Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for Financial Aid, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you need assistance, please visit the Coalinga Financial Aid Office located in the Administration Building.
Yes, every student who is applying for FAFSA is now required to have an FSA ID. You will need to apply for one so that you have a way of electronically signing your FAFSA application.
To apply for an FSA ID, please visit www.fsaid.ed.gov. Click on "Create an FSA ID" tab. You will be asked to provide your name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and 5 challenge questions and answers. Also, you will need to provide your email address, create a unique username, and create a password. You will use this username, email address, and password to log in to your FSA ID. Save that information in your cell phone or on a card to keep in your wallet for future reference. You will be using your FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA, or other Federal Financial Aid websites.
If you are a dependent student, one of your parents must apply for an FSA ID if they do not already have one. They will be able to use their FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA application. Parents will be able to use the same FSA ID for all of their children, including their own FAFSA. Please have them follow the same process listed in #3.
Yes. If you are a dependent student, but your parent does not have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), there is another way for your parent to sign your FAFSA application. At the end of your FAFSA application, your parent will be presented with an option to provide his/her FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA, or to click "other options". Your parent can click "other options" and "print signature page". This allows your parent to sign your FAFSA application without having a valid SSN. You can mail out the signature page to Federal Student Aid or you can bring in the signed signature page to the Financial Aid office for us to mail out for you.
According to federal regulations, if you answer "No" to all questions numbered 52 through 58 on the FAFSA application, you are considered a dependent student for Financial Aid purposes. Dependent students are required to provide parents information, which includes parent income information and a parent signature on the FAFSA application.
The amount of Financial Aid you are eligible for depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your year in school, enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the school you will be attending. Once the Financial Aid Office has reviewed your eligibility, you can go online to the myWESTHILLS Portal, click on the "Web Advisor for Students", click on "Financial Aid", and then click on "Financial Aid Award Letter". This will show you your eligibility for the school year. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's household size, taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits are all considered in the formula. *Please keep in mind that your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
Yes, you can use FAFSA on the web to calculate your estimated EFC. The estimated EFC will show up on the confirmation page when you have completed and submitted the FAFSA application. Once you have printed the confirmation page you may take it into the financial aid office so they may better assist you. An official EFC will be calculated at the Central Processing System (CPS) once all required signatures are received.
If you filled out and submitted an application with an incorrect Social Security Number (SSN), and/or have transposed your first and last name, please contact your Financial Aid Office for further assistance.
Yes, eligible non-citizens may also qualify for financial aid. Generally you are an eligible non-citizen if you have one of the folowing:

  • An Alien Registration Card (I-551)
  • An I-551C
  • An Arrival- Departure Record (I-94) with designations: "Refugee", "Asylum", "Parole", or "Cuban Haitian Entrant"

If you are not a citizen or an eligible non-citizen, you are not eligible for federal student aid. However, you may qualify for state or college student aid. For AB 540 students, please visit www.caldreamact.org to apply for financial aid if you complete the application process deadline each year, which is March 2nd. This is a state grant, so if eligible you wouldn't receive any awards until fall of the year. Please contact your Financial Aid Offices for more information.
No. Cal grants are funded by the State of California through the California Student Aid Commission whereas Pell Grants are federally funded. If you applied with the FAFSA or DREAM Act by the March 2nd deadline and you or your school forwarded your GPA verification to the California Student Aid Commission, you may be eligible for the state grant (Cal Grant). Students who are eligible for a Cal Grant B and are enrolled in 12 or more units in the Fall/Spring Terms will also receive a Full Time Student Success Grant.
No, you can select up to ten schools to receive your FAFSA data by listing them on your application. However, do not list both Lemoore and Coalinga school codes on your FAFSA; it will only delay your financial aid. Please only select the one you are planning on getting your degree or certificate from.
West Hills College, Coalinga's federal school code is 001176. Do not list both Lemoore and Coalinga School Codes on your FAFSA; it will only delay your financial aid. Please only select the one you are planning on getting your degree or certificate from.
Yes. It's "at the time you complete the application for the FAFSA" that determines whose information you must provide. So, if you are married when you complete the FAFSA, report your and your spouse's income and assets. Likewise, if you are legally separated at the time you complete the FAFSA, you would remove the income (and person) that is no longer in the household.
You must first complete a FAFSA application and we must have received your FAFSA information electronically. The next step is to obtain a loan application-as well as other missing documents you may have-from the Financial Aid Office. Loans are not automatically renewed each academic year (summer, fall, spring); you must apply every academic year. First time loan borrowers must attend Default Prevention and Loan Entrance Workshops; you may do so by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Only Federal Stafford Direct Loans are available at West Hills College.
Review the SAR and the "Comments" section of the SAR to be sure all the information is correct and the Federal Processor has no questions on any of your information. If you have any questions, bring your SAR to the Financial Aid Office for review.
Yes, there may be additional documents you must submit in order to receive Financial Aid. You will receive an email to your student email account within 7-10 business days of the Financial Aid Office receiving your FAFSA information electronically. The email will explain that you can check your portal for any missing documents. Once all forms have been completed and turned in to the Financial Aid Office, they will be reviewed and Financial Aid eligibility will be determined. An additional email will be sent to your student email explaining how to review your eligibility.
No, you do not need to pay back Grant Financial Aid, unless you withdraw from all your classes, do not attend all the classes you were initially enrolled in for the term, or received all F's, NC's, or W's. There may be other circumstances that cause repayment. Loans, however, must be repaid.
You can contact the Federal Processor at 1-800-4-FED-AID. They can help you with any technical issues you might be having. You can also contact the Financial Aid Office at 559-934-2310, but our technical access is limited and we do recommend you call the Federal Processor. We can, however, assist you in making any corrections to your FAFSA or DREAM Act application.
No, you do not need to make an appointment to see a Financial Aid Technician. It is important that you allow reasonable amount of time when meeting with a Financial Aid Technician so that we may carefully review your documents to avoid delays in processing. Our office hours are currently Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:00am 5:00pm, and Thursday 10:00am 5:00pm.
You may receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) stating your application is rejected, or you may be informed by a Financial Aid Technician that your application is rejected. There are a few common reasons why the Federal Processor will reject an application: Missing signatures, inconsistent marital status with income, taxes paid are equal to or higher than adjusted gross income, citizenship questions are blank, marital status and family members blank, etc. A rejected application means that you must go back in to your FAFSA application and make the necessary corrections needed to process your application. You may make corrections using your Student Aid Report (SAR) or online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
The first step is to complete your FAFSA and answer "Yes" to the "Interested in Work Study" question. By answering "Yes" to the work study question, you are not automatically awarded work study. The next step is for you to check in with the Financial Aid Office and complete a Work Study Application. To be eligible for Work Study, students must be enrolled in at least 6 units and must maintain Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP). There are other requirements that may be determined by the Financial Aid Office. Work Study is awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.
You may go to your student portal to see if there are any missing documents needed in order to process your FAFSA or Financial Aid. You may also go into the Financial Aid Office and obtain your missing documents so your financial aid can be processed by Financial Aid Technicians.
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