University description (as per official university website)
ou've come to a special place. We believe that Santa Monica College offers an outstanding and unique educational experience. We also believe that we provide the community a wealth of resources.
What makes us special? Aside from our academic excellence, we have features unique to us – ranging from the state-of-the-art John Drescher Planetarium, the beautiful Broad Stage at Santa Monica College, a premiere performing arts venue, and the Academy of Entertainment & Technology.
Santa Monica College – a two-year community college accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – opened in 1929 with just 153 students. It has now grown to a thriving campus with approximately 30,000 students and offerings in more than 80 fields of study.
We have an impressive academic record. We are the leader among the state's 110 community colleges in transferring students to the University of California, University of Southern California and other four-year campuses.
We also pride ourselves on preparing students for careers of the 21st century – in such fields as nursing, solar technology, new media, computer technology, early childhood education, business, graphic design and other occupations. Front of Library
Santa Monica College is one of the most affordable institutions of higher education in the world. Tuition is only $26 a unit for California residents. And we have an active Financial Aid office that will help you get the funds you need to pay for your college education.
Set on a 38-acre main campus less than two miles from the beach and several nearby satellite campuses, Santa Monica College has everything today's student needs to succeed – computer labs, athletic facilities, performing and visual arts spaces, and active student clubs. Our state-of-the-art facilities have won numerous architectural and sustainability awards, as has our beautiful Quad with fountains, palm trees and benches. Our award-winning faculty works closely with students to ensure their success, and we have numerous student services to help students meet their goals.
Our academic excellence and prime location in a vibrant urban area attract students from all over the world. Santa Monica College boasts one of the largest international student populations of any community college in the nation, with approximately 3,000 from more than 100 countries.
Members of our community are invited to take advantage of a wealth of cultural and recreational offerings, including concerts, plays, art and photo shows, and lectures. The college has attracted world renowned speakers, including President Clinton.
Our Continuing & Community Education program offers year round a broad range of classes – in such fields as computers, career enhancement, the arts, self development, and fitness.
Graduates in cap and gown celebrating graduationOur widely praised Emeritus College was founded in 1974 to serve people 55 and older by offering classes in downtown Santa Monica and conveniently located community facilities.
SMC also brings the best of public radio to Southern California through the award winning college station KCRW (89.9 FM).
We invite you to browse our home page to get more detailed information on the exciting programs and rich resources at Santa Monica College. We're delighted you chose to visit us.
1. What types of Federal Financial Aid are available?
There are three types of Federal Financial Aid: grants, loans, and work study. (A grant is money that does not need to be paid back. Loans are borrowed from a bank and MUST be repaid. Work study is a job on campus.)
2. How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid?
You must complete (and send) the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to the federal processor. You can either chose to do it electronically at fafsa.ed.gov or by the traditional paper application method. With either application method (electronic or paper), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report.) SMC will also receive this information electronically.
3. Is there anything else that I have to submit to the SMC Financial Aid Office?
Students need to send their official academic transcripts (from ALL other schools that they have attended)
to the SMC Financial Aid Office. In addition, after SMC receives an electronic version of your financial aid application, it will send you a Document Request Form for any additional documents (or information) that is needed. Please note that about a third of the applicants will be chosen for verification.
4. What is verification?
Verification is proving that the income you reported on the FAFSA is correct. Usually, verification is completed by submitting a photo copy of your and/or your parent's signed federal tax return. In addition, you will be asked to submit a Verification Worksheet.
5. Do I have to go to school full-time to receive Federal Financial Aid?
No. You will be eligible for most Federal Financial Aid if you attend school half-time. However, with the Pell and SEOG Grants, your awards will be larger if you attend full-time.
6. If I'm eligible for aid, how often will I receive money?
Generally, grant recipients receive two checks a semester. One check comes at the beginning of the term and one check comes at the middle of the term. Loan recipients usually get two checks a year--one in fall and one in spring. College Work Study students are paid twice a month.
7. How much money can I get if I apply for financial aid?
It depends upon YOUR family's situation. The maximum Pell Grant would be $5350 per year. The maximum Subsidized Stafford Loan for a first year student is $3500.
Work study allocations usually begin at $2500 / year.
8. If I am living away from my parents, am I considered to be "independent?"
Not necessarily. Applicants for Federal Financial Aid-below the age of 24- are considered to be dependents . . . unless they are married, a veteran, an orphan, a ward of the court, or have dependents. (Usually children.)
9. What is the maximum money that I could earn in a year and still qualify for a grant?
About $13,500-for a single, "independent" student without dependents.
10. How long does it take from the time I submit my FAFSA to when I receive my first check?
It will (probably) take from 8 to 12 weeks.