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Financial Aid Disbursement Process

All financial aid funds are disbursed on scheduled dates each term. As long as you are enrolled in an eligible program and your file is complete, you will receive two disbursements of Federal Grant aid each semester, based on your enrollment level and classes actively in session.  If you are enrolled in a late start class, it will be paid when your attendance begins. Federal grant aid includes Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Federal Direct Loans are also disbursed in two payments based on the approved loan period. Cal Grant and Full-Time Incentive Grant funds will be disbursed at the beginning of the semester.

All disbursed financial aid (grants, federal student loans, and scholarships) will be first applied towards current institutional fees you may owe Cañada College, College of San Mateo or Skyline College such as enrollment fees, health fees and nonresident tuition. For the majority of students, your financial aid award is generally more than the amount owed, and you will be paid the remaining balance, commonly referred to as a financial aid refund.

2015-2016 Disbursement Schedule:

Fund Fall 2015 Spring 2016
Scholarships August 7, 2015 January 14, 2016
Pell Grant and SEOG August 15, 2015
September 11, 2015
January 14, 2016
February 10. 2016
Cal Grant August 14, 2015 January 14, 2016
Direct Loans* - Full Year Loan Period August 14, 2015 January 14, 2016
Direct Loan* - One Semester Loan Period Fall Only Loan:
August 15, 2015
October 16, 2015
Spring Only Loan:
January 14, 2016
March 18, 2016

*Direct Loan Note: All first time borrowers will be subject to a 30-day delay on their first loan disbursement. The 30-day period begins on the first day of the term, not of the loan application or approval date.

Deduction of Fees

Financial Aid (grants, federal student loans, and scholarships) will first be used to reduce current institutional debt you owe to Skyline College, College of San Mateo, or Cañada College, including enrollment fees, health fees, and nonresident tuition. If your financial aid is more than the amount owed, you will be paid the remaining balance.

Options for Receiving Your Financial Aid Payment

During the enrollment process, students can choose one of two preferred methods for receiving financial aid or scholarship funds from the college: (1) having funds transferred via direct deposit (also called ACH Transfer) to their existing checking or savings account, or (2) having funds loaded directly to the SMCCCD Disbursement Prepaid Card .

(1) How to Enroll for SMCCCD Direct Deposit (ACH Transfer)

  1. Go to and click “Enroll Now”
  2. Provide your bank or financial institution account information
    1. Full Name on account
    2. Bank/Institution Name
    3. 9-Digit Routing Number
    4. Account Number
    5. Account Type
  3. Select your disbursement method and agree to terms & conditions
  4. Confirm your ACH Information and submit

It may take up to a week to validate your direct deposit account number. While this process is pending, if you have a financial aid refund, it will be mailed to you in a paper check. 

(2) How to Enroll for the SMCCCD Disbursement Prepaid Card

  1. Go to and click “Enroll Now”
  2. Enter your Skyline College Student ID (G Number), date of birth, and your '' email address.
  3. Select your disbursement method and agree to the terms & conditions.
prepaid card

Benefits of SMCCCD Disbursement Prepaid Card

  • It’s not a credit card, so you can only spend what’s available on the card.
  • Delivers fast and secure access to your financial aid balance or scholarship. You don’t have to worry about losing a check.
  • Access account information anytime and anywhere using the Money Network® Mobile App (available for download at the App Store & Google Play).
  • Withdraw money at no charge when using Allpoint® Network ATMs, America’s largest network of surcharge-free ATMs and download the Money Network® Mobile App.
  • No overdraft, minimum, or monthly fees.
  • As an added service, San Mateo Credit Union will also provide free ATM access for card holders.

To learn more about the SMCCCD Disbursement Prepaid Card features & benefits, please visit

Paper Checks

If you do not choose one of the two funding options, your funds will be sent to you by paper check.  Paper checks may take up to an additional 7 to 10 days after your financial aid funds are disbursed. All checks are mailed to the student and will be sent to your address in WebSMART.

Please note that if you have more than one address type, the Mailing Address has priority and will be used instead of the Legal Address. It is your responsibility to ensure your address information is correct at all times.

Paper checks are not only the slowest method for you to receive your funds but also the least secure due to the risk of loss, theft and fraud. Sign up to receive your funds electronically.


Additional Information About Disbursement

The Financial Aid Offices at College of San Mateo, Cañada College, and Skyline College provide students with electronic financial aid disbursement services through Money Network® under a multi-year contract negotiated between the San Mateo County Community College District and Blackboard. The contract   and addendum   are available for public inspection.