Financial Aid

Santa Barbara City College offers several types of financial aid which are funded through federal, state and local agencies and the college itself. The major categories include:

  • Grants. These awards are based on financial need and do not require repayment. Some grant programs have lifetime limits.
  • Loans. Such awards must be repaid after the student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. Most have a low rate of interest. Some features of the loan program are limited based on how long a student Is pursuing a particular program of study.
  • Employment. This type of award is based on financial need and provides the student with an opportunity to earn money for school through employment with participating Federal Work Study employers.
  • Scholarships. These awards are based on scholastic achievement and/or financial need and/or student activity involvement. They do not require repayment.
  • 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 may be obtained from Santa Barbara City College’s Financial Aid Office, Room SS-210, in the Student Services Building or visit the Financial Aid website. 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  on the California Student Aid Commission website.  

When Do You Apply?

Students may begin to apply beginning in October 2017 for the following 2018-2019 college year. Priority for aid will be given to students who apply early. Once your financial aid requirements are satisfied, you will receive an aid offer based on your eligibility.  If you apply late or complete your Financial Aid application late, your application will be treated on a “first-come, first-served” basis. If you do not qualify for financial aid or if your verification is not complete when classes start, you will be responsible for paying your tuition and fee charges.

There are various financial aid deadlines throughout the year. Check the Financial Aid website for a complete listing of deadlines.

California College Promise Grant (CCPG)

Formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW), the California College Promise Grant 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 or your family are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplemental Program (SSP) aid;
  2. You are qualified for and are receiving other financial 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

Pell Grants

A Pell Grant is money the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. It is an entitlement (awards are guaranteed if criteria are met) and Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree or who are enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs through participating institutions

The actual amount of your grant is determined by your estimated family contribution, the total cost of attending college and your enrollment status. Pell Grants have a lifetime limit of six years of full-time attendance.

After your application is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which constitutes official notification of your expected family contribution (EFC). The lower the EFC, the higher your award will be.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

The SEOG is a federal grant designed for students with financial need who receive the Pell Grant. Funds are limited.

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)

EOPS is intended to provide special support services to students with extreme financial need and a history of being economically and educationally disadvantaged. To be eligible for EOPS, a student must:

  • Be a California resident or AB540 eligible;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (12 units or more per term);
  • Have fewer than 70 units of degree-applicable college credits;
  • Qualify to receive a California College Promise Grant under either Method A or B; and
  • Be educationally disadvantaged as determined by EOPS staff.

Student Loans

These loans are available to students who are enrolled in at least six degree-applicable units (half-time). The Federal Government may pay interest on subsidized loans during the in-school period and during the grace period following the student’s termination 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 is a program financed by both the Federal Government and Santa Barbara City College (or some other local nonprofit agency) and is designed to provide part-time employment for students in financial need to continue their educational training.

Whenever possible, students are assigned to a work environment which further their educational growth and which also are of value to the college or off-campus agency. Students must be enrolled and be eligible for financial aid.

As with other financial aid, the Work Study award is determined by the Financial Aid Office at a limit that cannot be exceeded. Thus, if you have a $6,000 FWS award, once you earn the $6,000, regardless of the number of hours worked, you cannot continue to be employed under FWS. Funds are limited.


Scholarships are funded by gifts and endowments from private individuals, corporations, community organizations, and foundations. Scholarships are awarded based upon academic achievement, financial need, as well as other scholarship specific requirements/qualifications.

The scholarship application opens on January 1st and closes on March 2nd 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 or award offer is designed to meet all or part of a student’s established need for financial assistance. The uniform application of packaging policies ensures that each eligible applicant will receive the most advantageous combination of financial aid monies available at the time eligibility is determined.

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 aid. The last source of funding considered in the packaging process is loan aid.


In order to receive a disbursement, a student must have a completed application/file 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.

Federal Work-Study recipients will be paid once a month.

Student Consumer Information

Financial aid information included here is limited. Additional information on all financial aid categories is available upon request 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

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. 

Student Budgeting

When Santa Barbara City College uses the term “student budgeting,” it refers to the amount of money necessary to complete an academic year with a modest, but adequate, standard of living. A budget does not take into consideration all of the situations in which students find themselves, and it presumes reasonable consumer choices on the student’s part.

Student budgets reflect SBCC estimates for the 2018-2019 college year. This information is available on the Financial Aid website. These guidelines will better prepare you to plan the financing of your education.

Examples of 2018-2019 Student Budgets

  1. Dependent Living at Home with Parents: 9 Months
    Registration Fees1 $1,404
    Books and Supplies $1,917
    Room and Board $5,418
    Personal Expenses $3,258
    Transportation $1,107
    Cost of Education $13,104
  2.  Independent and Dependent Living Away from Home: 9 Months
    Registration Fees1 $1,404
    Books and Supplies $1,917
    Room and Board $13,779
    Personal Expenses $2,997
    Transportation $1,251
    Cost of Education $21,348

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.