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), loans, 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 in October of each year. Be sure to list COD’s school code (001182). Students must have a current COD admissions application with the Admissions & Records Office.

Beginning in October of each year, students who qualify for AB540 and the CADA can apply for and receive state financial aid, including the California Promise Grant, Cal Grant, and Student Success Completion Grant, by completing the California Dream Act Application online. 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 Financial Aid Student Self Service Portal. The Financial Aid Office will review a student’s financial aid file to determine eligibility and send out communications via MyCOD email. If eligible, the California College Promise Grant 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 
  • Chafee Grant
  • California College Promise Grant (CCPG)
  • Student Success Completion Grant 
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Book Authorizations

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

To maintain eligibility for most forms of financial aid, a student must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standard. College of the Desert is required to determine whether students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their educational goals (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 their educational goal within the maximum time frame (150%) of the published unit requirement.

If a student has attempted less than 12 units at College of the Desert, the student will be required to maintain a 1.5 cumulative GPA and must complete 50% of the courses attempted to maintain SAP. Once the student has attempted 12 or more units, the student will be held to the standard as explained above (67% Pace of Procession and 2.0 GPA).

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

Minimum Requirements for the California College Promise Grant 

Once a student is qualified for the California College Promise Grant, it is essential to ensure that academic and progress standards are met 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 California College Promise Grant eligibility loss. For more information, please visit Grading: Progress Probation under What are the academic standards?. 


COD’s scholarship program provides scholarship opportunities to new, current, and transfer 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 coordinating and delivering many external or private scholarship awards from various civic groups, clubs, and agencies. Potential donors or scholarship committee chairpersons are encouraged to contact 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

Per 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 be required to repay a part of the entire grant. All forms of Federal Grants or Loans monies are 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.