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Financial Aid

Figuring out how to pay for college can be a daunting and overwhelming task, but it does not have to be. Be proactive and attend FREE workshops hosted by the CCC or Cash4 College Workshops through local community colleges. There are many resources available!


FAFSA
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is government hosted financial aid form that is required for federal grants and loans. It is also used for many state grant programs. In addition, many colleges use the FAFSA as a base for school-based scholarships too. It opens October 1st and the priority deadline for Cal Grant is March 2nd. Bottom line: you should complete the FAFSA, and you should do it early. It is free to complete and is worth your time.

What is an EFC?  How is it calculated?

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA

DREAM ACT
The California Dream Act is a state-run program that offers financial aid to non-resident immigrants of the United States. If you are a non-citizen, you may still be eligible for financial aid. While you cannot complete a FAFSA, you can and should complete the Dream Act! Know that information provided on the Dream Act is only shared with the California Student Aid Commission and will not be given to any other government agency. It is also separate from the federally-run DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. 

 

CSS PROFILE
For most, the FAFSA is step one in getting financial aid for college. It makes you eligible for state and federal aid, as well as some school-based aid. In order to qualify for financial aid at roughly 300 private schools, The CSS Profile is step two.

The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® (The PROFILE) is required by many private schools (in addition to the FAFSA) in order for financial aid consideration. The deadline for its submission is often quite early (November or December), but varies by school. This form is also longer than the FAFSA--but fear not! Because the private schools that require the Profile are often well endowed, this form is worth the time it takes to complete. Private schools often have great financial aid packages to offer students.

OTHER
Beyond the FAFSA, Dream Act, and CSS Profile, some other colleges require their own institutional forms. Check with your individual colleges to make sure you're not missing any financial aid applications.

Chafee application is available for students that were in Foster Care for at least one day, between 16 & 18 years of age.

Many have Fall/Winter deadlines that correlate to their scholarship programs.  The Spring deadline (usually late February/early March) is for state and federal aid.  If you attend college outside of California, you will not be able to utilize any Cal Grants awarded.  If this is the case, please make sure to check out the WUE program that provides opportunities for California students to attend school in their state for a discounted out-of-state tuition rate.