Financial Aid Resources & FAQs

Financial Aid Toolbox

Information to help you take charge of your future! 

Getting ready for college or a career school can be easier than you think. Start by defining your goals and interests, understanding college costs, and planning financially and academically. Take a look at the Federal Student Aid website for more information. 

Financial literacy is understanding how to manage personal finances and money. Knowing how it works and how to budget and borrow can help students make better financial decisions. 

The following articles provide easy-to-understand information on financial wellness. Use the information to create budgets, plan expenses while in college, and control costs. 

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A budget is a guide that keeps you on the path to reaching your financial goals. Budgeting controls your finances, shows when you need to adjust your spending, and helps you decide where your money goes instead of wondering where it all went. 

Creating a budget may sound complicated, but all you need to do to get started is set aside time and get organized - the benefits will make the effort worthwhile. The following steps will help you set up your budget and manage your finances by helping you track your income and expenses. 

  1. Determine a time span for your budget
  2. Choose a tool to help you manage your budget
  3. Review your monthly income
  4. Identify and categorize your expenses
  5. Save for emergencies
  6. Balance your budget
  7. Maintain and update your budget

For additional information, please take a look at the following links: 

Most students use federal loans to help finance their studies, and some may turn to private loans. Taking out a loan is an important financial decision that can affect a student for years to come. It is critical for students to understand their loan options and associated responsibilities in order to make good borrowing decisions. 

For additional information, please take a look at the following links: 

Although you may select or be assigned a repayment plan when you first begin repaying your student loan, you can change repayment plans at any time - for free. 

Contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. You can get information about all of the federal student loans you have received and find the loan servicer for your loans by logging in to My Federal Student Aid.

A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers in the U.S. who enter repayment on certain loans during a federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) and default prior to the end of the next one to two fiscal years. The United States Department of Education (ED) releases official cohort default rates once per year.

Important Note: Some schools have a small number of borrowers entering repayment. Other schools have only a small portion of the student body taking out student loans. In such cases, the cohort default rate should be interpreted cautiously, as these rates may not reflect the entire school population.

2019 Official CDR              

2019 National Average Official CDR               



Our most current Cohort Default Rate: 3.3% for FY2019

Historic Perspective:

FY2018 – 12.7%

FY2017 – 14.1%

FY2016 – 15.9%

FY2015 - 18.4%

FY2014 – 20.5%

FY2013 – 20.6%

FY2012 – 22.6%

FY2011 – 22.7%

The national cohort default rate (CDR) for federal student loans that entered repayment in fiscal year (FY) 2019 dropped significantly, falling to 2.3% from 7.3% for loans that entered repayment in FY 2018, according to data released by the Department of Education (ED) Monday, 10/5/22.

Our basic eligibility requirements are that you must:

  • Demonstrating financial need (for most programs)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in college and career school
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that: 
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant, and 
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes and
    • Show you're qualified to obtain a college or career school education by:
      • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. 
      • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or- if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential - completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or 
      • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the "ability-to-benefit" alternatives.

The U.S. Department of Education has rules for financial aid eligibility. For Financial Aid funding purposes, courses must be required for graduation and be part of the student's academic program to receive financial aid. 

Students cannot be funded for courses that are not part of their program evaluation just to increase the amount of financial aid. The college's computer system interacts with the program evaluation regarding what courses are required and will base the amount of financial aid only on those courses. A student may be enrolled in nine credit hours, but if a three-credit hour course is not required for the declared program, the computer will calculate aid on six credit hours only.

Changes of major, catalog year changes, and course requirement substitutions must be made by Friday of the first week of the semester to be recognized for financial aid purposes for the current semester. 

It is the student's responsibility to know what courses are required for the declared academic program. To view your declared program and required classes, students can look at their degree audit on Self-Service. 

If you have any questions as to what classes are required for your major, it is imperative that you consult with your academic advisor, a success coach in the Student Achievement Center, or your core advisor. 

General Financial Aid FAQs

Grants and Scholarship amounts in excess of tuition and book charges must be reported as income on your tax return. SJC Business Office will send you a 1098T form at the end of the year reflecting this information. Loans are not required to be reported. Work-study earnings should be reported on your income taxes if you are required to file. Visit with a Tax consultant for any additional questions you may have.

Yes. Federal regulations require that students adhere to satisfactory academic progress standards in pursuing their degree or certificate. For detailed information on San Juan College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, please check Student Academic Progress (SAP).

