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How to Apply for Financial Aid

Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria:

Federal financial aid is available to anyone who meets the following criteria:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (i.e. permanent resident, refugee, asylee, parolee).
    • Have a valid Social Security Number.
    • Have a financial need as determined by your financial aid application (FAFSA), and reviewed or certified by the Financial Aid Office.
    • Have a high-school diploma or a GED certificate.
    • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible certificate, associate or transfer degree program.
    • Meet standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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

Step 1: Apply for Financial Aid

  • The FAFSA Priority deadline is March 2nd for the incoming academic school year. However, students may always apply after the priority deadline.  Example: For the FAFSA 2016-2017, the priority deadline is March 2, 2016.
  • Make sure to include the PCCD Federal School Code  and provide accurate income information.
  • When completing your FAFSA, use the IRS Data Retrieval process to complete your FAFSA to ensure accurate information and to shorten the verification process with our office later.
  • Electronically sign your FAFSA by using your FSA ID (watch the video instructions on creating one here).

*  They will require spouse information if married and parents’ information if you are considered a dependent in accordance to the Department of Education guidelines.

Step 2: If attending a Peralta College, set up your Refund Preference

  • It will take the Department of Education about 2-3 weeks to send us your financial aid information if you included one of our four Peralta Colleges. We will only receive it if you placed our Federal School Code in your FAFSA application.
  • All new financial applicants who select one of our Peralta Colleges as a school, will be required to set their Refund Preference via the Bank Mobile personal code.  Once you receive your personal code in the mail, simply visit  to activate your preference.
  • Returning students at Peralta: your refund will be delivered according to the refund preference you set the previous year(s).

Step 3: Submit Verification Documents/Forms to the Financial Aid Office

  • After receiving your financial aid information from the Dept of Ed, we may require that you submit verification documents to complete your file.
  • READ YOUR Student Aid Report!!!  Review for accuracy, and make corrections as needed on FAFSA website before you submit documents to our office.
  • Check your To-Do List for required documents via the Peralta Campus Solutions. Click on the “Financial Aid” tab to view your Financial Aid requirements for the appropriate Financial Aid year.
  • Verification Forms can be downloaded here, completed, and submitted into your College Home Campus.
  • Make sure you have updated your current Academic Major. Not doing so might jeopardize your financial aid eligibility
  • All documents are processed in the order that they are received.

Step 4: Check your Financial Aid Eligibility Online

  • All students receive financial aid email alerts to their Peralta email address. These are non-student specific emails, directing students to log into the Passport account to check outstanding requirements, holds, academic ineligibility, awards and any other changes.
  • Students should always check Peralta Passport account  to view eligibility and award information rather than stand in line.

Step 5: Keep your Financial Aid

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Reapply for Financial Aid every year during the priority application period

Important FA Eligibility Policies

  1. Financial Aid Census Date Policy
  2. Eligible Majors for Financial Aid
  3. Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

  • Financial Aid

    Sunday 17 October 2021
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  • Since 1964, the Peralta Community College District - comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College - has served the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont by providing 25,000 students each semester with a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities.