How to Apply

Steps to Success

Step 1:

  • Complete the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application online by visiting or
  • Applications are processed throughout the school year. It will take approximately 7-10 business days for OC to receive/process your application.
  • Follow up with Financial Aid within two weeks of submitting the application. An email will be sent to the student’s account when the application is received.

Step 2:

  • Students should click on the “Financial Aid” tab on the portal to view what items are required to complete the financial aid process.
  • All required items should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office immediately.
  • To accept the Financial Aid Rights and Responsibilities: In "Financial Aid Requirements" box, click on "Accept Terms and Conditions". Select the academic year, read the terms and conditions, and click "Accept" at the bottom of the page
  • Green check boxes are completed items.

image of finainical aid requirements area in myvcccd portal

Step 3:

  • Once all requirements are completed, you should monitor your portal weekly for updates on your status.
  • If eligible, an award notification email will be sent to account once file review process is complete. The review process generally takes 2-3 weeks to complete.
  • If you are a new student, a Higher One debit card will be mailed to you within 1-2 weeks. Follow the steps included to activate your card and select your refund preference.

Eligibility Information:

The federal government is the primary source of financial aid for college students. Students must meet several requirements in order to be eligible to receive federal aid. The following requirements are common to most federal (and many other) financial aid programs:

  • Students must have financial need and demonstrate it through their financial aid application materials. (Note, however, that some loan programs and many scholarship programs are available to students who do not have financial need.) We strongly encourage students to apply for aid by the deadline dates if they think they may need financial assistance.
  • In order to receive financial aid, students must be admitted to the college and working toward an eligible degree or certificate. (However, students may apply for aid before being accepted for admission or enrolled.)
  • To qualify for most aid, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-U.S. citizens. Federal regulations and campus policy severely limit the types of financial assistance available to non-U.S. citizens. Click here for more information regarding the California Dream Act/AB540.
  • All students must have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Most male students who are between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with the U.S. Selective Service.
  • Continuing students must be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Students receiving federal student aid may use it only for educational purposes.
  • To continue to qualify for financial aid, students may not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan.

Restrictions on Eligibility:


Undergraduates who have already received a bachelor's degree may only receive the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver while pursuing an additional course of study and are not eligible for federal grant assistance such as the Pell Grant or state grant assistance such as the Cal Grant.


Students who are enrolled at more than one college or university at the same time may receive Pell Grant from only one institution, not both.

For more information, contact the OC Financial Aid Office at 805.678.5828. E-mail: