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Getting Started



FAFSA – Easy as 1-2-3!

Before Starting the FAFSA: Create an FSA ID

An FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use.

To create an FSA ID CLICK HERE.

Need help creating an FSA ID?

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid):

You’ve probably heard of the FAFSA, but do you know what it is and just how important it can be for you and your family? Filling out the FAFSA is one of the first steps in the financial aid process, and determines the amount that you or your family will be contributing to your post-secondary education. The results of the FAFSA determine student grants, work-study, and loan amounts. We recommend that everyone fills out the FAFSA; it only takes about an hour to complete, and you may be surprised with the results.

Click here to start your FAFSA now.


Financial Aid Terms You Should Know

Award letter: Your award letter basically outlines your financial aid package and will be posted on Click here for instructions on how to get your award letter.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is the measure of your family’s financial strength, and how much of your college costs it should plan to cover. This is calculated based on a specific formula, which considers taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits, as well as the size of your family and the number of family members attending college during the year. Your expected family contribution is calculated based on your FAFSA results. Click here for the EFC Formula.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): You’ve probably heard of the FAFSA, but do you know what it is and just how important it can be for you and your family? Filling out the FAFSA is one of the first steps in the financial aid process, and determines the amount that you or your family will be contributing to your post-secondary education. The results of the FAFSA determine student grants, work-study, and loan amounts. We recommend that everyone fills out the FAFSA; it only takes about an hour to complete, and you may be surprised with the results. Click here to start your FAFSA now.

Federal Student Aid: The largest form of student aid in the country, federal aid programs come in the form of government grants, loans, and work-study assistance and are available to students at eligible post-secondary institutions (colleges, vocational schools, and graduate schools). Click here to learn more about federal student aid.

Financial Need: This is the amount of a student’s total cost of attendance that is not covered by the expected family contribution or outside grants and scholarships. A student must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for need-based financial assistance programs. For more information on financial needs click here.

Grants: Did someone say free money? Unlike loans, grants­­­­—which can come from the state or federal government, from the college itself, or from private sources—provide money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back. Many grants determine eligibility by looking at your FAFSA results. For more information on grants click here.

Loans: If scholarships and grants don’t cover the entire cost of your tuition, you may have to take out a student loan to make up the difference. Some federal student loans don’t have to be paid while you are in college, and there are also a variety of loan forgiveness programs out there post-graduation. NOTE: you are responsible for repaying your student loans even if you file for bankruptcy. For more information on student loans please attend one of DACC’s In-Person Entrance Counseling Sessions Click here to sign up.

Room and Board: Everyone needs to sleep and eat. If you plan to do it on campus, those fees are part of your total cost of attendance. For more information about room and board options at NMSU/DACC click here.

Scholarships: There really isn’t much difference between a scholarship and a grant, though the general consensus is that scholarships are primarily awarded for academic merit (good grades) or for something you have accomplished (volunteer work or a specific project); however, there are many need-based scholarships out there. Similar to grants, scholarships don’t have to be repaid. For more information on scholarships click here.

Tuition: College tuition is the “sticker price” of your education, and does not include room and board, textbooks, or other fees. Colleges often calculate tuition based on the cost of one credit, or “unit.” For example, a college may charge $350 per credit for an undergraduate class. Many times colleges will simplify this by providing a flat fee for tuition; you’re often required to take a minimum amount of credits and cannot exceed a maximum amount of credits. “True cost” is a little misleading, since there are other costs on top of tuition. For more information about Tuition and Fees click here.

Tuition reimbursement: Tuition reimbursement, also sometimes called “tuition assistance,” is increasing in popularity. Some employers will refund you the cost of your tuition if you’re studying in a work-related area. Tuition reimbursement can cover as little as one or two courses or can cover up to the entire cost of your education. For more information about Tuition Reimbursement click here.

Workstudy/Work award: The Federal Work-Study program provides funds to eligible students (see FAFSA above) for part-time employment to help finance the costs of post-secondary education. In most cases, the school or employer has to pay up to 50 percent of the student’s wages, with the federal government covering the rest. You could be employed by the college itself; or by a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization, or a private for-profit organization. For more information on DACC work-study opportunities click here.

Federal Student Aid Glossary

Click here for the Federal Student Aid Glossary provided by the Department of Education

U.S. News by Scholarship America

12 College Financial Aid Terms Defined

Admission Requirements

Non-degree students are not eligible for grants, work-study, and/or loans.

Provisional students are not eligible for grants but are eligible for Stafford Loans for up to one academic year. Provisional admission status must change to Regular status for aid eligibility beyond the first year.

Regular admission status indicates eligibility for all financial aid programs assuming other eligibility criteria are met.*

* Transfer students, returning students, and students seeking a second degree must possess an academic history that meets GPA and Credit Progression Requirements. For these students, admission to Doña Ana Community College under Regular status does not guarantee financial aid eligibility. Students with a bachelor's or master's degree are not eligible for grants but may be eligible for work-study and/or loans.

To apply for admission to Doña Ana Community College, click here.

Enrollment Requirements

Your financial aid disbursement (funds paid to the school or you) is affected by the following: Hours Enrolled and Summer Sessions

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

Hours Enrolled

Your financial aid award letter assumes full-time enrollment. If you do not enroll full-time, most grant awards are adjusted accordingly. For example:

  • Full-time status (12 or more graded credits) equals the full grant offer.
  • Three-quarter status (9-11 graded credits) equals 3/4 or 75% of the grant offer.
  • Half-time status (6-8 graded credits) equals ½ or 50% of the grant offer.
  • Less than half-time status (5 or fewer graded credits) equals a prorated amount of the grant offer and disbursement is delayed approximately 30 days.

Work-study and loan awards require at least half-time(6 credit hours) enrollment. These award amounts are not reduced based on hours enrolled.

  • If a class is repeatable for a maximum number of hours because the content changes even though the course code does not (i.e. Coll 155), financial aid pays up to the allowed credit limit. Notify our office if your disbursement does not accurately reflect enrollment in these classes.

Summer Sessions

Grants, loans, and/or work-study are sometimes available in the summer depending on the prior year’s enrollment and aid received. Visit our office for details.

Contact Us


*IMPORTANT: Please remember to include your 9 digit Aggie ID (ex. 800-XXX-XXX) in all correspondence, including postal mail, faxes, e-mails, telephone calls and messages.


East Mesa Campus – Las Cruces, NM 88011

2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd. DASR Rm. 109

Phone: 575-528-7000 | Fax: 575-528-7474

Toll free: 800-903-7503


Set an appointment through Navigate 


 Additional Information & Resources


Important Dates For Students

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Federal Student Aid

2022 FAFSA Workshops



The DACC Financial Aid Office hosts free workshops to help students and families complete FAFSA applications. The best time to complete your FAFSA application is between October 1st and March 1st. If you would like help completing the application, or you just have questions, join us for one of our workshops. Bring your information (see below) and we will help you complete and submit your FAFSA application.


East Mesa Campus 

2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd, Las Cruces, NM 88011

Academic Resources Bldg. (DAAR) – Library Classroom 203G

  • Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 @ 9 am to 10 am
  • Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022 @ 9 am to 10 am
  • Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 @ 9 am to 10 am
  • Tuesday, April 5th, 2022 @ 9 am to 10 am
  • Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 @ 9 am to 10 am


Espina Campus 

3400 S. Espina St, Las Cruces, NM 88003

Academic Readiness Center (ARC), DAMA Room 116E

  • Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 @ 3 pm to 4 pm
  • Thursday, March 3rd, 2022 @ 3 pm to 4 pm
  • Thursday, April 21st, 2022 @ 3pm to 4pm
  • Thursday, May 5th, 2022 @ 3 pm to 4 pm
  • Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 @ 3 pm to 4 pm


Gadsden Center 

1700 Ohara Rd, Anthony, NM 88021

DAGA Room 136, located in Roadrunner Hall



What to bring: 

  • Please set up your FSA ID for a quicker process BEFORE attending a workshop by visiting here.
  • Student and/or parent (if applicable) 2020/2019 Federal Tax Returns/Transcripts as well as all W-2 forms
  • 2020/2019 Untaxed Income tax records
  • Social Security card – It is important that you enter your Social Security Number correctly!
  • If married, your spouse’s 2020/2019 Federal Tax Return
  • Foreign Tax Return, or Tax Return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Your alien registration or permanent resident card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Please arrive on time – students who arrive at closing time will need to attend a future session.

If you have any questions please call 575-528-7000

*Students with disabilities may contact our office for individual assistance.