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

Application Process

There are six basic steps in the process to apply for financial aid, beginning with completing the appropriate financial aid application (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for federal aid eligible students; the California Dream Act Application for students with an approved AB540 waiver, who do not meet eligibility for Federal Student Aid).

PLEASE NOTE: Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA), and who qualify for AB540, should complete the CA Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state financial aid, as they are NOT Eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Steps to Apply for Financial Aid
FAFSA Filing Tips
Verification of FAFSA Information
Cal Grant GPA Verification
Domestic Partnerships Law
California Dream Act

Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

Step 1: Complete the Appropriate Financial Aid Application (FAFSA or California Dream Act Application)

The SCI-Arc School Code is 014073.

The appropriate financial aid application must be completed in order for a student to be considered for financial aid. The application must be completed each year, and can be submitted online.

Income figures may be estimated; do NOT wait until a tax return is filed.

Step 2: Submit the application between January 1 and March 2
Students who file during this time period and who demonstrate the highest need will be given priority consideration for financial aid funding. Those students who submit their applications after March 2 will not be given priority consideration; awards will be based on the remaining funds available.

California residents applying for a Cal Grant must submit a GPA Verification Form as well as the appropriate financial aid application by the March 2 deadline. GPA Verification Forms are available from the student's high school counselor or online at the California Student Aid Commision’s website.

Step 3: Make any necessary corrections to the Student Aid Report (SAR)
Once you have filed your application, your information will be processed by the appropriate agency (U.S. Department of Education OR California Student Aid Commission), and a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be generated – typically within one week of your online application having been submitted. The SAR is a summary of the information you entered on the application; be sure to review the SAR for any errors. You can make any necessary corrections online via the application website (FAFSA or California Dream Act Application). If no corrections are needed, keep a printed copy of your SAR for reference.

Step 4: Submit any additional documentation requested
Approximately two (2) weeks after processing your application, the appropriate agency (U.S. Department of Education or California Student Aid Commission) will electronically transmit the information to SCI-Arc. We will then review the data to determine if any additional documents are needed.

Additional documents will be requested email; you must follow the instructions in the email in order to obtain any necessary forms.

After you have submitted any requested additional documentation, your information will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness.

Step 5: Review your Financial Aid Award Notice
Once the Office of Financial Aid has completed the review of information and any requested documents, an award notification will be prepared. Award notifications are sent electronically to the email address on file with SCI-Arc. Award notifications are only prepared for two populations of students:

  • Admitted Students
  • Continuing (Currently Enrolled) Students

Step 6: Accept/Decline your awards
All financial aid awards are accepted through your award letter. To receive your funds, you must accept your award(s), complete required steps for Direct Stafford Loans (if applicable), maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, and be enrolled at least half-time.

To ensure receipt of all funds offered, please read and respond promptly to the financial aid award notification.

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FAFSA Filing Tips

The best way to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is early, and online. If you apply online, your application will be processed faster and will likely be more accurate because the FAFSA Web site is designed to catch common errors. The online application allows you to skip questions that are not relative to your unique situation. It also allows for retrieving your tax information directly from the IRS – minimizing many common mistakes, as well as streamlining the verification process. You can save and continue the FAFSA at any time online and then sign your application electronically using a personal identification number (PIN) which you can get from the Federal Student Aid PIN Web site.

Tell your friends! The official FAFSA is at www.FAFSA.gov - not at a .com web site. If you go to a .com site, you will probably be asked to pay to submit the FAFSA. Remember, the first F in "FAFSA" stands for "free" – so use the official government site to submit your application.

Making mistakes on your FAFSA could delay your application and possibly make you lose out on some financial aid.

Below is a list of materials/documents that you will need in order to complete the FAFSA:

  • SCI-Arc's School Code: 014073
  • Federal PIN (available at www.pin.ed.gov) to electronically sign the FAFSA:
  • Sign up for a PIN for the student
  • Sign up for a PIN for one parent
  • To secure a PIN you will need your Social Security Card, correct name (as displayed on Social Security card), and date of birth.
  • Student's Social Security Card
  • Parent's Social Security Card
  • Your driver's license (or State ID)
  • Untaxed Income records
  • Student and parent's bank statements
  • Student and parent's business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bonds, and other investment records
  • Your alien registration or permanent resident card if student or parents are not U.S. citizens.
  • Your 2013 income information (review the IRS Data Retrieval information below)
  • Your Parent's 2013 income information (review the IRS Data Retrieval information below)

IRS Data Retrieval
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for online FAFSA submittals and is accessible through the FAFSA web site www.FAFSA.gov. The retrieval tool allows FAFSA applicants and parents with the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA. See below.

