Financial Aid

Students in need of financial assistance to help afford college should apply for financial aid.

College of the Desert provides a variety of financial assistance for eligible students. Federal grants, state grants, fee waivers, scholarships (need based and non-need based), and part-time employment opportunities are available through the Financial Aid Office. All students are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the Financial Aid Office webpage.

Apply for Financial Aid

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online beginning October of each year. Be sure to list COD’s school code (001182). Students must have a current COD admissions application on file with the Admissions & Records Office.

Students who qualify for AB540 and who do not meet FAFSA citizenship requirements can apply for and receive State financial aid including the California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver), Cal Grant, Full Time Student Success Grant, and Completion Grant by completing the California Dream Act Application online beginning October of each year. Be sure to list COD's school code (001182).​

Workshops are available to assist students with completing their FAFSA or Dream Act Application. Please refer to the Financial Aid Office webpage for workshop dates, times, and locations.

After the Financial Aid Office receives FAFSA or Dream Act Application, students may be required to submit additional documents directly to the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid status can be viewed by logging on to the Student Self Service Portal via WebAdvisor on MyCOD Portal. A student's financial aid file will be reviewed to determine eligibility and the student will be notified via MyCOD email. If eligible, the California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver) will be awarded automatically once FAFSA or Dream Act Applications are reviewed.

Financial Aid Programs

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Cal Grant B
  • Cal Grant C
  • Chafee Grant
  • California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver) 
  • Full Time Student Success Grant
  • Completion Grant 
  • Federal Work Study
  • Scholarships
  • Book Authorizations

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to maintain eligibility for most forms of financial aid, a student must be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standard. College of the Desert is required to determine whether a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward his or her educational goal (AA, AS, certificate or transfer). This policy applies to all students whether or not they were previous recipients of financial aid. All students receiving financial aid are required to meet the following standards:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Complete at least 67% of all coursework attempted.
  • Complete educational goal within the maximum time frame (150%) of the published unit requirement.

For more information on College of the Desert’s SAP policy, please visit the Financial Aid Office webpage.  

Minimum Requirements for the California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Waiver)

Once a student is qualified for the California Promise Grant, it is important to ensure that academic and progress standards are met in order to avoid losing it. Any combination of two consecutive terms of cumulative GPA below 2.0 and/or cumulative unit completion of not more than 50% may result in the loss of the California Promise Grant eligibility. For more information, please visit academic and progress standards. 


COD’s scholarship program provides scholarship opportunities to new, current, and transferring students. The COD Foundation Scholarship application is available online at the Financial Aid Office webpage during the fall semester of each academic year. External scholarships are posted on the Financial Aid website under scholarships. 

The College is fortunate to assist in the coordination and delivery of a number of external or private scholarship awards from various civic groups, clubs, and agencies. Potential donors or scholarship committee chairpersons are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office or the COD Foundation Office if assistance is needed in establishing or implementing a private scholarship program. For more information, please call (760) 776-7435.

Repayment of Funds

In accordance with federal regulations, students who receive federal financial aid and withdraw from or receive FW grades in their classes for the semester may be required to repay any unearned grant funds they have received. Students who drop or withdraw from a portion of their classes may have an adjustment made to their subsequent disbursement(s) or may be required to repay a portion or the entire grant. All money received in the form of Pell Grants and/or Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) will be subject to repayment requirements. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the Federal formula. For additional information, please visit Financial Aid webpage and click on Award Information, and click on Drops, Withdrawals, and Repayment of Funds.

All financial aid recipients, including those receiving scholarships should do the following prior to receiving their funds:

  • Check campus email for recent financial aid announcements and updates.
  • Verify financial aid file is complete by viewing the required document status information on the Student Self Service Portal via WebAdvisor.
  • Visit the Financial Aid Office website to view disbursement dates, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), withdrawal policy, Financial Aid Student Handbook, and other pertinent information.