A number of programs designed to help students with limited resources meet their educational expenses that are administered by the Financial Aid Office. Programs include enrollment fee waivers, grants, federal work study, scholarships and loans.
To apply, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to include Rio Hondo College’s school code 001269 so that your FAFSA information is sent to us electronically by the Department of Education. Also, in order for us to receive your information, be sure that your social security number, name and birthdate are accurate when completing the FAFSA and they match exactly with the information you provided on your admissions application to Rio Hondo College.
The ideal time to apply is between October 1 and March 2 to ensure your application is processed in time for fall and that all available aid is offered to you. The priority deadline to apply is March 2. If you miss this date, you can still apply. Keep in mind, the longer you take to apply, the longer you will have to wait to be processed.
Yes. Your financial situation must be reviewed each year.
Electronically after completion, the FAFSA is processed between 48-72 hours as long as all sections are complete with student (and parent, if necessary) signatures, you will receive a confirmation email from the U.S. Department of Education. After the FAFSA has been processed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rio Hondo College will receive the electronic results of the FAFSA within approximately 7-10 business days as long as the student has already completed their application for admission to the college. At that time, the student will receive an email from our office directing them to their portal to turn in any required documents. Your financial aid advisor will begin reviewing your documents. This process should take 8-10 weeks from the date the last requested document is received. Please make sure that Rio Hondo’s Federal School Code (001269) is on the FAFSA application.
An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at fafsa.gov.
If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID if you want to sign your child’s FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Please note: Each FSA ID user must have a unique e-mail address.
The FSA ID replaces the Federal Student Aid PIN. If you already have a PIN, you can link your information to your new FSA ID by entering your PIN while registering for your FSA ID. (This will save you time when registering for your FSA ID.) However, a PIN is not required to create an FSA ID.
You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain ED websites, including this one. Create an FSA ID now.
The FSA ID process consists of three main steps:
- Enter your log-in information.
- Provide your e-mail address, a unique username, and password, and verify that you are at least 13 years old.
- Enter your personal information.
- Provide your Social Security number, name, and date of birth.
- Include your mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and language preference.
- For security purposes, provide answers to five challenge questions.
- Submit your FSA ID information.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
- Verify your e-mail address. (Note: By verifying your e-mail address, you can use your e-mail address as your username when logging into certain ED websites. This verification also allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions.)
Can you answer “YES” to any one of the following questions?:
•Were you born before January 1, 1996?
•As of today are you married?
•At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
•Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
•Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
•Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020?
•Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2020?
** ADDITIONAL DEPENDENCY STATUS QUESTIONS FOR 2019-2020**
Please note: Official documentation will be required to determine eligibility for any dependency situations listed below.
•At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
•As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
•As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
•At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
•At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
•At any time on or after July 1, 2018, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you use the FAFSA to apply for Federal student aid funds, and provide false information, you are subject to fines and/or imprisonment under the U.S. Criminal Code. State and local laws may also apply in such cases.
You can still fill out the FAFSA. When you are asked for their Social Security Number, fill in all 0’s and print, and mail a signature page with yours and your parent’s signature.
Return to the FAFSA website and make corrections to your FAFSA. If the college already has your FAFSA in the system, do not make changes unless requested by your Financial Aid Advisor as this may delay the processing of your file. If you have any questions regarding corrections, please check with your Advisor.
You may apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission. However, you must actually enroll in college before you receive any funds. Your FAFSA will not be received into our system until AFTER you complete your admissions application
The Lifetime limit for the Federal PELL Grant is 150% of your program. We recommend you meet with an Academic Counselor to make sure your educational goal is met in a timely manner.
No. Financial Aid is intended to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Some loans and scholarships are available regardless of “demonstrated financial need”. Leave eligibility up to the Department of Education and the Financial Aid Office to determine. Be sure to apply. Many students are eligible for some type of aid.
No, you cannot receive aid at more than one college for the same enrollment period. Exception to this rule is the California Promise Grant (formerly Board of Governor’s fee waiver). A student, if eligible, may receive a Promise Grant at multiple schools for the same term concurrently.
Once your file has been reviewed, you will be receiving an email to your RIOMail account, and you will be asked to view your award and accept your Terms and Conditions in your AccessRIO Portal. The type of aid you are qualified for will be listed under your Award section in your AccessRIO Portal.
