Heald College Admissions and Financial Aid: FAQs

Have questions? We've got answers. Each Heald campus has its own personality and your visit with an admissions advisor will reflect that. Our Admissions FAQs and Financial Aid FAQs below give you a general idea of what you can expect, no matter which campus you visit.

Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect to happen at my meeting with an admissions advisor?

You should expect to meet one-on-one with an admissions advisor for about an hour. During that time, you'll talk about your interests, your education, and your experience. If you're not exactly sure how to articulate your interests, don't worry. You can start your career plan now, and then talk about it in more detail at your meeting.

Once we've talked a little bit about your background and interests, you'll look at our curriculum and go through the programs we offer that fit your goals or interests. After that, you'll tour the campus to get a feel for the place. Before you leave, you'll receive a packet of informational materials to take home and review with family or friends at your convenience.

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Do I need to make an appointment?

It's a good idea so we don't keep you waiting. Just call 1.888.471.4633 or schedule an appointment online. Either way, we'll be happy to help you schedule a meeting that's convenient for you, even on evenings or weekends.

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Should I meet with an advisor alone or should my parents come along?

If you are a recent high school graduate, it would be helpful to have your parents with you when you meet with an admissions advisor. If they are unable to attend the first meeting, you'll receive plenty of materials to share with them later.

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What should I bring to my admissions advisor meeting?

Nothing. The first meeting is purely informational.

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Will I get a campus tour?

Yes. You'll get a tour of our facilities, covering everything from classrooms and computer labs to the Learning Resource Center. You'll be able to see first-hand how our students learn in classes that truly reflect today's workplace.

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What if I'm just browsing for information or I don't know what I want to do?

Our goal is simply to provide you with the information you need to make your decision. Our admissions advisors' objective is not to pressure you into going to Heald. We help you figure out whether or not Heald is the right fit for you. There is no pressure and no obligation.

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Why is visiting the campus better than getting a brochure in the mail?

We'd be happy to send you information about Heald in the mail, but there's no substitute for seeing Heald for yourself. If you come by, you'll get your own sense of the college the moment you set foot on campus.

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What if I'm interested in getting financial aid, but I'm not sure if I qualify?

Your admissions advisor will be glad to help you schedule a meeting with a financial aid advisor. Your advisor will also give you a checklist of background materials to bring to that meeting so that you have all of the information you need to make the financial aid process go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Your financial aid advisor will explain each financial aid option, guide you to those that are appropriate for your financial needs, and help you complete all of the necessary paperwork. It's as easy as that.

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What kind of expenses does financial aid cover?

Financial aid must be used to pay the cost of education, which may include:

  • tuition
  • fees
  • books
  • supplies
  • other education-related expenses (when funds are available)

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What type of financial aid is available for Heald students?

Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and State Cal Grants are funds that are typically awarded based on financial need, and they don't generally have to be repaid. (Grant recipients who withdraw, change their enrollment status, or fail to re-enroll may owe a refund or repayment.)

Heald Scholarships are available to high school seniors. Requirements vary by campus, but are generally based on academic achievement, work experience, and a written essay. For more details, contact an admissions advisor at your local campus.

Federal Work Study is a program that provides both on- and off-campus jobs to students with financial need so that they can earn money to help pay for their education expenses.

Federal Stafford Student Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are loans that must be repaid with interest.

Federal PLUS Loans allow parents to borrow up to the full cost of college less other financial aid received.

Private Lender Alternative Loans are available through a variety of lending institutions and are based on ability to repay rather than financial need. Alternative loans allow students to borrow up to the full cost of tuition less other financial aid received. Although students apply for these loans in their own name, a cosigner is usually required, unless the student can demonstrate an income history that would be sufficient to repay the loan. Because Heald College has partnership agreements with various lenders, alternative loans do not require repayment while the student is in school. Additional information on these loans may be obtained by calling 1.888.471.4633 or by visiting a Heald financial aid office.

