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During the COVID-19 crisis, we know many community college students face tough financial choices but being able to pay for college shouldn’t be one of them. You have big plans for your future and we’re here to help you get there.

The good news is financial aid for community college students is available now and year-round. More than $6 billion of financial aid is available each year for California college students to help with tuition, books, supplies and sometimes even rent. During this health crisis, financial aid and other resources are still available to help you enroll and continue your education. Contact your financial aid office for information regarding emergency aid and other resources available as a result of COVID-19.

Be sure to check this page often for new information and updates about financial aid during the crisis.

I Can Afford College

Students can still get help paying for fees, books, supplies and sometimes even rent. Get information about grants, loans, scholarships and other available financial aid.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes,  colleges may distribute emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. These expenses include students’ cost of attending college, including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care. The U.S. Department of Education attempted to limit these grants only to students who qualify for federal financial aid, but the California Community Colleges on June 17 won a federal lawsuit that blocks the imposition of any eligibility requirements, including immigration status, for students to receive this emergency assistance.
Many colleges are loaning laptop computers so that students can continue their coursework while at home.  Students should check with their financial aid office to see if their college is offering laptops.
Several companies throughout California are offering free or low-cost internet access to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. A list is available here.

Colleges have been authorized to transfer financial aid funds between programs on an emergency basis. Make sure to explain your situation to your college to see if you can receive emergency assistance.

Possibly not.  The CARES Act does not require Pell grants or federal student loans to be returned if you had to drop out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Check with your college on how state assistance or other financial aid may be affected.
If you drop a class due to COVID-19 you will most likely receive EW (emergency withdrawal) grades. These will not affect your financial aid status. However, any letter grades you earned for the semester will be counted toward your GPA. Pell Grant and student loan Satisfactory Academic Progress eligibility will not include grades for the courses that the student dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Colleges have flexibility in the use of leaves from attendance. Work with the college to find out the best way to maintain your enrollment and academic progress.
There will be some temporary relief for Federal Student Loan borrowers.  Student loan payments will be deferred for 6 months, including principal and interest, through September 30, 2020, without penalty to the borrower for all federally owned loans. Please note this relief program is scheduled to expire September 30, 2020. You should contact your loan servicer to verify your loans have been placed on a non-interest accruing forbearance.
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted to provide emergency financial assistance and healthcare response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your college will determine your eligibility to receive emergency grants made available from the CARES Act. The financial aid office will notify you if you are eligible and when you can expect to receive any emergency aid.
The CARES Act provides much-needed relief for students with federal loans, including the suspension of monthly payments, interest and involuntary collection activity until September 30, 2020. In addition, Governor Gavin Newsom announced an initiative on April 23 to provide payment and other relief to more than 1.1 million Californians with privately held student loans and signed an executive order to stop debt collectors from collecting COVID-19-related assistance from borrowers.
The Governor announced on April 23 that students with commercially owned Federal Family Education Loan or privately held student loans who are struggling to make payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for expanded relief, including a minimum of 90 days forbearance, waiving late payment fees, ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting and helping eligible borrowers enroll in other assistance programs.
Governor Newsom signed an executive order on April 23 that exempts court ordered debt collection for individuals receiving federal, state or local government financial assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes recovery rebates under the CARES Act. Funds may still be collected for child support, family support, spousal support or criminal restitution for victims.

Pell Grants paid to students who dropped all of their units as a result of COVID -19 will be excluded when counting lifetime Pell eligibility.

In most cases, if a student receiving a Promise Program (AB19) fee waiver and has to drop below full-time, they may still be eligible to receive Promise Program fee waiver as long as they enroll full-time in the next semester. Since Promise Programs, vary by college and district, it is best to check with your financial aid office to verify your eligibility.
If your income has decreased due to reduced hours or layoffs because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional financial aid. You should contact the financial aid office at your college to explain the decrease in your income.
Some work-study programs allow students to still receive payment if you are not able to work due to COVID-19 closures. You should check with your work-study employer to see if you are eligible to still receive payment.