Federal Aid Programs - Financial Aid Office

New Students Week of Welcome (WOW) sessions January 19-22, 2021. Join us for these LIVE Zoom sessions that will provide information on programs, connections, and the resources you will need to start the spring semester.

Virtual In-Person (VIP) LIVE Student Support continues, and is made available, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday & holidays. Cashier only available Monday-Wednesday). Enter the VIP lobby and reach a member of our staff LIVE, including representatives from Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Counseling, Onboarding, Career Services and the Cashier's Office.


We’re Here to Help, and are Excited to Introduce You to a Variety of NEW Services and Resources Including: OCELET Chatbot, New Financial Aid: Anytime. Anywhere. Application Process., Free Financial Aid Workshops, 24/7 Video Library, and FA Self Service.

Federal Programs

Ohlone's Federal College Code is 004481.

The US Department of Education (USDOE) has issued important information for relief for borrowers of Federal Student loans. Here is a link to the press release on federal loan relief.

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 enroll in at least Half Time status to be considered to receive these funds.

If you are awarded FSEOG funds, you must meet satisfactory academic progress standards 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 the Human Resources (HR) and 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 written approval from the Human Resources Office 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:

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 only be available for Spring 2021 – May observe the following work schedule, provided students are enrolled for both semesters:

Spring Semester         January 25, 2021 - May 14, 2021

Summer 1                    May 15, 2021– June 30, 2021*

Summer 2                    July 1, 2021 – Aug 30, 2021*


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 2021 Term at Ohlone in order to be eligible for FWS funding for the summer.

Students awarded FWS for Spring 2021 only - May begin work on the first day of instruction, January 25, 2021, and must cease employment by May 14, 2021.

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

NOTE: Possible Unemployment Opportunity for Federal Work-Study Students

CARES Act ensured that many students who have lost jobs and income due to COVID-19 will be eligible for the same enhanced UI benefits as other workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance in late April confirming that a full-time student who was working part-time is eligible for assistance through the PUA program, which includes $600 each week in addition to UI benefits calculated by their state (which are, on average, a minimum of $190 per week). The additional $600 in benefits provided through the CARES Act is from late March through the end of July 2020.

PUA benefits are available if you don’t qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This includes:

  • Business owners.
  • Self-employed workers.
  • Independent contractors.
  • People with a limited work history.
  • People who have used all their regular UI benefits as well as any extended benefits.
  • People who are serving false statement penalty weeks on their regular UI claim.

If you only received a 1099 tax form last year, you are most likely eligible for PUA.

You must also meet one of the following conditions:

Health Reasons

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • You cannot work because your healthcare provider told you to self-quarantine.
  • A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You are caring for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You cannot work because you are caring for a dependent whose school or care facility has closed due to COVID-19.
  • You became the main income provider due to a COVID-19 death in your household.

Work Reasons

  • You quit your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • Your workplace is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You had a definite date to begin work, but the job is no longer available, or you could not reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are unable to travel to your job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • You are unemployed, partially employed, or unable to work because COVID-19 has forced you to stop working.

In order to access the UI benefits provided under the CARES Act, students should file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where they worked. Information on where to apply can be found at https://www.careeronestop.org/, a website sponsored by DOL

How to File a Claim:

The fastest way to apply for benefits is through UI OnlineSM, just as you would for regular UI benefits. You can also apply for PUA by phone, mail, or fax. For more information on how to file a claim, refer to the Unemployment Benefits Guide.

***Ohlone College would consider altered and/or suspension of initial job duties, as related to Student Worker duties, a workplace closure. This would only be for students that had been employed during the declaration of Emergency, that could potentially have been employed for the upcoming semester. Please be aware that Approval or denial of your unemployment claim can only be made the Employment Development Department (EDD).

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 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit

The 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit applies to first time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, only. Students are no longer eligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loan once they have received or exceed 150% of the published length of the program they are currently enrolled. For example, a student enrolled in a two-year program will have three years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility, and a student enrolled in a four-year program will have six years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility. Moreover, students lose the interest subsidy and the interest will begin to accrue. Students are responsible for paying the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while enrolled in school at least half time.

See Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers on or After July 1, 2013 for more examples and detailed information about the subsidy limit.

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 2020-2021 academic year, the interest rate for Direct Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans is 2.75%. The origination fee of 1.059% is in effect for loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020. 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 loan fee is automatically deducted proportionately from each disbursement. Interest rates and loan fee are determined by the U.S. Congress.

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 for a Federal Direct Loan

Note: Loan Entrance Counseling is required for all student borrowers applying for a Federal Direct Loan at Ohlone College. Loan counseling will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. It must be completed online at https://studentloans.gov and the Financial Aid Office will receive confirmation electronically.

Grad Ready

What is GradReady???

There is a smart way to pay for college and you can do it. Learn about funding options and create a savvy financing plan to help you get through school.

Don't graduate with a poor credit score and a mountain of debt. Create a budget and develop the skills to be in the financial driver's seat when you graduate.

Learn how to navigate the road ahead. Manage your student loan repayment and find guidance on housing, auto, career, benefits, and more. Through Self paced learning modules you are able to learn more about financial literacy and understand that what you borrow now, can affect you in the future. 

Modules that must be completed:

NEW BORROWERS (Never borrowed a Student loan from any College, or have had student loans that are now paid off)

  1. Intro to Federal Loans
  2. Budgeting

RETURNING BORROWERS (Have borrowed a student loan from any college and still have a current loan debt)

  1. Gauge your debt

New Federal Direct Loan Borrowers:

  1. Must have a completed financial aid file.
  2. Must be enrolled in and attend at least six (6) units to receive the loans.
  3. Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined by the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Must complete Loan Entrance Counseling for Undergraduate Students at www.studentloans.gov .
  5. Must complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN) for Undergraduate Students at www.studentloans.gov .
  6. Must complete required Financial Literacy modules for the following topics: (Recommended 80% Passing Score)
    1. Intro to Federal Loans, and
    2. Budgeting
  7. Complete Loan request form on FA Self Service.
  8. Once all steps are complete, loan processing time is approximately 2 weeks. New borrowers will not receive their first disbursement until 30 days after classes have begun.

Returning Federal Direct Loan Borrowers:

  1. Must have a completed financial aid file.
  2. Must be enrolled in and attend at least six (6) units to receive the loans.
  3. Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress as outlined by the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Must complete required Financial Literacy module for the topic: (Recommended 80% Passing Score)
    1. Gauge Your Debt
  5. Complete Loan request form on FA Self Service.
  6. Once all steps are complete, loan processing time is approximately 2 weeks

Loan Application Deadline Date: April 2, 2021.

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.