Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Financial Aid? - Video Answers
  • Financial aid is money available to assist students with the costs of attending college.
  • Financial aid comes from the federal government, state government, the College, and from private sources in the form of scholarships. Grants and scholarships are assistance you don't have to pay back. Federal Work-Study allows you to work and earn money to help pay for school. Loans are borrowed money that you must repay with interest.
  • The Federal Student Guide provides greater detail on Federal Student Aid.
Who can receive financial aid? - Video Answers
Federal financial aid is available to anyone who meets the following criteria:
  1. Have a financial need as determined by your financial aid application (FAFSA), and reviewed or certified by Las Positas Financial Aid Office.
  2. Have a high-school diploma, a GED certificate, or pass an approved ability-to-benefit test given by Las Positas College..
  3. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible certificate, associate or transfer degree program.
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. permanent resident, refugee, asylee, parolee).
  5. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  6. Meet standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  7. Not be in default on an educational loan nor owe a refund to any financial aid office. To track your federal student loans and grants, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access Web Site.
  8. Certify that all information you provide on Financial Aid application form is accurate and true, and that federal aid received will be used only for educational purposes.
  9. Be registered, or formerly registered, with the Selective Service System, if you are a U.S. citizen or immigrant alien male aged 18 through 26. If you have not yet registered, you can do so at
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year? - Video Answer
  • Yes. However, once you have filed a FAFSA, you may be able to file a Renewal FAFSA the next year. It will not be nearly as complicated the second, third, or fourth time around.
  • The Renewal FAFSA will be sent to the home address you used last year with about 75% of the information on the form preprinted and the same as the information you filed the year before. Be sure to correct any information that has changed since the previous year on CLASS-Web, especially new address, income and financial data.

Please visit completing the financial aid application page on our Web site.

How will I know what types of aid I will be receiving?
  • You will receive an Award Letter from the Financial Aid Office. This will detail all aid for which you are eligible, for the entire school year.
  • You may not receive aid in excess of your cost of attendance.
  • The information found on your Award Letter is also available at LPC's CLASS-Web Financial Aid site. Use your LPC PIN to access it.
How do I accept my award?
  • You do not have to return the Award Letter to the Financial Aid Office.
  • If you do not want to accept a certain award, you must contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • You must decline your offered aid if you do not plan to attend Las Positas College, especially if you do intend to receive aid at another college.
What if my financial situation has changed since I filed my FAFSA?
  • You may request a Review of Unusual Circumstances with the Financial Aid Office that will allow us to reevaluate your financial aid eligibility due to unemployment, loss of benefits, divorce or other special circumstances.
  • Verification of your file will first be required to ensure we have accurate information. Then, an Unusual Circumstances (Special Circumstances Petition) form and documents will be required prior to adjusting any data.
How can I be sure to be considered for maximum types and amounts of financial aid?
  • Apply early - Meet the March 2nd annual priority filing date.
  • Return all requested verification and follow-up documentation within two weeks, fully completed, and signed.
  • Keep grades up - Meet minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Since financial aid may not cover my entire living and educational costs, what else can I do?
  • Seek non-work study employment. Use savings. Consider living at home or with relatives to save on rent and utility costs.
  • Apply for scholarships. Ask clubs, organizations, churches to which you belong if they have any scholarship funds. You may view scholarship information on the scholarships page.
What kinds of aid can I expect to see on my Award Letter?
  • The kind of financial aid you receive is based upon your level of need and your application's completion date.
  • You will receive an aid package that may be a combination of federal and state grants and/or Federal Work-Study. Grant dollars are limited, so apply early. Federal Work Study jobs are limited too, so you must complete an employment application with the Employment Career Services Center.
What is Federal Work Study (FWS)? - Video Answer
  • FWS is a federally funded student employment program established to assist students in meeting their educational costs through part-time on campus positions or in off-campus positions, some of which are contracted community service positions.
  • Students use the services of the Employment Career Services Center to assist in finding employment and completing necessary forms. Once you receive your Award Letter take it to the Employment Career Services Center to inquire about your eligibility for FWS.
  • Please view the Current Work Opportunities.
What is the cost of attendance?
  • Average annual costs (tuition, books, fees, room and board, transportation, etc.) determined to be necessary to attend Las Positas College.
  • These figures are subject to change.
How is my expected family contribution (EFC) determined? - Video Answer
  • Your (and your spouse's if married, parent's if dependent) income, assets, number in household, number in college, and your state of legal residence are used in determining the expected family contribution.
  • The formula applied to your information is determined by the federal government.
Do I need to notify the Financial Aid Office if I change my housing arrangements?
  • Yes, your financial aid eligibility may change.
Where can I find general information on the federal and state financial aid programs on the web?
What Pin do I use?
  • The Las Positas Pin is used to access information on CLASS-Web and The Zone only.
  • The Federal Pin is issued to you by the US Department of Education. You can access the web site at This Federal Pin number is used to file your FAFSA or make a correction to your FAFSA application.
What is Las Positas College's school code?
  • 030357

Back To Top


How do I apply for financial aid at Las Positas College?
  • Complete the FAFSA or the renewal FAFSA, preferably via FAFSA on the Web, or mail it to the processor as soon as possible after January 1 for the coming academic year.
  • Paper FAFSA is available from campus financial aid offices. Read the application instructions carefully. When in doubt, call or visit the Financial Aid Office.
Do I need to submit other documents to Las Positas College?
  • Only if they are requested. See CLASS-Web for the requested requirements.
  • Remember to include your name and social security number on all documentation submitted, including parent's documents.
Do I need to keep copies?
  • Yes! Keep copies of all forms completed and any materials used to prepare the forms, such as tax returns. It is a safety measure, should they be requested at a later time.
When do I apply for financial aid?
  • As soon as possible starting October 1 but before March 2.
How will I know that Las Positas College has received my application?
  • If you submitted your FAFSA form online, your application will be processed within 3-5 days. If you submitted a paper FAFSA form, it will be processed within 7-10 days.

    Once your application is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA form. Review your SAR, make sure all of the information is complete and accurate, and read any comments.

    If there is any missing or incorrect information, you should complete or correct your FAFSA form as soon as possible.

    One business day after your FAFSA form is processed, your information is made available to the colleges that you listed on your FAFSA form. Each college will use the information to determine your eligibility for federal and nonfederal student aid. The colleges you listed are responsible for creating your aid package and disbursing your financial aid. Most colleges do not create aid packages for every applicant who lists their college on the FAFSA. You must complete all of the college's requirements, such as applying for admission, in order for the college to create an aid package for you.

    For questions about how much aid you might receive or when you might receive it, contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend. We will send an email to your Zonemail letting you know that we received your FAFSA.

    To learn more about what to expect after you fill out and submit the FAFSA form, please click here.

    If you need to make changes or corrections to your Student Aid Report, you can bring them to our office and we will submit them electronically to the Federal Processor for you. If you do not receive a Student Aid Report within 5 weeks of filing, you must follow up with the processor by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

  • If your application has been selected for a process called verification by the Department of Education or by the College, Las Positas will notify you and request the additional documentation that is needed to complete your processing. You do not need to submit your SAR to our office if you have listed Las Positas College on your FAFSA. If you did not originally list Las Positas College, we will be able to request your record from the federal processor if you provide us with a duplicate/photo copy of your SAR or the DRN number. You also may call the Central Processor and request that Las Positas College be added to your SAR. Our school code is 030357.
Why can't you tell my spouse, parents, or outside agencies what kind of aid I have been awarded?
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) limits access to educational records without expressed written consent.
  • If you wish to have someone else speak to us on your behalf, you will need to submit a FERPA form. Student must ask for this form from our office. FERPA explained.
Do I have to reapply for financial aid each year? Video Answer
  • Yes. However, once you have filed a FAFSA, you may be able to file a Renewal FAFSA the next year. It will not be nearly as complicated the second, third, or fourth time around.
  • The Renewal FAFSA reminder email will be sent out to you and the information that you used last year with about 75% of the information on the form will be online when you login and click RENEWAL and the same as the information you filed the year before. Be sure to correct any information on the FAFSA that has changed. Also, be sure to correct any information that has changed since the previous year on CLASS-Web, especially new address, income and financial data.

Back To Top


Am I required to use my parent's information on the FAFSA?
  • The instructions in the FAFSA will explain whether or not you must include parent information.
  • If you think your special situation merits a review, you may meet with Las Positas College Financial Aid Staff to discuss your situation.
My parents refuse to give me the information I need to fill out my financial aid forms. They say it's nobody's business. Am I out of luck?
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office at Las Positas College. One of our staff members will review your circumstances and explain your options.
  • A parent's refusal to provide financial information is not a cause to change your status to independent. However, we may give you some tools to discuss more effectively with your parent.
My parents are separated or divorced. Whose information should be given on the FAFSA? - Video Answer
  • On the application, information should be given for the parent you lived with the most in the last 12 months. If you do not live with either parent or lived with both parents for an equal number of days, information should be given for the parent who provided the greater amount of support to you during the last calendar year.
  • FAFSA instructions have information that will be helpful if you have questions about providing information from separated or divorced parents.
I'm moving out of my parents' house and will support myself from now on. Do my parents still have to fill out the financial aid application?
Video Answer
  • Students under 24 years of age are considered dependent on their parents by federal law no matter where they live (there are limited exceptions--please note them in the FAFSA instructions).
  • If your parents do not provide their information on your application, you probably cannot be considered for aid.
  • If you have special circumstances which make it impossible for your parents to complete the application, contact the financial aid office and discuss it with one of our staff members.
What if my family's situation changes after we apply for aid?
  • Give the new information to the financial aid office. The office can determine if the change will affect your eligibility for assistance.
  • Current information will be verified for accuracy (perhaps correction of a simple error can improve your eligibility). Completion of a Special Circumstances form with documentation will be required prior to changing any of the data.
What is Verification? - Video Answer
  • Verification is a process, initiated by the U.S. Department of Education or by the Financial Aid office, requiring you to verify the information that you provided on the FAFSA. You are required to submit signed copies of income tax returns and other documents to the Financial Aid Office.
  • If your application is selected for verification, you will not be eligible for federal aid until this process is completed.
  • About 30% of all financial aid applicants at Las Positas College are selected at random each year for verification when their application is processed. Other students are selected due to discrepancies or missing information on their application, after file review by the Financial Aid Office, or after your request for consideration of special/unusual circumstances.
  • The following items must be submitted if your application is selected: A signed copy of your (and your spouse's, if married) prior year federal income tax return, and schedules. A copy of all W-2s associated with your income tax form. A signed copy of your parent's prior year federal income tax return, W-2s, and schedules (for student's who were required to provide parent financial information on the FAFSA). A completed Verification Worksheet.
  • Other supporting documents that may be requested :
    • Child support
    • Immigration
    • Social Security
    • Birth Certificate(s)
    • Divorce/Separation
    • Social Security Card (must have correct, current name)
    • Veteran's benefits
  • To avoid unnecessary delays, please submit all required documents promptly. Also, be sure you have filled out the Verification Worksheet completely, and that all documents are signed by the appropriate parties. Documents with blanks and missing signatures will be returned!
What happens next?
  • When the Financial Aid Office receives your completed Verification Worksheet and tax returns, we compare the information on these documents to the information you provided on your original FAFSA. If information from documents you submit conflicts with your FAFSA, we may require additional information to clear up the discrepancy. The Financial Aid Office will contact you by mail to request additional information. Responding quickly to any requests for additional information will help avoid further delays.
  • In some cases, the changes made during verification require resubmission of data to the U.S. Department of Education. If these changes affect your eligibility for assistance, you will receive a revised Award Notification.
  • Note: After verification is completed, household size and number in college cannot be adjusted.

Back To Top


What steps do you follow to determine my eligibility?
  • First, we assign you a Cost of Attendance budget based on your dependency status. This budget is based on the full-time cost of tuition, books and supplies and an estimated cost for living expenses.
  • Second, we subtract the EFC that was reported on your Student Aid Report. The result is your Estimated Financial Need. You will receive funding, as available, up to this remaining need amount.
How are Financial Aid funds awarded?
  • Financial aid is awarded in the following order, based on available funds:
  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Scholarships
  3. Other grants (for example, SEOG, Cal-Grants, Bureau of Indian Affairs Grants, EOPS)
  4. Work-study employment
  5. Loans
  • Many of these funds are limited and are awarded until they are depleted. In addition, there is a maximum annual limit for each award. All external funds must be reported to the Financial Aid Office even if received directly by the student.
  • This means that it is possible for you to have remaining need even after all funds have been awarded.
I have a bachelor's degree. Am I completely out of luck? - Video Answer
  • No. You are not eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG.
  • But you may be eligible for BOG, Federal Work Study and a Stafford Student Loan.
  • The same formula as above will be used and any unmet need will first be filled by BOG and then with FWS. You may also be eligible to apply for a Federal Stafford student loan.

Back To Top


Do I have to report any grants, scholarships or fellowships to the IRS as income?
  • Part or all of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship may be taxable even if you do not receive a W-2 form.
  • If you are in a degree program, amounts you use for expenses other than tuition and course-related expenses (i.e., amounts used for room, board, and travel) are taxable. To determine this table amount, add up all grant, scholarship, and fellowship awards received in a calendar year, and then subtract all tuition, fees, and book and supply expenses. If the remaining amount is a positive number, it must be reported as income.
  • If you are not in a degree program, the full amount of the grant, scholarship or fellowship is taxable. Contact the Internal Revenue Service for more information.
Is my work-study income taxable?
  • Yes. Any money received as the result of work is considered taxable income.
  • You will be asked to file a withholding form (W-4) and you will receive a statement of income and taxes withheld (W-2) each calendar year.
How can I learn more about the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit? - Video Answer
  • The Hope Scholarship is a tax credit for first- or second-year undergraduates or their parents. It is for certain educational expenses paid on or after January 1 each year.
  • The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is for students who are beyond their second year of college or for their parents. It is for certain educational expenses paid on or after January 1 each year.
I lost my tax information. What should I do? - Video Answer

If you filed a federal tax return, you will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process to get your tax information directly from the IRS.

Can my tax data be retrieved directly from the IRS? - Video Answer

If you completed your FAFSA online, there will be a prompt that provides the option for the tax filer to voluntarily retrieve data through the IRS Data Transfer.

I did not file a tax return last year because I did not have very much income. Can I still submit a FAFSA? - Video Answer

Yes. You can still apply for financial aid using the FAFSA even if you did not file a tax return because your income was too low.


Back To Top

Financial Aid

Building 1600
Room 1650 (second floor)
Tel: 925.424.1580
Fax: 925.449.6038

General Information

Federal School Code: 030357

We have an after-hours DROPBOX
located in the hallway between the
Admissions and Financial Aid Offices,
for your convenience.

Print this Page Email this Page

Page last modified: March 06, 2018