Every year, the federal government awards about $150 billion in the form of grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to help millions of students pay for college.
Unfortunately, some students feel like they shouldn’t bother filling out a FAFSA because of some common myths. These include:
However, these concerns are usually unfounded. For more information, download “Myths About Financial Aid” at http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/financial-aid-myths.pdf.
How do I apply for aid? (Watch this tutorial to get started)
To apply for federal student aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). >>>Click HERE to start your application>>>
We recommend that you submit your FAFSA online using FAFSA on the Web, as your application will process within 3-5 days; alternatively, you can submit a paper FAFSA, which processes within 7-10 days.
For help with filling out the FAFSA, you can go to http://studentaid.ed.gov/resources#free-application-for or call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Many types of federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant or subsidized loans where the government pays the interest while you are in college, also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
Click HERE for Answers to Most Common FAFSA Questions like what do when:
Grants are typically awarded on the basis of need and generally do not have to be repaid. There are four types of federal student grants:
The Federal Work-Study Program enables students to earn money during the school year while also gaining valuable work experience, typically in part-time, career-related jobs.
Loans consist of money that the student borrows to help pay for college, and must be repaid (plus interest). There are two federal student loan programs:
Other forms of financial aid that might be available to students include:
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. Think of the EFC as an index number used by your college to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
Your eligibility for financial aid can differ from year to year for various reasons, including your family’s financial situation and the number of your family members enrolled in college.
***If you have a burning question and need support please call FAFSA directly at 1-800-433-3243***
Teacher/Counselor Financial Aid Toolkit - Interested in facilitating a FAFSA activity in your classroom. Click the link for a full list of FAFSA resources including videos and handouts.
Cal Grant B
Cal Grant B provides a living allowance and tuition and fee assistance for low-income students. Awards for most first-year students are limited to an allowance for books and living expenses. When renewed or awarded beyond the freshman year, the award also helps pay for tuition and fees. The awards for tuition and fees are the same as those for Cal Grant A. For Cal Grant B, your coursework must be for at least one academic year.
There are two types of Cal Grant B awards: Entitlement and Competitive. There is also a Cal Grant B award for students transferring from a California Community College to a four-year college.Cal Grant B Entitlement Award
In order to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a Cal Grant C, additional information must be provided on the Cal Grant C Supplement form. Supplements are scored based on your work experience, educational history, vocational aptitude, and occupational goal (see Senate Bill 451 info below).
Only if you are potentially eligible for the award will you receive an e-mail or letter notification and access to complete the online Cal Grant C Supplement in WebGrants for Students. You will have 30 days from the date of notification to complete this form. If you are unable to complete the Cal Grant C Supplement online, a paper copy of the form is available at http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=80. The paper Supplement must be completed and submitted to the California Student Aid Commission by the deadline.
Cal Grant C award offers will be made by the end of June.
Community College Reserve Grant
If you receive a Cal Grant A but attend a California Community College first, your award will be reserved for up to three years until you transfer to a four-year college, if you continue to qualify. If you list a California Community College before a four-year California college on your FAFSA, it will be assumed the community college is your first choice. If you receive a Cal Grant A, it will be placed in reserve for your first year unless you transfer to a tuition or fee-charging college and activate your award. When you transfer, be sure to let your school know you have a reserve grant.
The CSS PROFILE is required by many private colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for non-government financial aid, such as the institution's own grants, loans and scholarships. For a list of schools that require the CSS Profile click HERE.
The biggest differences between the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA are:
You can complete the CSS PROFILE online profileonline.collegeboard.com.