Financial Aid Office

Oceanside, Building 3000: 760.795.6711

Financial aid includes a variety of federal and state programs designed to provide financial support toward a student's successful completion of academic goals. The purpose is to bridge the gap between educational costs and available resources.

Application processing, from filing to eligibility for disbursement, will typically take several weeks. The Financial Aid Office (FAO) recommends applying early.

Financial aid programs available at MiraCosta College include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Direct Student Loans. State programs include Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), the Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver that covers enrollment fees, Cal Grants, Full Time Student Success Grant, and the Chafee Grant, which is designed specifically for foster youth.

Students should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) electronically at for all programs listed above. The FAFSA priority filing date is March 2 of each year preceding the school year for which the student plans to attend and receive financial aid. The March 2 date is a deadline for applying to the Cal Grant program, but is only a priority date for all other programs. Because March 2 is not a strict deadline, students should apply even if this date has passed.

Students who wish to borrow a loan under the Direct Loan program must complete their file, including all necessary documentation, in time for the FAO to complete a loan origination prior to the end of the term of enrollment.

The FAFSA also serves as the application for the BOG Fee Waiver. In the rare case that an applicant may not be completing a FAFSA, a separate BOG Fee Waiver application may be available from the FAO.

Minimum eligibility requirements for federal aid programs include the following:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as defined on the FAFSA.
  2. Possess a high school diploma (or its equivalent) or be at least 18 years of age and able to demonstrate an ability to benefit from college-level instruction if enrolled in an eligible program prior to July 1, 2012. If the student enrolls for the first time after July 1, 2012, he or she must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  3. Be enrolled in an eligible program leading to a degree, transfer, or gainful employment.
  4. Maintain financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  5. Not be in default on a federal student loan or owe a repayment of federal grant funds.

Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for student loan programs, Cal Grant, FSEOG, or FWS.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In accordance with federal regulations, a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is in place at MiraCosta College. Student performance is reviewed at the end of each term. Students must complete their goal within 150 percent of the normal units required for that program while maintaining a 70 percent completion rate [units completed (UC) ÷ units attempted (UA)] and an overall 2.0 GPA. These standards must be met to be eligible for financial aid initially and on a continuing basis regardless of previous financial aid history. SAP covers all federal programs, including Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Work Study (FWS), and Direct Loans. The SAP policy also applies to the state Cal Grant programs.

Starting with the 2016/17 school year, students with two terms on academic (less than 2.0 GPA) or progress (less than 50 percent completion rate) probation are subject to losing their BOG Fee Waiver and Enrollment Priority. Additional details can be found on the FAO website.

The complete Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is available on the Financial Aid Office website.


Students who receive federal financial aid funds and who totally withdraw before the 60 percent date of the semester require a refund and repayment calculation to determine funds owed back to the various federal aid programs by both the school and the student. Repayment to the federal aid programs is made according to formulas established by the U.S. Department of Education and State of California Title V grading regulations. Additional detail is provided on the Financial Aid Office website.

Ineligible Programs/Courses for Federal Financial Aid

Financial aid payment is based on enrollment status as of the published census date. Waitlisted classes do not count.

Eligible programs must be a minimum of 15 weeks in length and require at least 16 semester units. A program that is not eligible as a certificate program may be eligible as a degree program. (Certificate programs are described under Areas of Study & Courses.)

Any pre-collegiate courses taken to meet high school requirements are ineligible, even if they can also be used toward a degree program.

Credit by Exam: Courses taken in this manner cannot be considered in determining financial aid eligibility.

Repeated Courses: A student may be awarded federal aid funds when repeating, for the first time only (i.e., one repetition per class), a previously passed course in a term-based program. Previously passed means the student obtained a grade higher than "F." Students enrolled in non-term-based programs may not receive credit for retaking course work.

Remedial Course Work: Once a student has attempted 30 units of remedial course work (whether successfully completed or not), no additional remedial courses can be included when determining enrollment status for federal financial aid programs.