Are You Eligible for Financial Aid?
Don’t let the cost of tuition scare you. The U.S. government offers low interest loans as well as grants and scholarships to help you pay for attending school.
To qualify for Federal Student Aid, you must:
- Demonstrate financial need. (Except for Unsubsidized and PLUS (Parent) loan programs.)
- Certify that you’ll use Federal Student Aid only for educational purposes.
- Have a high school diploma, a General Education Development (GED), or meet Ability-To-Benefit (ATB) guidelines.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment.
- Be a citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe money on a federal student grant (or have made satisfactory arrangements to repay it.)
- Be making satisfactory academic progress.
- If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you may qualify under the ATB, inquire with your Admissions or Financial Aid Officer.
How to apply for financial aid
Each CET location has a Financial Aid Officer who will help you and your family identify sources of financial aid and fill out the required forms.
Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid https://www.fafsa.ed.gov or come in to your local CET and speak with your Financial Aid Officer.
Access Cal Grant and Chafee information and manage your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.webgrants4students.org. You can also update your e-mail address, mailing address, telephone number, or school of attendance.
CET is here to help you through the process from the beginning to end! Come in today and we’ll walk you through it. Most students’ questions about Federal Student Aid fall into two main categories:
- Eligibility and Application
- FAFSA forms and Federal Student Aid Payments
- Q. How do I apply for Federal Student Aid?
- A. Find out by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. https://www.fafsa.ed.gov or come into your local CET Financial Aid Office and we’ll walk you through it.
- Q. I probably don’t qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?
- A. Yes! Many families mistakenly think they don’t qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving Federal Student Aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS (Parent) Loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no reason not to apply.
- Q. What is Center for Employment Training’s School Code for the FAFSA?
- A: The school code is: 016516
- Q. Can I apply for Federal Student Aid if my parents are undocumented immigrants?
- A. Yes. All U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens are eligible for Federal Student Aid, regardless of their parents’ immigration status. If you are a citizen or eligible non-citizen but your parents are undocumented immigrants, you should fill out the FAFSA and include their financial information.
If you fill in the parental information using a social security number that was not assigned to them or one that is only valid for work purposes, the application will be rejected. If your parent (s) does not have a social security number, use 000-00-0000 as his or her social security number.
- Q. Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for Federal Student Aid at CET?
- A. No. You can apply for Federal Student Aid any time on or after October 1. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at CET.
- Q. What kind of Federal Student Aid is offered at CET?
- A. CET offers grants, scholarships, work study (student employment), Federal Stafford Student Loans and Federal PLUS (Parent) Loans. Each program requires specific eligibility and application procedures. Please meet with a CET Financial Aid Officer to become familiar with these requirements. No matter what Federal Student Aid program you are applying for, all programs require students to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards in order to maintain Federal Student Aid eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are available on the CET Student Catalog at https//:www.cetweb.edu/catalogs or by your Instructor. It is the responsibility of the student who receives or wishes to receive Federal Student Aid assistance at CET to become familiar with this policy.
- Q. Why can’t I submit my FAFSA before October 1?
- A. The need analysis process for Federal Student Aid uses the family’s income and tax information from the 2019 tax year (the base year) to judge your eligibility for need-based Federal Student Aid during the upcoming academic year (the award year). Submit the form as soon as possible on or after October 1. If you wait too long to submit the FAFSA, you might miss the deadline for state aid. Most states require the FAFSA to be submitted by March 2.
- Q. Since Federal Student Aid is based on my income from the 2019 tax year, can I receive more Federal Student Aid if I lose my job?
- A. You may come to the Financial Aid Office and complete a Professional Judgment form. This form along with all of the documentation submitted with it will be evaluated and any adjustments that fall into federal guidelines will be approved.
- Q. Do I have to reapply for Federal Student Aid every year?
- A. Yes. Most financial aid offices require that you apply for Federal Student Aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year you will receive a “Renewal Application” which contains prefilled information from the previous year’s FAFSA. Note that your eligibility for Federal Student Aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college or household size.
- Q. How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?
- A. Submit a FAFSA. To indicate interest in student employment (Work-Study), you should check the appropriate box. Checking this box does not commit you to accepting this type of aid or any other type of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving this box unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.
