Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

San Diego Promise Program - Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for frequently asked questions.  For additional information on the San Diego Promise Program, please contact our Outreach offices:

City College First Year Services (FYS) Mesa College Outreach Miramar College Outreach
619-800-3464 619-800-2246  - or -  619-800-2632 619-388-7357 (may leave a voicemail)
sdpromisecity@sdccd.edu  sdpromisemesa@sdccd.edu 

sdpromisemiramar@sdccd.edu 

Prospective Promise Students

 Q1. Is the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) the same as the San Diego Promise program?

No, the California College Promise Grant is the new name for the enrollment fee waiver (formerly called BOGW).  Eligible students must be attending a California community college, be a California resident or AB 540 eligible, and be income-driven (must have financial need).

While the San Diego Promise is a two-year comprehensive student support program supported by state funds (i.e. California College Promise programs) and donations. Eligible students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Must be a Class of 2020 high school graduate (H.S. Diploma or GED) or identify with one or more of the special populations below: 
    • Foster youth student or have been in the foster care system
    • Veteran of the US armed forces
    • Formerly incarcerated student 
    • Undocumented student
  • Must be a California resident or AB 540 eligible
  • Must complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA or Dream Act application
  • Must enroll in a minimum of 12 units each semester (Does not apply to DSPS students with eligible academic accommodation)

Q2. I applied for the Promise program, how will I know if my application was received?

Students that successfully submitted a Promise application will receive a copy of their responses to the email address indicated on their application. If you did not receive a confirmation email or are unsure if your application was submitted successfully, please email the District Outreach staff at sdccdoutreach@sdccd.edu


Q3. When will I be notified if I have been accepted to the San Diego Promise program? 

Students who meet all program requirements and have successfully completed the application steps by the priority deadline of June 11th will be accepted to the San Diego Promise program.  Eligible students that complete the application steps after June 11th will be accepted on a space available basis.

Students who have been accepted into the San Diego Promise program will receive an email invitation to electronically sign a Promise contract starting April 2020.  To secure your space in the program, must sign and submit your Promise contract.

Students that submitted an application recently, please allow 2-3 weeks for your application to be reviewed.


Q4. What is the status of my Promise application?

Once you have submitted your Promise application and received a confirmation email, we will begin to review your application. Please allow 2-3 weeks after submitting your application to receive a status update. If you have questions regarding the status of your application, please contact the District Outreach staff at sdccdoutreach@sdccd.edu.


Q5. What does a first-time college student mean to qualify for the San Diego Promise program?

A first-time college student is anyone who has never attended a higher education institution as a college student and who will be attending San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar College for the first-time. Students who have earned college units while in high school are considered to be first-time college students and are eligible for the Promise Program.


Q6. How do I know if I am a California Resident?

The admissions application to San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar College via CCCApply includes residency questions to determine a preliminary residency based on your responses to the questions.

The Promise staff will notify you via email if you are classified as a non-resident.


Q7. What is AB 540?

Any student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident enrollment and health fees at the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California (all public colleges and universities in California) if all of the following requirements have been met and an AB540 Affidavit is submitted:

  • Attended for three (3) full-time years or the equivalent at any combination of the following:
    • Attend a California high school for three (3) years or more
    • Attend (3) or more years of high school coursework, and attend a combination of California elementary, secondary, and high school of three (3) years or more
    • Attend a combination of California high school, adult school, and community college for the equivalent of three (3) years or more
  • Graduated or obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma (or attainment of the equivalent, i.e. California-issued GED, CHSPE) or community college degree, or completed the requirements for transfer to a UC or CSU
  • Submitted an AB 540 affidavit, also known as a Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form, to the college that you plan to attend. On this affidavit, you must state that you meet all the requirements and that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status – or that you will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.

For questions regarding AB 540, please contact the Admissions and Records office: 

City College: Email CityAdmissions@sdccd.edu please include your legal name and student ID and an admissions staff will reply as soon as possible. 

Mesa College: Email SDMesaAdmissions@sdccd.edu please include your legal name and student ID and an admissions staff will reply as soon as possible. 

Miramar College: Email miraadm@sdccd.edu please include your legal name and student ID and an admissions staff will reply as soon as possible.


Q8. I received an email that my application was incomplete, who should I notify once I have completed my application?

Students that did not complete one or more of the application steps will receive an email notifying them that their application is incomplete.  The notification email will contain information on the incomplete step(s) and how to resolve the pending step(s).

Please do not submit a new application.  To resume the application process, please send the requested information as soon as possible to the District Outreach  Promise staff: sdccdoutreach@sdccd.edu 


Q9. I received an email notifying me that I am not eligible for the San Diego Promise program, who should I contact if I have questions regarding my eligibility?

Students that do not meet the following program requirement are not eligible for the San Diego Promise program:

  • Must be Class of 2020 High School graduate or identify with one or more of the special populations below:
    • Foster youth student or have been in the foster care system
    • Veteran of the US armed forces
    • Formerly incarcerated student
    • Undocumented student

Students will be notified via email if they do not meet the requirements.  If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the District Outreach staff at sdccdoutreach@sdccd.edu


Q10. When will I be awarded the San Diego Promise program?

 

Students will be notified via their financial aid award letter. Information on students' financial aid package will be made available via their mySDCCD account. 

We encourage students to check their mySDCCD portal periodically for updates on their financial aid status. For assistance on how to create your mySDCCD portal, please watch the “How to create your mySDCCD Account” tutorial.


Q11. How will my enrollment and health fees for Fall 2020 be paid? 

Students that sign a Promise contract by June 11, 2020 will have their enrollment and health fees automatically waived by the San Diego Promise program. No direct cash disbursements will occur for the purpose of paying enrollment and health fees. 

Students that sign their Promise contract after June 11, 2020 will be responsible for paying for their enrollment and health fees out of pocket and will be reimbursed shortly after submitting a Promise contract.


Q12. Can students get their enrollment and health fees waived if they take more than 12 units?

Yes! Twelve units is the minimum required units per semester, but the San Diego Promise program will cover enrollment and health fees for classes taken above that minimum.


Q13. When can I register for classes?

Students will be given a registration date and time which can be viewed in the “My Classes” section of their mySDCCD student portal.  Students can register on or after their scheduled registration date and time.

Students are encouraged to watch the “How to Register for Classes” Tutorial before registering for classes.


Q14. What happens if I drop below or do not complete the required 12 units?

Completion of at least 12 units in the fall or spring semester is a requirement for the San Diego Promise program.  Enrollment and health fees will be waived for each semester the eligible student is enrolled full time, for a minimum of 12 units.  Students who do not maintain a full-time status (minimum 12 units) may become ineligible for the program in future semesters. 

Note: Does not apply to DSPS students with eligible accommodations.


Q15. Does the San Diego Promise program cover Summer 2020 enrollment and health fees? 

To be eligible for an enrollment and health fee waiver students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units during the Summer 2020.


Q16. What if I am graduating from high school early during my senior year and register for classes at San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar College in the spring 2020; will I still be eligible to apply for Promise in the incoming fall?

Yes, early high school graduates are eligible to begin in the Promise program starting in Spring 2020 or Fall 2020.  Please contact the Promise Coordinator at your campus for more information.

City College First Year Services (FYS) Mesa College Outreach Miramar College Outreach
sdpromisecity@sdccd.edu  sdpromisemesa@sdccd.edu  sdpromisemiramar@sdccd.edu 

Q17. What is the deadline to apply to the San Diego Promise program?

 The priority deadline for Fall 2020 is June 11th.  We will continue to accept applications through August 24th on a space available basis


Q18. Can Dreamers qualify for the San Diego Promise Program?

Yes, students who are eligible to file a California Dream Act application and meet the eligibility criteria for an AB540 waiver can apply for the San Diego Promise Program.


Q19. Why is it important to maintain an active email address on file and check it regularly?

All communication and notifications will be sent to the students email address.  Students are encouraged to an active email address on file that is checked regularly.

Students can update their contact information via their mySDCCD student portal.


Q20. What financial resources are available to students apart from the Promise program?

Financial aid resources include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Cal Grant A (San Diego Mesa College only)
  • Cal Grant B
  • Cal Grant C
  • California Community College Completion Grant (new)
  • Full-Time Student Success Grant (FTSSG)
  • Chafee Grant Program (for former foster youth)
  • Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS)
  • Federal Direct Loan Program
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • California College Promise Grant (CCPG)
  • Scholarships
  • OSHER Scholarships

For additional information on financial aid resources, please visit the campus financial aid website:


Q21. How long is the San Diego Promise Program?

The San Diego Promise Program is a two-year completion program. 


Q22. How Do I complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

Complete the Free Application or Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov


Q23. How Do I complete the California Dream Act Application?

If you are not eligible to submit a FAFSA due to your citizenship status, but meet the AB540 residency standards, please complete the California Dream Act Application.  This application will determine your eligibility for the California College Promise Grant (CCPG and Cal Grant) https://dream.csac.ca.gov/


Q24. Can I take classes at the other sister colleges (City, Mesa, or Miramar College) even though I do not receive my Promise benefits from them?

Yes, students can take classes at more than one campus (City, Mesa, or Miramar College).  Students will receive the program benefits at their primary campus of record.


Q25. I received an email from the financial aid office stating that I do not qualify for Financial Aid (Pell Grant). Does this mean that I am not eligible to apply to the San Diego Promise program?

No, you still may be eligible for the San Diego Promise program.  To find out if you are eligible for the San Diego Promise program, please complete the Promise application and all of the Promise application steps.


Q26. Am I still eligible for the San Diego Promise program, if I took college classes prior to graduating from high school?

Yes, students that completed college courses (CCAP, dual enrollment, advanced education, etc.) taken prior to high school graduation are considered ‘pre-college' and do not prevent you from being eligible for the San Diego Promise program. 


