Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Financial Aid Office

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.

Applications for Financial Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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.

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 need-based 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

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!

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.

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. An eligible student may work up to 19 hours per week at the minimum wage of $11.00.

If offered Federal Work Study, contact the Job Placement Department 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 requirements. Visit our Direct Loans page for more information.

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 $1672 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.

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.

Full Time Student Success Grant (FTSSG)

The Full Time Student Success Grant is an annual grant awarded to students who have been recipients of the Cal Grant B and who are enrolled full-time (12 or more units).

Community College Completion Grant (CCCG)

The Completion Grant is an annual grant for students who are attending at least 15 units per term, who are on pace to finish their program within the timeframe shown on their comprehensive Student Education Plan (SEP) for the entire length of their program, and who are Cal Grant eligible and Full-Time Student Success Grant eligible.

You are not automatically awarded the Completion Grant as a recipient of the Cal Grant and Success Grant. You must also meet the academic progress requirements. Complete a FAFSA by the March 2 priority deadline as funding is limited.

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:

  • Be eligible, or have been eligible, for foster care between your 16th and 18th birthday
  • Not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1 of the award year

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. 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