Financial Aid

anta Barbara City College offers many types of financial aid to assist students in paying for their education. The best place to view everything there is to learn about SBCC Financial Aid is our webpage. Be sure to find “menu” and drop do see all your options!  

Funded by the federal government, the State of California, local agencies and the college itself, they include:

  • Grants based on financial need that do not require repayment. Some grant programs have lifetime limits.

  • Loans that must be repaid after the student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Borrowing money to pay for college is a serious financial decision.  Be sure you know all the terms and conditions of borrowing before you assume student loan debt.

  • Employment. The Federal Work Study Program is need based and provides students with an opportunity to earn money to pay for educational expenses. Most positions are on campus and offer flexible hours to work around your class schedule. 

  • Scholarships based on scholastic achievement, financial need and/or student involvement. Students must maintain the scholarship award criteria, or may lose or be required to repay the scholarship.

  • Special Programs. Some students qualify for benefits through the Veterans Administration, California State Department of Rehabilitation and Bureau of Indian Affairs, among others. Eligibility requirements vary.

For additional information and the most recent updates, refer to the Financial Aid website.

Where Do You Go to Apply?

Financial aid information and application forms are available on the Santa Barbara City College’s Financial Aid website or at the Office of Financial Aid, Room SS-210, in the Student Services Building. You may apply for federal financial aid online by visiting the FAFSA website. Students who qualify for AB-540 residency designation should complete the California Dream Act Application which can be found on the California Student Aid Commission website

When Do You Apply?

Students may begin applying for financial aid by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as early as October for the subsequent academic year. The Office of Financial Aid will begin reviewing and processing applications for the academic year in the preceding spring and summer. Look for notifications via your SBCC Email. Once your financial aid application is complete, you will receive an aid offer based on your eligibility.  All financial aid applications are reviewed on a “first-come, first-served” basis. So, it is important that you apply early.  The earlier you apply, the sooner you will know how much money you are eligible to receive.  Your financial aid application must be complete and you must have received an aid offer to use any assistance to cover your tuition and fee charges.

There are various financial aid deadlines throughout the year that a student is expected to meet. Check the Financial Aid website for a complete listing of these deadlines.


California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

The CCPG waives the enrollment fee for qualified California residents and AB540 classified students. Students may be eligible for the California College Promise Grant if:

  1. You have been determined to have "financial need" by the Office of Financial Aid after completing a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application;
  2. You or your family are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplemental Program (SSP) aid;
  3. Your family’s income meets the established guidelines; or
  4. You qualify under Special Classifications Enrollment Fee Waivers

Applications and CCPG-related information are available in the Financial Aid Office, Room SS-210, or download the application from the Financial Aid website

Federal Pell Grants

A Federal Pell Grant is money provided by U.S. Department of Education for needy students.  Pell Grants are awarded to students with financial need who are working toward an associates degree (including transfer) or selected certificate programs, who have not yet earned their first bachelor’s degree. 

The actual amount of your grant is determined by your Student Aid Index (SAI, formerly EFC), the total cost of attending (COA) college and the number of units you are taking. Pell Grants have a lifetime limit of six years of full-time attendance.

You must submit a FAFSA and meet other verification requirements for SBCC to determine your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is a federal grant designed for students with exceptional financial need who receive Federal Pell Grants. Funded by the U. S. Department of Education,  these funds are extremely limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Loans are available to students who are enrolled in at least six units (half-time). The federal government may pay interest on subsidized loans during the in-school period which is up until the student’s enrollment in less than 6 units, transfer or graduation. The grace period is for six months. The student is responsible for paying the interest on unsubsidized loans during the in-school and grace periods. Students are eligible if they meet the Department of Education’s criteria, as listed with the Financial Aid Office. Some features of the loan program are limited based on how long a student is pursuing a particular program of study.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

FWS funds are provided by the federal government and are designed to provide part-time employment for students with financial need. Whenever possible, students are encouraged to select a work environment which will further their educational growth. As with other financial aid, FWS eligibility is determined by the Office of Financial Aid. A specific amount is awarded and that amount cannot be exceeded (for example, you are awarded a $2,000 FWS award, once you earn the $2,000, you cannot continue to be employed under FWS, but you can ask for an increae and if funds are available, may be granted). Funds are limited. If you are interested in the FWS program, please contact the Financial Aid Office. 

Cal Grants

Cal Grants are awarded based on demonstrated financial need and academic achievement to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. Cal Grants don't need to be repaid. Contact the California Student Aid Commission at 1-888-224-7268 or visit their website for more information regarding deadlines and availability of funds.

If you receive a Cal Grant A but decide to attend a California Community College, your award will be held in reserve for up to three years until you transfer to a four-year college. Be sure to inform the California Student Aid Commission of any address changes during this time. When you are ready to transfer, be sure to notify the California Student Aid Commission so that your Cal Grant eligibility can be re-evaluated. Also, let your new college know that you have a Cal Grant A Reserve Grant so it can be placed in the appropriate status.

If you receive a Cal Grant B, you will receive funds to help pay for books and educational costs while attending a community college. (If you do, keep in mind that you may only receive Cal Grants for a maximum of four year and you will be "using up" Cal Grant eligibility that you may want to save if you’re planning to transfer to a four-year college.) Additional Cal Grant funds are available for single parents and full time students.

If you’re pursuing a career or technical education, you can use a Cal Grant C award to pay for books and supplies,.

If you didn’t receive a Cal Grant for study at a community college and transfer, you may qualify for a Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement award to attend a four-year college.

Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)

The SSCG helps you afford full-time enrollment so you can graduate, begin your career and start earning money sooner. 

  • 12-14 Units / semester = $649 ($1,298 per year)
  • 15+ Units / semester = $2,000 ($4,000 per year)

You are eligible for the SSCG if you are a full time student and a recipient of a Cal Grant B or C award.


Scholarships are funded by gifts and endowments from private individuals, corporations, community organizations, and foundations and are awarded based upon academic achievement and financial need, as well as other scholarship specific requirements/qualifications. The SBCC scholarship application is available on January and closes on March of each year. For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage.


The practice of offering two or more types of aid to a student is known as packaging. A typical package would include aid from at least two of the following sources: grants, employment or loans.

The package is designed to meet all or part of a student’s established need for financial assistance. Packaging policies take into consideration not only the unique needs of each aid applicant, but also emphasize the order in which different funding sources are included in each financial aid package. The initial source of funding considered for all applicants is grant aid. If needed, the second source of funding considered is employment. The last source of funding considered is student loans. 



In order to receive a financial aid award and disbursement, a student must have a completed application and be enrolled in the required number of units. Most aid is distributed on a two-payment per semester basis. Normally, the first payment may be expected immediately prior to the first week of each semester, and the second payment at the end of the fifth week.

Student loans are disbursed in accordance with procedures set forth by federal regulations (more information is available in the Office of Financial Aid).

Federal Work Study recipients will be paid once a month for hours worked.

Student Consumer Information

Financial aid information included here is limited. Additional information is available at Santa Barbara City College’s Financial Aid Office, Room SS-210. SBCC’s Financial Aid Policies and Procedures are also available on the Financial Aid website.

Satisfactory Progress Standards  (SAP)

Federal regulations mandate that all institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” for students receiving financial assistance. All students who apply for and receive financial assistance are expected to meet the academic standards described in Santa Barbara City College’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Copies of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy are available in the Financial Aid Office, Room SS-210 and of the Financial Aid website

Cost of Attendance

When Santa Barbara City College uses the term “cost of attendance,” or COA it refers to the amount of money necessary to complete a 9 month academic year. This is considered to be a modest, but adequate, standard of living budget.  It does not take into consideration individual student situations and it presumes reasonable consumer choices on the student’s part.

The cost of attendance at SBCC is available on the Financial Aid website

Important Note: The amount of funds allocated to Santa Barbara City College, compared to the large number of needy students who qualify for financial aid, rarely allows the College to meet the total needs of an aid recipient.