Current Promise Students

Q1. If I have questions about my status in the Promise program, who should I contact?

 If you have a question about your status in the Promise program, please contact the Promise staff at your campus:

 City College First Year Services (FYS) Mesa College Outreach Miramar College Outreach 
619-800-3464 619-800-2246  or  619-800-2632 619-388-7357 (may leave a voicemail)
sdpromisecity@sdccd.edu  sdpromisemesa@sdccd.edu  sdpromisemiramar@sdccd.edu 

Q2. Can Promise students participate in other programs such as EOPS, CalWorks, TRIO, STEM, and etc.?


Yes, we encourage students to participate in other student support programs.


Q3. How do students maintain their eligibility for the San Diego Promise program?

Students can maintain their eligibility in the Promise program but completing the following:

  • Enroll in a minimum of 12 units per semester
  • Meet with a Counselor to establish a comprehensive educational plan
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA while attending City, Mesa, or Miramar College
  • Complete a FAFSA or California Dream Act application each year
  •  Adhering to the Promise Contract

Q4. How many years does the San Diego Promise program cover?

Assuming the student retains program eligibility, an eligible student may receive a Promise award for their first and second consecutive year of enrollment.


Q5. I did not successfully complete 12 units in the fall semester, will this impact my Promise eligibility?

In order to remain eligible for the Promise benefits, students must maintain full-time enrollment.  Students with extenuating circumstances will have an opportunity to submit an appeal should they drop below 12 units.  If you believe you will fall below the unit requirement, please contact your Promise Coordinator.


Q6. My GPA fell below the 2.0 GPA requirement after the fall semester, will this impact my Promise eligibility?

In order to remain eligible for the Promise benefits, students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.  Students with extenuating circumstances who drop below a 2.0 cumulative GPA and wish to remain in the San Diego Promise program will have an opportunity to submit an appeal.  If you believe you will fall below the unit requirement, please contact your Promise Coordinator.


Q7. I am planning on taking classes during winter intersession classes, will these classes count towards the 24-unit requirement?  

Yes! Classes completed during winter intersession will count towards the 24-unit requirement.


Q8. Does the San Diego Promise program cover my enrollment and health fees for a second year?

According to Assembly Bill 19 and Assembly Bill 2, students must maintain eligibility requirements throughout their first-year in order to be considered for second-year funding.  Updated financial aid files for the second year, good academic standing, and program requirements must be maintained in order to receive second-year funding.  Only those students admitted to the Promise Program for their first year are eligible for consideration for second-year funding.


Q9. Do I have to apply for a second year in the Promise program?

No!  Students do not have to apply for a second year in the Promise program.  At the end of the first year, we will determine if students successfully completed the program requirements (units completed/GPA).  Students that will be continuing in the program for a second year will be notified via email.


Q10. When will I know if I am eligible for a second year in the Promise program?

Students that will be continuing in the program for a second year will be notified via email 4 to 6 weeks after the end of their first-year.


Q11. Can I use my Promise book grant to purchase an outside campus bookstore?

No, the Promise book grant account is set up at your campus of record bookstore.  Students who have been confirmed to participate in the Promise program will receive a notification prior to the start of the fall semester as to when they can access their Promise textbook funds.


Q12. Can I access my Promise book grant anytime in the semester?

Students will receive an email notification informing them that their textbook account is set-up in the campus bookstore, which will remain open during the semester.


Q13. What can I purchase with my Promise book grant?

Students are able to use their book grant to purchase books and supplies for their classes, including late-start classes as well as requesting textbook refunds.


Q14. I received a Promise book grant during my first year as a Promise student, will I be eligible for the book grant in my second year?

No, book grants are not automatically awarded for a second year. Book grants are awarded based on students' financial aid need.


Q15. Can I take classes at the other sister colleges (City, Mesa, or Miramar College) even though I do not receive my Promise benefits from them?

Yes, students can take classes at more than one campus (City, Mesa, or Miramar College).  Students will receive the program benefits at their primary campus of record.


Q16. I changed my major and will need to change campuses, how can I change my campus of record?

If you need to update your campus of record, please contact the Promise Coordinator at your campus.


Q17. I just completed my first year in the Promise program and would like to take classes during the summer, will the Promise program cover enrollment and health fees?

No, the San Diego Promise program only covers enrollment and health fees for the fall and spring semester during the regular academic school year.


Q18. Can students get their enrollment and health fees waived if they take more than 12 units?

Yes!  Twelve units is the minimum required units per semester, but the San Diego Promise program will cover enrollment and health fees for classes taken above that minimum.


Q19. Does the program cover other fees such as parking permit and class material fees?

No, only mandatory fees are covered, which include the registration, health service, student representation, class pass and student services fees.


Q20. What if I am not able to take a full-time course load because of a disability?

 Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for a reduced course-load (i.e., enroll in less than 12 units).  Please contact the Promise Coordinator at your campus for more information.


 

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