ALL FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) applicants and parents of dependent applicants who are determined to be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report and/or update their income information on the FAFSA.

Benefits of Using the Tool

  • Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately!
  • The Data Retrieval tool will increase the accuracy in the awarding for student financial aid funds!
  • Applicants selected for verification can use the Data Retrieval tool to update their income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays!

Important Changes to the 2014-2015 FAFSA Process

  • ALL applicants and parents who are determined to be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool will be directed to do so while filling out the FAFSA.
  • Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive email communication(s) directing them to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2012 federal income tax return.
  • Applicants selected for the verification process will be required to either use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or) to request a tax transcript from the IRS which can later be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

When Will Data Be Available From the IRS?
Due to the IRS delay in the start of tax filing season, The Data Retrieval Tool will not be available until the last week of February 2014. After that, the following timelines will apply.

Electronic Tax Filers: Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing taxes
Paper Tax Filers: Data will be available within 6 – 8 weeks of filing taxes

If you plan to submit your FAFSA before you and/or your parents complete and submit your 2013 Federal Tax Return, then be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA record once the returns have been submitted and the income data is available to be retrieved.

Who Is “Not” Eligible To Use The Tool?

  • Married couples who filed separate tax returns
  • Applicants (or parents) whose marital status has changed as of January 1st, 2014
  • Applicants (or parents) who filed an amended tax return
  • Applicants (or parents) who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2013 Federal Tax Return

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Verification of FAFSA Information

What is verification?
Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid may, at any time, select your application for verification based upon the information you have provided. We are required to make sure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

Why is my file being verified?
While there are several reasons why a student may be selected for verification some leading causes are:

  • The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
  • The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
  • The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.
  • Random selection
What items are being verified?
You and/or your parents may be asked to submit documentation or clarification of information for one or more of the following data elements on your FAFSA:
  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • Taxes Paid
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items
  • Number of family members in the household
  • Number of family members enrolled in college (excluding parents for a dependent student)
  • Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit
  • Child Support Paid
  • Citizenship status
  • Compliance with Selective Service registration requirement
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information (including name, date of birth, social security number, etc.)
How will I know I have been selected?
Typically, students can expect to receive an email notification that they have been selected for verification within 10 – 14 days after the Office of Financial Aid received the student’s FAFSA results from the federal processor. If you receive the “SCI-Arc Financial Aid Status - Action Required” notification you will need to follow the steps outlined in that communication to complete your file – as well access any required forms. What documents do I need to submit if I am selected for verification?
The documents required will vary based on each student. The "SCI-Arc Financial Aid Status - Action Required" email will detail the specific items you must verify, as well as provide instructions on how to access any required forms.

How do I verify my income?
The documents that we can now accept to verify your tax information have changed based on policy changes from the U.S. Department of Education. Either a tax transcript from the IRS or your FAFSA filed using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool are the only two ways to verify tax data starting with the 2012-13 academic year.

If you have filed your taxes with the IRS, you should log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information. If you do not, or cannot, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to obtain a tax transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

The fastest way to request your Tax Transcript is either by phone or online.

Please make sure you request a Tax Transcript. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account unless directed by our office to do so.

Ordering a Tax Transcript by Phone

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, then select the following prompts:
  • Option 2 (Personal Income Taxes)
  • Option 1 (Tax History)
  • Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
  • Enter and verify Social Security number (if joint return both SSN’s required)
  • Enter and verify number of street address
  • Press 2 for Tax Transcript and indicate which year (i.e. 2012)
Ordering a Tax Transcript Online
  • Go to www.irs.gov, then select the following:
  • Click “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript” located in the left-hand column
  • Click “Order a Transcript” under Step 3
  • Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code (Be sure to use the address currently on file with the IRS (generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed; however, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have updated the address on file).
  • Click Continue
  • In the TYPE OF TRANSCRIPT field, select “Return Transcript” and in the TAX YEAR field, select the appropriate year (i.e., 2012)
  • Click Continue
If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request – with 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS received the request.

What happens if there are discrepancies in the application?
After all required documents are submitted, the Office of Financial Aid will compare them to your application. If errors are found, corrections will be made and sent to the Department of Education for reprocessing.

