65 or older (both spouses) $21,800
married filing separately any age $3,800
head of household under 65 $12,500
65 or older $13,950
qualifying widow(er) with
dependent child *
under 65 $15,700
65 or older $16,850
* If you were born on January 1, 1948, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2012.
** Gross income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2012 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). If (a) or (b) applies, see the instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A or Publication 915 to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income.
*** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2012 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,800, you must file a return regardless of your age.

4. You are encouraged to sign up on Reg-e to have your financial aid payments deposited directly into your bank account. Otherwise, your Financial Aid check(s) will be mailed to your home address.  Your status will only be changed to on campus pick up based on exceptional circumstances and only for the current academic year after which your payment status will be changed back to mail.

5. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to verify all documents submitted for your file along with information provided on your FAFSA at any time. During the review process, it may be determined that more documentation or information is needed to resolve conflicting information. Until the additional information is provided, no further processing will be done on your file.  The final determination of your eligibility may be delayed if corrections are needed or other information is required.

6. You must enroll in and maintain at least one (1) class at San Diego City College (SDCC) or ECC every semester in order to receive aid from SDCC. Only classes in the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) are counted towards your enrollment status unless specifically approved by the Financial Aid Office with a Concurrent Enrollment form. You can only receive aid from one college at a time.

7. If you enroll in less than 12 units per semester your Pell Grant and/or your Cal Grant payments will be adjusted. Pell Grant and Cal Grant disbursements will be based on your enrollment status as of a set date each semester,  known as the "freeze date". If you add units after these dates or after you have been packaged with aid, you will not receive an increase nor additional payments. If you are awarded during the semester and the semester "freeze date" has passed, your enrollment status will be determined and frozen based on the date of your actual disbursement. Please refer to the Payment Dates section on our website for more information and the specific Freeze date for each semester.

8. The full-time enrollment status for all students is 12 units per semester for Fall, Spring and Summer.  Federal regulations do not allow any exceptions including students certified by DSPS for less than 12 units.

9. If eligible, a portion of your Pell Grant will be set aside for use at the SDCCD Bookstores to purchase your books and supplies at the start of each semester. The bookstore award will depend on your enrollment status and the amount of your Pell Grant award. The remainder of your Pell Grant will be paid in two installments during each semester with the 1st disbursement including any unused amounts from the bookstore. If you are enrolled in the Cosmetology program, Esthetician program or the Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program your payments will be disbursed under an alternate disbursement process based on clock hours completed.. Please refer to the Payment Dates section on our website for more information and the exact dates of our main disbursements.

10. If you are only enrolled in all late start classes (classes not starting the first week of the regular semester), your grant and/or loan payments will be disbursed after your late start classes begin. Grant payments made for classes that you never attended may result in an overpayment and/or a reduced second disbursement.

11. Direct Loan payments will be disbursed only after you are officially enrolled in and currently attending six (6) or more units. Late classes that have not officially started will not be counted towards your current enrollment status. You must maintain continuous half-time enrollment (6 units or more) for the entire loan period to receive your loan check. Example: If you drop/withdraw below 6 units in the Fall, your check for Spring may be canceled and you must re-apply for a new loan. If you are a first time, first year borrower, your initial loan payment must be delayed at least 30 days after the start of the semester. Please refer to the Payment Dates section of our website for more information.

12. If you apply for a Direct Loan and you are only enrolled for one semester (Fall or Spring), the maximum loan amount you may receive is 1/2 of the full year amount.

13. If you are a non-resident student and eligible for a Pell Grant, it will be applied to your non-resident tuition and fees. You must pay the balance of any tuition and fees still due within the required timeframe or you will be administratively dropped from all classes.

14. If your legal or mailing address is located in another state and you are enrolled in all online (web) classes, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid. If you feel your status is incorrect, you must come into the Financial Aid Office and provide appropriate documentation to show you reside in California.

15. You must pay all fees including the Health Fee, if applicable, by the payment deadline or you will be dropped from all classes.

16. Your academic history will be reviewed each year you apply for financial aid with the FAFSA, even if you have not received financial aid before. To be in “Good Standing” for Financial Aid, you must meet all of the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):

  • Have a 67% or greater completion rate based on the total number of units completed versus units attempted in the SDCCD and any transfer work accepted (an official academic transcript must be received by SDCCD)
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in the SDCCD
  • Have attempted 90 units or less from all colleges attended (an official academic transcript must be received by SDCCD)
  • Have not earned an Associates Degree or a higher degree (Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate Degree) from any college (U.S. or foreign)

17. If you do not meet these SAP standards, you will be “Disqualified” from financial aid. The complete SAP standards are published in the SDCCD Financial Aid Bulletin or on our website under “Satisfactory Academic Progress”. If “Disqualified”, you may file a financial aid appeal if you have extenuating circumstances. An Educational Plan based on your major is required for all appeals.

18. If you owe any type of emergency loan, your financial aid check(s) will be held for pick up at the Accounting Office  window at A-114. You must endorse your check and any remaining balance will be refunded to you after deducting the emergency loan amount. This refund process may take one to two business days to be completed after you endorse the original check.

