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Getting money for college

There is money available to help you pay for college! There is also a Federal Methodology needs analysis system which states that you (and your family) have the responsibility to pay for your education to the extent that you are able. (Note: You may be considered exempt from parental information - check the FAFSA section 2 or contact a College Financial Aid Office and ask)


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the main form that you will need to complete to determine your financial eligibility. Complete this form online (or on paper) for your freshman/first year in college and update your information each following year. The online application helps prevent errors that might delay your financial aid.

The FAFSA will ask for prior prior tax information from both you and your parent(s) to determine your financial aid eligibility. For example, if you are a high school senior and you file for FAFSA October 1, 2021-April 1, 2022 (for college school year beginning Fall 2022), you will need tax information from year 2020.  In the event you don't have the tax information, you may use estimates and correct it later when you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR).   FAFSA determines the amount of money that your family should reasonably be able to afford for your college education. There may be other forms required in order to receive maximum financial aid (eg., GPA Verification Form, CSS PROFILE, and institutional forms). To learn more about financial aid for college, visit this website:

The FAFSA determines if you are eligible for many types of financial aid including grants (free money!), part-time employment via work study, loans and some scholarships. Note: If you choose to accept an educational loan it will need to be repaid.

Your goal is to finish college and get into a career with the least amount of student loans taken out!!

Apply for FAFSA EARLY! (October 1)      o    n  oO o!

  • Information that you will need to complete the FAFSA will be found on this website; you (and a parent) will need a FSA ID for your electronic signature on your FAFSA.

  • If your parent does not have a social security number to create a FAFSA ID  at the time you submit your FAFSA, print the FAFSA signature page, sign it and mail it with a Certificate of Mailing at the Post Office. Save the receipt for evidence that it was sent on time.

  • After the FAFSA is submitted or mailed, a Student Aid Report (SAR) and a California Aid Report (CAR) will be sent to you. Make corrections on the SAR and follow the instructions. If you do not receive a SAR within four weeks of submitting your FAFSA, call: (1-800-433-3243).

What is an FSA ID?

  • A FSA ID is a username and password that students, parents, and borrowers must use to log in to certin U.S. Department of Education websites. You will be able to create an FSA ID when visiting certain U.S. Department of Education websites.

  • The FSA ID creation process consists of:

    • Entering your log-in information.

    • Providing your e-mail, a unique username, a password, and verifying you are at least 13 years old.

    • Entering your personal information.

    • Providing your social security number, name, and date of birth.

    • Including your mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and language preference.

    • Providing answers to five challenge questions.

    • Submitting your FSA ID information.

    • Agreeing to the terms and conditions.

    • Verifying your e-mail address. (note: By verifying your e-mail address, you can use your e-mail address as your username when logging into certain U.S. Department of Education websites.)

Get a shared email address for you and your parenet(s)

  • A (business/appropriate) email address can be used for colleges and financial aid representatives to communicate with you and your parents (consider: Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, SBCGlobal, et al).

  • Add to your email address book to make sure that you will get your PIN, to get financial aid information from the FAFSA Processor, and to get your Student Aid Report (SAR). Check your spam, bulk or junk inbox before emptying it - important information may have been forwarded to this location.

No Social Security Number? (AB 540 Students or DACA #)

  • The California Dream Act Application is used to determine the California state financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540).

  • The California student Aid Commission (CSAC) will process this application. Any aid received can only be used at eligible California institutions.

  • The Dream Act Application is not an application for federal financial aid. AB 540 students are eligible for state financial aid like the University of California Grants, State University Grants and Board of CA Community College Promise.

  • Completing and submitting the Dream Act Application is free. Go to the California Dream Act website at or call CSAC at 888-224-7268. For extra help and resources, check Immigrants Rising.

  • Want to check eligibility for in-state tuition in California? Use this worksheet.

Attend local financial aid workshops

  • Attend a Cash for College Workshop and get help with your FAFSA or Dream Application by March 2nd.  Application submitted after March 2nd may have amount of financial aid awarded decrease due to fund availability.

  • You will need to re-apply for FAFSA and Dream Application every year. They are not renewed automatically.

Get started TODAY!

  • Be scholarship savvy! scholarships can help you decrease your dependence on student loans. Get involved in community service, be a volunteer, and share your future goals with people in your community.

  • This network of people will be able to support your college dreams and write your letters of recommendation - which may be a scholarship requirement.

  • Once you identify the scholarship eligibility requirements. You may be able to qualify for eligibility by becoming active in their specified area of interest criteria.

  • No Social Security Number? Look for AB 540 (California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request for Eligible California High school Graduates) information and scholarships not determined by residency status on this website:

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