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How do I apply for federal financial aid?

Visit the Heald College campus nearest you and one of our financial aid advisors will be happy to help you. They are experts in developing financial aid packages according to government guidelines and regulations.
Financial aid packages are usually a combination of federal and state grants, scholarships, and/or loans. Note that grants and scholarships can be need-based or merit-based, based on the availability of funds.

In order to be considered for any federal or state aid, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You might also have to file separate applications for institutional scholarships. Check with your financial advisor for details.

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Where can I get information about federal student financial aid?

Feel free to stop by the Heald campus nearest you, or call 1.888.471.4633. One of our financial aid advisors will be happy to help you.

You can also call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) and ask for a free copy of The Student Guide: Financial Aid. This toll-free hotline is run by the US Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications.

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Where can I get a copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form?

You can get the FAFSA form from the financial aid office at any Heald campus. All of our financial aid advisors have the ability to process the FAFSA application electronically. You can also find the FAFSA form at your local public library, by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243), or by visiting http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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Can I submit a photocopy of the FAFSA form?

Unfortunately, no. Only the original FAFSA form produced by the US Department of Education is acceptable. Photocopies, reproductions, facsimiles and electronic versions will not be accepted.

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Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. According to federal regulations, students are required to apply for financial aid every year. After all, if your financial circumstances change, you could be eligible for more or less aid.
Each year, the US Department of Education will send you a "Renewal Application" with preprinted information from the previous year. So, if your financial circumstances have not changed, it will be relatively easy to complete.

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I don't think I'll qualify for financial aid. Should I still apply for FAFSA?

Yes. It doesn't cost you anything to apply for FAFSA, and our financial aid office can help you fill out the form. Also, some sources of financial aid, such as unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans, are available regardless of need. So, even if you don't qualify for need-based aid, you could qualify based on merit.

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When should I submit my FAFSA form to the federal government? Will I need to wait until my taxes or my parents' taxes (for dependent students) have been processed to file?

FAFSA forms are accepted any time after the first of each year. So, you'll want to submit your form as soon after January 1 as possible.

While it's better to do your taxes early, you don't have to wait until after you've filed your taxes to apply for FAFSA because you can estimate your income. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later.

Don't wait too long to submit your FAFSA form because you could miss the deadline for state aid. Note that in order to qualify for Cal Grant, the State of California requires all FAFSA forms to be submitted, with a certified GPA verification, by March 1.

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What's the difference between a "dependent" and an "independent" student?

A dependent student is one who is required to use parental information on the FAFSA form. Independent students use only their own financial and personal information.

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My mother and father do not support me and I am no longer living at home; can I apply for financial aid on my own?

In order to be considered an independent student, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 24 years of age before January 1 of the award year for which you are applying
  • Be an orphan or ward of the court
  • Have a child/children for whom you provide more than half their financial support
  • Be a married student
  • Be a veteran of the armed forces
  • Be a graduate student
  • Have a legal dependent other than a spouse or child

If you do not meet one of the above criteria and you want to apply for federal aid, the US Department of Education will require you to supply parental information and signatures.

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My parents are divorced/separated and I am no longer living with either of them. Which parent's tax information will I need to supply?

The parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months should complete the application. If you lived with each parent for an equal amount of time, you will need the parent who provided you with the most financial support during the last year to complete the application.

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I had a guardian until I turned 18. I am now between 18 and 24, and I no longer live with my guardian. Will my guardian still need to fill out the financial aid application?

Yes, if your guardian has been legally appointed by a court to support you with his or her own resources, and that support will continue while you attend Heald College. Otherwise, your guardian is not required to complete the form. Please visit our financial aid office for further information.

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I am planning to attend Heald as a part-time student. Will I qualify for financial aid?

All students using federal funds while attending Heald College must be actively enrolled in a program. Note that there are non-federal financing options available, but in order to qualify for federal financial aid, students must maintain an enrollment status of at least six credits (half-time status) per quarter.

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