Financial Aid Eligibility

There are four basic steps used to determine how much financial aid you may receive after you complete the FAFSA and submit all requested documents:

The FAFSA Simplification Act replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the SAI. Your SAI will be listed on your FAFSA/CADAA Submission Summary.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that the financial aid office uses to determine how much student aid you would receive if you attended the school. This number results from the information that you provide on your FAFSA/CADAA. This number is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide. A negative SAI indicates the student has a higher financial need. The college or career school will determine your financial need by subtracting your SAI from the cost of attendance. Learn how the SAI is calculated.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money you and/or your family can realistically be expected to contribute toward your educational cost while you are in school. The EFC is calculated from the FAFSA information you submit to the Federal processor when you apply for financial aid. If you are considered an Independent Student, only your information (and your spouse's, if you are married) is used to calculate the EFC. If you are a Dependent Student, your parent(s) financial information is also used.

** The Department of Education considers an Independent Student if any one of the following applies to you:

  • You are at least 24 years old.
  • You are married.
  • You have legal dependents of your own.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Both of your parents are deceased.
  • At any time since you turned age 13, you were in foster care or were a dependent or ward of the court.
  • You are an emancipated minor, as determined by a court in your sate of legal residence.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2015, a director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

Dependency Override: There are circumstances for which the Financial Aid Office at Skyline College can make exceptions to your dependency status. There must be a compelling reason to request that this be done. Unusual circumstances, such as parental abuse or a severing of the relationship between the parent and student, are the typical reasons exceptions are made. If you believe that your particular circumstance merits review for a dependency status change, please complete a Request for Dependency Status Change. A written statement and documentation of the circumstances must be provided for the request to be considered.

A standard student budget is developed for all financial aid recipients based on average costs associated with attending Skyline College. Average student costs for categories in the budgets are developed using annual survey information provided by the California Student Aid Commission, the Chancellor's Office for California Community Colleges, and surveys conducted on behalf of the Financial Aid Office.

Student budgets are developed for four categories of students:

  1. Students who are Independent are assigned an Away from Home budget (assumed to be self-supporting)
  2. Students who are Dependent are assigned an At Home budget (assumed not to be fully self-supporting as parent income is required on the FAFSA).
  3. Students who attend less than half time (Less than half-time budgets are used to determine Pell eligibility only).
  4. Students who are not residents of California

Note: AB 2747 (Nazarian) Public postsecondary education: tuition and fees: Team USA student athletes. The purpose of this bill is to ensure a Team USA athlete who is currently residing in California for purposes of Olympic training will be exempt from the payment of the nonresident tuition fee. This bill provides resident classification (in-state tuition) to any Team USA student athlete, as defined, who trains in California in an elite level program approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. This bill requires the student athlete to certify their participation in an Olympic or Paralympic elite level training program through supporting documentation from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and to submit that documentation to the campus Registrar.

Additional costs (such as exams, licenses, required supplies) will be added to a student’s cost of attendance, if these expenses are aligned with their program of study (POS). Adjustments to the cost of attendance will be not made if student changes their POS at anytime during the academic year.

Review the Cost of Attendance

BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS are automatically made to add tuition for non-resident students and additional fees for students when applicable. You may request an adjustment to your budget when you have additional expenses related to your education (e.g. a computer, childcare, uninsured medical or dental expenses, supplies or tools required for a program, disability expenses which are not paid for by another agency) that exceed the basic book and supply allowance.

When the Financial Aid Office has determined an accurate expected family contribution, the family contribution (EFC) is subtracted from your standard student budget. The result is the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

YOUR COSTS (per budgets shown above)

When your financial aid eligibility has been determined, the Financial Aid Office will first offer any grant funds you are eligible to receive in your award package. If there is remaining eligibility, you applied by the priority date and indicated you would accept work, you will be offered Federal Work Study.

As funds are limited, it is often not possible to meet the full financial need of a student with the aid available at Skyline College.

Financial Aid Status

You can check on your financial aid status through WebSMART. For problems logging in, visit Login Help

Check unsatisfied requirements

  1. Login to WebSMART.
  2. Click on the “Financial Aid” Tab
  3. Click “My Eligibility"
  4. Click "Student Requirements"
  5. Select "Aid Year" 
  6. Review "Unsatisfied Requirements"
  7. Complete unsatisfied requirements and/or submit documents listed
  8. Please answer these two questions (Yes or No):
    • Authorization to pay non-institutional charges (health fee, student body fee, etc.)
    • Authorization to pay prior year charges (any previous balance up to $200.00)

Access your Award Letter:

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Financial Aid Menu
  3. Click on My Award Information
  4. Click on Award By Aid Year
  5. Select aid year and click submit
  6. Click on Award Overview tab

*Amounts listed on your Award letter are based on full-time enrollment status. The amount disbursed will be prorated based on your actual enrollment.

Update Program of Study:

  1. Login to WebSMART
  2. Choose the Student tab 
  3. Click on Update Student Program of Study
  4. Select Term and Submit
  5. Update Educational Goal
  6. Complete Choose New Area of Study section and Submit

Check the financial aid disbursement schedule for information on the current year.

Direct Loan Note: All first-time borrowers will be subject to a 30-day delay on their first loan disbursement. The 30-day period begins on the first day of the term, not of the loan application or approval date.

All disbursed financial aid money will be first applied towards current institutional fees you may owe Cañada College, College of San Mateo or Skyline College such as enrollment fees, health fees and non-resident tuition. For the majority of students, your financial aid award is generally more than the amount owed, and you will be paid the remaining balance, commonly referred to as a financial aid refund.


  • Application is completed prior to start of term
  • Enrolled in the required number of units at least one week prior to start of term
  • Not subject to disqualification
  • Have no holds
  • All first time borrowers will be subject to a 30-day delay on their first loan disbursement.
  • The 30-day period begins on the first day of the term, not of the loan application or approval date. 
  • To cancel or reduce your loan amount, you must submit a written request to the Financial Aid Office 15 business days prior to the disbursement.
  • Direct Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Direct Loan Exit Counseling