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Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid? 

Students apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid- or FAFSA. The priority deadline to complete the FAFSA is March 2. However, you can apply at anytime during the year. Applications can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. Our federal school code is 001134.

Where does my FAFSA go once I submit it?

Your FAFSA information is shared with the colleges and/or career schools you list on the application. The financial aid office uses your information to determine how much federal, state, and campus aid you may receive.
 
 

How do I apply for the Cal Grant?

Your FAFSA information is transmitted to the California Student Aid Commission – the state agency that is responsible for determining initial eligibility for the Cal Grant. Entering students should also complete a GPA Verification Form which can be found on the Commission’s website HERE. The deadline to submit your GPA Verification Form is also March 2.
 

I got selected for a process called "verification". Did I do something wrong?

No – you didn’t do anything wrong! The Department of Education determines who is selected for verification. In this process, Cal Maritime will compare the information you provided on your FAFSA to information submitted to the IRS and/or other forms. If selected, you will need to submit verification documents to the Financial Aid Office. The most common requests are income verification forms, tax transcripts, and household size verification forms. For more information about this process, click HERE.
 

Ho do I get to my "To Do" list to find out what I need to submit for verification? 

Click HERE for an easy to follow guide on how to navigate to your "to do" list found in Self Services in your Student Potal.

Is there a deadline for me to submit the verification documents?

The deadline to submit your verification documents and to "complete" your financial aid file for 2014-15 is June 1, 2014. We cannot provide you with an offer of aid until you have submitted any and all verification documents to the Financial Aid Office.  The sooner you complete your file, the sooner we can provide you with an offer of aid!
 

What is the Expected Family Contribution?   

The expected family contribution - or EFC - is the amount of money the Department of Education says you can reasonably contribute towards your education for the year. It is the number used to determine your eligibility for financial aid and comes from the information you provided on the FAFSA and on the verification documents.  
 

My family has had a change in our financial situation that isn't reflected on the FAFSA. Is there anything I can do?

If you or your family has unusual circumstances (such as loss of employment, loss of benefits, death, or divorce), let us know! If your family‘s circumstances have changed from the tax year 2012, we may be able to take that into consideration when determining eligibility for aid. You may be asked to document the changes, but we can help you along the way.  
 

When will I receive an Award Letter?

If you have been selected for verification, we will notify you of your financial aid awards when you have submitted all requested verification documents and we've had a chance to review them. If you have not been selected for verification, you should get an award letter shortly after we receive your FAFSA . We will send initial award notifications to students for 2014-15 in early April. 
 

HOW will I receive my Award Letter?

You will receive an email notification telling you to go online to view/accept/decline your awards. You can print out your award summary for your records.
 

How do I accept Financial Aid?

Grants (FREE MONEY!) will be automatically accepted for you. If you want to accept the loans you've been offered, you can do so through Self Service in the PeopleSoft section of your student portal.  Parents wishing to borrow the PLUS loan should complete the PLUS Loan Request Form found under the forms section of our website. They will need to fax or mail the request to the Financial Aid Office. We do not accept forms by email.
 

Why can't I accept my loans? 

The terms and conditions of your loans may change as a result of sequestration, therefore, we are not allowing students to accept their loans until we receive more guidance from the Department of Education.

 

How much does it cost to attend Cal Maritime?  

The cost of attendance (COA) is what we estimate it to cost to attend Cal Maritime for the academic year. The COA includes tuition and fees, food and housing , books and supplies, and an allowance for living and transportation costs.
 
The only "direct billed" costs (items that the campus will charge you for directly) are tuition and fees, food and housing (if living on campus) and the uniform. Other expenses, such as books and supplies, travel and miscellaneous expenses, and food and housing for OFF CAMPUS students, are an estimate and your ACTUAL costs may be higher or lower than what we estimate. This can be useful in budgeting your monthly/term/yearly costs. The estimated COA for 2014-15 can be found HERE.
 

Will Financial Aid pay for my uniform?

Financial does include a uniform allowance in your student budget and provides funding to help cover those additional costs. However, we are unable to release to funds to you until no sooner than 10 days prior to the start of fall term. Many students end up paying for their uniforms out of pocket and get reimbursed by financial aid. 
 

How does my Financial Aid pay my bill?  

Students are charged tuition and fees and room and board (if living on campus). Financial aid will credit your account and apply towards any charges you have incurred for the term. If you have more charges than financial aid, you will need to pay the difference. This is where the estimated family contribution comes into play. If you have more aid than charges, you will get a refund.  
 

When will the refund come?

Refunds that are mailed will take 5-7 days depending on the mail. Student’s that have direct deposit set up with the Accounting Office takes 2-3 days. You can sign up for direct deposit through Self Service through the PeopleSoft section of your student portal.
 

Where can I apply for scholarships?

There are many great online resources to help you apply for scholarships-  fastweb, Department of Education, College Board, and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) are just a few. Watch out for scams and never ever pay for a scholarship search.