Financial Aid Student Guide


This student guide is designed to help you understand what financial aid may be available to you and what you can do so that you may receive that financial aid. If this information does not answer your questions, our staff is available to assist you. Please call us at (619) 660-4201 or visit the Financial Aid Office in the One-Stop Student Services Center (Building A300) near the corner of Fury Lane and Rancho San Diego Parkway.

Financial Aid Programs                                                                           

There are generally three types of financial aid: GRANTS — money that does not have to be repaid (unless you drop from school or owe a refund), including scholarships; EMPLOYMENT — money you can earn through part-time work while attending school and LOANS — money you borrow that you must pay back in the future. Since many students are eligible for more than one type of financial aid, we offer a “package” of aid.




Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is available for you as an undergraduate until you receive your first bachelor’s degree or have received 12 full-time semesters of Pell Grant aid. Federal Pell Grants range from $657 to $6195 per academic year depending upon your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your cost of attendance (COA), and your enrollment status. Effective July 1, 2012, the maximum lifetime eligibility to receive a Pell Grant is 12 full-time equivalent semesters (approximately 6 years). This limit includes all prior semesters of Pell Grant aid received at all prior schools.  After receiving 12 full-time equivalent semesters of Pell grant, eligibility for Pell grant ends. For more information go to Federal Student Aid website.



  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
    FSEOG is a federal grant program for undergraduate students who have “exceptional financial need,” and have not received a bachelor’s degree. First priority will be given to students enrolled full-time who receive a Federal Pell Grant and show exceptional financial need on a first-come, first-served basis. At Cuyamaca College, grant amounts may range from $100 to $500 per academic year. For more information, go to Federal Student Aid website.


Cal Grants  
Cal Grants are state grants managed by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and are for California residents or eligible non-residents who show financial need, meet the program and academic requirements, and apply on time. There are two types of Cal Grants: entitlement and competitive.

  • Cal Grant - Entitlement is an award that is guaranteed for every high school senior or recent high school graduate that meets the program and academic requirements (at least a 3.0 GPA for Cal Grant A; at least a 2.0 GPA for Cal Grant B), meets the family income and asset ceilings, and applies on time.

  • Cal Grant - Competitive is for those that are not high school seniors or recent high school graduates. These awards are not guaranteed and only a limited number are available each year.  Half of the competitive awards are offered to students who meet the March 2 filing deadline. The other half of the competitive awards are offered to students who are enrolled at a California Community College for the fall term and have a GPA reported by the September 2 filing deadline.

To apply for a Cal Grant, submit a FAFSA and GPA Verification form postmarked by March 2nd or by September 2nd each year.  For the September 2nd deadline, grade point averages are automatically verified for Cuyamaca College Students who have completed 16 or more college-level, units, by the Cuyamaca College Admissions and Records Office.  For more Cal Grant information visit the California Student Aid website.

Cal Grant A
Cal Grant A is an entitlement or a competitive grant.  It is targeted toward students with high GPAs and moderate income.  This grant pays for tuition at tuition-charging institutions.  You cannot receive a Cal Grant A while enrolled at a community college. Community college students can have their grants put on “community college reserve” for up to three years.  Once you transfer to a tuition-charging institution your grant can be used.  The maximum award is $9,084 for students attending independent colleges and universities, up to $12,294 for University of California students, and up to $5,472 for California State University students.

Cal Grant B    
Cal Grant B is an entitlement or a competitive grant.  It provides a living allowance for low-income students and tuition payment for students’ second through fourth year of study at tuition-charging institutions.  For 2019-2020, the maximum living allowance has been set at $1,672.


Cal Grant C
Cal Grant C is a competitive grant for vocational students who are enrolled in programs from nine months to two years in length.  Cal Grant C provides $547 a year for books, tools and equipment.  Cal Grant C pays up to $2,462 for tuition at tuition-charging institutions.



Full Time Student Success Grant (FSSG)
A grant program specifically aimed at Cal Grant B recipients who are attending full time. Approximate yearly amount is $1000.  This program is funded by the State of California and administered by the State Chancellor’s Office.  


Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)
A grant program specifically aimed at Cal Grant recipients who are attending full time. For students enrolled in 12-14.5 units, the maximum semester amount is $649. For students enrolled in 15 or more units, the maximum semester amount is $2000. Awards are pending availability of funding. This program is funded by the State of California and administered by the State Chancellor’s Office.
Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS)
EOPS is a state funded program designed primarily for the recruitment and retention of California residents who are considered educationally disadvantaged (as determined by EOPS), have not completed more than 70 units of degree applicable coursework, are enrolled full-time (12 units or more), and qualify for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, method A or B. For more information, go to the EOP Webpage.


Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE)
CARE is a state funded program designed to recruit and assist single parent recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, (TANF), or Cal Works who would like to attend college and are EOPS eligible. CARE provides support services and/or grant funds to enable academic success and to assist students in attaining their career and vocational goals. For more information, go to the Care Webpage.


Chafee Grant
The California Chafee Grant Program is available for current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training or college courses. The maximum grant amount is $5000 per year. Students must be enrolled in six or more units each semester to be eligible for the Chafee Grant. For questions regarding eligibility please contact Pam Fleming in the Financial Aid Office at 619-660-4291.


Child Development Grant
The Child Development Grant program is administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The program is designed for students who are attending a California Community College or four-year institution and pursuing a Child Development permit to teach or supervise in licensed children’s centers.  At community colleges, you can receive up to $1000 each academic year and you must sign a service commitment agreement to provide one full year of service in a licensed children’s center for every year you receive the grant. For more information, go to the California Student Aid and search “Child Development Grant.”

Bureau of Indian Affairs Higher Education Grants (BIA)
Individual tribes may provide money to help enrolled members pay for college. The amounts of the grants vary according to the individual tribe. To apply, contact your tribe. You may also contact The Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Operations in Sacramento, at (916) 930-3680 or Riverside, at (951) 276-6624, or the San Diego Indian Human Resource Center, Inc. at (619) 281-5964 to obtain tribe contact information. Complete appropriate items and send it to the Financial Aid Office. A FAFSA must also be completed. Watch for deadlines—each tribal agency establishes its own deadline.

California College Promise Grant (CCPG) 
Formerly the Board of Governors Fee Waiver program (BOG) 
This program waives the enrollment fee, and for some students the student center construction fee and health fee.  The California College Promise Grant is for residents of California and Eligible Non-residents who have financial need.  Students will be considered for this fee waiver as part of the financial aid application process or you may apply separately online.
Once qualified, enrollment fees will be waived by the fee waiver for the rest of the school year, including summer whether you are taking one class or more than one class.


You may apply by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website OR by completing the online fee waiver application at Cuyamaca Financial Aid Website and select “Apply for Financial Aid",then Promise Grant.  The California College Promise Grant will not be applied retroactively towards a prior semester’s mandatory fees.  The California College Promise Grant and all supporting documentation, and a calculated EFC must be reviewed and approved by the last day of the semester or your last day of your enrollment, whichever comes first.




Scholarships are available throughout the academic year.  It is important to research and apply for any available scholarship.  For additional scholarship search information contact the Cuyamaca College Scholarship Specialist at (619) 660-4537, or visit the Cuyamaca College Scholarship Website.

ALL scholarships and grants in excess of amounts used for payment of tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment are considered taxable income for U.S. income tax purposes, and it is your responsibility to report this income on your tax return.


The Work-Study programs give students the opportunity to earn part or all of their financial need by working on campus or off campus in community service positions while they are in school.  Examples of the jobs available are: teacher’s aide, clerk, grounds person, custodian, and lab assistant.  Your wage will be determined by the type and difficulty of the work that you choose.

This type of part-time work can add to your educational experience and can be a valuable asset when seeking employment after graduation. If you choose to reject your award, it will not be replaced.

The Work-Study award reflects the amount of money that you are eligible to earn as wages. Your placement on a job depends upon your skills, the availability of jobs and the hours that you are available to work.

Student Employment
The Career Center helps students find part-time employment in the community. All students enrolled at Cuyamaca College are eligible for Student Placement Center services. For more information visit the Career Center Services website.



William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
Cuyamaca College participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program by offering subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Student Loans (Direct Loans). Federal Direct Student Loans, subsidized or unsubsidized, are low-interest rate loans made to students by the federal government.
  • Direct Subsidized Loan: These loans are available to students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the interest on this loan while you are in college and during deferment periods.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: These loans are available to all eligible students and are not based on financial need. You are responsible for all interest payments (or capitalization of interest) from the date the loan is disbursed.

The interest rate: As of July 1, 2017 the interest rate for a subsidized loan is fixed @ 4.45% for subsidized loans disbursed from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The interest rate for unsubsidized loans is fixed at 4.45%.

The loan amounts: Freshmen students may borrow a base amount of $3,500 (subsidized and/or unsubsidized); sophomore students may borrow a base amount of $4,500 (subsidized and/or unsubsidized) per academic year.  Loan amounts for one semester only are one-half (1/2) the maximum yearly loan amount, not to exceed need or cost of attendance.




Related Resources

Financial Aid Workshops

Exit Counseling PDF

Annual Security Report

Apply and Enroll