Understanding Financial Aid Resources
“Fund Your Future”: This is one of the best guides to understanding financial aid for students in California. From the California Student Aid Commission, this guide explains a variety of federal and state grants and loans, how to apply for financial aid, how financial aid is calculated, and how loans are typically repaid.
BigFuture: The College Board’s website is chock full of information about financial aid, scholarships, merit aid, and more. Easy to read and navigate. Videos are available too.
StudentAid.gov: Information about financial aid that comes from the federal government (federal loans, grants, etc.). From the U.S. Department of Education.
Fafsa.ed.gov: Link to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you are applying for Fall Semester enrollment, you should fill out the FAFSA in October of your senior year at the earliest. If you have specific questions about the FAFSA, you can call one of the telephone numbers provided below:
Telephone: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
Spanish speakers are available (se habla espanol)
Dream Act Application: For undocumented immigrants who qualify, the Dream Act Application is the form to submit during your senior year to possibly access state financial aid for colleges in California only.
CSS Profile: Some colleges may require the CSS Profile as part of your financial aid application. Use this website to find out which colleges require it, and to complete the application.
Cash for College Workshops: Throughout the year, the California Student Aid Commission hosts FREE workshops at various location ton how to fill out the FAFSA and the Dream Act Application. Search by county to find the workshop nearest you.
Cal Grants (Click here for the Spanish site): If you plan to go to a public or private, 2-yr or 4-yr college in California, find out more about CalGrants and their eligibility requirements. After you’ve applied, if you would like to follow up on the status of your application, visit https://mygrantinfo.csac.ga.gov/logon.asp.
The Middle Class Scholarship FAQs for California residents.
Financial Aid Guide for AB540 Students: This guide contains information about AB540 and in-state tuition, the California Dream Act (AB130 and AB131), privacy concerns, applying to private colleges, and other sources of financial aid available to AB540 students. Also, check out some resources from the UC schools and these lists of scholarships that you might be eligible to apply for.
Beware of scholarship scams: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0082-scholarship-and-financial-aid-scams
Naviance Family Connection (for local scholarships) (Click on the “colleges” tab, then click on “scholarship list”.)
Collegeboard’s Scholarship List
BlackExcel.org (for African American students)
EF4C (scholarships for Dreamers or AB540 students)