19. You will not be eligible for aid if you owe a repayment or overpayment on a Pell Grant, SEOG, or any other grant from any college.

20. You will not be eligible for any Federal aid if you are in “Default” on a Stafford, Direct, PLUS, SLS, or Perkins Loan or other loans from any institution. You may regain eligibility by providing proof that you have made satisfactory repayment for six (6) consecutive months, consolidated, or paid your loan(s) in full. You may then regain eligibility for federal grants and loans. You must continue to make your monthly payments. You may need to provide proof every year that you have maintained your monthly payments. If you miss a payment, you will become ineligible and you will have to make payments for 12 consecutive months to regain eligibility for any Federal aid.

21. You will promptly notify the appropriate Office(s) of any changes to your information, including, but not limited to:

  • Change of name or social security number (Financial Aid and Admissions)
  • Change of address or phone number (Make changes in Reg-e)
  • Receipt of outside financial aid or resources or receipt of financial aid from another college or agency (Financial Aid)
  • Attendance at another college while enrolled at San Diego City College (Financial Aid)

22. Official Academic transcripts from all prior colleges attended are required to determine your financial aid eligibility. You must request transcripts if they are not already on file or if your prior transcripts do not include your most recent attendance. For more information, click on this link, "Transcripts".

23. If you receive a federal grant or loan and you drop or withdraw from all classes before the 60% point of the semester, you may owe a repayment. You must repay the amount in full within 45 days of notification or a “Hold” will be placed on your Financial Aid and SDCCD records. If you fail to respond or comply, you will be ineligible for any Federal aid from SDCC or any other college and your repayment will be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection.

24. If you are enrolled in a Self-paced class (open entry, open exit), you will only receive enrollment credit and financial aid for the very first semester of enrollment provided you enroll by the semester freeze date. If you continue the class into the next semester, you will not receive enrollment credit again and the class will not count towards your payment determination for financial aid for the next semester.

25. Students enrolling for the first time after July 1, 2012 must have a High School Diploma, GED or state equivalent to be eligible for any federal financial aid. New students will no longer have the option to pass an ATB test or to successfully complete 6 core/degree applicable units to gain eligibility for federal financial aid. However, students who do not have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent but were enrolled prior to July 1, 2012, will still be eligible to take the ATB test or to successfully complete 6 core/degree applicable units to gain eligibility for federal financial aid. Information on obtaining a GED can be found at
26. The federal government will no longer subsidize the student loan interest for students during their six month grace period. The grace period is the time between when the student graduates or drops below half-time status and the time when the student must start repaying the loan. Students are encouraged to check with their Loan Servicer for any available options to assist with their loan repayment. 

27. Effective with the 2012-2013 school year, San Diego City College (along with Mesa College and Miramar College) have been approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in an experimental initiative regarding "Overborrowing" that allows our college to reduce or eliminate Unsubsidized Loan eligibility and borrowing for certain groups or categories of students. For more information, click on the link on the right side of this page for the "Federal Direct Loan (Unsubsidized)". 

28. Students that do not use the IRS Data Retrieval when completing their FAFSA online and who must verify their tax and income information must provide an IRS Tax Transcript to our office. We can no longer accept copies of federal tax returns (1040EZ, 1040A, 1040). To request an IRS Tax Transcript, students can call 1-800-908-9946 or order it online at and under the "Tools" section select "Order a Return or Account Transcript". 

29. Students can only receive financial aid for up to 1 repeat of any course with a passing grade (this includes grades with a "D").

30. Students in Good Standing who submit all required documents and complete their financial aid file by July 1, 2013 will receive priority in reviewing their file and determining their award eligibility. Students who complete their financial aid file after July 1, 2013 will still be reviewed and have their award eligibility determined but there is no guaranty that it will be completed before the start of the Fall 2013 semester. Students that must file an appeal will have their eligibility determined after their appeal is approved and there is no guaranty that it will be before the start of the Fall 2013 semester.

31. The Interest rate for Direct Loans is scheduled to increase from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1, 2013. This will affect loans borrowed between July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Congress is working on a bill to address this issue but there is no guaranty that they will come to an agreement or pass a bill..

32. Last year, Congress approved a new lifetime limit on receiving Subsidized Direct Loans. This new limit applies to first time borrowers only. A first time borrower is defined as a student with a zero ($0) loan balance as of July 1, 2013. For first time borrowers with loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013, these students will be limited to 150% of Subsidized loan eligibility based on the length of their program. For example, a student is enrolled in a 2 year program at San Diego City College. The student will only have 3 years of Subsidized loan eligibility and after the third year the student will no longer be eligible for a Subsidized loan at our school. If a student previously borrowed a Subsidized loan from any college and paid his loan balance down to $0 before July 1, 2013, he would be considered a first time borrower again and would be subject to the 150% Subsidized loan limit.

33. Students enrolled in substantially all online classes will be required to provide proof of identity in person at the Financial Aid Office in order to clear their first Grant or Loan disbursement. Students that reside outside of San Diego County may provide proof of identity with an original notarized form and signatures which must be delivered to the Financial Aid Office. Failure to provide proof of identity will result in a hold on all financial aid disbursements.

This page was last updated on June 10, 2013.