Receiving Financial Aid | Financial Aid Office
Financial Aid

Receiving Financial Aid

Do I have to go to school full-time in order to receive financial aid?

No. You may be eligible for most federal and state financial aid programs if you attend school at least half-time (6 units or more); however, the amount of financial aid received may be prorated according to the number of units a student is enrolled in at the time of the disbursement of aid.

If I drop a class, does my financial aid award amount change?

Yes, the amount of financial aid will be decreased accordingly.

How long can i receive federal financial aid at Irvine Valley College?

Provided that you maintain satisfactory academic progress, you may receive federal financial aid until you exceed 150% of the published length of an eligible program in which you are enrolled. Students in a 60-unit AA/AS programs or planning to transfer to a four-year college or university will need to complete their studies by the time they attempt 90 units.

If I am eligible for financial aid, how often will I receive the money?

Generally, Pell Grant recipients receive two direct deposits or checks each semester. One deposit or check comes at the beginning of the term and one approximately half-way through the term. Other grant aid is disbursed once each semester. Work-Study students are paid once a month via a paycheck. For more information on disbursements, please visit the "Disbursement Information" webpage.

How much money can I get if I3 apply for financial aid?

It depends upon your family's income, assets and other information reported on the FAFSA. The maximum Pell Grant for 2018-2019 is $6,095 or 2019-2020 is $6,195 and Work-Study awards are generally $2,000 to $4,000 per year.

After the beginning of the semester, how long does the financial aid process take from applying to receiving my first check?

Usually 2 – 8 weeks depending if additional information is needed to complete your file, such as verification and/or any appeals.

Why does it take so long to receive the disbursement?

It takes a long time because many students attending Irvine Valley College are applying for financial aid. Here is a rough breakdown of the steps and the approximate timeframe for each: For you to receive your SAR (Student Aid Report after you have submitted the FAFSA) and then submit the requested documents to the Financial Aid Office: 2 – 4 weeks. For the Financial Aid Office to process your documents and then send an award letter: 4 – 6 weeks. For your financial aid check to be processed: 2 weeks.

Can I attend IVC and another community college and use the Financial Aid From IVC for my enrollment at both schools?

Yes, however, students cannot receive federal financial aid at two different colleges at the same time. IVC participates in Financial Aid Consortium Agreements with other community colleges. You will have to have the Consortium Agreement form filled out by the host campus and returned to the IVC Financial Aid Office.

When will my grant check be disbursed?

After a student receives a Financial Aid Award Notification from the IVC Financial Aid Office and classes have begun for the term, the student can expect to receive his/her financial aid funds as a direct deposit to the student’s checking or savings account or as a check mailed to the student's home address on file with Admissions & Records. Students must be sure to keep their home and/or mailing address(es) current and accurate. Payments will be issued in accordance with the​ schedule listed on "Disbursement Information" webpage.

Can I receive financial aid from two or multiple schools at the same time?

No. Students can only receive financial aid from one school at a time; however, if you enroll in courses at other colleges, those units may count towards your enrollment status through a Consortium Agreement to qualify you for more Pell Grant if you’re only enrolled 6 – 11.5 units here at IVC. Those units taken at Saddleback College are already counted towards your enrollment units for the calculation of financial aid award amount. Request the Consortium Agreement from our Financial Aid Office.

When am I getting my next disbursement?

The Disbursement Schedule is updated each semester at

Under the “General Information” section and depending on when the student completes their financial aid file, “[m]ost funds [(Pell Grant and Direct Loans)] are disbursed in halves for the award year. Additionally, Pell Grant disbursements are divided into (2) payments each term [usually Disbursement #1 – 5 on the schedule and the second disbursement is on Disbursement #6]. Cal Grants, Student Success Completion Grants (SSCG), and Direct Loans are [usually] first disbursed on Disbursement #3, while FSEOG funds are disbursed to students on Disbursement #6.”

Check the Disbursement Information through My Financial Aid Portal for more information, visit your IVC Financial Aid Status IVC Financial Aid Status

How much am I getting?

Although we cannot disclose your financial award amounts over the phone or via email, you should be able to view your award amounts under Menu > “ Award” through your My Financial Aid Portal if your financial aid file has been completed and your award has been posted.

