Financial Aid News & Information

The information below can help you with understand the application process and provide you with updated news that you need to know about financial aid programs!

Applying for Financial Aid

Students who are U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens (permanent residents) can apply for state and federal aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Log on to to begin your application today! For more information on completing the FAFSA, visit

If you are an undocumented student who meets California AB 540 requirements, you may apply for California state aid programs by completing the Dream Act Application. This includes the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, Cal Grants, Chafee Grants, and private scholarships. Log on to For more information on the Dream Act and AB 540 eligibility requirements, visit

Financial Aid Newsletter

The “Financial Aid Newsletter” is updated on a bimonthly basis. Current financial aid students will receive the newsletter via District email.

New Financial Aid Regulations

The laws that govern financial aid eligibility are based on the federal and state government. Because these regulations are always changing, this section is meant to keep the students of Contra Costa up-to-date on financial aid regulations that may affect them now and in the future!

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Limit: Effective July 1, 2012, a student may receive the Pell Grant for up to 12 full-time semesters, or six full-time academic years. This includes all years in which the student has received Pell Grant. Once a student has received 12 full-time semesters of Pell Grant, the student will no longer be eligible for Pell Grant for any future semesters. Any semesters in which the student was not enrolled full-time will be prorated.

High School Graduation and Ability to Benefit: Students who enroll in an eligible higher education program for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, and do not have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent (GED, CHSPE), are ineligible to receive student aid. Only students who were enrolled in eligible programs prior to July 1, 2012, and do not have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent remain eligible to qualify under the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provisions. ATB provisions provide the option for the student to pass an independently administered ATB test or successfully complete at least 6 credit hours of postsecondary education to qualify for student aid. If you feel that you may qualify under the ATB provisions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information.