How long does a data correction take?
You should allow 10 business days for the verification review process and an additional 10 business days if corrections have to be made and transmitted.

  • Additional time may be necessary during peak periods
  • Once the verification and/or correction process is completed the student will be awarded within 5 business days. An e-mail will be sent out to the student.
  • Verification must be completed in advance of disbursing any money from any financial aid program so it is vital to send, complete, and correct errors as quickly as possible.
How long do I have to complete verification?
Students are expected to apply for aid and complete the verification process before the term has ended. Otherwise, the student is in jeopardy of not receiving any Federal aid for their period of enrollment.

Students selected for verification will not be packaged for financial aid until the Office of Financial Aid has received all requested required documentation and the verification process has been completed. Depending on the time of year, the verification review process can take up to 20 business days from the time the Office of Financial Aid receives all requested required documents.

  • All required documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than 14 business days from the initial date of request.
  • Any delay in submitting all required documents will cause a delay in awarding of financial aid which may result in the student being responsible for paying all or part of their bill until awarding takes place.
  • Individuals who have filed extensions or are self-employed and file their taxes later in the year are not excused from the verification process.
  • It is recommended that federal income tax returns be filed as soon as possible if selected for verification, since a final aid offer cannot be made until the verification process is completed.
Participation in the verification process is not optional. If you do not submit the requested documentation, you will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional need-based financial aid and your parents will not be eligible to borrow a federal PLUS loan.

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Cal Grant Verification

To be considered for a Cal Grant award, students must complete both of the following by March 2, 2014:
  • Complete a 2014-2015 financial aid application (either the FAFSA for students eligible for Federal Student Aid, or a California Dream Act Application for students who meet the AB540 criteria, but do not have a valid immigration status) AND
  • Submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification to the Student Aid Commission by March 2, 2014.
Current SCI-Arc Cal Grant recipients are not required to submit the GPA Verification form; your Cal Grant award will automatically be renewed for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, if you still have remaining eligibility and meet income, assets, and unmet need requirements.

Who Must Complete Your Cal Grant GPA Verification
In order to be considered for a Cal Grant, you must have your GPA verified by the appropriate college or high school office. The following information explains where to submit your GPA Verification form based on your current high school or college status. After reading these instructions, please contact our office if you have any questions.

Graduating High School Seniors and Students With Less Than 24 College Units Earned
To qualify for a Cal Grant, your high school must verify your GPA and submit it to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

Cal Grant GPAs will be accepted only if certified by a school electronically or on the paper GPA Verification form. No transcripts will be accepted. The fastest and most secure way for you to submit a Cal Grant GPA is to have your school electronically upload the GPA directly to the Commission’s system. Please ask your school to submit your GPA electronically to the Commission by the March 2, 2014 filing deadline. If the school cannot submit the GPA electronically, the paper Cal Grant GPA Verification form must be certified by the school.

Continuing SCI-Arc Students
The Office of Financial Aid will automatically send your GPA to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are classified as a second, third, fourth or fifth year at SCI-Arc
  • You have a current FAFSA or California Dream Act Application on file at SCI-Arc
Your GPA is calculated on all completed college work, excluding nontransferable units and courses not counted in computation for admission to a California public institution of higher education that grants a baccalaureate degree.

Prospective Transfer Students
If you have at least 3.0 GPA and wish to apply for a Cal Grant to attend SCI-Arc as a transfer student, you must submit your GPA Verification Form to your previous college or university for completion. Allow at least three weeks before the March 2 deadline to ensure sufficient time for processing.

Renewal Cal Grant Applicants
Cal Grants may be renewed for up to four years of full-time enrollment. If you are currently receiving a Cal Grant and wish to renew your grant for the next academic year, we recommend you complete your financial aid application (FAFSA or DREAM Act Application) by the March 2nd priority filing date. CSAC will automatically notify us if you are eligible to renew your Cal Grant. We will confirm your eligibility by reviewing your grade level, financial need and enrollment. We will include your Cal Grant renewal award as part of your total financial aid award package.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) awards Cal Grants to qualified California residents who meet minimum GPA requirements and demonstrate financial eligibility as determined by the FAFSA (for students eligible for Federal Student Aid) or the California Dream Application (for students who meet the AB540 criteria, but do not have a valid immigration status). Authorization to disburse Cal Grants is dependent on the governor signing the state budget and payment being sent by CSAC to SCI-Arc.

