Frequently Asked Questions

General financial aid questions

FAFSA questions

Income and tax questions

Student Aid Report (SAR) questions

Additional documents and verification questions

Financial aid status, warning and suspension questions

Have more questions? Visit our Financial Aid TV page and search for your answer!

Can I call or email the Financial Aid Office about my financial aid file?

The Financial Aid Office is available to answer general questions over the phone.  To access specific student information please email us through your InSite email account or call to schedule a zoom appointment. You may also access your financial aid information on InSite.

How can I let someone else access my financial aid records?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student' financial and academic educational records. If you want to give someone access to your financial aid records that are maintained by DVC, fill out a FERPA Release form online that can be accessed from the Financial Aid tile from InSite.

What kind of financial aid can I apply for?

Submitting the FAFSA will determine your eligibility for the California College Promise Grant, Full Time Free Tuition Award, Pell Grant, FSEOG, Federal Work-Study, Direct Loan Program and the Parent PLUS Loan Program. Submitting the California Student Aid Commission GPA Verification Form, along with the FAFSA, will determine your eligibility for the Cal Grant and Student Success Completion Grant.

For more information on these financial aid options, visit ways to help pay for college.

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

The priority application deadline for FAFSA is March 2 of every year for most students. It is strongly suggested that you apply before the priority deadline to maximize your chances to qualify for state aid such as Cal Grant and Student Success Completion Grant. If you are unable to apply before the priority deadline, the Financial Aid Office accepts FAFSA applications through June 30 of the academic year.

Note that it can take between 4-6 weeks to process files, appeals, loan requests, and other financial aid documents. If corrections need to be made, the processing time is longer.

Do you have financial aid during the summer semester?

The Pell Grant, California College Promise Grant and Federal Work-Study are available during the summer. You must have a completed FAFSA for both award years to maximize your chances for financial aid for summer. 

How long can I receive financial aid at DVC?

You can receive financial aid at DVC until you reach 150 percent of your declared educational goal. For example, if your educational goal is to receive a certificate that requires completion of 24 units, you can receive financial aid until the completion of 36 units (24 units x 150 percent = 36 units). Students who have exceeded the maximum time frame may submit an appeal, available through the Financial Aid tile on InSite, to be considered for an extension for financial aid eligibility.

Can I apply for a loan?

Yes, you may apply for a loan by submitting a loan request online via the Financial Aid tile on InSite.   You may be required to complete additional steps once you submit your loan request.  You will be contacted via email with more information.

How will I know when my file is complete?

You will know that your file is complete upon receipt of an award letter via your InSite email account. You can also review your award letter via the Financial Aid tile on InSite.

What is an offer letter?

An offer letter is notification of the type and amount of financial aid that you have been awarded. Financial aid award amounts are based on full-time (12+ units) enrollment for the semester. You will be notified when you award offer is available  via your InSite email account.

Do you have to be enrolled as a full-time student (12+ units) to receive financial aid?

No. Payments are adjusted accordingly for three-quarter, half-time and less than half-time enrollment. Students enrolled less than half-time (six units) are not eligible for the Cal Grant, student loans, SEOG, or Federal Work-Study. However, all students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA and the California College Promise Grant  Application to determine eligibility.

How is financial aid paid?

Financial aid awards can be sent to you via your selected refund preference with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. You can select your refund preference on InSite by clicking on the "Financial Aid" tile, selecting "My FA Disbursements" and then choosing BankMobile-First Time Setup. If you do not select a refund preference, your financial aid will be paid in the form of a check and require additional processing time. For more information about BankMobile Disbursements, visit this link:

Also the following grants and loans are disbursed according to the following timelines.

  • Pell Grant payments will be disbursed twice a semester; 50 percent the first week of the semester, and 50 percent at the midpoint of the semester.
  • Cal Grant and SEOG are generally disbursed by the end of the fifth week of the semester.
  • Loan checks are disbursed at the start of the term as long as all loan requirements are met.
  • Federal Work-Study wages are paid on the tenth of the month.
  • California College Promise Grant are not disbursed directly to you based on your selected refund preference.  The grant is applied directly to your student account to off-set the cost of your tuition fees.

Can I pick up my financial aid check?

No. Financial aid funds disbursed by checks are mailed to the student's current address in the DVC database. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the address on file is correct. Please check with Admissions and Records Office to verify or make any changes to your address.

I'm transferring next semester, can I transfer my financial aid to another school?

Financial Aid information can be submitted to another college by adding the school code of the college you will be attending to your Student Aid Report. Adding an additional school code to your SAR can be done online by signing into your FAFSA or by calling the Department of Education and informing the representative that you will be attending another college.

You must have your Data Release Number (DRN), which is found on the bottom left hand corner of your SAR, to make changes on your SAR and/or to release copies of your SAR electronically to the school you will be attending.

Do you have financial aid for international students?

International Students attending Diablo Valley College on a F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor, or a G series visa are not eligible for federal student aid. However, international students are still eligible for scholarships. Visit the Scholarship Office located on the first floor of the Student Services Center.

International students may be eligible to apply for student assistant jobs on campus by contacting offices on campus to see if there are any current job openings.

Can I receive aid from multiple CCCCD campuses?

If you are enrolled in two or more Contra Costa Community College District colleges during the same academic year, you will only receive financial aid from the institution that you listed first on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application.  

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA is the Federal Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the most important document that needs to be completed by every student as it assess your eligibility for all forms of possible financial aid.

What is a FSA ID?

A FSA ID serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records. The FSA ID is necessary for you to sign and fully complete your FAFSA. You can create a FSA ID here.

