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Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid is a grouping of several types of money that are used to assist you in funding your college education.  

Some funds are totally free while others you need to pay back.  

All types of financial aid require that you are enrolled in courses that apply toward your program of study.

Some types of financial aid may be taxable. For more information, visit the IRS webpage (Topic 421).

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  • Grants

    Grants do not have to be repaid as long as you complete the courses you were paid to attend.  If you do not start or complete your course(s) you may have to pay these funds back.  See dropping/withdrawing for more information.

    There are several grant programs available to students. Complete a FAFSA and your file is automatically reviewed to determine your eligibility for most awards, some have some additional steps.

    At PCC, the following grants are available:

    • Pell Grant
    • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • AZ Leveraging Education Aid Partnership Grant (AzLEAP)
    • Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) Hopes
    • Foster Youth Grants

    For more information, visit our grants page.

  • Scholarships

    Scholarships are a great way to supplement your financial aid and reduce/eliminate student loan borrowing. Merit Scholarships are awarded to students with high grades or some other extraordinary achievement, such as volunteer work or participation in extracurricular activities while need-based scholarships are based on the information you submitted on your FAFSA. There are also scholarships based on specific criteria such as where you were born, your major, a special skill you have or the fact that you are returning to school after working for several years. Not all of them have essay requirements either… some are awarded based on your height, digital photography picture or creative writing submission. We highly encourage you to apply for scholarships! There is a scholarship out there for everyone!

    Before Applying for any scholarship, be sure to check out:

    Never pay anyone to do a scholarship search for you. Even if they “guarantee” you will win one… nobody can guarantee that. Check out other tips to avoid scholarship scams.

    You want to submit the best scholarship application possible, so check out these tips to help you win scholarships.

    Need help writing your scholarship essay? Scholarship Junkies will help you with your applications and essay.

    If you find a scholarship where you missed the deadline or won’t be eligible until next year, write down as much information as you can so you can find it again and apply. Don’t just bookmark the page as it is not likely to be the same next time you search.

    We suggest you start with Arizona specific scholarships (there is less competition for these!)

    Pima Community College
    Local sponsors of scholarships at PCC
    AZ Community Foundation
    Community Foundation of Southern Arizona
    Metropolitan Education Commission
    College Success Arizona
    College Depot

    You can also ask about scholarships from your employer, your parents employer, your church, your bank, the local Rotary Club and any other club/organization you are involved in.

    Then check out scholarships for these specific student populations.

    Disabled students
    Military Students
    Nursing Students
    Non-traditional Students
    Sports Students
    Women students

    African American/black students
    Asian American students
    Latino/Hispanic students
    International Students
    Native American students

    After you have exhausted those, look at national scholarships. 

    SALT
    Scholarships A-Z
    AZ Career Information System
    FinAid! Scholarships

    Another option is to do a Google search for the word "scholarship" together with a word that describes you or one of your interests. For example, search for "cooking scholarship," "skateboarding scholarship" or “Scholarship for average students,” Scholarship for Arizona students.” Good luck!

    Won a scholarship?

    Once you win a scholarship, funds will either be sent to PCC or directly to you. If it’s sent to PCC, the process starts at the Foundation before it is sent to Financial Aid to be posted to your account. If it is sent directly to you, check to see who it is made out to. If only your name is on the check, you can cash it. If it is made out to PCC and you, you must endorse it and turn it into the PCC Foundation so it can be posted to your student account. This process will take a couple days. Please be sure to always check with Financial Aid or the Foundation before you drop or withdraw from a class as this may affect your award.

  • Veteran's Benefits

    Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents may also be eligible for veteran's benefits to help defray the cost of college.

  • Federal Work Study

    Federal Work Study is a federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. You receive bi-weekly paychecks like any other job. The salary is currently $10.00 per hour (as of 1/1/2017) and you can work up to 19.5 hours per week.  

    The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

    For more information visit our FWS page

  • Loans

    Student Loans must be paid back (like a mortgage or car loan).  Student loans are generally not based on credit history or employment, they have low interest rates, offer in-school payment deferment while attending school at least half time, and flexible repayment plans.  You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for Direct Loans.

    Keep in mind, Direct Loans offer low interest rates and flexible repayment options that credit cards and private loans may not. You should always be careful when considering debt as a solution to pay for education costs. You can find more information at the U.S. Dept. of Education Student Loans webpage.

    At PCC, the following loans are available:

    • Student Direct Stafford Loans  (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
    • Parent Direct PLUS Loan
    • Private Student Loans for Higher Education

    For more information about student loans, visit our loans webpage.

  • Early Book Purchase Program (EBPP)

    Before the semester begins you can get your books up to 10 days in advance and begin preparing for class through PCC’s Early Book Purchase Program.  For more information on how to take advantage of this NEW option, visit our Early Book Purchase Program (EBPP) webpage.

Grants

Grants do not have to be repaid as long as you complete the courses you were paid to attend.  If you do not start or complete your course(s) you may have to pay these funds back.  See dropping/withdrawing for more information.

There are several grant programs available to students. Complete a FAFSA and your file is automatically reviewed to determine your eligibility for most awards, some have some additional steps.

At PCC, the following grants are available:

  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • AZ Leveraging Education Aid Partnership Grant (AzLEAP)
  • Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) Hopes
  • Foster Youth Grants

For more information, visit our grants page.

Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to supplement your financial aid and reduce/eliminate student loan borrowing. Merit Scholarships are awarded to students with high grades or some other extraordinary achievement, such as volunteer work or participation in extracurricular activities while need-based scholarships are based on the information you submitted on your FAFSA. There are also scholarships based on specific criteria such as where you were born, your major, a special skill you have or the fact that you are returning to school after working for several years. Not all of them have essay requirements either… some are awarded based on your height, digital photography picture or creative writing submission. We highly encourage you to apply for scholarships! There is a scholarship out there for everyone!

Before Applying for any scholarship, be sure to check out:

Never pay anyone to do a scholarship search for you. Even if they “guarantee” you will win one… nobody can guarantee that. Check out other tips to avoid scholarship scams.

You want to submit the best scholarship application possible, so check out these tips to help you win scholarships.

Need help writing your scholarship essay? Scholarship Junkies will help you with your applications and essay.

If you find a scholarship where you missed the deadline or won’t be eligible until next year, write down as much information as you can so you can find it again and apply. Don’t just bookmark the page as it is not likely to be the same next time you search.

We suggest you start with Arizona specific scholarships (there is less competition for these!)

Pima Community College
Local sponsors of scholarships at PCC
AZ Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Southern Arizona
Metropolitan Education Commission
College Success Arizona
College Depot

You can also ask about scholarships from your employer, your parents employer, your church, your bank, the local Rotary Club and any other club/organization you are involved in.

Then check out scholarships for these specific student populations.

Disabled students
Military Students
Nursing Students
Non-traditional Students
Sports Students
Women students

African American/black students
Asian American students
Latino/Hispanic students
International Students
Native American students

After you have exhausted those, look at national scholarships. 

SALT
Scholarships A-Z
AZ Career Information System
FinAid! Scholarships

Another option is to do a Google search for the word "scholarship" together with a word that describes you or one of your interests. For example, search for "cooking scholarship," "skateboarding scholarship" or “Scholarship for average students,” Scholarship for Arizona students.” Good luck!

Won a scholarship?

Once you win a scholarship, funds will either be sent to PCC or directly to you. If it’s sent to PCC, the process starts at the Foundation before it is sent to Financial Aid to be posted to your account. If it is sent directly to you, check to see who it is made out to. If only your name is on the check, you can cash it. If it is made out to PCC and you, you must endorse it and turn it into the PCC Foundation so it can be posted to your student account. This process will take a couple days. Please be sure to always check with Financial Aid or the Foundation before you drop or withdraw from a class as this may affect your award.

Veteran's Benefits

Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents may also be eligible for veteran's benefits to help defray the cost of college.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study is a federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. You receive bi-weekly paychecks like any other job. The salary is currently $10.00 per hour (as of 1/1/2017) and you can work up to 19.5 hours per week.  

The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

For more information visit our FWS page

Loans

Student Loans must be paid back (like a mortgage or car loan).  Student loans are generally not based on credit history or employment, they have low interest rates, offer in-school payment deferment while attending school at least half time, and flexible repayment plans.  You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for Direct Loans.

Keep in mind, Direct Loans offer low interest rates and flexible repayment options that credit cards and private loans may not. You should always be careful when considering debt as a solution to pay for education costs. You can find more information at the U.S. Dept. of Education Student Loans webpage.

At PCC, the following loans are available:

  • Student Direct Stafford Loans  (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Parent Direct PLUS Loan
  • Private Student Loans for Higher Education

For more information about student loans, visit our loans webpage.

Early Book Purchase Program (EBPP)

Before the semester begins you can get your books up to 10 days in advance and begin preparing for class through PCC’s Early Book Purchase Program.  For more information on how to take advantage of this NEW option, visit our Early Book Purchase Program (EBPP) webpage.