Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Fresh Success program here. If you would like to speak with a Fresh Success assistant, please stop by the Student Support Center, Library Building L106, to speak with Fresh Success staff. Drop-in times are Tuesday, Thursday or Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fresh Success Program?

Fresh Success is an education and job training program serving Sacramento County residents who are receiving or eligible to receive CalFresh, the federal food stamp program.

Fresh Success was created by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in partnership with California Community Colleges to support student efforts for academic success and increased employability.

  • Fresh Success will provide CalFresh (food stamps) recipients with employer-valued skills, training and education necessary to attain a living wage career.
  • The CRC Fresh Success Program is currently one of two pilot programs in California and the only
  • CRC is the only Los Rios Community College participating in Fresh Success.

NOTE: CalFresh enrollment is a MANDATORY requirement for Fresh Success eligibility.

AS-T/AA-T transfer degree programs are NOT eligible for Fresh Success.

What programs will Fresh Success support at Cosumnes River College?

Fresh Success will support students to gain access to education and training in CRC associate degree and career technical education (CTE) programs. The program goal is that students will complete non-transfer, short-term, education and vocational training to seek and obtain employment. Students are eligible to earn a single Associate Arts (AA) degree and/or an occupational certificate of skills. Upon completion of the program, Fresh Success students are expected to obtain living-wage employment.

Are all of the non-transfer degree and Career Education programs approved by Fresh Success?

Yes, Fresh Success students may select any non-transferable associate degree program and Career Education program. Students are strongly encourage to consider employability when selecting a program. The Occupational Employment Statistics and Wages (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations.

Are transfer degrees eligible for Fresh Success?

No. None of the transfer degree programs are approved for Fresh Success.

How does Fresh Success decide who can participate?

The eligibility process is a very simple and straightforward process for students registered in specific classes (including GED, ESL, Career Education (CE) and adult basic education).

Fresh Success participants must be:

  • Receiving or eligible to receive CalFresh in Sacramento County
  • NOT enrolled in CalWorks
  • NOT enrolled in AS-T/AS-T transfer degree programs
  • Enrolled at CRC in 6 or more units (3 must be GED, ESL, Career Education (CE) or adult basic education).
  • Legally eligible to work in the USA
  • Identify as one of the following:
    • Educationally disadvantaged
    • A veteran
    • An emancipated (former) foster youth
    • Timed-out (no longer eligible) of TANF

Who can’t participate in Fresh Success?

Students who receive CalWORKs (Cash Aid) or California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) benefits are not eligible to participate in Fresh Success.

How do I become eligible for CalFresh through Fresh Success?

A CalFresh application must be submitted to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to determine CalFresh eligibility. Fresh Success has been assigned a dedicated CalFresh Intake Representative to for immediate application review and eligibility determination.

Interested CalFresh applicants must apply online. The application is available in multiple languages.

Can I get help applying for CalFresh?

A Sacramento County DHA Eligibility Specialist is available at CRC every Wednesday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, in the Student Support Center inside the Library Building, L 106.

Students may receive application assistance internally and through community based organizations:

CRC Fresh Success staff

Application assistance offered:
Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Student Support Center, Library Building, L 106

Elk Grove Food Bank

Application assistance offered:
Monday through Friday
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
9820 Dino Drive, Suite 140, Elk Grove CA 95624
(916) 512-0144 or (916) 685-8453

Sacrament 211

Confidential telephone applications taken 24/7 by calling 211 or (916) 498-1000. They offer same day application submission to Sacramento Department of Human Assistance. Electronic documentation and submission only; they do not store client information. Also offers emergency application services for homeless students. 

Fresh Success requires students to apply for financial aid, so what is the benefit of participating in Fresh Success?

Fresh Success provides employability assessments and a menu of academic and career-oriented support services to eligible participants including:

  • Tutoring
  • Career Counseling
  • Work-based learning/vocational training
  • Job readiness training
  • Job search assistance
  • Job development/placement
  • Participant reimbursements (textbooks and school supplies, transportation, work-related uniforms)

How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Please visit CRC's Financial Aid page for application information. If you need assistance completing financial aid documents, contact the Financial Aid Office directly:

Library Building, L 107
(916) 691-7325

Financial Aid representatives are available every Friday in the Student Access Center, Library Building, L 125, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm to answer questions and assist students who need help completing required documents. No appointment necessary.

Financial Aid tracks academic progress for most programs on campus, including Fresh Success. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to retain financial aid eligibility.

Will Fresh Success pay for my entire program?

Students are expected to qualify for and receive financial aid to cover tuition cost, fees, and some additional expenses. FASFA is the primary source to receive financial aid for college. Fresh success will provide textbook assistance, required course materials, tutoring and advising. Transportation, fingerprinting and TB testing, class tools or supplies, and job-related clothing may also be provided depending on available funding.

Does Fresh Success provide childcare services?

No. Fresh Success does not support any childcare costs. However you may apply for childcare services through the CRC Child Development Center, at your own expense. The CRC Child Development Center is also an eligible Sacramento County child care subsidy program.

May I participate in Fresh Success if I already have an advanced degree?

Yes, in some circumstances you may be eligible as long you meet the other participation criteria.

Do I need to complete my GED before enrolling in college?

No. Participants do not need a GED to enroll in college courses.

What is an Individual Employment Plan (IEP)?

Fresh Success requires each participant to develop goals for employment after program completion.  An Individual Employment Plan (IEP) will document your employment goals in the same way the Student Education Plan (iSEP) will document courses required to complete your educational goals. Students will complete the IEP as part of the intake process.

Why is the Student Education Plan (iSEP) so important?

The iSEP is a personalized academic road map to guide you through your program. It provides a clear pathway for you to easily identify which classes are required to complete your program and earn an associate’s degree and/or certificate.  The Fresh Success program is required by CDSS to verify that students have completed courses required for continued FS eligibility. All Fresh Success students are expected to adhere to their iSEP and take courses necessary for continued eligible.

How does Fresh Success help students gain employment?

Fresh Success (FS) will partner with Community Based Organizations (CBO) and Sacramento-area employers to provide career development and higher earning, industry-focused employment opportunities for students who complete their degree or certificate program. CBO partners will provide assistance with job search, application completion, interview preparation, and on- the-job training. Fresh Success will offer industry-focused workshops each semester to help students define and prepare for their career goals.

If I am no longer receiving CalFresh, may I still participate in Fresh Success?

No. If you lose your CalFresh eligibility for any reason, you will not be eligible to participate in Fresh Success, effective immediately.

May I receive TANF and Fresh Success benefits at the same time?

No. Students receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are not eligible for Fresh Success. Students must be timed-out of TANF completely (not receiving) before applying for Fresh Success.

What is an ABAWD?

ABAWD (Able-Bodies Adults without Dependents) are CalFresh recipients between the ages of 18-49 who are considered able to work. ABAWDs are generally expected to work 20+ hours to retain CalFresh eligibility. Fresh Success students are exempt from any work requirement.