Bakersfield College

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Financial Aid Programs Overview

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money awarded to help you meet your educational expenses. There are many types of aid offered at Bakersfield College, funded by federal and state agencies and private organizations and are either need-based or non-need based. The major types are grants, scholarships, work study, and loans. What is financial aid? video answer

Need based*

*While some scholarships and fee remissions are not awarded based on a student's need, they are still included when totaling the amount of aid counted towards covering a student's need.

Non-need based*

*You may receive such awards even if your need equals zero.

Regardless of the type of aid you receive (all need-based, all non-need based, or a combination), your total awards may not exceed your cost of attendance.

Financial Aid Basics

Financial Aid TV has many short video overviews of financial aid basics.


Financial Aid Basics

If you are a US Citizen, U.S. National, or eligible non-citizen (as defined by FAFSA) you must complete the FAFSA to qualify for any Federal aid, most state aid, and need-based scholarships.

Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify, it is smart to apply!

Watch this for short video instructions on applying for FAFSA.

FSA ID Issues? Watch a short video to answer your questions about FSA ID.

What's Next After I Apply?

Once you have applied for financial aid, your FAFSA may be selected for verification. Learn how to navigate that step on the verification process page. If you are not selected for verification, your financial aid award will be visible in InsideBC once the Financial Aid Office finishes its review of your file. You will also need to select a payment preference. You can learn more about the details of these steps at the Financial Aid home page.

California Dream Act Application

If you are an undocumented AB-540 eligible student who is not able to file a FAFSA application, you must complete a California Dream Act Application to qualify for state aid and institutional scholarships. You are not eligible for any Federal aid programs.

You are an AB-540 eligible student if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a California high school for a minimum of three years
  • Graduated from a California high school or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or received a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) in the State of California
  • Registered or currently enrolled at a California Community College
  • If required, complete and affidavit saying you have filed (or will file when you are eligible to do so) for legal immigration status.

Short video instructions on applying for the Dream Act.

Federal Aid Programs and Selection Process

To apply for federal aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (Note: All programs are contingent upon receiving funding from the federal government.)

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is free grant money to help with educational costs that does not have to be repaid. The amount of your Pell Grant is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the Cost of Attendance at Bakersfield College, your enrollment status (i.e. half-time, three-quarter time, or full-time), and whether you attend part or all of the academic year. Federal Pell Grants are targeted to students with very high need.

Even if you do not qualify for a Pell Grant, you may be eligible for other forms of financial aid by doing a FAFSA and should still apply!

Bakersfield College uses the Federal Methodology to determine Pell award amounts.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This grant is reserved for students with the greatest financial need and does not have to be repaid. Unlike Federal Pell Grants, FSEOG funding is limited. Bakersfield College receives a predetermined amount of FSEOG funds for the school year and once those funds are used up, no additional awards can be made.

Due to limitation of the allocation of funds, BC uses algorithm (random selection) to select students for awarding; formula includes Full-time and Part-time. In addition, 25 percent of the allocation of funds is reserved for Spring awarding.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

The Federal Work Study program provides students with an opportunity to earn money for college expenses through part-time jobs on campus (some jobs may be available at select non-profit locations). Bakersfield College participates in both Federal and State work study programs. The student’s skills, available hours for work and financial needs are used to refer the student for placement in one of the various offices or other areas on campus. An eligible student may work up to 19 hours per week at the minimum wage of $15.50.

If offered Federal Work Study, contact the Office of Student Employment to explore opportunities and get matched to a position on campus based on your skills, available hours, and need.

Federal Loans

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for you and/or your parents to help pay for educational expenses. There are different types of loans, subsidized, unsubsidized and Parent PLUS, and there are eligibility requirements. Visit our Direct Loans page for more information.

Private Loans

Private loans are alternative loans students or parents/guardians may apply to assist in meeting school related expenses-tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, housing.

Bakersfield College Financial Aid Office does not promote or endorse any specific private lender.  We advise that the private/alternative loan option be used as a last resort after all Federal Direct Loan options have been exhausted (as Federal Direct Loans generally have better benefits and lower interest rates).

Historic Lenders at Bakersfield College

Below is our historic lenders from whom our students have borrowed over the past years.  This list is not meant to be an endorsement of any lender and is not a preferred lender list.

Sallie Mae Student Loans   1-800-472-5543

Suntrust   1-800-552-3006

California - State Aid Programs

To apply for state aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application. (Note: All programs are contingent upon receiving funding from the state government.)

California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver or BOGFW)

Visit our California College Promise Grant page for more information.

Cal Grants A, B, C

These state funded grants are available to California residents who apply by March 2nd for the next school year. Funding is limited. In addition to filing a FAFSA, a separate Cal Grant GPA Verification form is required. Eligibility is contingent upon state funding. You must be enrolled in 6 or more units to be eligible. Visit California Student Aid Commission: How to Apply for more information.

Cal Grant A is not available to students at a California Community College.

Cal Grant B provides assistance for educational expenses to students from disadvantaged and low-income families. A FAFSA application and a GPA verification form must be submitted by March 2nd. Awards range from $100 to $1648 per academic year.  Cal Grant B-Students with Dependents award is up to $6000 per academic year.

Cal Grant C provides assistance to students who are enrolled in vocational/technical programs. Programs pre-requisites or general education classes do not qualify. Cal Grant C awards are a maximum of $1094 per academic year.

As a Cal Grant B or Cal Grant C recipient, you have the following disbursement options prior to receiving payment:

  1. You may elect to receive the full disbursement of your “Access” or “Book and Supplies” awards to use towards educational expenses.
  2. You may have it applied to any outstanding balances on your student account.

By choosing the first option, you are responsible to resolve any account balances with Bakersfield College. Please inform us of your decision by emailing

Please note: If you do not inform us of your decision prior to disbursement, your Cal Grant payment will be applied to any outstanding balances on your student account.

If you missed the March 2nd filing deadline, you may still qualify by meeting a September 2nd competitive Cal Grant deadline for California Community College students only. Manage your Cal Grant, at Web Grants 4 Students.

Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)

The Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG) is a financial aid program for Cal Grant B and C recipients who are enrolled in at least 12 units per semester or 15 units per semester. (The award has two payment levels.) The Student Success Completion Grant pays full-time Cal Grant B or C recipients a maximum of $2,596 annually at $1,298 per semester. Full-time refers to students who are enrolled in and attend 12 through 14.99 units per term. A maximum of $8,000 annually at $4,000 per semester for eligible students who enroll and attend 15 units or more per term.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a Cal Grant B or C recipient that received a full-time Cal Grant payment
  • Must be enrolled full-time (12 units or more)
  • Must be meeting Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Must have unmet need to receive the SSCG
  • Funds are first-come, first-serve, and any award is dependent upon the college having SSCG grant funds available. In some cases, especially later in the academic year, a student may have eligibility based on the criteria above, but the college is unable to award the SSCG because all funds have been used.

The purpose of the SSCG grant is to provide students with additional financial aid to help offset the total cost of community college attendance, and to encourage full-time attendance and successful on-time completion.


Chafee Grant

The California Chafee Grant Program is for current or former foster youth to cover college expenses or career and technical training. You don’t have to pay this money back and can use it for things like child care, transportation and rent. The Chafee Grant, also known as the Education and Training Voucher (ETV), is a federally funded program and is subject to availability of federal funds each year. Awards can be up to $5000 a year.

To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current or former foster youth who was a ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • If you are/were in Kin-GAP, a non-related legal guardianship, or were adopted, you are eligible only if you were a dependent or ward of the court, living in foster care, for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • Have not reached your 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year.
  • Have not participated in the program for more than 5 years (whether or not consecutive).

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 2506, starting with the 2017-18 award year, you can only receive your Chafee Grant if you attend a school that is either of the following:

  • A qualifying institution that is eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program.
  • An institution that is not located in California with a three-year cohort default rate that is less than 15.5 percent and a graduation rate greater than 30 percent.

To apply, you must submit the California Chafee Grant Program Application in addition to the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application.


Scholarships are money that you do not have to pay back. Visit our scholarships page for more information.

Other Programs

There are a number of other support programs that can assist with financing your education and other expenses. The EOP&S, CalWORKs, CARE Office is located in the Student Services Building, Second Floor (Adjacent to the Financial Aid Office). To contact them by phone, call (661) 395-4351.

Visit the EOP&S, CARE, and CalWORKs website for more information and apply!


EOPS is a state-funded program that serves students from low-income, educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. A FAFSA or Dream Act is required to be eligible. In addition to academic, career, and personal counseling services, students are also provided the following financial resources:

  • Book Vouchers: As funding permits, up to $200 towards books
  • Grants: As funding permits, we can help with additional grant money
  • Caps & Gowns: FREE cap & gown for EOPS graduates


CalWORKs services include, but are not limited to work study opportunities, academic and personal counseling, as well as, a cooperative partnership with the Department of Social Services. They provide students with the following financial resources:

  • Book Assistance: As funding permits, when not granted through the county
  • Bus Passes and/or Gas Card: As funding permits; must meet qualifications
  • Work Study Programs: Job referrals on and off campus

Cooperative Agencies and Resources for Education (CARE)

CARE is a state program, which provides financial aid as well as counseling services. The program is specifically designed for students who are single parents, with a need for child care, transportation and/or books and supplies. The grants range from $100 - $600 per academic year and do not need to be repaid. A FAFSA or Dream Act is required to be eligible.

  • Book Vouchers: As funding permits and when not granted through the county
  • Bus Passes or Gas Card: As funding permits, must meet qualifications
  • School Supplies: As funding permits
  • Meal Vouchers: Must have financial need
  • Child Care Grants: As funding permits, must be in good financial aid standing
  • Caps & Gowns: FREE cap & gown for CARE graduates


CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program funded by the USDA that can help low income individuals or families buy the groceries they need. Student Eligibility for CalFresh depends on several different criterion. Some examples and requirements include:

  • Low income students who work an average of 20 hours a week or an average of 80 or more hours a month. 
  • Those approved for Federal Work Study, or those who receive a Cal Grant (A or B)
Find out if you qualify in minutes!