Sci-Arc
Inside SCI-Arc

Financial Aid

FASFA School Code 014073
Apply for Aid Application Process
Prospective Students Award Offers
The Basics Receiving Your Funds

Understanding your financial aid offer

Financial Aid Offer
Accepting Your Awards
Completing the Process
Direct Loan Steps

The Financial Aid Offer

Students will receive an email notification with their Financial Aid Award Offer.

Your Award Summary lists all the sources of financial aid you are eligible to receive for the academic year, as well as a term/semester specific breakdown of your awards. The awards offered are based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application (either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application). Your aid may consist of grants, scholarships, loans, and/or federal work study – depending on your eligibility. For detailed information on each type of award refer to “Types of Financial Aid” located under “The Basics” section of this website.

Several factors determine the amount and type of financial aid you are offered:

  • Your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • Your expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Your Financial Need (COA minus EFC)
  • Your willingness to accept various types of financial aid
NOTE: Federal and California State Student Aid regulations require that your total financial aid cannot exceed your total Cost of Attendance.

Cost of Attendance (COA)
Your Cost of Attendance, also known as the student budget, is based on the estimated costs of a typical student's tuition & mandatory fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses for a nine-month academic year (fall and spring semesters). The budget includes direct university-related charges (registration and on-campus room and board) and estimates of indirect expenses (transportation, books and supplies, miscellaneous living expenses, and off-campus room and board for those not living on-campus).

Your COA, or budget, will vary depending on the following factors:

  • Where you live (off campus, or with your parents)
  • Your educational program (whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.
Details on the SCI-Arc COA budgets can be found on our Costs page (located under “The Basics” section of this website). Please note that we use averages in determining the amounts; your actual costs may be more or less than the figures listed on that page.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
When your financial aid application (FAFSA or Dream Act Application) is analyzed by the appropriate processing agency (U.S. Department of Education OR California Student Aid Commission), a standardized formula is applied to the information you and your family provided. The FAFSA analysis takes into account yours and your family's (or spouse’s) income and some types of assets, and indicates how much money you and your family (or spouse) are expected to contribute toward your cost of attendance for the academic year. This amount is referred to as the “Expected Family Contribution,” or EFC. The EFC determines the types and amounts of federal and state aid for which you qualify.

Your EFC is provided to you on your Student Aid Report (which you can view on the application website once your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application has been processed).

If you are a dependent student, your EFC may be based on:

  • Your income and your parent(s)’ income
  • Your assets and your parent(s)’ assets
  • The age of your older parent living in your household
  • The number of family members (other than your parents) in college during the upcoming academic year
  • Your state of legal residence
  • Your parent’s state of legal residence

If you are an independent student, your EFC will be based on:

  • Your income and your assets (as well as your spouse's, if you are married)
  • The number of children and other dependents in your household
  • The number of family members in your household in college during the upcoming academic year
  • Your state of legal residence

Financial Need
Financial Need is calculated as the difference between a college's Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your financial need is the maximum amount you may receive in subsidized (or need-based) financial aid funds – including scholarships.

COA - EFC = Your Financial Need
The financial aid offer from SCI-Arc will be determined by the formula above, and will consist of the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized aid for which you qualify.

PLEASE NOTE: Financial Aid Offers are based on FULL-TIME enrollment. The amount of aid that is disbursed will be based on your need AND enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, some of your financial aid awards may be prorated based on the number of units in which you are enrolled.

If you are receiving additional funding from other sources, such as scholarships, we are required by the Federal and California State Student Aid Regulations to consider these resources when determining your awards. If all sources of funding do not show on your award offer, you must notify our office in writing of the amount and source of the award.

Adjustments to Your Financial Aid Awards
The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to adjust/modify your financial aid award(s) at any time during the academic year. Your award may be adjusted based on the situations listed below:

  • Changes in enrollment
  • Receipt of additional awards such as scholarships, or other benefits
  • Changes in housing status (on-campus, off-campus, living with parents)
  • Changes in household or financial information upon which your awards were based
  • Information that you are in default on a previous federal student loan
  • Information that you have received more than the federal maximum on your student loans
  • Information that you are in an overpayment status with the Federal Government.
If your award is revised, you will receive an email notification from our office informing you that changes have been made to your financial aid award offer. It is important to keep your email address up-to-date and to check your email on a regular basis to ensure you remain informed about your financial aid.

Back To Top

Accepting Your Awards

After you have been notified by email that you have a financial aid award offer, and have reviewed your offer, you will need to accept or decline your financial aid awards. Awards need to be accepted before they can be credited towards your university-related charges and refunded to you for your living expenses.

