Step 1: Apply for financial aid

What is financial aid?

fafsa icon

Financial aid is money offered to help a student meet their college expenses. Federal student aid includes:

gift aid that doesn't have to be repaid
borrowed money that you must repay with interest
Work study:
money earned at a part-time job

How to apply

Applying for financial aid is easy and confidential. You'll need to provide information about your income and benefits. You might find it helpful to use the pre-application worksheet.

  1. Complete the FAFSA

    The application is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA online. Use your legal name exactly as it appears on your social security card. In the school section, you must enter PCC's school code: 003213

  2. Get admitted to PCC

    If you haven't taken a class at PCC in the last two years, you need to apply for admission. When you complete the admissions form, check to see if your program is eligible for financial aid.

  3. Check your SAR for mistakes

    A few days after submitting the FAFSA, you'll get a Student Aid Report (SAR) email. The SAR summarizes your information - check to make sure there are no mistakes.  To make changes, log back in to

  4. Start checking your dashboard

    When PCC gets your FAFSA info, we'll update your Financial Aid Dashboard on the MyPCC Paying for College tab. Log in and check for customized messages about your financial aid!

When to apply

The best time to apply is as soon after October 1 as possible for the following academic year. Applications are accepted after that time, but funds are limited. You must reapply each year for financial aid.

Financial aid timeline, 2017-18 academic year
Term you plan to start Submit 2017-18 FAFSA by
Summer 2017 Feb 15, 2017
Fall 2017 Apr 15, 2017
Winter 2018 Oct 15, 2017
Spring 2018 Jan 1, 2018
Financial aid timeline, 2018-19 academic year
Term you plan to start Submit 2018-19 FAFSA by
Summer 2018 Feb 15, 2018
Fall 2018 Apr 15, 2018
Winter 2019 Oct 15, 2018
Spring 2019 Jan 1, 2019

Undocumented student?

If you're not eligible to complete the FAFSA, see resources for undocumented and DACA students for other ways to get financial help.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for financial aid, you must meet these criteria. See more about eligibility.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required
  • Be working toward an eligible degree or certificate
  • Have a high school diploma, GED certificate, or homeschool completion
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (see more about maintaining eligibility)
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan

How much aid will you get?

The amount of financial aid a student receives is directly related to how much it costs to attend college. If you are curious, you can read how a financial aid award is determined. On that page, you'll see standard budgets for full-time enrollment at PCC. We can predict the cost of attending PCC, but we can't estimate how much aid you will receive until you submit the FAFSA. After we get your FAFSA, we'll let you know how much aid you are eligible to receive.

Wondering about scholarships? There are additional application processes when seeking scholarships. There are thousands of scholarships available for all kinds of students, from all kinds of organizations. Read more about finding and applying for scholarships.