Financial Aid

Ways to Help Pay for College

While paying for college can be a challenge, many people don’t realize they qualify for financial aid benefits. We can assist you with loans, grants, waived fees, book vouchers, scholarships and student employment.

Did you know: 

Start Your FAFSA Apply for CA Dream Act Request Student Assistance/Emergency Funds Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines Financial Aid Events/Workshops

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How to Apply and Receive Financial Aid

  • FAFSA 
  • California (CA) Dream Act: For undocumented students and non-residents of CA who graduated from a CA high school and meet AB540 requirements

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Ways to Pay for College

  • Book Vouchers
  • Grants
  • Fee Waiver/California College Promise Grant
  • Scholarships
  • Student Employment/Work-Study
  • Student Loans
  • Two Years Free

How to Apply and Receive Financial Aid

Find out if you qualify for financial aid. Before you complete the FAFSA form, use the:  

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application 

To get started, you will need: 

The FAFSA application asks about 100 questions and can take 30 minutes to fill out. If you gather all of the documents you need ahead of time, it will be much easier and faster to complete.

Need help walking through the FAFSA?

Step 2: Check mySierra for Your Application Status and Next Steps 

After you have submitted your FAFSA application, you will be notified by email within 7-10 business days that we received your FAFSA. If no other action is needed, you can view your potential awards.

To check your status: 

  1. Watch and follow the steps in our “How to Complete Financial Aid Next Steps” video
  2. Log into mySierra
  3. Select “Financial Aid”
  4. Scroll down to “Financial Aid Activities”
  5. Click on “View My Financial Aid Status”

Watch this video to learn how and where to check your FAFSA application status in mySierra. 

If you are selected for FAFSA Verification, you will need to submit required paperwork to the Financial Aid office. If selected for verification, the process will be completed through Verify My FAFSA. To learn more, review the FAFSA verification frequently asked questions.

Step 3: Select a Refund Preference with BankMobile

To set up your BankMobile account, visit BankMobile and follow their 3-steps to “Get Started.” Learn more about selecting a refund method through BankMobile

Step 4: Congrats! You’ll Receive Payment Soon 

The disbursement dates are listed on the Financial Aid dates and deadlines calendar.

The California Dream Act Application allows students interested in attending eligible California colleges, universities, and career education programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

The California Dream Act program determines eligibility for: 

  • Undocumented students
  • Students who left the state, but graduated from a California high school and meet the requirements of AB540 

To learn more, visit the State of California’s Dream Act website.

Ways to Pay for College

We offer a variety of financial aid options to help you pay for college tuition and fees, books, and cost-of-living expenses.  

Pell-grant eligible students will be awarded fall and spring book vouchers. You will be able to use your spring 2022 book vouchers January 18 through Jan. 31, 2022 at midnight.

Spring 2022 Emergency Assistance Book Voucher Request

The book voucher allows eligible students to buy books or school supplies at the Sierra College Campus Bookstore.

Book vouchers are posted on your Financial Aid Student Requirements. All charges will be deducted from your anticipated refund from the Pell Grant program. If you decide not to use a book voucher, not to worry, no charges will be applied.

How to check if you have a book voucher

  1. Log in to mySierra
  2. Select “Financial Aid”
  3. Under “Financial Aid Activities,” and click “View My Financial Aid Status.”
  4. Select the current aid year (i.e., 2021-22).
  5. Select “Student Requirements.”
  6. If you are eligible, the message will read: “$ Book Voucher for Fall” or “$ Book Voucher for Spring” with a green check next to it.

The book voucher amount depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA and your enrollment level and if you are Pell Grant-eligible. If you did not file a FAFSA, or if you did not complete the processing of any request for documents by the Financial Aid Office, then you will not be awarded a book voucher. Sierra College does not run a book voucher program for summer.

Book Voucher Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What if I didn’t file a FAFSA? You are not eligible for a book voucher.  
  1. What if my Financial Aid File is not complete and I have not been awarded a Pell Grant? You will not be eligible for a book voucher until your financial aid is complete and you have been awarded financial aid. 
  1. Does the book voucher affect how much financial aid I’ll receive? Your Pell Grant will be reduced by the amount of money you spend when you use your book voucher. 
  1. What if my books cost more than the book voucher is worth? If your books cost more than your book voucher is worth, you can either pay the difference when you buy your books or come to the Financial Aid Office, and we will manually adjust it for you. If remote, you can email or call the Financial Aid Office to see if we can adjust it manually. 
  1. What can I use the book voucher for? The book voucher can be used for books or school supplies. You can also use the voucher for the book rental program if purchased in person at the Sierra College's Official Campus Bookstore (Rocklin or Nevada County Campus) or online. 
  1. If I use my book voucher and then become ineligible for the PELL Grant, what happens? You are financially responsible for paying back the school for all charges covered by the book voucher.

The majority of Sierra College students are eligible for the CCPG Grant. It is available to California residents and non-residents (AB 540 students) who meet specific income eligibility requirements.

Fees Covered by CCPG

The program waives the following fees: 

  • Tuition
  • Health fee for students who qualify under Method A.
  • Reduces the parking permit fee


  • Academic Standards. To remain eligible for a CCPG, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and complete at least 50% of all units attempted.
    Note: You will lose your CCPG if you are on academic or progress probation for two consecutive fall and spring terms.

  • Financial Information. To determine your eligibility for CCPG, we use information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or your California Dream Application. CCPG is automatically awarded to eligible students through June 30 of each year.

Duration of Fee Waiver 

The CCPG fee waiver will be in effect for the academic year (fall, spring, and summer). There are no minimum or maximum unit requirements

  • CCPG and Summer Term. Summer is considered a part of the previous fall, spring academic year for financial aid awards. We may process a CCPG application up to the last day of the summer term for those students enrolled in summer courses. If you are not enrolled in summer courses, we cannot process a CCPG application past June 30 for any retroactive reimbursements.

Methods, Qualifications and Waived Fees

Method A

Method B

Method C


To qualify for a CCPG under method A, you or your parent(s) must currently be receiving one of the following:

  • General Assistance

You must show proof of your current benefits. Use the following documents as proof of current benefits:

General Assistance

To qualify for a CCPG under method A, you or your parent(s) must currently be receiving one of the following:

  • General Assistance
To qualify for a CCPG under method B you or your parent(s) must meet household size and income standards. View the 2022 Promise Grant Income Standards.




To qualify for a CCPG under method Ccomplete the FAFSA form. We will use your FAFSA to determine your eligibility for the California College Promise Grant. If you are eligible, we will automatically award you the California College Promise Grant Fee Waiver.

Waived Fees

Method A will waive the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Student center fee
  • Health fees
  • Parking permit fee will be reduced

Method B will waive the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Parking permit fee will be reduced

The Student Center fee and Health Fee will not be waived.

Method C will waive the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Parking permit fee will be reduced

The Student Center fee and Health Fee will not be waived.

Cal Grants and Federal Pell Grants

State and Federal Grants, unlike a loan, do not have to be paid back. Fill out a FAFSA to see if you qualify for either the California Grant (Cal Grant) or Federal Grants (Pell Grants).

  • The Cal Grant has two deadlines: March 2 and September 2. Fill out a FAFSA, then submit your GPA electronically. Undocumented students can also apply by first completing the California Dream Act Application online by March 2.To learn more, visit the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website.

  • The Federal Pell Grants amounts are determined on your FAFSA results, your school's cost of attendance, and your status as a full-time or part-time student. If your parent or guardian died in Iraq or Afghanistant or in the line of duty as a public safety office, you may be eligible for a larger Federal Pell Grant. To learn more, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Differences Between Cal Grants and Federal Pell Grants

Cal Grants

Federal Pell Grants

What is a Cal Grant?

The Cal Grant Program is funded by the State of California. The program helps California residents afford an education at a California college. 

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is the state agency in charge of the grant. It determines student eligibility and the type of Cal Grant the student will receive.


There are two Cal Grant application opportunities each year. Applications are due on:

  • March 2
  • Sept. 2

How You’ll Be Notified

CSAC will notify you by e-mail or mail if they select you for a potential Cal Grant. CSAC will use the e-mail or mailing address on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If your e-mail or mailing address changes, or if you change schools, update this information by logging into CSAC’s WebGrants 4 Students.

Student Success Completion Grant

If you are receiving a Cal Grant B or Cal Grant C award for the academic year and you are enrolled in 12 units for fall or spring by the add/drop deadline, we will award you an extra $649 per semester from the new Student Success Completion Grant. But wait there is more! Being enrolled in 15 or more units for fall or spring or by the add/drop deadline will award you $2,000 per semester.

High School Certification

Does CSAC need you to report your high school graduation status? Fill out the High School Graduation Verification Form 

CalGrant Funding 

The Cal Grant Program funding changes every year. Check CSAC’s website for the latest information on funding. 

Learn More

Still have questions about the Cal Grant Program? CSAC’s website provides information on the various types of Cal Grants and offers answers to frequently asked questions

What is a Federal Pell Grant?

Pell Grants provide federal funds for eligible students to help meet college expenses. 

You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for this grant. Not all applicants will be eligible. PELL Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. 

Based on Enrollment 

PELL Grants provide federal funds for eligible students to help meet college expenses. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for this grant. Not all applicants will be eligible. PELL Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. 

Grant Award Amount

The PELL Grant maximum can change each year and depends on federal funding.

The amount you receive will be determined based on your:

  • FAFSA results
  • School’s cost of attendance
  • Status as a full-time or part-time student

Parent Who Died in Military Service 

The maximum award amount is given to any eligible student whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. You must be under 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time in college at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.