If you are not sure if you want to accept a particular award, you may delay that decision until later.

PLEASE NOTE: Some award types have limited funds so delaying your decision may subject the award to cancellation should funds be depleted.

FAFSA Applicants: If you have been offered a Direct Stafford Loan as part of your award package, you are not required to accept the maximum loan amount offered to you. You may choose to either accept the full amount, accept a lesser amount, or decline the loan. Details on accepting a lesser amount are included in the steps below.

Steps to Accept and/or Decline Financial Aid Awards

  • Accept/Decline Awards: Place a checkmark in either the Accept or Decline column for each award.
  • Direct Stafford Loan: (FAFSA Applicants) you can choose to accept a loan amount lower than the amount offered.
  • Direct PLUS Loan: (FAFSA Applicants) you can choose to accept a loan amount lower than the amount offered.
  • Private Loan: (FAFSA Applicants) you can choose to accept a loan amount lower than the amount offered.
  • Change the amount if you wish to decrease the accepted loan amount (you can only decrease the loan amount – you cannot increase the amount above what has been offered).
PLEASE NOTE: Financial Aid Offers are based on FULL-TIME enrollment. The amount of aid that is disbursed will be based on your need AND enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, some of your financial aid awards may be prorated based on the number of units in which you are enrolled.

Enrollment Requirements and Aid Eligibility
Your basic eligibility for federal and state financial aid is determined by the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application (for AB540 students NOT eligible for Federal financial aid). Financial aid awards are based on your eligibility and need, and are initially offered based on full-time enrollment. The number of units in which you are actually enrolled may impact the amount of financial aid you receive for various aid programs (actual enrollment does NOT include courses for which you are waitlisted).

Final enrollment for a semester is measured at University Census (the last day of the add/drop period for a semester – typically occurs the Friday of the fourth week of the semester). Prior to Census, Financial Aid Awards and disbursements are revised for students enrolled less than full-time to match eligibility based on the actual number of units in which students are officially enrolled. The student's enrollment and award is then locked at Census. Open University and all classes taken for audit do NOT qualify for financial aid.

Requirements for Undergraduate and Credential Students
(By Semester)

Undergraduate Enrollment Status/Number of Units Impact on Award Eligibility
Full-time
12 or more units
Full award eligibility
Three-quarter-time
9.0 - 11.9 units
Pell Grant* - award prorated to 75%
Cal Grant A & B – award prorated to 75%
Cal B Subsistence – award prorated to 75%
Loans – award remains at 100%
Half-time
6.0 - 8.9 units
Pell Grant* - award prorated to 50%
Cal Grant A & B – award prorated to 50%
Cal B Subsistence – award prorated to 50%
Loans – award remains at 100%
Less than half-time
1.0 - 5.9 units
Pell Grant* - award prorated to 25%
Cal Grant A & B – student not eligible
Cal B Subsistence –student not eligible
Loans –student not eligible
*Pell Grants: In some instances a student enrolled in less than 12 units may lose eligibility for his/her Pell Grant, as EFC’s in the higher end of the Pell range do not allow for less than full-time awards.

NOTE: Effective Fall 2012, students are limited to a total of six full-time years (600%) of Pell Grant eligibility. The calculation of this total includes previous semesters at SCI-Arc, as well as any attendance at any other school (including Community Colleges) where a Pell Grant was paid. Visit the NSLDS web site to determine the percentage of Pell Grant you have received.

Requirements for Graduate Students
Graduate Students must be enrolled at least half-time in order to be eligible to receive funding from Federal Financial Aid programs.

For Graduate Students:

Graduate Enrollment Status/Number of Units Impact on Award Eligibility
Full-time enrollment
9.0 or more units
Full award eligibility
Half-time enrollment
5.0 - 9.9 units
Full award eligibility


Back To Top

Completing the Process

Now that you’ve received, and accepted your financial aid offer, you should do the following to ensure timely disbursement of your financial aid.

Complete Direct Loan Steps (1st time borrowers)
If you have been offered, and accepted, a Direct Stafford Loan, you may need to complete additional steps in order for your loan to disburse and credit your student account. These steps will only need to be completed the first time you borrow a Direct Stafford Loan at SCI-Arc; you do not need to do them for subsequent years.

PLEASE NOTE: Financial Aid Offers are based on FULL-TIME enrollment. The amount of aid that is disbursed will be based on your need AND enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, some of your financial aid awards may be prorated based on the number of units in which you are enrolled.

Back To Top

Direct Loan Steps

Borrowing a Direct Stafford Loan
As part of your financial aid offer, you may have been offered a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. If you accept the loan offer, you will be borrowing money from the U.S. Department of Education and agreeing to repay it under the terms and conditions of the loan.

Although a Direct Stafford Loan is a convenient source of additional funding for your education, it is a loan that will be repaid with interest. It is important to budget and borrow carefully:

  • Consider ways to keep your costs down in order to limit your total loan debt
  • Borrow only what you need. You must repay loans with interest which, depending on the type of loan, can begin accumulating immediately upon disbursement of the loan.
  • Before you borrow, estimate both the amount of debt you may be able to afford and the potential monthly loan payment you can expect after you graduate. Refer to the calculators on the Direct Loan page of the Federal Student Aid website for sample repayment amounts.
  • If you do decide to borrow a loan, Direct Stafford loans have a relatively low, fixed interest rate and are not credit-based.
  • Direct Stafford loans provide you with delayed repayment while in-school, and flexible repayment options for when you enter into repayment. Remember: You are obligated to repay your loan regardless of whether you complete your education, are satisfied with your education, or are able to find a job.
Required Steps for First-Time Borrowers at SCI-Arc

If you are a first-time Direct Stafford Loan borrower at SCI-Arc, you will need to:

  • complete an online Loan Entrance Counseling session, and
  • complete an electronic Master Promissory Note
These requirements can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.

Your loan funds cannot be credited to your account until you have completed both the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (and you have accepted your loan).

These steps will only need to be completed the first time you borrow a Direct Stafford Loan at SCI-Arc; you do not need to do them for subsequent years.

Loan Entrance Counseling
Federal regulations require that you complete an entrance counseling session prior to receiving a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Students at SCI-Arc complete this requirement online at www.studentloans.gov.

The purpose of the entrance counseling session is to explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, to emphasize the legal binding nature of your loan obligation, and to make you aware of the consequences of failing to repay your loan according to the terms of the promissory note.

Steps for Completing Online Loan Counseling:
You will go through a sequence of screens that cover the entrance counseling followed by a 15 question quiz.

    1. Go to the Direct Loan Counseling site
    2. Go to the Entrance Counseling section and click on Complete Entrance Counseling
    3. Complete the Quiz, which will take approximately 20 -30 minutes. Be certain to follow all instructions and to print any and all sections for your records if you desire.
    4. After completing the Quiz (12 out of 15 questions must be answered correctly to pass), you will need to have the results submitted to SCI-Arc.
    5. Enter your full Legal Name, Date of Birth, and Social Security Number in the appropriate boxes.
    6. Read the Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities; click “Save and Acknowledge” at the bottom of the page.
    7. Click on “Add a School.” To have the results sent to us, type in “THE Southern California Institute of Architecture” for the school name and then click on “Search.” You can then select THE Southern California Institute of Architecture from the search results – click on “choose selected school.”
    8. Highlight THE Southern California Institute of Architecture (in the box), click on “Proceed.”
    9. You have now completed the Entrance Counseling requirement!
Optional: Once you have completed the Entrance Counseling session, you may print a copy of the Student Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities for your records. Click on “Show Form for Printing” and use your browser’s print button.

Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The MPN is a legal contract between you and the Department of Education. Your promissory note is a multi-year note that remains valid for 10 years from the date you sign it; it is designed to cover the maximum loan amount you are eligible to receive for all years of enrollment at SCI-Arc. You will receive a disclosure statement each year identifying the exact amount disbursed to you.

Completing the Online Master Promissory Note:
The MPN is completed online at https://studentloans.gov. You will need to provide the following information when completing the MPN:

  • Federal PIN (this is the same one used to electronically sign the FAFSA)
  • Your full legal name as it appears on your social security card
  • Permanent mailing address
  • Driver’s License number and state (if applicable)
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Name, address, and phone number for two references. These should be people who have known you for at least one year – preferably relatives – who live at different addresses from one another.
Loan Repayment
After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you have a 6-month grace period before your loans enter into active repayment. The repayment period for Stafford Loans varies from 10 to 25 years. Before or during your grace period, you must complete Loan Exit Counseling, which informs you of your rights, responsibilities, and terms of repayment on your loan. You may complete this requirement online or via the mail.

When it comes time to repay your loan, you can choose a repayment plan that is best suited to your financial situation. For descriptions of the various repayment plans, as well as an interactive repayment calculator, refer to the Direct Loan section of the Federal Student Aid website.

Back To Top

Click below to download the SCI-Arc Viewbook



Contact us at 213.356.5320, admissions@sciarc.edu or use our INQUIRY link.

Also find us on: