Financial Aid Programs/Scholarships

Financial Aid Programs

(BP & AP 5130 - Financial aid)


  • Federal Pell Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate students. The amount of money awarded is based upon a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number of units enrolled, and the cost of attendance.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to eligible undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. It is awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis and is dependent upon funds available. Students must have a zero EFC and be enrolled in at least six units to receive funds, with Pell-eligible students receiving priority.
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program with limited funding which provides employment to help pay for part of a student’s educational costs. This program is based on financial need and, if awarded, is part of a student’s award package. Students on FWS may work approximately 15 hours per week on or off campus. Students must submit a separate FWS application in addition to the FAFSA to apply for FWS.
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are funds that must be repaid. Students must first complete a FAFSA and, after a student has received a financial aid award letter, the student may apply for a student loan by completing a loan packet and submitting it to the Financial Aid Office. Loan amounts follow federal guidelines and will be determined at the time the Financial Aid Office certifies a loan application. Master Promisory Note and Entrance Exam are required prior to submitting an application. Exit Exam is required after student drops below 1/2 time, withdraws or graduates. Students must maintain at least half-time enrollment status to receive a loan. Once a student receives loan funds, the student must maintain reasonable progress toward their declared, eligible educational program. In reviewing a request for any loan, the Financial Aid Office may use “professional judgment” to deny a student a loan on a case-by-case basis.
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs Grants - Southwestern College assists the Bureau of Indian Affairs in determining the financial need of Indian students applying for financial assistance under the higher education BIA program.  Although applications are processed year-round, students are encouraged to file in the spring for the next academic year since funding is limited.


  • Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW) is a program that provides assistance to cover community college enrollment fees. To be eligible, a student must be a California resident or verified AB540 student and must meet the requirements one of the following categories:
  • BOGFW A: Student or parent must currently be receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), CalWORKs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Supplemental Program (SSP), or General Assistance (GA). Documentation is required.
  • BOGFW-B: Student must meet income standards based on family size. Documentation may be required.
  • BOGFW-C: Student must have applied for FAFSA and demonstrate required level of financial need.
  • Cal Grants A, B & C are state-funded, need-based, grants given to California college students and do not have to be repaid.

IMPORTANT: Effective Fall 2016, there will be important eligibility changes to the BOGFW program. Students who are placed on academic and/or progress probation or disqualification in two consecutive primary terms (fall and spring) will lose eligibility for BOGFW. Students will be notified within 30 days of the end of the term and will have the ability to regain eligibility via appeal, working back into satisfactory academic status or sitting out two consecutive primary terms. There are special consideration factors for CalWORKS, EOPS, DSPS and student veterans. Foster youth and former foster youth who are 24 years old and younger are exempt from these regulations. For more information, please go to

  • Cal Grants A, B & C are state-funded, need-based, grants given to California college students and do not have to be repaid.

Students must be California residents or verified AB540 student, enrolled at least half-time (6 units), have a high school diploma and meet federal aid requirements. Cal Grants B & C are the only CalGrant awards offered at SWC.

The deadline date for high school students to apply for entitlement grants and for university transfer students to apply for entitlement transfer grants is March 2. To apply, students must file a FAFSA or CA DREAM ACT and submit a GPA verification to CSAC by the deadline (SWC students who have completed 16 degree applicable units will have their GPA automatically calculated and submitted to CSAC). Community college students wishing to apply for a competitive grant also have a second filing deadline of September 2 each year.

AB540 Students:
AB540 students with a DACA social security number or without a valid social security number should submit the Californa Dream Act Application at Applications for the 208-2019 FAFSA and CA DREAM ACT will be available on 10/1/17.

Under AB131, students who are registered as AB540 are entitled to receive Cal Grants, if eligible. Students with valid SSNs should complete the FAFSA application.  However, students with a SSN provided through the DACA program and students without SSNs should complete the California Dream Application.

CalGrant eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Be a California resident or verified AB540 student
  • Be a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen or verified AB540 student
  • Meet U.S. Selective Service requirements;
  • Attend a qualifying California postsecondary institution
  • Be enrolled at least half time
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined at the school of attendance
  • Have family income and assets below the established ceilings
  • Not be in default on any student loans
  • Not owe any federal or state grant refund
  • Not have a Bachelor’s or professional degree before receiving a CalGrant (except for extended CalGrant A or B awards for a teaching credential program)

Chafee Grants are administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The program is for foster or former foster youth to help pay for college, career or technical training. You must be a current or former foster youth, not have reached your 22 birthday as of July 1 of the award year and have financial need. To qualify students must meet the Chafee Grant Program requirements and be enrolled in a program at least one academic year in length. Chafee Grants are federally and state funded and is subject to the availability of funds each year.  More information on Chafee Grants can be found at

Full Time Student Success Grant (FTSSG) is a program that provides awards to Cal Grant B recipient students who are enrolled full time (12 units or more per semester, in the fall and/or spring semesters). FTSSG is a state funded program and is subject to funding availability.

Child Development Grants are administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The program is for students who are pursuing a Child Development permit to teach or supervise in a licensed California Child Care Center. Prior to receiving an award payment the recipient must sign a Service Commitment Agreement to provide one full year of service in a licensed child care center for every year the grant is received. To qualify students must meet the Child Development Program requirements.  More information on this grant can be found at


A scholarship is aid that does not have to be repaid. The Financial Aid Office oversees the scholarship program and is the steward of a number of scholarships that may or may not require that the student demonstrate financial need. Scholarships are available in the fall and spring semesters. The online application, as well as additional information on scholarships and scholarship eligibility, can be found at