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Financial Aid Information

Here are some general requirements pertaining to financial aid. This information is also published in the Financial Aid Guide that accompanies student award letters. Please notify the Office of Financial Aid promptly (in writing or via e-mail) of any change in your enrollment status, housing plans, or external resources.

For more detailed information, read our Financial Aid FAQ.

Enrollment Information

Your award is based on the expected enrollment that you report on your Adult Degree Completion/Graduate Financial Aid Application, or as required by the financial aid you receive. Your eligibility may be affected if you change your enrollment plans, and funds may be adjusted, rescinded, or returned to the federal student aid programs if you do not enroll as expected. Full-time enrollment is required to receive most Dominican Scholarships and Grants, except as noted in the Financial Aid Award Guide.


Undergraduate Students

    • Full-time enrollment is 12 or more units per semester.
    • Three-quarter-time enrollment is 9-11 units per semester.
    • Half-time enrollment is 6-8 units per semester.
    • Normally, undergraduate day students must take between 15-17 units per semester in order to stay on track to graduate within four years.


Graduate Students

    • Full-time status is 9 units for the Fall and Spring Semesters and 6 units for the Summer Semester. 
    • Half-time status is 5 to 8 units for the Fall and Spring Semesters and 3 units for the Summer Semester.


Living Arrangements 

Your cost of attendance is based on the housing status you indicate on your financial aid or admissions application. If your housing plans change, it may impact your financial aid eligibility since there are different costs associated with on-campus residence, off-campus apartment or home, or commuting from a relative’s home.


Other Resources  

If you will receive additional financial aid resources that are not listed on your award letter, such as private scholarships or grants, Veterans Benefits, or tuition reimbursement, you must report those sources to the Financial Aid Office.


Timeline for Disbursing Aid

Financial aid resources are credited to the student bill.  Most federal financial aid and institutional scholarships may not be disbursed earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the standard semester’s first day of classes. The Federal Pell Grant and Cal Grant programs credit to the student account after the Add/drop date of each semester. Some types of aid require verification of eligibility and/or additional processing before the funds can be applied to the student bill. These include, but are not limited to, Cal Grants, Federal Pell Grants, Stafford, and Perkins loans. The Parent PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan that requires approval through a lender.



If your aid and any other payments towards your student bill cause an excess credit balance on your student account, this credit balance will be refunded to you (or your parent if the credit results from a PLUS loan with a parent borrower). Credit balance refunds are processed weekly throughout the semester, upon verification of eligibility. A check is mailed by Business Services or the credit card used is credited back, unless you select HOLD on your Award Letter. The HOLD allows a credit balance to be retained on your student account to be applied toward subsequent charges.

Because your eligibility for aid and any subsequent refund must be verified, you should be prepared at the start of the semester to pay for any immediate living expenses, books, transportation, and other costs, irrespective of any expected credit balance. 


Federal Return of Funds

If you leave school (for instance, withdraw or take a leave of absence) after the start of classes, your financial aid may be subject to federal return of funds regulations. These regulations specify the percentage of aid that a student is entitled to retain versus the portion that must be returned to the federal student aid programs. The federal refund calculation takes into consideration the number of days enrolled in proportion to the length of the semester. 

If you are contemplating a leave of absence or withdrawal and have federal financial aid funds, we encourage you to speak with your financial aid advisor.

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