Financial Aid Resources
The FAFSA opened Oct. 1. For this year in particular, it is critical that families look at the financial aid deadlines for their schools. Many are making the FAFSA deadline earlier than in the past now that it’s opening earlier.
The National College Access Network has some helpful resources for families applying for financial aid.
Please make sure to check if your schools require the CSS Profile. This is typically required at private colleges and is due around the same time as the FAFSA.
TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
In order to qualify for federal aid, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning January 1 of their senior year.
Some colleges also require that students complete the CSS Profile in order to be considered for institutional aid. Students should check each school's financial aid site to determine what the requirements are for financial aid.
GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
These are funds that are awarded to students without expectation of repayment (sometimes referred to as "gift" aid). Sources of grants include federal and state governments, colleges, and private organizations.
The Cal Grant is a grant offered to students who live in California and plan to attend college in California. To apply for the Cal Grant, students need to complete the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov). The district will submit the other required document, the GPA verification form, so there is no need for students to do this.
Naviance Family Connection (a list of scholarships is available under the "Colleges" tab under "Scholarship List")
FastWeb (general scholarship search)
FinAid (general scholarship search)
Chegg (general scholarship search)
Student Scholarships (general scholarship search)
UNCF (scholarships for African American students)
HSF (scholarships for Latino students)
APIASF (scholarships for Asian Americans)
NCAA (scholarships for athletes)
Cal Grants (Cal Grant information)
Western Undergraduate Exchange (discounted tuition for California students at some western area public universities)
Many scholarships are also offered by individual colleges and universities. Check their Financial Aid websites for scholarship details.
The Federal Work-Study program allows students work either on or off campus for an hourly salary. Some colleges have other student employment options either on or off campus. In order to qualify for Work-Study, students must complete the FAFSA.
Loans should be a student's last source of aid that is used to pay for college. Loans are borrowed by students and parents to help meet college costs and must be repaid with interest. Some interest rates are better than others, so do the research carefully.
PLUS Loans (loans for parents to assist with a student's education)
Resources for this page: Meeting College Costs by the College Board and Fund Your Future, a publication by the California Student Aid Commission.