If you are a "dependent" student, your parent must also apply for a FSA ID as you and your parent will need to "sign" the FAFSA. Your FSA ID is also necessary if you need to make corrections on your FAFSA. 

I have completed and submitted my FAFSA. What is the next step?

After completing the FAFSA, the Department of Education will process your application to determine your eligibility. Approximately 2-3 days after you submit your FAFSA, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be emailed or mailed to you.

I am not a U.S. Citizen. Can I still apply for the FAFSA?

Yes. According to federal policies, you may be eligible for aid if you are a permanent U.S. resident with a Permanent Resident Card, a conditional permanent resident, or the holder of an Arrival-Departure record from the Department of Homeland Security showing any of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Parolee," "Victim of human trafficking," T-Visa holder, or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant."

I'm 18 and don't live with my parents, why am I still considered a dependent?

According to the Department of Education, a student is considered "independent" when one of the following criteria is met: must be 24 years of age; is married; has dependent children or a dependent that you provide 51 percent of financial support; is an orphan or ward of the court; is a veteran; or working on a graduate degree. This is the case even if you do not live with your parents and/or they do not claim you when filing taxes.

If you do not meet any of these criteria and you still believe you are independent due to other circumstance please come into the Financial Aid Office to discuss the possibility of requesting a unusual circumstances appeal.

What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The Expected Family Contribution is a federal formula that calculates the amount of money a student or parent is expected to contribute toward educational costs. The EFC is based on the information you submitted on your FAFSA application. Information taken into account include income, household size, number of family members attending college, etc.

Why do I need to report my income from last year?

Previous year income is one factor in determining a student's eligibility for Financial Aid. When verification of income is required, the only tax returns that are completed are from the previous year.

Our income is lower this year than it was last year, what can I do?

If your income or your parent's income has decreased since last year, you can complete a Reduction of Income Appeal available through the Financial Aid tile on InSite. The form will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible to use the present year's income instead of the previous year's income on your FAFSA/SAR.

I don't have a copy of my taxes or W2s, where do I get a copy?

A copy of your tax transcript and W2s can be obtained online through the IRS website. You can also call the IRS at tel: (800) 829-1040 or in person at a local IRS Office.

What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will list all of the answers you provided on your FAFSA. You should review these answers carefully to make sure they are correct. The report will also state your eligibility for financial aid.

I need to make corrections on my SAR, what do I do?

If you filed your FAFSA electronically, corrections can be made online. Go to the FAFSA website and select "make corrections to a processed FAFSA" under the FAFSA follow-up section.

If you received your SAR by mail, you can make the corrections on the physical SAR and mail it to the Department of Education for processing.

How do I submit additional forms and documents for my Checklist?

If you are determined eligible for financial aid, you may be required to submit documentation to verify the information you submitted on your FAFSA. Read, complete and submit the forms online or in-person (if required) to the Financial Aid Office, along with any other documentation that has been requested such as tax forms, W-2s, citizenship verification.

I submitted all my verification paperwork to the Financial Aid Office, now what do I do?

Once you submit all required paperwork, it will be processed and reviewed by a member of our staff. This process takes about 2-4 weeks. Once the paperwork is processed, you will either receive an "offer letter" or email which will state if you have missing documents and/or you need to make specific corrections to your paperwork. You can also call or visit  the Financial Aid Office to ask about your status. Note that it can take between 4-6 weeks to process files, appeals, loan requests, and other financial aid documents.

What is the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy?

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy outlines requirements that all financial aid recipients need to meet in order to be considered on "satisfactory status." You must complete the required number of units per semester with a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0.

If I drop a class will it affect my financial aid?

You can drop a class, but first make sure that you are still enrolled in 67 percent of the number of units that you attempted. Refer to Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Grid to see if you are completing 67 percent or more of all the units you are attempting.

If I drop a class, will I have to pay back the money?

You may have to pay back a portion of the money if you completely withdraw before 60 percent of the end of the semester.

What is Financial Aid Warning?

Financial Aid Warning is the status you will receive if your semester and/or overall GPA is below a 2.0 or your overall completion rate is below 67 percent of the units attempted. If you are on Financial Aid Warning, you will receive aid for the following semester only. You will not receive further aid unless Satisfactory Academic Progress is achieved during that semester. A student is not eligible to receive a loan in the semester they are on Financial Aid Warning.

How do I clear Financial Aid Warning?

To clear Financial Aid Probation, you must complete at least 67 percent of the number of units attempted and earn a semester and cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in the semester you are placed on Financial Aid Probation. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

What is Financial Aid Suspension?

You will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension if you do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for two consecutive semesters and are on Financial Aid Warning. You will not be eligible for any Financial Aid until your status has been cleared by completing at least one term of Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. You may choose to appeal your Financial Aid Suspension status by completing an Suspension Appeal available from the Financial Aid tile on InSite.

You will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension if you reach Maximum Time Frame, meaning, you have attempted more than 150 percent of the units required to complete your major and/or educational goal (150 percent completion includes all previous coursework attempted, even if financial aid was not received). A student may choose to appeal Maximum Time Frame suspension by completing the Maximum Time Frame Appeal available from the Financial Aid tile on InSite.

All financial aid students are required to check their DVC student email account through InSite on a regular basis in order to receive notifications, file status updates, announcements, and further instructions from the Financial Aid Office. Follow the link for instructions on how to check your financial aid status through InSite.

Financial Aid school codes:

  • DVC FAFSA Federal School Code: 001191
  • DVC CA DREAM Act Application School Code: 00119100

Contact Financial Aid


Telephone: 925-969-2009


Fax: 925-691-1132 

Office location: SSC building, first floor Pleasant Hill campus map

Office location

Admissions and Records, San Ramon campus map