Financial aid status is checked through AccessRIO Portal. Log on to your AccessRIO Portal to see if you have any unsatisfied student requirements listed. If you have any unsatisfied student requirements, you must submit these documents to the Office of Financial Aid before we can continue processing your file. If you do not have any unsatisfied student requirements, your file is complete and you are waiting for the Award Notification email to be able to accept your Terms and Conditions. Remember to check your RIOMail periodically as this is where we communicate with our students.
When students turn in documents to the Office of Financial Aid we assign that document a status. It is important that you continue to log into your portal because the status may change. Here are instructions for viewing your status. Please see the list below for status codes:
- SAP Appeal Denied. This means that your Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal was denied. Check your RIOMail for a decision letter.
- SAP Appeal Approved. This means your appeal was approved. Check your RIOMail for your probation contract which is your conditions of approval.
- Discrepancies with Information. This means your advisor has reviewed your document and has found discrepancies that need to be resolved before they can continue to process. Check your RIOmail or visit the Financial Aid Office
- Loan Cancelled. This means your loan was cancelled for a variety of possible reasons. Check your RIOmail for Letter of Cancellation.
- Incomplete-Missing Information. This means the document you submitted has incomplete information. Check your RIOmail for the possible reason or visit the Office of Financial Aid for details.
- Ineligible. This means you are ineligible for aid for a variety of possible reasons.
- Missing Signature. This means the document you turned in is missing a signature. Visit the Office of Financial Aid to complete.
- Received-Processing. This means that the Office of Financial Aid received your document and is currently processing the document. IF YOU SHOW AN “N”, YOUR FILE IS NOT COMPLETED. IT IS STILL PROCESSING. Processing can take 8-12 weeks to complete.
- Required. This means that this document is required and we cannot continue with the processing of your file until the Office of Financial Aid receives document(s).
- Satisfied. This means that this document has been reviewed and completed by your Financial Aid Advisor and the document has been Satisfied.
- Waived. This means that a document was required but the Office of Financial Aid has determined that we no longer need this document to process your file.
Yes. All students who apply for financial aid will have their academics reviewed to verify that they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP. Maintaining academic progress means that students refrain from receiving grades such as “W’s”, “F’s”, “IP’s” or “NC’s” on their academic transcripts. Students must also keep their GPA above 2.0 and cannot exceed the allowable degree applicable units to complete an A.A., A.S., Vocational Certificate or Transfer program. Please see our SAP Policy Financial Aid Policies
The greatest source of grant funds is the Federal PELL Grant which is federal money awarded to students based on demonstrated financial need (determined by your FAFSA information) and, in most cases, does not have to be paid back. Cal Grants are also available. These are state funds awarded in addition to the Federal PELL Grant.
For federal grants, students must be enrolled in an eligible Title IV degree, certificate, or transfer program; have a high school diploma or GED or pass high school proficient exam; demonstrate financial need (determined by completing a FAFSA); maintain satisfactory academic progress; and be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
For state grants such as Cal Grants, students must be a California resident, meet requirements for the federal grants, and submit a GPA Verification form to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) in addition to completing the FAFSA by March 2. Cal Grant recipients are selected by CSAC. Community College students will be given a second opportunity to submit a GPA Verification, if funds are remaining on September 2. If a student has successfully completed more than 16 or more degree applicable units with Rio Hondo and you meet the qualifications, we will automatically submit the information for you. Please check with our Office of Financial Aid if you are not sure. You will be contacted by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) once your eligibility is determined. Visit the CSAC website at www.csac.ca.gov and create a WebGrants account to track your Cal Grant application status.
Students may be eligible for part-time employment through the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. Students may work up to 20 hours per week and earn a monthly paycheck. Federal Work Study awards are determined by demonstrated financial need (by completing the FAFSA) and if student indicated on their FAFSA application that they were interested in work study. Work study is available to eligible students enrolled in six (6) or more units per semester. Refer to your award notification to see if you qualify for work study.
