Starting October 1 through the March 2 Cal Grant deadline, students and families can attend a FREE Cash for College workshops across California for help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act (CADAA) and Chafee Grant for Foster Youth applications. Search for cash for college workshops here.
Each year, more than $2 billion of financial aid goes unclaimed. To get this money, all students need to do is fill out one form: FAFSA is a (Free Application for Federal Student Aid.) Even if you think you don't qualify you should still apply for FAFSA. After you submit the FAFSA, you will be considered for federal and state grants, loans, work study, and college-based aid. Colleges use the FAFSA to award their own grants and scholarships as well.
It is recommended that students and one parent create an FSA ID. Create the FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov - to access U.S. Department of Education websites.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid - Click here!
After you file your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application, go on-line and check the status of your Cal Grant application by logging on to WebGrants for Students and create an account. This site will provide you with resources, information and tools to assist you with college financial aid process.
The information you put on your FAFSA application is used to calculate your EFC - Expected Family Contribution. Colleges use the EFC to determine how much financial aid to award you.
Every college website has an EFC calculator to help you estimate what your contribution will be. You will receive an Award Letter!
Types of Financial Aid
Here are the four most popular types of financial aid:
1.Types of Aid - There are 3 types of aid: Grants/Scholarships, Loans, and Work Study
Grants-Money that doesn't have to be paid back. Typically they are given to athletics, academics, special talent, need-based, etc.
Pell Grants are federal grants and Cal Grants are state grants. Both are for students with financial need. Some Cal Grants have a minimum GPA requirement while federal Pell Grants do not. You could qualify for both a Pell Grant and a Cal Grant.
Loans - These must be repaid. Two types of loans are: Federal Student Loans (unsubsidized loan - the interests accrues while you are in school, you pay it back after you graduate.
Subsidized loan, the government pays the interest while you are in school.)
Work Study - Work study allows colleges to hire students for employment to pay their own way as they attend college. You do not repay the money you have earned.
2.Sources of Aid - There are 3 sources of aid: Federal/State, Institutional, and Organizational.
Federal/State - Both federal and state governments offer aid to eligible students.
Institutional - Many colleges, especially private institutions, provide aid to their students.
Organizational - Many companies and organizations provide scholarships for students.
3.The Process - There are only a few steps to getting financial aid.
FAFSA: Federal and state aid is determined through the FAFSA which can be submitted at
www.fafsa.gov in the student's senior year. Be sure to indicate interest in work study.
Everyone should fill out the FAFSA regardless of desire or need for aid!
Institutional Aid: Most schools consider students for aid based on their application alone.
Some will require a separate application for certain scholarships or require you to submit a
CSS Profile, which is similar to FAFSA.
Scholarships: Search and apply to organizational scholarships regularly. Ask
companies/organizations your parents are part of. There are scholarships for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors too!
BOG Fee Waiver is now called the California College Promise Grant. - Permits enrollment fees to be waived and assist with purchases of books and supplies if you qualify). Click here to learn more!
CSS Profile-College Board - The following colleges, universities, and scholarship programs use PROFILE, Noncustodial PROFILE, and/or IDOC as part of their financial aid process. Check to see if the college(s) you are applying to accepts CSS Profile. CSS Profile is worth checking into if you have had a current change in your financial stability due to loss of a job, parent moving in or any economic hardship.