Financial Aid Grants & Loans
Grants and loans are made available to students who complete the FAFSA (studentaid.gov).
Grants are issued for students with demonstrated financial need and do not require repayment.
Students and parents can also qualify for a variety of need-based and non-need-based loans, from different sources and with different interest rates and repayment plans.
Westmont College Grants
College grants are awarded to students on the basis of demonstrated financial need through the FAFSA form. The grant is applied each semester directly to the student’s Westmont College account.
CalGrants A and B
Grants are available to California residents based on demonstrated financial need. The amount of this grant noted on your Financial Aid award is tentative until the State of California finalizes its budget and the California Student Aid Commission notifies the student and Westmont College of acceptance to the program. First-time applicants are required to submit grade point average (GPA) verification (typically done by the student’s high school), and the FAFSA, both no later than March 2. Proof of high school graduation, completion of GED or the equivalent is required.
Cal Grant A is for tuition only. Funds are applied directly to the student’s account each semester.
Cal Grant B also has a smaller access grant for very high need students. Only the access grant is available in the freshman year. In the sophomore, junior, and senior years, both the main Cal Grant for tuition and access grant are available to Cal Grant B recipients.
Since both Cal Grant and Westmont Grant funds are awarded on the basis of need, note that receipt of Cal Grant funds will bring an adjustment in Westmont College Grant awards.
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are available to students with exceptional financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. Grants may be used for tuition, fees and any room and board expenses. The grant is applied directly to the student’s Westmont College account each semester.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This grant is based on demonstrated financial need. Priority for these funds is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, on-campus room and board, and are applied each semester directly to the student’s Westmont College account.
Federal TEACH Grant
This grant is available to a student who agrees to teach as a high-qualified teacher in a high-need field at a designated low-income elementary or secondary school for at least 4 years, within 8 years of completing the program for which the TEACH Grant was awarded. Failure to complete the required teaching service results in conversion of the TEACH Grant to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest accruing from the date the grant was awarded. The TEACH Grant Program is not based on financial need, but the student must file a FAFSA and sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) with the Department of Education each academic year.
Because of the stringent service requirement associated with this program, TEACH Grants are not made available to Westmont students prior to the junior year.
Westmont College Interest-Free Loans
This fund was established by a generous gift from a California foundation and by other gifts from alumni, parents and foundations and is awarded to students who are U.S. Citizens whose family income falls under a certain threshold (determined annually for incoming students based on the amount of available funding) and have graduated from a California high school.
Promissory notes and other necessary application items will be sent from Student Financial Services. These documents should be returned to Student Financial Services. Loan funds are applied directly to the student’s Westmont College account each semester.
This loan requires a co-signer (typically a parent).
Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is based on demonstrated financial need. The interest is paid by the federal government while the student is in school at least half-time or more. Repayment of this loan begins after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.
Loan applications are completed online at studentaid.gov. Loan proceeds for each semester are sent directly to the school. Please note that the federal government charges a fee of approximately 1%, which is deducted from each disbursement.
First-time borrowers must participate in entrance loan counseling before the funds can be disbursed. Entrance loan counseling is completed online at studentaid.gov.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to students without regard to financial need, though students must have completed a FAFSA to qualify. Because the loan is not need-based, interest is charged on the loan while the student is in school. Students may choose to and pay the interest due while in school or may opt to defer interest, in which case it is added onto the loan at the start of repayment. All other terms (i.e., interest rate, deferment options, etc.) are the same for both the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans
The Federal Direct PLUS (parent) Loan allows credit-worthy parents to borrow to assist in meeting the educational costs. Parents may borrow the difference between the comprehensive costs of attendance (tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, personal expenses)and all other financial aid the student receives.
The application process for the PLUS loan begins online at studentaid.gov.. Parents should allow up to two weeks for processing the application. Loan proceeds are divided in half, one half for fall and the other half for spring; funds are sent directly to Westmont College. Loan fees of approximately 4.25% are deducted from each disbursement.
Alternative Loans are unsecured education loan products administered by a number of banks and other financial institutions. While there are alternative parent loans, the student is most often the primary borrower; a co-signer is required in most cases. In most cases, repayment on the loan is deferred until the student leaves or graduates from Westmont, but interest will accrue. Because the cost of these loans can vary significantly from lender to lender and are often more expensive than the federal loan programs, including the PLUS Loan, we strongly encourage students and families to consider the federal loan options prior to looking to private/alternative loans.