The California Promise Grant (formerly Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver) is for eligible California residents to help pay for tuition. The Promise Grant is processed electronically by the Office of Financial Aid and the Accounting Office, which will waive the enrollment per unit cost (whether it be 1 unit or 21 units). The Promise Grant is not cash money received; the following fees are waived: Per unit cost of tuition, and the Student Representation fee. The Promise Grant does not have to be paid back. You may be eligible for a Promise Grant even if you are not eligible for other types of aid. The Promise Grant does not cover class material fees or the college services fee. Students are responsible for making sure all fees have been paid. If you must pay for your enrollment fees before your Promise Grant is awarded, your tuition cost will be refunded to you after your Promise Grant has been processed and as long as your Promise Grant is awarded during that same academic year. No exceptions! Eligibility for the Promise Grant will automatically be determined once the Financial Aid Office receives the results of your FAFSA electronically. You will be able to view this on your Award section in your AccessRIO Portal. Students who are currently receiving Public need-based benefits from TANF/Cal Works, SSI/SSP, General Relief, or as a certified veteran dependent by the California Department of Veteran Affairs are eligible for a Promise Grant as long as they are California residents. Just bring current proof of benefits (dated within the last 30 days) to the Office of Financial Aid. You will still need to complete the FAFSA to apply for other types of financial aid. Your Promise Grant eligibility is determined first before any other aid.
Check your AccessRIO Student Account Summery in your AccessRIO Portal. You should see the Promise Grant posted in this area. The Accounting Office will automatically issue a refund within 8-10 weeks. A check will be mailed to the address that was listed on your Admissions and Records application. Questions regarding the status of your Promise Grant refund can be directed to the Accounting Office room A122.
Visit your AccessRIO Portal periodically to check on your award status. Once you have received your award notification email, you will be instructed to logon to your AccessRIO Portal to view your awards and the Terms and Conditions. Not every award needs to be accepted. Please view our how to video here.
All financial aid disbursements will be transmitted electronically through Bank Mobile, a financial services company. Once you we have your FAFSA and you have enrolled in classes, a Bank Mobile refund selection kit will automatically be mailed to you. The Bank Mobile refund selection kit is your key to choosing how you would like to receive your financial aid disbursement. It is critical that all students have a correct permanent address on file with Rio Hondo’s Admission and Records department. Your permanent address can be confirmed/updated your AccessRIO Portal. Be aware that just because you received your refund selection kit DOES NOT mean that you are eligible for financial aid.
Once you receive your Disbursement Notification email, check the Disbursement Schedule link for the next disbursement date. This schedule is always updated if the dates change. If you missed the 1st Pell Disbursement, you will receive your money on one of the make-up dates. Once you have received your first disbursement, you are on schedule for the rest of the Disbursements unless your enrollment status changes.
The Office Financial Aid will disburse aid in three payments per semester. The first disbursement will be 30% of the award, the second will be 30% and the last disbursement will be 40%. Students enrolled in less than full-time units will receive an adjusted amount based on their enrollment status. Students enrolled in less than six (6) units, and if eligible at “less-than half-time status,” will receive a prorated amount of their disbursement funds. Normally, state grants (Cal Grants) are disbursed after a student receives their federal student aid.
Your Financial Aid award amounts are based on full-time enrollment, as well as all of your classes starting at the beginning of the school term. If you are enrolled in less than full-time units, you may still be eligible for a disbursement of funding – however, the amount will be based on the number of units of enrollment. The break-up of funding percentages is as follows:
12 or more units = full-time enrollment (100% of offered funding for term)
9.0 – 11.5 units = 3/4-time enrollment (75% of offered funding for term)
6.0 – 8.5 units = 1/2-time enrollment (50% of offered funding for term)
5.5 or less units = less than half-time enrollment (please visit Financial Aid Office for inquiries of less than half-time enrollment disbursement criteria)
All students are paid based on attending units which means payment is received for the classes you are currently enrolled in and attending. Once the Late-Start classes begin, those units will be paid on the next available disbursement date.
*Please note: Classes that do not begin the first week of the term/semester may be considered “Late-Start” classes. Funding for such classes may not be available for the first disbursement of the semester. For further information regarding “Late-Start” classes, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.*
If you add a class that begins late, meaning it does not start the first week of the semester, those additional units will be considered on the next scheduled Make-Up Disbursement after attendance has begun. If we have paid you for a certain number of units and then you add another class, we will make up the difference on the next scheduled disbursement date.