Apply for Financial Aid
Step 1: Initial Application
- Request a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. The Department of Education PIN (Personal Identification Number) is an electronic signature used to sign the online Federal Student Aid application. Parents of dependent students must obtain separate PINs. Their electronic signature is also required.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal Application at www.fafsa.gov every year. The FAFSA becomes available January 1st for the following academic year. File early. We recommend filing by March 2nd for consideration for all available aid. If the March 2nd Cal Grant Priority deadline has passed, fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible.
- NEW! For AB540 students: complete the confidential California Dream Act Application instead of the FAFSA. Additional information is available at: http://www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp. You will have a separate PIN process. Do not apply for a Department of Education PIN.
- Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR). About 5-7 days after submitting your FAFSA, the Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR) to both you and to each of the schools you listed on the FAFSA. The SAR will be sent by email if you put your email address on the FAFSA (preferred). If you do not have an email address, a paper version of the SAR will be sent to your mailing address.
- Check the SAR for accuracy and completeness. If an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was not calculated, there is missing information you must provide.
- If you estimated your household income prior to filing taxes, return to www.fafsa.gov to make corrections. For 2013-2014, the Department of Education strongly recommends that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for your (and your parents’) income and tax information. The retrieval tool offers FAFSA applicants and parents the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA.
First Time FAFSA Filer?
Renewal FAFSA Filer?
Step 2: Completing Missing Information
- If your FAFSA is missing information, you will receive an email that lists the additional items needed to complete your application. This email will be sent to your Bakersfield College email address. In addition, you can also look up missing information items by logging into insideBC.
- All requested forms are available through insideBC https://inside.bakersfieldcollege.edu/ or to the left on this page. If forms have been recently turned into our office, please allow three days to post.
- Important: Documents received will be date-stamped and files will be reviewed in date order when all requested documents have been received. A financial aid file is not complete until all requested items have been submitted and checked for completeness and accuracy.
- The priority deadline for completing a financial aid file at Bakersfield College is ____. If you miss the priority date, please return all requested items as soon as possible. Not returning requested items in a timely fashion will delay completion of your file and may delay receipt of financial aid.
- California Dream Act applications will be processed separately and will follow a similar process.
Step 3: Verification
- About one-third of financial aid applications are selected for a federal process called Verification. Such applications are marked by an asterisk (*) next to the EFC on the SAR. Students must submit a Verification Worksheet and utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or submit an official IRS tax return transcript from the previous year, for the student and/or parents, or for the student and/or spouse. Students are also notified through the Missing Information email letter that verification items are required.It is possible that the verification process can lead to further requests for additional information and may result in a change to the EFC and financial aid offer. Please respond to all requests as quickly as possible.
- Review Step 2 for guidelines on how to follow through on requested information.
Step 4: Satisfactory Academic Progress
- At the end of each semester and at the end of the summer, all files are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Financial aid students must be making progress toward a degree, certificate of achievement, or transfer objective by maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 and by completing the units for which they are paid. For additional information on SAP policy, click on Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Step 5: Financial Aid Notification
- Bakersfield College email is the official means of communication at Bakersfield College. Students should check their Bakersfield College email on a regular basis. Once your financial aid file is complete, you will receive a Financial Award Notification by email. The email will direct you to insideBC to view your actual award. Awards are calculated according to your need (determined by EFC), and estimated based on full-time enrollment (12 units per semester). Financial aid dollar amounts will be adjusted if your EFC changes or you are enrolled in less than full-time.
- Students who are ineligible for grants will not have any funds listed but may be eligible for a loan. After receipt of the Financial Aid Notification Email, a student may schedule a loan orientation date by contacting the Office of Financial Aid for a Federal Direct Loan. Please note: Satisfactory Academic Progress and 6 degree applicable units per term is a requirement for all borrowers.