Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the rules that govern the financial aid programs are often confusing. Our Financial Aid Office staff is available to answer your questions and provide special assistance if and when you need it. Please let us know if you, a friend, or a family member need assistance as a non-English speaking student. We have Spanish-speaking staff and provide information in other languages. We will be happy to assist you. 

General questions about eligibility and applying

Financial Aid is money to assist with your college expenses and is available in the form of fee waivers, grants (gift aid), work-study (need based student employment), scholarships (both need and merit based), and loans, which must be repaid. To determine eligibility, students must file either a FAFSA or CADAA during the academic year they are enrolled in. You may use your financial aid to pay for school fees and tuition, books, transportation, room and board, and other educationally related costs you have while attending Cañada.

In order to ensure the integrity of all financial aid applicant data received at Cañada College, the Financial Aid Services office must resolve any conflicting information in a student’s file. Any office at the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) may hold information or documentation that may create a conflict. The Financial Aid Services office will work with all sources to collect documentation for purposes of clarification and accuracy.

Common sources of conflicting information can be, but are not limited to:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of Birth
  • Name change
  • Dependency status
  • Marital status (student and/or parent)
  • Admissions status
  • Admissions information regarding prior institutions
  • Income and taxes paid
  • Number in household
  • Number in college
  • NSLDS data

A student may be asked to submit written documentation and/or additional information to clarify or correct conflicting information. This action may be in conjunction with the Verification process or a separate request.

If there is reason to believe a student has intentionally submitted incorrect data or withheld information to gain access to federal, state, or institutional student aid, their student financial aid package may be cancelled and/or additional administrative action taken.

Withdrawing from classes will have a direct impact on your financial aid, present and future. If you’ve already received a payment, you may be required to return some, if not all of your payments. If you withdraw before receiving a payment, you could be eligible for a post-withdraw payment. You will need to contact the financial aid office to find out more if you qualify.

If you withdraw during and before the end of the semester, you may not be meeting our Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and you will be subject to process known Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation.

Return of Title IV is a calculation of federal financial aid fund disbursed to a student who completely withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of the enrollment period. This amount of aid is considered unearned and must be returned to the Federal government.

The percentage of Title IV aid earned (student may keep money) is determined as follows:

  • Number of days student completed = the percentage of Title IV earned
  • Number of calendar days in the term
  • Multiply the amount of Title IV funds paid (disbursed) by the percent shown above. This is the amount of Title IV aid the student is entitled to keep or earned.

If the earned amount is greater than the amount the student has received, the student is owed an additional disbursement. The student will be notified of the amount that can be paid.

If the earned amount is less than the amount the student has received, a repayment of Title IV funds is due.

The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (student must repay money) is determined as follows:

Subtract the amount of aid earned from the total financial aid paid = the amount of aid to be returned or the student's unearned financial aid.
Subtract the college's repayment from the amount shown above (the college's unearned part of the fees).

If the student received a grant, 50% of the balance due will be subtracted from the debt. The remaining amount due must be applied to repayment of the federal funds from which financial aid was received.

The repayment will be applied to Title IV funds in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Pell Grant

Repayment will be required within 45 days of notification by the College or by the last day of the term of the complete withdrawal. Grant repayments will be reported to the Federal Government immediately. If a student fails to repay the debt due, the student will be reported to the Federal Debt Collection Center in Greenville, Texas.

Any student owing a grant repayment will not be eligible for any federal financial aid until the debt is repaid. Contact our office BEFORE you decide to withdraw.

The census date typically marks the end of the add/drop period for the semester. This is the date a school takes a "snapshot" of all students' enrollment to establish the official enrollment for reporting purposes and financial aid eligibility. Changing your enrollment after this date may have implications to your financial aid, so be sure to check with the Financial Aid Office if you're considering making changes to your schedule.

Check for Unsatisfied Requirements

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Financial Aid Menu
  3. Click My Eligibility
  4. Click Student Requirements
  5. Select Aid Year
  6. Click on the Unsatisfied Requirement link

Once you complete the outstanding form and click submit it will automatically be sent to the Financial Aid Office. The unsatisfied requirements that don't have a link must be submitted through Dropbox. Please allow two weeks for review. The Financial Aid Office will contact you if they have any questions.   

Access your Award Letter:

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Financial Aid Menu
  3. Click on My Award Information
  4. Click on Award By Aid Year
  5. Select aid year and click submit
  6. Click on Award Overview tab

*Amounts listed on your Award letter are based on full-time enrollment status. The amount disbursed will be prorated based on your actual enrollment.

Update Program of Study:

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Student tab
  3. Click on Update Student Program of Study
  4. Select Term and Submit
  5. Update Educational Goal
  6. Complete Choose New Area of Study section and submit

Submit documents securely with DropBox. Ensure your student ID number is on every document you are uploading 

  1. Go to the DropBox link
  2. Click on the Add files button and locate the file(s) you want to submit
    1. Include your name & student ID number in your filename
    2. Click on Upload button

Please contact us if you are having issues.

To be considered for financial aid, students must have a FAFSA or Dream Application for the current year on file. Depending if you have used any federal or state aid in the previous terms (fall and spring), you may qualify. We encourage students to enroll in half-time worth of units to be considered for additional aid. Otherwise, your aid options will be limited if enrolled in less than half-time.

You may find our district's disbursement schedule here. Keep in mind, we only disburse aid if your file is complete. 

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