Federal Aid Programs - Financial Aid Office

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Federal Programs

Ohlone's Federal College Code is 004481.

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Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

NOTE: This funding source is no longer Available as of 4/20/21. Please be on the lookout for other Emergency Aid funding coming soon!!!!

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) is authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), Public Law 116-260, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on Dec. 27, 2020. In total, the CRRSAA authorizes $81.88 billion in support for education, in addition to the $30.75 billion former Secretary DeVos expeditiously provided last spring through the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.

Institutions must make financial aid grants to students, which can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care (including mental health care), or child care. Unlike the CARES Act, the CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize students with exceptional need, such as students who receive Pell Grants, and authorizes grants to students exclusively enrolled in distance education. Ensure that these funds are distributed as widely as possible.

As a point of reference, Ohlone will consider an award amount ranging from $250-$1,000 based on student Enrollment status for the Spring 2021 semester. Student receiving aid may, or may not have a completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible. Total funding allocated for this project is $1,500,000 to be awarded to as many students as possible that meet the eligibility and awarding criteria set forth in this document.

  1. Student must be enrolled exclusively in Distance Education
  2. Must be a U.S Citizen or Permanent Resident (Must have a valid Resident Card)
  3. Demonstrate exceptional need (Priority given to Pell Eligible students)
  4. Student must have a remaining unmet need (COA-EFC)
  5. Student must be currently attending the Spring 2021 semester
  6. Must be enrolled in an Eligible Certificate/Degree seeking program

UPDATED: as of 04/19/21 communication was received from the Office of General Counsel for the CA Community College system, that due to the Oakley v. DeVos Litigation, Ohlone College is able to award HEERF II funding to all students regardless of Citizenship status. Therefore, we have decided to award funding to our Full Time Undocumented and International students that are enrolled for the Spring 2021 semester.

Funding amounts will vary based on the student’s enrollment status for the Spring 2021 semester

Full Time Enrollment (12 units or more) Three Quarter Time = $1,000
Enrollment (9-11 units) = $ 750
Half Time Enrollment = $ 500
Less Than Half Time Enrollment = $ 350
All other students that completed a FAFSA (Not Pell Eligible) = $ 250

Priority will be given first to student who meet eligible criteria listed and are enrolled at least Full time for the Spring 2021 semester. Student will be funded no earlier than the Institutional census date (2 weeks after the beginning of the semester), to ensure that enrollment status has been locked.

This way Financial Aid can ensure we are funding based on locked enrollment statuses for the semester. Registration in late start courses after funding has been awarded, will not count toward the enrollment level to increase award amount. Courses dropped after a student has been awarded will not have a negative impact on the award.

UPDATED: Funding amounts for these two student populations will vary based on student cohort and full time enrollment status for the Spring 2021 semester ONLY

Full Time Enrollment (12 units or more) Undocumented = $ 750
Full Time Enrollment (12 units or more) International = $ 600


  1. Financial Aid will run a student enrollment report for the Spring 2021 semester. This will happen after the Institutional Census date 02/08/2021
  2. Eligibility Criteria for the funding will be set through various rules programed into the Colleague system Financial Aid will run the enrollment listing through the system for all Full-time enrolled students first, with a grant award of $1,000. The system will automatically apply this amount to student meeting the listed criteria as of (02/19/2021)
  3. If there is still remaining funding once that process has assigned grant aid to all students in the first tier, Financial aid will then run the enrolled listing through the system again to pick up the next tier of enrollment and so on until funding has been exhausted.
  4. A notification email will be sent out to all awarded students through our SIS to all student emails at the time of awarding.
  5. Students will be able to view their awards on their MyOhlone and will be prompted through the system to sign a revised award letter stating that they accept the funds.
  6. Instructions in the email will inform students that funding will be transmitted through Bank Mobile and they will receive instructions from Bank Mobile on how to set up their preferences to either have funding deposited onto a Bank Mobile card, or directly into a personal Checking or Savings account.
  7. Funding will be transmitted to Bank Mobile on 02/22/2021
  8. Funding will be available to students through their personal account, or a Bank Mobile account 2-4 days after funding has been transmitted to Bank Mobile. Funding disbursed to a Bank mobile account will be available immediately.

U.S. Department of Education FSA ID

When you apply for Federal financial aid you will need to create a FSA ID with the U.S. Department of Education. The user name and password you create confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you are a dependent student, one of your parents will also need to create a FSA ID to sign your FAFSA.

You can use your FSA ID to do the following:

  • Access, complete, and electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA.
  • View the status and results of your processed FAFSA.
  • Make corrections to your Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • View a history of any Federal student aid you have received.
  • Review your student loan or grant history at the sites listed below.
  • Complete Entrance & Exit loan Counseling
  • Complete Student Master Promissory Note for Student Loans

Because the FSA ID serves are your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, you will need to keep it in a safe place. Do not give your FSA ID to anyone including financial aid officials. Students should not create FSA ID's for their parents and parents should not create FSA ID's for their students.You will be able to use the same FSA ID in the future to apply electronically for student aid and access to your U.S. Department of Education records.

You can obtain additional information regarding the FSA ID, how to use it, security information, at the Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a federally-funded program. To be eligible, you must be an undergraduate student, be a US Citizen/an eligible noncitizen, register with selective service (a male between ages of 18 and 25), enrolled in an eligible degree program, demonstrate financial need, and maintain satisfactory academic program.

The amount awarded, as determined by the Federal Pell Grant Program is based on the prior prior year income and current asset information you provided in the FAFSA application. Award amounts will also be determined on student enrollment status at either Full Time, Three Quarter Time, Half Time & Less than Half Time.

2020-2021 Maximum Pel Grant Eligibility = $6,345

Your Pell Grant eligibility is limited to 6 years or 12 full-time equivalent semesters (a total of 600%), including all past award years.

Check your Pell Lifetime Units used at www.nslds.gov

Summer Pell Grant

Beginning Summer 2018, students who receive 100% of their Pell Grant award for the Fall and Spring semesters will potentially be eligible to receive additional 50% Pell grant (prorated based on enrollment status) for up to 150% of their scheduled Pell Grant award in Summer.

For Financial Aid, the award year is Fall, Spring, Summer


For Financial Aid purposes, full-time status for Summer is the same as Fall and Spring:

  • 12 or more units = Fulltime

  • 11.5 - 9 units = Three-quarter (¾) time

  • 6 - 6.5 units = Halftime (½)

  • 5.5 or fewer units = Less than halftime

To qualify for year round Pell Grant, student must:

  1. Complete a FAFSA application by the deadline;

  2. Be Pell Grant eligible;

  3. In Good Standing per the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy;

  4. Exhausted all Pell Grant 100% eligibility for the Fall & Spring semester and enroll at least Half time for the Summer semester. Half-time enrollment for summer for financial aid purposes is a minimum of 6 units.*

  5. Have lifetime Pell eligibility remaining.

*Students who received part time Pell Grant payment in Fall and in Spring, there is no minimum units requirements for Summer (unless required by your EFC).
*Students who r
eceived full time Pell payment in Fall and in Spring will need to enroll a minimum of 6 credits to receive summer Pell.

Students are eligible up to 12 full term semesters to receive Pell Grant. Receiving your Pell in Summer will reduce your remaining eligibility.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG is a federally-funded program designed to supplement other sources of financial aid for students with established need. FSEOG awards range from $100 to $500 per year.

When you apply for financial aid, you will automatically be considered for this program based on eligibility requirements and availability of funds, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding Priority is given to those that have completed their FAFSA application by March 2nd.

You must meet all Title IV eligibility requirements to receive these funds.

You must be enrolled in at least 6 units (half-time status) in order to receive these funds.

If you are awarded FSEOG funds, you must meet satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of each semester in order to continue receiving these funds.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

What is the Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a need-based federally funded program that provides part time employment so students can earn money to help pay education expenses. Funds are limited, and not all eligible students can participate in the program. The Work Study Award is awarded to students on first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are exhausted.

Funding Priority is given to those that have completed their FAFSA application by March 2nd.

Group of 5 students on first day of classes in stairwell of Building 7 on Fremont campus.

How do I apply for the Federal Work-Study Program?

To apply, you must:

  1. File the FAFSA early and indicate on the FAFSA that you are interested in the FWS! 
  2. Complete the verification process (if selected for verification)
  3. Create an account on HandShake as an Ohlone student and apply for the position you are interested in.
  4. Please include Resume and Cover letter along with your application. (Career Services is available to assist you with these if you need assistance)
  5. If selected to interview with the hiring manager, you must complete the on-boarding process with Human Resources (HR), which is completed online, as well as Financial Aid (FA). (Two (2) On-boarding sessions will be offered prior to the start of the term and you must attend one.) The Financial Aid Office, as well as your supervisor, must have an approved Personal Action Form (PAF) from Human Resources before you may begin working.
  6. Please complete the HR paperwork prior to the onboarding Process for a quicker turn around time.

Note: Community Service Work-Study students must also sign a release form and complete paperwork with the site coordinator for the community service organization.

FWS Eligibility and Award

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a US Citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Meet FA Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be Enrolled in at least 6 units (Half-Time Status) during the semester of employment. (Some exceptions apply during the summer semester)

The award amount will depend on student's financial need, the department's need, and the FWS budget.

Due to limited funding, not all eligible students can receive the award. Those who meet the requirements but can't be hired due to the funding limit will have their applications held by the hiring manager for the position applied for. If a vacancy or funding comes available, then that hiring manager will have the option to go back through applicants to fill the position.

It is student's responsibility to find a FWS job by doing their research on Handshake to see what positions are available.  

Where will I work?

Most positions are in a variety of offices on campus: Athletics, Admissions & Records, Student Activities, Biology and Chemistry labs, Cashiers Window, Financial Aid, and IT to name a few.

Rate and Payment

Students will be paid at Federal Minimum Rage or local minimum wage, whichever is higher. No Federal Work-Study student may be paid by commission or work for free. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. Students are responsible for recording the hours worked on the monthly Web-time entry account through Web Advisor and e-sign the timecard by the last working day of the month or the last date of each month. Pay days are the 10th of the month.

How many hours can I work per week?

Depend on the department's need, the hours will be arranged by the department supervisor. FWS students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week when classes are in session or more than 8 hours per day, and not to exceed your total FWS award.

FWS will be available starting Fall 2021

Fall Semester              August 30, 2021 - December 17, 2021

Spring Semester        January 24, 2022 - May 20, 2022

Summer 1                   June 13, 2022 – June 30, 2022*

Summer 2                    July 1, 2022 – Aug 4, 2022*


Students awarded for the fall and spring semesters are authorized to work during the winter break if they have not earned their entire award during the academic semester.

*Student must be enrolled for the Fall 2022 Term at Ohlone in order to be eligible for FWS funding for the summer 2022 semester.

Students awarded FWS for Spring 2022 only - May begin work on the first day of instruction, January 24, 2022, and must cease employment by May 20, 2022.

NOTE: Please be aware that you must apply and complete a new application prior to the start of a new semester if you wish to continue in the Federal Work Study program. Failure to do so will result in the termination of your employment as a Federal Work-Study student. Please contact Shantell Lea, Federal Work Study Coordinator, at slea@ohlone.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Will I be paid for sick leave?

California employees including FWS students can earn and take sick leave once they have met the requirements. Payment for sick leave will not be charged to federal work-study fund, but rather to the applicable departmental budget.

Female student sitting next to pond on the Fremont campus.


Contact the Financial Aid Office at 510-659-6150 or financial_aid@ohlone.edu

Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant (BIA)

As stated in Title 25 CFR Part 32.3, BIE's mission is to provide quality education opportunities from early childhood through life in accordance with the Tribe's needs for cultural and economic well-being, in keeping with the wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages as distinct cultural and governmental entities. The Bureau is to manifest consideration of the whole person by taking into account the spiritual, mental, physical, and cultural aspects of the person within family and Tribal or Alaska Native village contexts.

