Irvine Valley Promise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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General Information

What is the Irvine Valley Promise?
Irvine Valley Promise provides two years of free tuition (enrollment fees) for eligible first-time, full-time IVC students. Along with 2 years of tuition coverage, Irvine Valley Promise provides bookstore vouchers, designated counseling services, and other academic/career resources for Promise students to help them be successful.

How do I apply?
There is no application for the Irvine Valley Promise program. Students who complete the eligibility steps by the published deadline(s) will be notified if they are eligible via their student IVC email account. Students can also contact to inquire about their eligibility for the Promise Program.

When is the deadline to be considered for Fall 2021?
Incoming first year students must complete all eligibility steps by April 17, 2021.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the program?
Eligible students will receive email communication about the program via their IVC student email address. Please visit the Eligibility webpage for more information. Students can also contact to inquire about their eligibility for the Promise program.

When will I know if I have been accepted into the Promise program?
Students are notified by email when they are conditionally accepted into the program beginning in March. Official acceptance into the program is sent in June, after students have successfully enrolled in 12 units of Fall course work.

What does “conditional acceptance” mean?
Conditional acceptance means students are guaranteed the benefits of the Promise program as long as they register for at least 12 units before the registration deadline. Failure to register in at least 12 units by the deadline will result in revocation of acceptance to the program.

I missed the deadline. Can I still participate in the Promise program for Fall 2021?
Unfortunately, no. We have reached maximum capacity and are no longer able to accept new students for the 2021-22 school year. We highly encourage students to explore other financial aid options through our Financial Aid Office.

Is there a GPA requirement for the program?
There is no GPA requirement for incoming new students; however, continuing students will need to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to maintain eligibility.

Are high school transcripts required?
A high school transcript is an essential component for proper placement in courses and is highly encouraged. Students who completed high school 10 or more years ago, or students who are unable to access their high school transcript, can complete the math and English surveys for placement into transfer level math and English courses.

How is the Irvine Valley Promise funded?
The Irvine Valley Promise program is supported by the College’s Assembly Bill 19 (AB 19) and Assembly Bill 2 (AB 2) allocation that provides categorical funding to cover the fees of eligible first-time students as described in the respective bills.

Can I apply to the program as a second year student?
No. We highly encourage second year students to explore other financial aid options through our Financial Aid Office.

If I am a high school senior and want to take summer classes, am I still considered a first-time freshman in the Fall at IVC?
Yes, you would still be considered a first-time freshman in the Fall.

What if I have taken college courses while in high school, am I still considered a first-time freshman in the Fall?
Yes, you would still be considered a first-time freshman.

What if I earned a certificate or almost attained an associates degree while I was in high school; am I still considered a first-time student?
Yes! Even if you had advanced standing (college credits or earned a post-secondary formal award) before graduating from high school, you are still considered a first-time student.

I am receiving emails about my residency status. Will this affect my admissions to the program?
Yes. Promise students must be a CA resident or AB-540 eligible. If you are encountering residency issues please call Admissions and Records at 949-451-5220.

Can I take classes at a different community college to maintain my 12 units?
Students can only take additional classes at Saddleback College which is a part of the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD). However, the majority of classes must be taken at IVC.

How many students does the Promise Program accept?
Funding is limited for the IVC Promise program and so we highly encourage students to complete all initial eligibility requirements by the deadline. The 2021-22 cohort was our largest ever with 500 students!

Can a student in Irvine Valley Promise take courses at Saddleback College?
Yes, however students are required to maintain IVC as their College of Record and be enrolled in more than 50% of their units at IVC in order to stay eligible for the IVC Promise Program. Students should schedule an appointment with an IVC Promise Counselor if they are having difficulty finding course offerings at IVC. Students must keep Irvine Valley College as their College of Record in order to stay in the Promise program.

Can I take less than 12 units and be in the program?
The majority of Promise students are required to take 12 units. However, DSPS students with an approved reduced course load letter are exempt from the 12 unit requirement and can submit a copy of their accommodation letter to Make sure to include your student ID number. For more information about DSPS services please visit the DSPS website. 

How can I appeal if I was dropped from the Promise Program?
There are two types of appeals for the program, a progress appeal and an emergency appeal. Please visit Appeals Process for more information.

Who do I speak to if I have other questions?
For more information regarding Irvine Valley Promise, please email



When is the deadline to register for Fall 2021 semester classes? (requires update each year)
All conditionally accepted students must register for classes by May 31, 2021. Failure to do so will void conditional acceptance to the program. Current Promise students should refer to the Promise Canvas module for their registration deadlines.

When can I register for classes?
Students can check their registration appointment on their MySite student account. Students are encouraged to check their MySite regularly for updates and information regarding their enrollment. Students will also receive reminders via email to their IVC student email address.

Does Irvine Valley Promise give me priority registration?
Priority registration is not part of the Promise program. Please refer to the Freshman Advantage program.

What happens if I don’t register for classes before the advertised deadline?
Failure to comply with the conditions of acceptance will result in revocation of acceptance to the program.

What if I register for 12 units but then drop below 12 units during the semester; will I be removed from the program?
Yes. Continuous enrollment in 12 units is required to maintain eligibility for the program. Enrollment in less than 12 units means a student is ineligible. Waitlisted courses do not count towards enrollment.

What if I am waitlisted for a class? Does that count for my 12 units?
No; waitlisted classes are not considered towards enrollment. If you are having trouble finding classes, please schedule an appointment with a Counselor.

What if I registered in at least 12 units for the semester but some of my classes are short-term and are completed in the first 8 weeks? Am I still eligible?
Yes, short term courses and 8-week classes count towards the 12 unit requirement.

Are Summer courses covered by the Promise Program?
Yes, only if students are enrolled in at least 12 units. Students considering Summer classes are highly encouraged to speak with a Promise Counselor and email


Financial Aid or Fees

I was admitted to the Irvine Valley Promise program but already paid my fees, will I be refunded?
Yes, as long as you’re enrolled in 12 units. Please email to request reimbursement. 

What is the difference between the Promise Program and FAFSA/CADAA?
The Promise program is designed to provide academic and financial support to first-time college students enrolling at IVC. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA), are financial aid applications used to determine students’ eligibility for federal and/or state aid. Completion of a financial aid application is required to be eligible for the IVC Promise program. Students can be eligible for other financial aid and participate in Promise.

What is the difference between the Promise program and the California College Promise Grant (CCPG)?
The CA College Promise Grant (CCPG) is a fee waiver offered to eligible students who have completed a financial aid application. Visit IVC’s Financial Aid website to learn more. The CCPG is not administered by the Promise program, though some Promise students qualify for the CCPG. The CCPG does not have a full-time enrollment requirement. 

What does payment deferral mean?
A payment deferral is a postponement of the date payment is due for classes. Payment deferral does two things:

  • Prevents Promise eligible students from being dropped from courses due to non-payment.

  • Provides Promise eligible students with the ability to add additional courses without making a payment.

The only action that Promise eligible students need to take when registering for classes is to select the appropriate payment type when in the payment section of the registration session within MySite.

What payment option do I select when registering for classes?
From the payment section, click "Pay Later". There will be 3 payment options from which to select: a. Credit Card, b. Check, c. Pay Later

  • Select the “Pay later” option, and then select “Other”. 

Please DO NOT pay for Fall/Spring classes. Once the Promise Program confirms enrollment in 12 units, another deferral will be placed that extends well into the semester. The Promise Program will pay the outstanding fees before the deferral expires so long as students remain enrolled in 12 units.

Please email the IVC Bursar’s Office at regarding questions or concerns regarding payment. 

Does Irvine Valley Promise cover my second year tuition and fees at IVC?
Yes! Promise students who maintained eligibility in their first year are eligible for a second year of funding. Only students admitted to the Promise Program for their first year are eligible for consideration for second-year funding.

Will I need to pay my fees after my deferral expires?
So long as students remain enrolled in a minimum of 12 units, the Promise Program will pay the outstanding balance prior to the expiration of the deferral (payment due date) published in MySite. If you received confirmation that you are Promise eligible, please do not pay for your Fall/Spring classes.

If you received notice that you are no longer eligible for Promise, or never received confirmation that you are in the Promise program, you will need to make a payment prior to payment deferral date. Otherwise you may be dropped from your courses.

Can I receive a third year of Promise funding?
Unfortunately, no. The legislation only allows for two academic years of funding per student. However, students may still be eligible for other financial aid. Please make sure to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) each year you plan to enroll in college classes.

Does Irvine Valley Promise cover my parking permit or bus pass?
No. Irvine Valley Promise does not cover parking permits or bus passes.

What fees are covered besides enrollment fees?
Currently, the health fee and ASIVC Access fee, and a bookstore voucher are covered by Promise. This is subject to change annually based on funding availability.

How can I make a payment for my summer classes if I want to take less than 12 units in the Summer?
First check with the Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility for the CCPG fee waiver (this will only cover tuition for summer classes, students will still need to pay the health and ASIVC fees). Students not eligible for the CCPG fee waiver can email to request their total summer fees and make a payment for the exact amount via Mysite. Reminder: Do not pay the total balance as the Promise program will be covering fall and spring fees for eligible students.

Book Voucher

Does the program provide a bookstore voucher for the summer?
No. The program only covers tuition and fees for students taking at least 12 units in the summer.

Do I need to return any books I purchased with the Promise Bookstore Voucher at the end of the semester?

If I sell my books at the end of the semester, do I need to return the money from the voucher?

How do I use my voucher?
Students can use the bookstore voucher online or in-person (the IVC Bookstore is open for in-person services this fall). For hours of operation or to make a purchase online, please visit the IVC Bookstore website.

For a step-by-step guide on how to use the voucher, please watch the How to Redeem a Promise Bookstore Voucher video.

Tip: Go to the bookstore early, don’t wait! One big mistake that first year students often make is waiting until the last minute to buy books. This means long lines, limited or no book availability, and not having cheaper options (used or rental books) to stretch out voucher funds.

When is the deadline to use my voucher?

  • Fall 2021: October 28
  • Spring 2021: April 8

Will my unused Bookstore Voucher funds roll over?
No, so make sure to use them up completely before the deadline.

I can’t find the materials I need for my class on the IVC Bookstore website. Who can I contact?
Please contact the IVC Bookstore at or call (949) 451-5258.

What if I am taking a class at Saddleback which requires a textbook?
Please email a copy of your class schedule to the IVC Bookstore at and let them know which book is needed. They will request the book so that you can use the voucher funds. 

What can I purchase with my Bookstore Voucher?
Eligible purchases include books, small classroom electronics (such as calculators and flash drives) and school supplies. Vouchers cannot be used towards the purchase of clothing, giftcards, gifts, food, cosmetics, or consumer electronics (such as laptops or tablets). 


What if I don’t meet with Promise Counselors twice each semester?
This will affect your eligibility for future Promise benefits, including second-year funding.

Can I see other Counselors that aren’t Promise Counselors?
Absolutely, so long as you meet the two-contact requirement per semester. One appointment with the Promise Counselors is REQUIRED and the other contact can be with ANY Counselor at IVC.

Who can I speak with if I have passing AP scores or want to submit previous college coursework?
Please submit your official College Board scores directly to Admissions and Records. Allow at least 2 weeks for delivery. Schedule an appointment with a Promise counselor to have your scores reviewed and added to your MAP. Your student ID number is needed to schedule an appointment.

How do I maintain eligibility for the program?
Please visit the eligibility website and scroll down to the “Maintain Eligibility” section for specific guidelines.

Helpful Tips:

  • Be sure your financial aid file is complete. We encourage you to check on the status of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) regularly. Contact the Financial Aid Office to check the status of your application.
  • Check your IVC email regularly. As a college student, it is your responsibility to check your IVC email account regularly. This is where the campus communicates important information with you, including about Irvine Valley Promise.