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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

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Go to the Financial Aid Videos for many answers to your questions about Financial Aid. Just click on the “List” icon by each picture at the bottom of the screen. Each picture has a different list of topics. Some examples of the topics included are:

  • How do I know if I will qualify for financial aid?
  • Will financial aid pay for all my expenses?
  • Do I have to wait for admission before applying for financial aid?
  • What’s the FAFSA?
  • I don’t live with my parents, do I still have to provide their information when I apply for financial aid?


How can I (or parents) create an FSA ID for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

Answer: The FSA ID ― a username and password ― has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to

After I fill out my FAFSA at, how long does it take to get to Sierra?

Answer: Allow at least 7 days for Sierra to receive and load the information onto your mySierra account. It depends on the day of the week you complete the on-line FAFSA and whether the school is closed for holidays, college closure days, or furlough days (check the Academic Calendar).

How will I know if the Financial Aid Office is waiting for me to turn in additional documents?

Answer: Frequently check your student e-mail account and the Financial Aid tab on your mySierra account. When you open your Financial Aid tab, select an aid year (example: 2011-2012), and then you can see your list of requirements. To print documents, click on the document name. You may have trouble printing if you don’t have an up-to-date version of Adobe Reader (click to download a free copy).

After I turn in all my documents, how long does it take for my file to be verified?

Answer: It depends on when you turn in your documents. If you turn them in right before a deadline or right before the semester starts, then it will take longer – sometimes several weeks. After you turn in all your documents, you are assigned a date. Files are verified in date order. Outside the Rocklin Campus Financial Aid Office is a white board where we post the date on which the verifiers are working.

How will I receive my financial aid?

Answer: Go to Disbursement page to sign up for direct deposit, debit card, or paper check. Financial Aid (grants, federal student loans, and scholarships) will be used to reduce any debt owed Sierra College such as enrollment fees, health fees, nonresident tuition, and Residence Hall fees. If your financial aid is more than the amount owed, you will be paid the remaining balance.

How do I pay for books and/or supplies while I’m waiting for my financial aid?

Answer: We can help you!!  Check out Sierra's automated Financial Aid Book Voucher Program for details.  It's available to eligible students two weeks prior to the start of the Fall and Spring semesters and during the first week of the session.  

Books are on “reserve” in the Library for some classes – check with the Library staff for complete information.

Does the BOGW fee waiver pay for books or supplies?

Answer: No. The BOGW fee waiver does not pay for books or supplies. However, if you qualify, it can waive some of your other fees. Click on BOGW Fee Waiver for complete information.

When will the financial aid disbursements be available to eligible students?

Answer: To be eligible, you must be enrolled in courses and you must have turned in all requested financial aid documents so your file can be verified. Also, any problems that we’ve e-mailed you about or that appear on your mySierra account must be resolved. 

All other Fall financial aid (scholarships from high schools and other organizations, Chafee Grants, Cal Grants, etc,) will be available when we receive the money from the State of California or the appropriate agency.

Fall disbursements will be available to eligible continuing students after ALL Summer grades are posted.

If I add courses after the semester add/drop deadline, will I receive additional financial aid for those units?

Answer: Pell Grants must be paid at the level of units you are enrolled in at the end of the add/drop period for the semester. Check the academic calendar for the exact date. If you add a class after the semester add/drop deadline, you cannot be paid Pell for the additional units.

How do I receive my Sierra College scholarship?

Answer: If you are attending Sierra College and are enrolled in the number of units required for your scholarship, go to the Disbursement page to sign up for direct deposit, debit card, or paper check. If you are attending a four-year college/university, you must send an enrollment verification to the Sierra College Financial Aid Office. Enrollment verifications are required for the Fall semester/quarter and the Spring semester/quarter. After we receive your enrollment verification, a scholarship check made out to you will be sent to your college’s Financial Aid Office. Most scholarships are issued in two disbursements – half for Fall and the other half for Spring.

How do I receive my scholarship if it’s being paid by my high school or other organization?

Answer: High schools and organizations such as Rotary Clubs and Foundations usually send us scholarship checks that are made payable to the Sierra College Financial Aid Office. If you are enrolled at Sierra in the number of units required for your scholarship and you meet all other criteria set by your donor, go to the Disbursement page to sign up for direct deposit, debit card, or paper check. Most scholarships are issued in two disbursements – half for Fall and the other half for Spring.

How do I sign up for federal work study (part-time employment)?

Answer: If you’ve completed the current academic year's FAFSA, contact the Financial Aid Office to add your name to the Federal Work-study “wait” list. Have a job ready in case you are chosen from the list.

After I turn in my Reinstatement Petition or 90-unit Appeal, how long will it take before I know if it’s been approved or disapproved?

Answer: It will take between 3 to 6 weeks for Reinstatement Petitions and 90-unit Appeals to be reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee. When a decision is made, it will be posted on your mySierra student account. Click on the Financial Aid tab and then go to Financial Aid Status.

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