6 Steps to Financial Aid
Step 1. File your FAFSA Online
Step 2. Missing Information
Step 3. Verification
Step 4. Satisfactory Academic Progress
Step 5. Financial Aid Award Notification
Step 6. Disbursement of Funds
Undocumented AB 540 students can apply for California state aid and scholarships. Complete the California Dream Act Application instead of the FAFSA, which determines federal aid. For more information, visit www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp. DO NOT file a FAFSA if you are an Undocumented or a Deferred Action student.
|STEP 1. File your FAFSA Online|
IMPORTANT: In order to file your FAFSA you must apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov. The PIN is used to sign the online Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA). Note: Parents of dependent students must obtain separate PINs. The electronic signature of one parent is required.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA becomes available January 1st for the following academic year. Recommendation: File early and by March 2nd (the Cal Grant priority deadline) for consideration for all available aid. If March 2nd has passed, file the FAFSA as soon as possible.
- Student Aid Report (SAR): The SAR is a summary of what you submitted on the FAFSA. About 5-7 days after filing the FAFSA, the Department of Education will email a SAR to you and to each of the schools you listed on the FAFSA.
- Check the SAR for accuracy and completeness. If you estimated your household income prior to filing taxes, make corrections on your FAFSA as soon as you have accurate earnings and tax information.
|STEP 2. Missing Information (Check your Butte College Student Email)|
Butte College email is the official means of communication at Butte College. Students should check their Butte College email on a regular basis.
Beginning in March of each year, after the Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA application, you will receive a FAFSA Received Notification email. The FAFSA Received Notification email may also list additional items (Missing Information) which are required to complete your financial aid file.
- After you receive your Butte student identification number, you can also check for missing information by logging into MYBC with your ID and viewing Financial Aid > Required Documents. Click here for MyBC Required Documents Tutorial.
- All requested forms are available through the Financial Aid website (see Forms & Links tab above). Please submit ALL requested items together at once. Required items will post as "Received" on your MyBC within three weeks during peak processing times.
- Not returning requested items in a timely fashion will delay completion of your file and may delay receipt of financial aid.
|STEP 3. Verification|
What is Verification? Approximately 1/3 of FAFSA financial aid applications are selected by the federal processor for Verification.
Purpose: The purpose of verification is to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. Students who are selected for verification are notified by the federal processor on their SAR (see Step 1). Students are also notified by the Financial Aid Office through their Butte College student email.
What To Do. Login to your Butte College email account and search for FAFSA Received Notification email. See step 2 (above) for how to access requested forms.
Verification is like an audit. It is possible that the process can lead to further requests for information such as earnings and taxes filed. Verification sometimes can change the EFC and estimated financial aid offer. Please respond to all requests as quickly as possible. Fully complying with verification requests is necessary to receive financial aid.
|STEP 4. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)|
At the end of each semester and at the end of summer session (if attended), all student files are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
Financial aid students must show progress toward a degree, certificate of achievement, or transfer objective by maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and by completing the units for which they are paid (minimum overall completion rate, or Pace, is 66.66%). For additional information on SAP policy, click on Satisfactory Academic Progress.
|STEP 5. Financial Aid Award Notification|
Beginning in July of each year, the Financial Aid Office will send a Financial Aid Award Notification email to students whose files are complete. The email contains basic information about financial aid and directs you to MyBC to view your actual award. Awards are calculated according to your need (determined by EFC) and estimated based on full-time enrollment (12 units per semester). Financial aid dollar amounts will be adjusted if your EFC changes or you are enrolled less than full-time.
What if you do not qualify for grants? Students who are ineligible for grants will still receive a Financial Aid Notification to confirm that their file is complete. These students may be eligible for a federal student loan. After receiving a Financial Aid Award Notification Email, they may submit a separate application for a Federal Direct Loan. Loans must be repaid.
Please note: Loan application packets are available only at the Financial Aid Office and are not online. Loan applications will not be accepted for students not yet notified that their file is complete. Loans are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be denied, reduced or cancelled. Satisfactory Academic Progress and earning a minimum of 6 units per term is a requirement for all borrowers.
|STEP 6. Disbursement of Funds|
How do I get my money? Butte College partners with Higher One, a financial services company that provides students with a Higher One account and the option to choose their preferred method of receiving financial aid funds. Students eligible for a financial aid disbursement, called a “refund,” can opt for the payment type of their choice – (1) an “Easy Refund” with a debit card (BC Access Card) for fastest receipt of funds, (2) an ACH transfer (direct deposit) into another bank account, or (3) a paper check sent from Higher One.
New students, who are enrolled and have a FAFSA on file with Butte College, will receive a card from Higher One in a bright green envelope mailed to their address of record. Receipt of a Higher One card is not a guarantee of financial aid. If you are awarded financial aid, it is important to activate your BC Access Card account immediately and to select one of the above options as soon as you receive it. Click here to Get Started.
The Financial Aid Award Notification email lists the four main Pell Grant disbursement dates for the year. Awards are disbursed after your file is complete and you have cleared all holds. Your financial aid will be automatically applied toward any outstanding balance and the remainder will be refunded to you.
REMINDERS: Disbursement of financial aid depends on a student maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress and being currently enrolled in both an Education Goal and Academic Program that are eligible for financial aid.
Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress or who are not in eligible programs may have their funds delayed or be ineligible for any aid. For financial aid, "Undecided" is not an eligible Education Goal and "Undeclared" is not an eligible Academic Program.