No Pell Grant for Classes Added After Add/Drop Deadline

The number of units you are enrolled in at the end of the add/drop period for the semester determines the amount of your Pell Grant. Check the academic calendar for the exact add/drop date. If you add a class after the semester add/drop deadline, you cannot be paid for the additional units by a Pell Grant.

Other Grant Options

  • AmeriCorps Grant
    Volunteer with AmeriCorps and receive an education award of up to $4,725 each year for up to two years. This program provides full-time educational awards in return for community service. You can register online to submit a voucher payment request form. You can also submit a voucher through the Financial Aid Office. If approved, the funds from the AmeriCorps program will arrive in two payments. The first payment will arrive around the start of the semester and the balance at the mid-point of the semester. You will need to pay for your fees. Once we receive the funds, we will process a refund. For more information, go to the AmeriCorps website.

  • California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth

  • California National Guard Educational Assistance Award Program

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
    The FSEOG provides funds to students with the highest need. Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for this grant. Since federal funding for this program is limited, FSEOGs are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those lucky enough to receive the grant will receive an annual award of $600.

Consider borrowing money at a student rate to help you pay for college and college-related expenses. Be sure to do your research to find out the different interest-rates, true costs, and duration of loans available to you.  

Use the Repayment Plan Estimator to determine payment amounts for each repayment plan based on your loan balance and anticipated income. This tool can be used by all our students regardless of loan servicer. 

Federal Loan Options

Federal Direct (Federal Student Loan)

Direct PLUS (Federal Parent Loan)

Responsibility for Repaying

Federal Direct Student Loans are a long-term financial obligation. Getting a loan means you are responsible for repaying the money you borrow including interest costs and fees. 

Estimate Your Cost

Before you request a loan, find out the actual costs, interest rates and how long it will take to repay the loan. Go to The Federal Student Aid Website and get answers to these questions and more.

Use Your Loan for Education Purposes Only

Only use your student loan to pay for your education expenses at the school that is giving you the loan.

Education expenses include:

  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Fees

Indirect education expenses include:

  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Equipment
  • Dependent child care expenses
  • Transportation
  • Rental or purchase of a personal computer


You do not need credit checks and co-signers for Federal Direct Student Loans.

However, you cannot:

  • Be in default on a previous student loan
  • Owe a repayment of other federal financial aid
  • Be enrolled in less than six units

If your parent is interested in a low-interest loan to help pay for your college education, go to the Direct PLUS federal website. You will find eligibility information, interest rates and application instructions.

You must submit a written statement to the Financial Aid Office about how much money your parent is requesting through the PLUS program. You may attach a copy of Parent Master Promissory Note (MPN) or include parent information on your written request.

The request should contain the following:

  • Parent’s full name
  • Your social security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address
  • Your phone number
  • Your citizenship status

Your parent must do everything else on the Direct PLUS website.

Sierra College offers a large number of scholarships and awards for students from all walks of life and circumstances.

Why You Should Apply

  • Up to $230,000 in scholarships available
  • Apply once and qualify for up to 150 scholarship opportunities
  • FREE money! You don't pay anything back
  • Eligibility varies widely. Not all scholarships are financial-need based. Don't miss your chance!

How to Get Started

  1. Fill out the 2022-23 Scholarship Application and you will automatically be matched to all the scholarships for which you are eligible.
  2. See what scholarships are available
  3. The deadline to submit the completed application is March 2, 2022.
  4. If you are awarded a scholarship, learn how to receive your money.

Questions? Contact or (916) 660-7310.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities from outside institutions, including scholarships, fellowships and grants.

Earn money and gain work experience while in college by searching for on- and off-campus jobs or by applying for Work-Study and CalWORKS positions.

What is the difference between the different employment programs? How do I get started?

Sierra College Work-Study Program


CalWORKS Work-Study Program

On- and Off-Campus Jobs

What is it?

Federal Work-Study lets college students work part time while attending school. Go to Sierra Job Link to find work-study jobs.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/CalWORKS is a federal work-study program that helps students meet the Welfare-to-Work requirements and provides various support services.

Financial Aid can help you get on-campus jobs. 

You can find on-campus and off-campus jobs through Career and Transfer Connections. You can also contact departments at Sierra College that you’re interested in working in to see when the department will be accepting applications/hiring student workers. There are also Student Tutoring positions available.
How to Get Started
  1. If you’ve completed the current academic year’s FAFSA, contact the Financial Aid Office to add your name to the Federal Work-study waitlist.

  2. Have a job ready in case you are chosen from the list.

Find out if you’re eligible for CalWORKS and complete the application.

  1. Search current on- campus job listings on College Central Network

  2. Select “Search—My School’s Jobs”

  3. Under “Job Location,” select “On-Campus” from the “Search by Multiple Locations” menu

If you’re interested in on-campus jobs, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Find out if your first two years of tuition could be free. Learn more by visiting

Contact Financial Aid

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