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Financial Aid General Information

  • The ARC Financial Aid Office administers financial aid (including loans). Please note that financial aid is handled in accordance with federal and state regulations, and rules are not set by the college. Funds are distributed to students who have documented financial need determined by the total resources available to them. For more information, phone (916) 484-8437
  • Parents are considered to have the primary responsibility for assisting the dependent student in meeting the cost of education. Financial aid is available along with parental contributions to meet the student's academic expenses.
  • Aid for independent students is available based on student contribution and the student's academic expenses.
  • Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online to apply for campus-based aid and the Pell Grant/Student Loans. List American River College as the college of choice. ARC's federal code number is 001232.
  • Once the ARC Financial Aid Office receives an Electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Federal Processor, you will be notified (by e-mail or U.S. Mail) of the required documentation needed to complete your file. Documentation requested is confidential and must be furnished in order for you to receive aid.
  • The priority date for funding is March 2nd. Applications dated after this date will be funded as long as funds are available. Students awarded financial aid are notified by e-mail or U.S. Mail. Average processing time of Federal Student Aid is eight to twelve weeks.
  • All disbursements are made through BankMobile Financial Services.  Students will be sent a Refund Selection Kit once the college has received the student's FAFSA and the student has selected an eligible educational program (major) at American River College.  DO NOT THROW THIS ENVELOPE AWAY - you will need it to select your refund method.
  • Enrollment status is based on the number of units taken during a particular semester.  For the Fall and Spring semesters, the following criteria are used:  Full time = 12 or more units; Three-quarter-time = 9.0 units - 11.9 units; Half-time = 6.0 units - 8.9 units; Less than half-time = .1 units - 5.9 units.  For students attending the summer session, the following criteria are used:  Full time = 6 or more units; Three-quarter-time = 4.5 units - 5.9 units; Half-time = 3.0 units - 4.49 units; Less than half-time = .1 units - 2.9 units.
  • Only units that are directly applicable to the student's approved program of study are applicable toward financial aid enrollment status.  Units that are not directly applicable to the student's approved program of study are applicable to the California Promise Grant (formerly BOG Fee Waiver), but these units will not be calculated for grants and loan eligibility. 

  • Pell Grant disbursements are generally made to students twice each semester.  The first disbursement, if the file was complete within published deadlines, is on the first Friday of the semester, and the second disbursement follows the "Award Eligibility Date" for each semester.  Students who meet all published deadline requirements for file completion and enrollment are disbursed, at minimum, the amount of required books and supplies within the first 7 days of the semester. 
  • Students who are approved for federal work study or CalWORKS work study programs will have their anticipated maximum work award calculated toward their available resources for cost of attendance calculations and is counted in the student's financial assistance package.


The ARC Financial Aid Office does not automatically package student loans into the original financial aid award.  ARC discourages student debt and encourages students to find alternative funding sources for college to avoid educational debt, such as scholarships, Federal Work Study, and/or paid internships.  Eligible students are encouraged to only borrow the minimum amount needed through the federal Direct Student Loan program.  Students must initiate their own loan request each award year prior to the Loan Request deadline date for the semester that they are attending.  Loan requests are made through the student's eServices Financial Aid portal.  Students must be enrolled at least half-time with applicable financial aid units at the time of the loan request and must maintain half-time enrollment throughout the loan period to remain eligible for subsequent loan disbursements.  Students who initiate a student loan must complete loan entrance counseling, annually submit a Master Promissory Note (MPN), and are required to complete loan exit counseling once their enrollment at American River College ends.


  • Units taken at a Los Rios College (other than ARC) are automatically reviewed for financial aid purposes. Students who are taking units from a partner Los Rios College (CRC/FLC/SCC) must ensure that their courses are applicable to their program of study at ARC. Students will not be considered for disbursement and consortium units are not considered until the Recalculation Date (Financial Aid Census Date) in most cases. Student who have zero enrollment at ARC on the Recalculation Date or add classes after the Recalculation Date will not be considered for disbursement. "The consortium is valid for one semester only and may not be retroactive."
  • The deadline for students to submit a Student Action Request for Fall 2017 Consortium review is Thursday December 14, 2017 at 5:00pm. The deadline for students to submit a Student Action Request for Spring 2018 Consortium review is Wednesday May 16, 2018 4:00pm. Please note that by submitting a request prior to the deadline does NOTguarantee a consortium approval. Any requests submitted after the deadline will be automatically denied.
  • Spring consortium process will begin the first week of Spring semester.
  • Enrollment in a study abroad program approved for credit by American River College (ARC) may be considered enrollment at ARC through the consortium process for purposes of applying for federal student financial aid. 
  • A student with a drug conviction while receiving federal financial aid will lose eligibility for any grant, loan, or work-study assistance as a result of penalties under 484(r)(1) of the HEA.  The student in loss of eligibility status can only regain eligibility, under section 484(r)(2) of the HEA, the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when s/he successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program.  Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.  It is the student's responsibility to certify to American River College that s/he has successfully completed the rehabilitation program
  • Veteran students or qualifying dependents of veterans should explore all Federal and State Financial Aid programs and options before initiating veterans educational benefits (GI Bill) or taking personal loans.  Please see the Veterans Services Office to learn about usage limitations and qualifications for veterans benefits.  All students are encouraged complete a FAFSA at to learn about eligibility for financial aid programs to support attendance at American River College. 

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the average cost a student would incur as a result of attending college. The amounts used in the cost of attendance are not anticipated to cover all of the
student’s living expenses. Individual cost may differ from the colleges COA. Using the student’s expected family contribution and the average COA, the college financial aid will
award student’s need and non‐need based aid.


 Below are the estimated costs for the 2018 - 2019 Award Year based on a Fall and Spring semester: 
  At Home Away From Home
       Fees ($46/unit)      
Total (approximate)

This is an estimate and subject to change.

*Fees are based on average units for full time student (12 units X $46 per unit)

The budget is based on data provided by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

*Fees will be prorated in the budget using the average not actual fees for the enrollment status:
Full‐Time 13.5
Three ‐Quarter 10.00
Half‐Time 7.00
Less‐Than‐Hal‐Time 4.00

The budget for Summer term 2018 will be prorated based upon weeks of instruction and percentage of the academic year.

You may be able to obtain federal tax credits for enrollment fees you pay if you are enrolled in at least six units during any semester including summer and meet the other conditions prescribed by federal law. These tax credits can be taken by the student, or the student's parents if the student is a dependent. The Los Rios Community College District will automatically mail an IRS Form 1098 to each student so that students can claim any credits on their federal tax return. More information on the Hope Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit is available in IRS Publication 970.  California is also offering an Educational Tax Credit.  See the information below.  The following IRS websites are helpful:

Students who receive Pell Grant and withdraw or stop attending classes that they received the grant for may be required to repay some or all of the funds. Failure to repay the amount within 45 days will result in future aid being canceled/denied.

Additionally, students who receive any type of federal student aid and drop (or stop attending) all their classes will be responsible to repay any portion of aid that the college is required to return to the Department of Education as a result of the withdrawal or cessation from attending classes.

Click here to check what happens with financial aid when students withdraw from college