How to Apply
To be considered for federal financial aid at COD, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list College of the Desert's Title IV School Code
on the application (001182)
. Students should complete the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov
) online beginning January 1st of each year. The FAFSA should be completed and submitted to the processing center as soon as possible after January 1st for the next academic year. To be considered for state financial Aid, students who are considered AB540 may apply for the California Dream Act Application (dream.csac.ca.gov
What to Expect After you File Your FAFSA
After you have completed your FAFSA, you will receive an email notification from the U. S. Department of Education confirming your submission. Please read this information carefully. After COD has received your information electronically from the federal processor, the Financial Aid Office will contact you to let you know if there are additional forms you may need to submit such as copies of federal income tax return transcripts, verification of family size, number of family members in college, untaxed income and other information you reported on your FAFSA. After all forms and documents are reviewed and processed, you should receive an estimated Financial Aid Award Notification email indicating what financial aid you are eligible to receive at College of the Desert.
Verification and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The Dept. of Education selects students for a process called verification. As part of this process financial aid offices are required to collect IRS tax return transcripts for both students and their families. In order to expedite the process of your application, it is recommended that students and their families use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool so that tax return transcripts do not need to be submitted as these could take several weeks to receive from the IRS.
If a Tax Return Transcript must be submitted it must be ordered from the IRS. A Tax Return Transcript may be ordered online at www.irs.gov
. From the homepage, click on "Order a Return or Account Transcript
", then select "Order a Transcript
". Enter your social security number, birthdate, address and zip code. At "Type of Transcript
", select "Return Transcript
", at "Tax Year
", select 2012. A Tax Return Transcript may also be ordered by phone by calling 1-800-908-9946. At this time it is not recommended that students visit the local IRS office due to long wait times and students have been given documents that do not meet Department of Education standards.
Students should complete their FAFSA application and other related materials as soon as possible each year, but no later than March 2nd to not only ensure that they are awarded in a timely manner and receive any subsequent refunds, but also to qualify for the maximum amount of aid available to them as certain financial aid is awarded on a first come, first serve basis, due to limited available funds. Students who submit their FAFSA information on or after July 1st each year for the upcoming school year can expect delays and will most likely not receive their funds on the first scheduled disbursement date.
BOG Fee Waiver
For California residents eligible for the BOG Enrollment Fee Waiver you will only need to complete the 2014-2015 FAFSA application for the Summer 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters.
The Cal Grant application requires both FAFSA application and the GPA Verification form, the latter which can be downloaded from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website (www.csac.ca.gov
). Please note that College of the Desert transmits GPA information to CSAC each February for current or former students enrolled with 24 units or more units of college courswork completed. The application deadline for the Cal Grant is March 2nd of every year for the upcoming year and there is an additional deadline date of September 2nd for community college students. For additional information on Cal Grants, you can stop by the Financial Aid Office or visit CSAC's website.
The COD Scholarship Application will be available November 5, 2013 and close on March 2, 2014 for scholarships awarded to students for the 2014-2015. For more information please go to the Scholarship Information page on the Financial Aid Office website.