How is my financial aid being disbursed?

Default refund method is via a check sent to your mailing address on file with Admissions & Records and as reflected on MySite.

  • Check: Delivery takes about 7 – 10 business days from disbursement date.
  • Direct Deposit: Posted to your account in about 3 – 5 business days from disbursement date.

How do I set up direct deposit?

To set up direct deposit for your financial aid disbursements, please follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to MySite 3.0.
  2. Click My Information à Financial Aid Status.
  3. Disable pop-up blocker (refer to your browser’s instructions) and click on Financial Aid Disbursement Method and Create your Nelnet account.
  4. Click on Manage Refund button on the homepage to select how you want to receive your refund.
  5. Fill in the necessary information. Your refund will then be sent using the option you selected.

I was told I should receive my disbursement by X date. How come I haven’t received it yet?

Below are the disbursement timeframes depending on which method of payment you chose:

  • Check: Delivery takes about 7 – 10 business days from disbursement date.
  • Direct Deposit: Posted to your account in about 3 – 5 business days from disbursement date.

I was told I should receive my disbursement by X date, and when I checked a couple of weeks later, I was then told that my disbursement is for a later date (or not at all). What’s wrong with my file? Or what changed?

When we receive your FAFSA application, we would request additional information or document from you if needed (e.g. Verification, SAP, etc.), and your financial aid specialist will process your file to confirm your eligibility. If you are eligible, you will be scheduled for a disbursement date. Final eligibility checks are performed (enrollment status, aid at another school, etc.) before we request your financial aid fund from the U.S. Department of Education.

The list for the disbursement date is generated at least 2 weeks before the actual disbursement date, so by the time we request your fund from the U.S. Department of Education, things may have changed, which may affect your financial aid eligibility or award amount. Or, it could simply be that the U.S. Department of Education rejected our request for your fund and so we don’t have the money to disburse to you.

We recommend students to follow up to check on their financial aid status if they have yet to receive their financial aid disbursement or if they didn’t receive the disbursement when expected so we can discuss what may need to be done or the case may be that the disbursement may be delayed due to the student’s class(es) aren’t scheduled to start until later in the semester.

You may stop by our office in the Student Services Center (Room 130) anytime if you need help or contact us at 949-451-5287 or email Our regular office hours are 9 am – 6 pm Monday – Thursday, and 9 am – 12 pm Fridays.

Is there any way I can get the disbursement earlier?

No, as the fund needs to be requested from the U.S. Department of Education, which takes time. The list for the disbursement date is generated at least 2 weeks before the actual disbursement date because our specialists need to finalize your file, run final eligibility checks, request your money, prepare checks and/or direct deposits, and only then can we send out your disbursement either by mail or through electronic bank deposits.

Why am I only getting $X when I have X units?

The amount of your financial aid award depends on the number of units that you’re enrolled in and your maximum financial aid eligibility. To receive the maximum financial aid offered to you, you will need to enroll in at least 12 units or more. If you add more classes after your “first disbursement” for the semester or if your classes won’t start until later in the semester (e.g. second 8-weeks classes), you won’t receive the disbursement for those late-start units until your “second disbursement” which occurs a little more than half way through the semester.

I’ve submitted my FAFSA application a while ago. Why haven’t I received any financial aid?

There could be one or more reasons that you have not received your financial aid, and that may be any one or a combination of the following:

  1. we did not receive your FAFSA Application for that academic year (i.e. Spring 2020 financial aid requires that completion of the 2019-2020 FAFSA). Please confirm when you've submitted the correct FAFSA application period ( and/or whether you've added IVC to your School Selection (School Code: 025395); or
  2. your financial aid file is incomplete because there’s a document missing; or
  3. you have not been admitted to IVC, or you have not enrolled, or your classes have not started yet; or
  4. you’re not eligible for any financial aid due to having high income.

You may stop by the Financial Aid Office in the Student Services Center (Room 130) anytime if you need help or call 949-451-5287 or email Regular office hours are 9 am – 6 pm Monday – Thursday, and 9 am – 12 pm Fridays.