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Financial Aid for College


Colleges and Universities will expect students and their families to contribute toward the expense of college, however, most college students utilize some form of financial aid to close the gap between what their families can afford, and the actual cost of college.
This page will highlight different financial aid programs for the State of California, as well as Federal programs. Familiarizing yourself with the types of aid available will make the college application process much more friendly, manageable and affordable.


To apply for aid, students must use FAFSA HERE.
The first step in the financial aid process for students is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The information that students provide on the FAFSA is used to determine their eligibility for most financial aid.  Students and parents can submit their FAFSA AFTER October 1st of the student's senior year in high school. 


Assembly Bill 2160 was signed into law in September 2014 mandating that all public schools electronically submit grade point averages (GPAs) for grade twelve students to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The bill also requires the school district to notify parents in writing of opt-out requirements for current grade twelve students. 
Please return your opt-out form to the Guidance office by September 14.
If you have questions, please contact your Academic Advisor


The PROFILE is an online application that collects information used by certain colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds. (All federal funds are through FAFSA) Some colleges may require additional information, such as tax returns or an institutional application.
For more information regarding the CSS profile please visit Collegeboard Financial Aid


Federal Aid: Aid that comes from the U.S. government.  Usually distributed through the college. 
Gift Aid: Financial aid that does not need to be paid back:
  • Grants - Typically based on financial need
  • Scholarships - Typically based on achievement or talent.
Loans: Funds that must be paid back later, with interest.  Federally-guaranteed loans can be from a private lender (e.g. a bank) or form the federal government (administered by the college).  Private loans are offered by private lenders with terms set by the lender, not the government.
Private Aid: Financial aid from non-goverment sources.


Pell Grant:  Gift aid that is given based on financial need.  How much aid you will be eligible to receive is based on your SAI (Student Aid Index), which is determined when you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Cal Grants are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need and academic achievement which is measured by GPA's and scoring criteria. Visit CSAC for information.
Federal Work-Study:  Provides part-time employment for students who have financial need.  Jobs are usually available both on or off campus.  Work study is also determined by FAFSA.
Perkins Loan:  Fixed low interest loan through your college.  You must demonstrate financial need.
Stafford Loan:  Currently a variable interest rate loan.  You can receive this loan from a private lender or your college.  They can be subsidized (no interest accrues while enrolled full-time in school) or unsubsidized (interest accrues while in school.)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are awarded to student who demonstrate exceptional financial need and are Pell Grant recipients.
California Community College Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOG) waives per-unit enrollment fees for financially qualified California residents.
The California Chafee Grant Program gives money to current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training or college courses.  Visit Chafee CSAC for more information.
Financial Aid
Free Application For Student Aid (Must for ALL Students)
Create an FSA ID - Must do BEFORE filling out a FAFSA
Financial aid PROFILE for nonfederal financial aid
Federal Student Aid and office of the US Department of Education
California Student Aid Commission
Guide to the FAFSA
Avoid Simple FAFSA Mistakes
Cal Grant - How to apply
Fastweb - Scholarships, Financial Aid, and More
How to Pay for College
Attend a FREE Cash for College workshop