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Getting money for college

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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 between December 2023 and April 2024 (for college school year beginning Fall 2024), you will need tax information from year 2022.  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: www.finaid.org

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! (December 2023)

  • Student and a parent(s) will each 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, there will be a protocol in place by January 2024 so that those parents can create an FSA ID. 2024-2025 FAFSA Checklist and Dependency Questionnaire. 

  • After the FAFSA is submitted, reports will be available in your Federal Student Aid account. 

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.

  • How to create an FSA ID

Student and parent should each have an email address

  • Student and parent(s) should each have or obtain an appropriate email address, such as Gmail. We strongly recommend you use something student will have AFTER high school (NOT a high-school-affiliated email address like sandi.net or gomperstudent, hightechhigh, guhsd, suhsd, etc.) 

  • 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 CA Dream Act or call CSAC at 888-224-7268. For extra help and resources, check Immigrants Rising.

Attend local financial aid workshops

  • Attend a Cal-SOAP Cash for College Workshop and get help with your FAFSA or Dream Application by March 2nd. Special April 2 priority deadline for 2024 only! 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: www.maldef.org

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