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Financial Aid

There are 3 main applications that are used to determine how much aid a student may qualify for.

  • The FAFSA ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is used by the US Department of Education to calculate your Student Aid Index. or SAI, for college. Your SAI is a dollar amount that reflects how much you can afford to pay for college for the following academic year. The lower your EFC, the more aid you're eligible to receive. Your SAI is determined based on income, assets, and other household information you'll be asked to provide on the FAFSA.  

  • The general eligibility requirements are that you must

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;

  • have a valid Social Security number

  • show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a GED 

  • This application is due every year by March 2nd!

  • The CADAA (California Dream Act) allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California.

  • You are eligible to complete the CADAA if you are:

    •  Undocumented 

    • Have a valid or expired DACA

    • Are a U Visa holder

    • Have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 2 

    • Meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540 

  • This application is due every year by March 2nd!

  • The CSS (college Scholarship Service) is an online application to determine eligibility for non-federal financial aid, which is administered by the College Board. Not every college requires it, but nearly 400 colleges do, so be sure to first check the list of schools to determine whether your child needs to complete the application. 

  • Unlike the FAFSA, there is a fee to apply. The first application is $25 and reports to additional schools are $16 each. Fee waivers are granted to high-need students, generally for household incomes of $40,000 or less per year.

  • Both the CSS application and the FAFSA can be filed as early as October 1 and should be completed as soon as possible to take advantage of aid that is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. All schools have their own deadlines in place for the CSS, but many require students to file the profile two weeks before the college's priority admission application deadline.

  •  Filling out the CSS PROFILE does not take the place of the FAFSA. Rather, it is an additional application for non-federal financial aid.

Types of Financial Aid