Financial Aid

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How to Apply

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must be pursuing an Associate Degree or be in a non degree program (certificate) leading to gainful employment. For more information about the completion rates, costs and median loan debt of our non degree programs. Go to Gainful Employment.

Applying for state and federal financial aid is free. Simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA asks for information about a student's family's finances, mostly from tax returns. But a student does not need to wait until parents (or student) file a tax return - a student can use estimates from December paystubs and other end-of-year records. The numbers can be corrected later, if necessary. Meeting deadlines is more important than holding the FAFSA until a student has actual numbers.

A student needs to file the FAFSA only once each year. There are paper and electronic versions, both available in English and Spanish. Pick up the paper FAFSA at a college or high school. The online FAFSA is available on the web at

We suggest students file the FAFSA online as opposed to a paper FAFSA as our school will get your information more quickly and with greater accuracy.

For Cal Grants A,B,C, a student needs to submit the California Student Aid Commission's GPA Verification by March 2nd (or the second cycle of September 2nd if attending a community college). In many cases, the college or high school submits the GPA on your behalf. Please check with your high school or college to see if that is the case.

You'll receive an Electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) Information Acknowledgment in the mail about 2 weeks after submitting your online FAFSA. If you provided your e-mail address, you'll receive an e-mail with a link to your SAR on the Web in no more than 5 days. If you submitted your FAFSA by mail, you'll receive a SAR in the mail in approximately 4 weeks. The report contains a summary of information provided on the FAFSA and list the student's expected family contribution - the number used to determine the eligibility for state and federal aid.

Santa Barbara City College will receive your SAR information if we are listed as one of the six schools. Our school code is 001285. After receiving your application, the office may contact the student for additional information in order to complete the student's file.



Students who qualify for AB-540 residency classification should complete the CA Dream Act Application

The California Dream Act are two state assembly bills that were passed in 2011 that allow AB-540 students to apply for and receive several types of financial aid, including;

  • The Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW)
  • State financial aid like Cal Grants and the Chafee Grant
  • Assistance from EOPS or CARE
  • Privately funded scholarships. 

You are an AB-540 student, and exempt from paying non-resident enrollment fees, if you meet all the following criteria:

  • Attended A California High School for at least three years;
  • Graduated from a California High School, received  a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam;
  • Are registered or enrolled in a California Community College;
  • If required, complete an affidavit saying you have filed (or will file when eligible to do so) for legal immigration status. 

For more information, visit I Can Afford College - Dream Act Information 

721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2018 Santa Barbara City College