Mailing Address:
Bureau of Indian Affairs
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240

Telephone: (202) 208-5116
or (800) 246-8101
Telefax: (202) 208-6334

Request a Meeting

To request a meeting with the Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, please use the Meeting Request Form

Federal Direct Student Loans

Important Notice:In Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Ohlone College has the authority to refuse the origination of a loan and/or originate a loan at less than the amount requested by the student. This is done on an individual student basis. Ohlone College does not participate in the Direct PLUS Loan Program. All student loans are awarded and originated based on a full academic year (Fall & Spring).

A Caution About Student Loans

The first disbursement for new borrowers will be 30 days from the beginning of the loan period to ensure their continued enrollment. Refunds are released to the students after their enrollment has been verified; twice per semester.

You should not plan to use the loan money to pay registration fees, early fee payments, or to buy your textbooks as these funds will arrive after classes begin, but you may be able to utilize an Emergency Short Term Loan for those purposes.

Introduction to the Direct Stafford Loan Program

Ohlone College participates in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Students who previously received loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program will now borrow through the Direct Stafford Loan Program.

The Direct Stafford Loan Program offers the same types of loans as the FFEL Program and generally has the same terms and conditions as FFEL Program loans, but instead of a bank lending the money, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) lends the money directly to students through Ohlone College.

Direct Loan Types

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are based on financial need, as determined by your cost of attendance minus expected family contribution and other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). The federal government pays the interest while you are enrolled in-school on at least a half-time basis, for six months after you leave school (referred to as the grace period), and during a period of deferment.



The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not need-based. The interest is charged beginning the day the loan is disbursed until the loan is repaid in full. Students may pay the interest accrued while they are in school, during the grace period, or during deferment. If the interest of an unsubsidized loan is unpaid, it will be capitalized (added to the loan principal balance) when students enter repayment.

Loan Proration
Federal regulations require schools to prorate the Federal Direct Loan amount when the
borrower is

  • enrolled in a program that is shorter than a full academic year; or
  • enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length, but is in a remaining period of study that is shorter than a full academic year.
During your final semester before you graduate, your loan may be prorated based on the number
of credits remaining in your program of study, using the following formula:

Interest Rates and Fee

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the interest rate for Direct Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans is 3.73%. The origination fee of 1.057% is in effect for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2021. The origination fee for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2021 and before October 1, 2022  is 1.057%. Interest rates & loan fees are determined by the U.S. Congress annually.

Annual Loan Limits

The loan amount a student can borrow depends upon the need determined on the FAFSA, his or her dependency status, and grade level. A student who has completed less than 30 units is considered a first year student (freshman) while a student who has completed 30 or more units is considered a second year student (sophomore). If a student intends to include units earned from a prior institution to establish second year loan eligibility, he or she must submit official academic transcript(s) and request to be evaluated by the Admissions & Records. Since Ohlone College is a two-year institution, students may not borrow more than the second year amount even if they are enrolled for a third year.

The maximum subsidized amount for a freshman is $3,500 a year and $4,500 a year for a sophomore. Dependent students may be eligible for an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized and independent students may be eligible for an additional $6,000 in unsubsidized loans each year. See the chart below.


​Subsidized Loan

​Unsubsidized Loan

Total Maximum Amount

​1st Year (less than 30 units)




​2nd year (30 units or more)





​Subsidized Loan

​Unsubsidized Loan

Total Maximum Amount

​1st Year (less than 30 units)




​2nd year (30 units or more)





Steps for applying:

- Complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA and all required documentation on your FA MyOhlone checklist.

- Complete Loan Entrance Counseling for Undergraduate Students and sign the Master Promissory Note at www.studentaid.gov.

- Complete required financial literacy module(s) at https://gradready.com/sponsor/ohlone with a minimum 80% passing score:

New borrowers: “Intro to Federal Loans” and “Budgeting”

Returning borrowers: “Gauge Your Debt”

- Must be enrolled in at least 6 Title IV credits (*if enroll in late-start courses, loan funds will not be disbursed until at least 6 credits begin).

- Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined by the Financial Aid Office.

- Submit a “Request a New Loan” on your MyOhlone.

Information About Your Loans

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a centralized database that keeps track of federal student loan and grant information managed by the U.S. Department of Education. It allows you to access your information at any time. By checking in regularly, you can stay on top of your loan status (i.e. deferment, repayment, default, canceled, paid in full, etc.) New loans are reported to the NSLDS within 30 days of disbursement. Besides, you can contact your current loan servicer in regards to your most current loan information.

Note: The NSLDS doesn’t include any information about your private student loans. If you are not sure of who to contact for private loans, request for the free annual credit report; it should list all your current debts and accounts, including federal and private student loans.

Loan Disbursement

Federal loan funds will be disbursed in two equal installments during the semester, similar to the Pell Grant disbursement. If a student's loan disbursement is scheduled on, or after, the second (2nd) disbursement of the term, he or she will receive the funds in one installment. Any outstanding charges owed to Ohlone College will be deducted from the loan amount and credit balance will be disbursed via your selected refund preference with BankMobile.

Loan Cancellation

Students have the right as a borrower to cancel all or part of the loan within 30 days of the disbursement. All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office using the Student Loan Cancellation Form. If a student decides to cancel their loans after 120 days of the disbursement date, they are responsible for paying loan fees and any accrued interest directly back to their loan servicer.

Loan Exit Counseling

All borrowers who drop below half time enrollment, graduate, or leave school are required to complete online exit counseling. This requirement is in place so students will receive essential information regarding their rights and responsibilities as student loan borrowers. Remember that student loan indebtedness is reported to credit agencies; therefore, completing the exit requirement is one step in keeping the loans and your credit in good standing. Exit counseling can be completed online through www.studentloans.gov.

Loan Repayment

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month “grace period.” Repayment begins after the six-month grace period ended. You will receive information about repayment and your loan servicer will notify you of the date loan repayment begins. Borrowers have a variety of repayment options. Generally, you'll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. The minimum monthly payments may be as low as $50, but this amount may be different depending on your loan balance and your repayment plan. You may repay your loan at any time without penalty. Learn more about your Direct Loans Repayment Options.

Loan Default

Your loan goes into default after you have gone 270 days without making a monthly payment. As soon as you think you have trouble making student loan payments, contact your student loan servicer about your options for making those payments more affordable. You may be able to change repayment plans, consolidate your loans and possibly reduce your monthly payments, or temporarily suspend payments. Your loan servicer can explain all of these options and work closely with you to address your needs.

Here are some serious consequences of default:

  • Your wages can be garnished
  • Your state and federal income tax refunds can be withheld
  • You can no longer receive any Federal student aid
  • Severe damage to your credit report
  • You can no longer receive deferments or forbearances
  • You will have to pay late fees and collection costs on top of what you already owe
  • You can be sued

Loan Deferment or Forbearance

If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your loan servicer can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. Learn more about Direct Loans Deferment or Forbearance Options that allow you to temporarily stop or lower your loan payment.

Loan Consolidation

As of July 1, 2010, all federal student loan consolidations are processed by the U.S. Department of Education through the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP). Students previously borrowed through a private lending institution and are interested in combining all of their eligible federal loans into one new loan with one monthly payment may review the consolidating option. Consolidation has some benefits, as well as drawbacks; therefore, you need to review your situation before making a decision. Visit the website at Federal Direct Consolidation Loans Information Center for more information.

FSA Student Loan Ombudsman

If a borrower disputes the terms of the federal loan and the loan servicer is unable to resolve the issue, a borrower may seek the assistance of the Student Loan Ombudsman Group. They are available to help resolve disputes and concerns related to federal student loans. Contact the Ombudsman Group as a last resort on the FSA Student Loan Ombudsman Group website or at (877) 557-2575.

More information about the Direct Loan Program can be found at the Department of Education Student Loan website.