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Domestic Partnerships and Financial Aid

The California Domestic Partnership Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 extends rights, benefits and obligations to individuals in Registered Domestic Partnerships, effective January 1, 2005. If you or your parents are in a Registered Partnership, this may impact your eligibility for state and University financial aid.

Additional Information
The California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 seeks to secure for eligible couples who register with the State of California as domestic partners the "full range of legal rights, protections and benefits, as well as all of the responsibilities, obligations, and duties to each other, to their children, to third parties and to the state, as the laws of California extend to and impose upon spouses." Provisions that became effective January 1, 2005 will impact the determination of eligibility for California state student financial aid programs and aid programs of California public institutions.

California's Secretary of State maintains a registry of domestic partnerships between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples in which at least one of the individuals is over age 62. Additional information on the registry is at Domestic Partners Registry. Students who are registered as domestic partners with the California Secretary of State or dependent students whose custodial parent is registered as a domestic partner with the California Secretary of State must contact the financial aid office regarding additional information that is required in order to establish eligibility for state and institutional aid under the provisions of this new state law.

California’s recognition of registered domestic partnerships does not apply for purposes of federal student financial aid programs. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) used in applying for state and institutional financial aid, as well as federal aid, does not provide for the collection of information related to domestic partnerships.

Students who do not currently qualify as independent students for financial aid purposes may, as a result of a registered domestic partnership, be considered independent for state and institutional aid programs but not for federal aid programs. Revisions to eligibility determination for state and institutional aid programs will require that the student be treated the same as a married student, ignoring the resources of the student's parents, but adding the resources of the student's domestic partner in establishing the Expected Family Contribution. This will require the collection of additional information on the combined household of the student and the domestic partner as well as the domestic partner's financial resources.

Dependent students whose custodial parent is a registered domestic partner will need to supply additional information on the combined household and the financial resources of the parent's domestic partner and those resources will be used in determining the Expected Family Contribution and resultant eligibility for state and institutional aid programs.

Financial aid administrators at campuses of SCI-Arc are available to advise students and parents regarding the additional information that is required to ensure that, for purposes of state and institutional financial aid programs, registered domestic partners are treated in similar fashion to married couples.

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California Dream Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive funds from certain state and institutional financial assistance programs.

Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA), and who qualify for AB540, should complete the CA Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state financial aid.

California Dream Act
The California Dream Act of 2011 consists of two bills, Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130), signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 25, 2011; and Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131), signed into law by Governor Brown on October 8, 2011. As a result of the California Dream Act, those students who are eligible for the non-resident tuition exemption (under Assembly Bill 540, or AB 540), but who are ineligible for federal financial aid are now eligible to receive grants and scholarships from California State and University sources.

AB 540 Eligibility Requirements
Under AB 540, a student who is without a valid immigration status may request exemption from paying nonresident tuition if the student:

  • Attended a California high school for 3 or more years, AND
  • Graduated from a California high school or passed the GED or California High School Proficiency Exam.
What Types of Financial Assistance are Available
The California Dream Act makes certain types of scholarships, state and university grants available to eligible students. Below is a listing of the types of financial aid available to students under the California Dream Act: The CA Dream Act Application Process

Dream Act Application: Deadline for priority consideration is March 2, 2013

The California Student Aid Commission’s Dream Act Application is used to determine the financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of AB 540, and who are without a valid immigration status. The application collects basic personal and income information to determine student eligibility for funding under AB 131.

Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA) should complete the CA Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state and SCI-Arc financial aid.

  • Apply between January 1 and March 2, 2014 for priority consideration.
  • Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA) should complete the CA Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state financial aid.
  • Once you have applied, the SCI-Arc Office of Financial Aid will receive your application information and will notify you by e-mail regarding the status of your application.
  • The SCI-Arc Office of Financial Aid will begin the awarding process for newly admitted students in April; awarding for continuing SCI-Arc students will occur in late-June.
    NOTE: SCI-Arc’s AB 540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) and required documentation must be received by SCI-Arc’s Office of Admissions -- and your AB540 status confirmed -- in order for the Office of Financial Aid to be able to provide you with a financial aid award offer.
To better prepare you for completing the Dream Application, we recommend downloading the Dream Application Worksheet from SCI-Arc’s website.

Students will need to complete the Dream Application every year to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid. Students should complete and submit SCI-Arc’s AB 540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) in order to begin a review of your eligibility under AB 540.

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