Determining Federal Aid Eligibility

How is my eligibility determined?

There are four basic steps used to determine how much financial aid you may receive after you complete the FAFSA and submit all requested documents:

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money you and/or your family can realistically be expected to contribute toward your educational cost while you are in school. The EFC is calculated from the FAFSA information you submit to the Federal processor when you apply for financial aid.  If you are considered an Independent Student, only your information (and your spouse's, if you are married) is used to calculate the EFC. If you are a Dependent Student, your parent(s) financial information is also used.

** The Department of Education considers an Independent Student if any one of the following applies to you:

  • You are at least 24 years old.
  • You are married.
  • You have legal dependents of your own.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Both of your parents are deceased.
  • At any time since you turned age 13, you were in foster care or were a dependent or ward of the court.
  • You are an emancipated minor, as determined by a court in your sate of legal residence.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, a director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.


Dependency Override: There are circumstances for which the Financial Aid Office at Cañada College can make exceptions to your dependency status. There must be a compelling reason to request that this be done. Unusual circumstances, such as parental abuse or a severing of the relationship between the parent and student, are the typical reasons exceptions are made. If you believe that your particular circumstance merits review for a dependency status change, please complete the Request for Dependency Status Change form. A written statement and documentation of the circumstances must be provided for the request to be considered.

A standard student budget is developed for all financial aid recipients based on average costs associated with attending Cañada College. Average student costs for categories in the budgets are developed using annual survey information provided by the California Student Aid Commission, the Chancellor's Office for California Community Colleges, and surveys conducted on behalf of the Financial Aid Office.

Student budgets are developed for four categories of students:
1. Students who are Independent are assigned an Away from Home budget (assumed to be self-supporting)
2. Students who are Dependent are assigned an At Home budget (assumed not to be fully self-supporting as parent income is required on the FAFSA).
3. Students who are not residents of California
4. Students who attend less than half time (Less than half-time budgets are used to determine Pell eligibility only).


2022-23 Cost of Attendance Budgets at Cañada

  At Home
w/ Parent
Away from Home (self-supporting) Away from Home (Out of State)
Books $1,971 $1,971 $1,971
Room & Board $12,810 $20,858 $20,858
Transportation $1,134 $1,278 $1,278
Personal Expense $3,564 $3,996 $3,996
Enrollment/Health Fees $1,332 $1,332 $1,332 + $8,176 Non-Res Tuition
Total $20,811 $29,435 $37,611

BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS are automatically made to add tuition for non-resident students and additional fees for students when applicable. You may request an adjustment to your budget when you have additional expenses related to your education (e.g. a computer, childcare, uninsured medical or dental expenses, supplies or tools required for a program, disability expenses which are not paid for by another agency) that exceed the basic book and supply allowance.

When the Financial Aid Office has determined an accurate expected family contribution, the family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from your standard student budget. The result is the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

YOUR COSTS (per budgets shown above)

When your financial aid eligibility has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will first offer any grant funds you are eligible to receive in your award package. If there is remaining eligibility, you applied by the priority date and indicated you would accept work, you will be offered Federal Work Study.

As funds are limited, it is often not possible to meet the full financial need of a student with the aid available at Cañada College.