Yes! It is extremely important that you notify our office as soon as possible if you receive funding from any source other than our office. We must take into consideration all sources of assistance you receive. Examples include, but are not limited to, WIA (Workforce Investment Act), VA (Veterans benefits) tuition waivers, scholarships, AmeriCorps grants, etc. These types of assistance affect your eligibility for financial aid. Unreported aid could result in an over-award, which you must repay.


Native American Scholarship FAQs

You will complete the scholarship application and submit it to the respective tribal scholarship office or organization. The Financial Aid Office will only complete the Financial Need Analysis forms.

You may be required to pay back some of the financial aid you received. San Juan College will notify you – by mail – of the amount you must repay. View information about Student Withdrawal Return of Title IV Funds. If you received a loan, an Exit Counseling must also be completed.

Scholarship funds are credited to student accounts after they have been received.

The Financial Aid Office handles Native American scholarships.

Your financial need has been met, and a portion of your entire award was returned.

Loan FAQs

If you are in default with federal direct loans, you are no longer eligible for federal student aid. You must first resolve the default in order to be considered eligible again. If you are in default, please contact the Default Resolution Group or 1-800-621-3115 for options.

Yes! The Master Promissory Note or MPN is the binding legal document you sign when you apply for a student loan. It lists the conditions under which you are borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. It includes information on how interest is calculated and what the deferment and cancellation provisions are. It is very important to read and save this document because you will need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan. To open the site, you should electronically complete and sign your MPN using your FSA ID. NOTE: It is important that you read through everything on the MPN site, click on all URLs and boxes, scroll completely to the bottom of pop-up document windows, and click on the blue bars in order to successfully complete the MPN.

San Juan College participates in the Direct Loan Program. This program includes Stafford subsidized, Stafford unsubsidized, and PLUS loans. Subsidized means the government pays the interest while you’re enrolled at least half-time and for up to 6 months after you are no longer enrolled at least half-time. Unsubsidized means you are responsible for the interest, effective the date the loan credits to your San Juan College account.

PLUS loans are parent loans. Parents are responsible for the interest on PLUS loans. They are not subsidized. Nursing student loans are federal loans awarded to students enrolled in the College of Nursing.

When you complete your FAFSA, check that you are interested in loans to question 31 on the FAFSA. However, even if you do not check that you are interested, you may still request a loan when you need it.

Please see our student loans webpage for detailed steps on applying for a loan.

You will need to complete the following five steps:

  1. Review your current loan history on the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).
  2. Read information on the website about student loans.
  3. Complete the online Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Session.
  4. Complete the online Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
  5. Complete and submit a Loan Request Form to the SJC Financial Aid Office.

Once our office has received ALL your Financial Aid Application forms, the processing & awarding of your requested loan will begin.

During entrance counseling, the borrower is reminded of the seriousness of taking out a loan, the terms and conditions, the repayment obligations, and the consequences of defaulting on a loan. All borrowers of a Federal Stafford Loan must complete entrance counseling before they’re given their first disbursement of the loan. Entrance counseling needs to be completed online at the Direct Loan website.

When a loan borrower graduates, withdraws or drops below half-time status, he/she must complete Exit Counseling. During exit counseling, the repayment terms and conditions of the loan repayment are reviewed, along with debt management strategies. Exit counseling needs to be completed online at the Direct Loan website.

NM Legislative Lottery Scholarship FAQs

No, the eligibility for this scholarship is determined by college GPA. 

The amount of tuition covered by the scholarship will vary by institution. Please contact the institution that you plan to attend to find out what amount of tuition will be covered by this scholarship. 

Yes, you may be eligible for other financial aid programs. The Financial Aid Division encourages all students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

No, the Lottery Scholarship applies only to tuition costs. 

To establish eligibility for the scholarship, students must enter college within sixteen months after graduating from high school or completing a high school equivalency credential. 

Students who enter the military within four months of high school completion may establish eligibility within sixteen months of completion of honorable service or medical discharge. 

No, the scholarship may only be received at a public post-secondary educational institution within New Mexico. 

Yes, to establish eligibility for the Legislative Lottery Scholarship first attendance must be at a qualifying New Mexico public post-secondary educational institution. 

Phone: (505) 566-3323

Educational Services Building
Room 4136

M-F 8 a.m - 5 p.m