- Q. Can my parents get a loan to help pay for my career training?
- A. Yes, parents of dependent students can apply for the PLUS (Parent) Loan. These loans are the responsibility of the parent. Parents can get more information on how to help their students pay for college from the www.mappingyourfuture.org web site or from the CET Financial Aid Office.
- Q. How do my parents apply for a PLUS (Parent) Loan?
- A. To be eligible to receive a PLUS (Parent) loan, your parents will be required to pass a credit check. They will need to complete a PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov or they can meet with a CET Financial Aid Officer. For a more detailed explanation from the Department of Education, refer to the brochure Direct Loan Basics for Parents, which is available online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/Files/direct-loan-basics-parents.pdf. For additional information, refer to “Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid” at https://www.studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/plus and also Mapping Your Future at https://www.mappingyourfuture.org/downloads/plusguideprint.pdf.
- Q. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?
- A. No. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal PLUS (Parent) loans. In general, you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. You do not need to get your parents to cosign your federal student loans, even if you are under age 18, as the ‘defense of infancy’ does not apply to federal student loans. (The defense of infancy presumes that a minor is not able to enter into contracts, and considers any such contract to be void. There is an explicit exemption to this principle in the Higher Education Act with regard to federal student loans.) If your parents (or grandparents) want to help pay off your loan, you can have your billing statements sent to their address. Likewise, if your loan servicer provides an electronic payment service, where the monthly payments are automatically deducted from a bank account, your parents can agree to have the payments deducted from their account. But your parents are under no obligation to repay your loans. If they forget to pay the bill on time or decide to cancel the electronic payment agreement, you will be held responsible for the payments, not them.
- Q. I got an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the Financial Aid Office?
- A. Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from an agency or government source, you must report the scholarship to the Financial Aid Office. CET will adjust your Federal Student Aid package to compensate. Outside scholarships will have some beneficial effects; they can assist in paying down tuition so that you borrow less in student loans.
- Q. Where can I get information about Federal Student Aid?
- A. You can contact your local CET Financial Aid Office at 1-800-533-2519. You can also access free resources at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/resources.
- Q. How is my eligibility determined?
- A. Federal Student Aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Financial need is the difference between what it costs to attend school and the amount you and your family can afford to pay, as determined by a standard Department of Education formula. This amount is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Q. How do I apply for a Federal Work-Study position?
- A. You will need to go to the Financial Aid Office to complete a job application and make sure the Financial Aid Office has your completed FAFSA on file.
- Q. Are Federal Work-Study earnings taxable?
- A. The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full-time and work less than half-time). Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
- Q. What is the maximum loan amount I can apply for?
- A. The yearly maximum for a first-year undergraduate dependent student is $5500 (maximum $3500 subsidized). The yearly maximum for a first-year undergraduate independent student (and dependent undergraduate whose parent cannot borrow a PLUS (Parent) loan) is $9500 (maximum $3500 subsidized). After your education is completed, the loan(s) are repaid at an interest rate set by the U.S. Congress. Students are encouraged to borrow loans wisely and to protect their future credit rating by borrowing responsibly. Financial Literacy sessions are offered by CET, students are required to attend these sessions. Loans are pro-rated based on the student’s chosen program length in clock hours.
- Q. What are the requirements to maintain my eligibility for Federal Student Aid?
- A. To continue to receive Federal Student Aid, a student must make satisfactory academic progress. Both competencies passed and hours attempted and completed are considered. For more detailed information on satisfactory academic progress, please refer to the CET Student Catalog.
- Q. What is the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement?
- A. This new acknowledgement has been added tthe Master Promissory Note (MPN) process to assist borrowers to understand the financial responsiblity of funding their education.
- The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement will provide the borrower with vital information such as:
- Prior student/parent (PLUS) loan balance before borrowing additional loans to pay for training.
- Explain loan concepts such as interest accrual and capitalization on principal balance.
- Understanding the borrower’s obligation on the monthly repayment amount and the median salary expected after graduation.
- Starting with the 2022-2023 Award Year, students and parents (PLUS) borrowers will be required to confirm they viewed the Annual Statement Loan Acknowledgement on studentaid.gov before loans can be disbursed to CET. CET must receive confirmation for each borrower for each award year loans are borrowed before disbursing loan funds. Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement confirmation was to be in effect during the 2021-2022 Award Year but has been postponed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
- Q. What happens if I withdraw from my program?
- A. First and foremost, withdrawing from your program may result in you owing a portion of your Federal Student Aid back to the Department of Education. In addition to having to repay your Federal Student Aid, you may also have to repay your tuition previously paid by your Federal Student Aid. Please consult with a CET Financial Aid Officer before you withdraw from your program. For the effects of program withdrawal see the “How an Incomplete/Withdrawal Could Impact Your Financial Aid“.
- Q. How does the financial aid refund process work if I do withdraw?
- A. If a student receiving financial aid withdraws from school, the school and the student share responsibility for returning Federal Student Aid (financial aid) funds. The amount of Federal Student Aid funds to be returned depends on how much financial aid the student “earned” before withdrawing.
- • The amount of earned financial aid depends on the percentage of the Period of Enrollment the student completed before withdrawing.
• The amount of financial aid the student received but did not earn, that is, the amount of “unearned” financial aid disbursed, must be returned to the appropriate financial aid program (for example, Pell Grants, Loans, etc.).
• The amount of financial aid the student earned that was not disbursed must be provided as a post-withdrawal disbursement to the student within 45 days.
Refer to the “How an Incomplete/Withdraw Could Impact Your Financial Aid” notice for a sample refund calculation.
- Q. What would disqualify me from financial aid?
- A. Any student who is subject to an involuntary civil commitment as defined in HEA Section 104(b)(7) after completing a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense is ineligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant.
- Q. How else would I be eligible for the Pell Grant?
- A.The HEOA provides maximum Pell Grant eligibility for a student whose parent or guardian was a member of the armed forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/2001, provided that the child was under 24 years of age.
CET provides the following resources and links for students to explore different avenues for paying for school. These represent only a small portion of the opportunities that exist. Be sure to check out all your local resources!
Federal Financial Aid Links:
Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents
Free Application for Federal Student Aid application online as well as information about eligibility and deadlines for applying.
College Navigator is a free consumer information tool designed to help students, parents, high school counselors, and others get information about nearly 7,000 postsecondary institutions in the United States – such as programs offered, retention and graduation rates, prices, aid available, degrees awarded, campus safety, and accreditation.
An education credit helps with the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of tax owed on your tax return. If the credit reduces your tax to less than zero, you may get a refund. There are two education credits available: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.
Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs under Title IV Financial Aid. These programs provide grant, work-study and loan funds to students attending college or career school. Federal Student Aid offers free assistance to students, parents and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process. Recipients of financial aid can access and inquire about their financial aid loan and grant information by accessing their student account on Federal Student Aid.
FinAid – Find information on all aspects of Federal Student Aid, from grants and loans, to education tax benefits.
Glossary of Federal Student Aid Terms.
A comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Fastweb is a free searchable database of available scholarships.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund. In addition to scholarship opportunities for deserving Latino students, HSF offers a broad range of outreach and educational programming to help students and their families navigate through the rigors of college life.
Vocational School Scholarships contains a database of Federal Student Aid and eligibility to assist with vocational school tuition.
Selective Service Registration: To obtain Federal Student Aid, men born on or after January 1, 1960 will require a Status Information Letter from Selective Service documenting that they have registered for the draft. Register on-line for the U.S. Selective Service at this site.
Do You Need Money for College or Career School? Apply is a comprehensive resource on Federal Student Aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of aid available through the Department’s Federal Student Aid office. Do You Need Money for College or Career School? Apply for Federal Student Aid tells you about the programs and how to apply for them.
California Financial Aid Links
Provides information about California State grants. Ask the CET Financial Aid Officer whether or not Cal Grant is currently available at CET California branches.
Cash for College – Provides dates and locations of free workshops that provide line-by-line hands-on help to complete the FAFSA.
The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara inspires, encourages, and supports Santa Barbara County students in their pursuit of college, graduate, and vocational school education through financial aid advising and the granting of scholarships.
If you have any questions, or require additional information on Federal Student Aid assistance, you may contact the CET Financial Aid Officer at the center that you plan to attend, or the Federal Student Aid Information Center.
This is a toll-free number.