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Financial Aid Information

Paying for College Night, December 2, 2014, 6:30 pm, C120
   Learn more about Financial Aid, FAFSA and CAL Grant.

Cash for College Workshop, January 14, 2015, 6:00 pm, Library
   Receive assistance on filling out the FAFSA

The cost of going to college is a concern for parents and students. The following will give you some basic information about financial aid to help meet the challenge of paying for college.

Costs of going to college

Four factors that influence cost:

1) Geography: Location influences the cost of living, e.g., housing, food, and transportation. You should consider the cost of traveling from home to college. Estimate the number of trips you may take home during college years. Some colleges allow cars on campus with the additional cost of parking fees.

2) Type of School: Public schools are generally less expensive than private schools. However, attending an out-of-state public institution may be just as expensive as a private school. Tuition charges help pay for the cost of instruction. Some colleges charge fees in addition to tuition. Check college websites for information on tuition and fees. All college textbooks must be purchased. Book costs can add up to several hundred dollars each year. Finding used textbooks at a campus bookstore can help reduce book costs. Or books may be rented for the term or in electronic format online. Check each college’s bookstore.

3) Housing: On-campus housing provides room and board; off campus living involves budgeting for rent, transportation and food. The cost for students to live on campus is significantly higher than living at home. Check college websites for on-campus room and board costs. Personal expenses must be included in the cost of college. Most costs will depend upon the student's individual lifestyle. Entertainment and transportation are a few. Some necessary expenses might include computer, phone, clothing, and personal items.

4) Length of Time: The longer you attend school, the more it costs. Try to finish in four years.


Do I qualify for financial aid?

You must have financial need to qualify for financial aid. College costs minus your family contribution equals your financial need. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined from the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some factors involved in estimating family contribution are the income, assets, and age of your parents, as well as the number of children in the family. You can estimate your EFC by using the Financial Aid Calculator found at  https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/expected-family-contribution-calculator

 "No-need" scholarships may be available at some colleges. After filing the FAFSA, the College Financial Aid Office will put together a financial aid package. Many private colleges have money to offer students with financial needs.

The FAFSA and Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms must be completed for students to be eligible for federal, state, or university grants; scholarships; loans; and work study programs. Grants, awarded by universities, do not have to be paid back. Scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement, community service, special talents and other personal characteristics or financial need. They are available from universities, community organizations, foundations, corporations and do not need to be repaid. Work Study enables students to work on or off campus. The wages for work-study are subsidized by the Federal or State government or by the university. Loans are available to students and parents at all family income levels.  In addition to these four types of financial aid, many campuses offer deferred payment plans, which spread payment over time rather than requiring the full amount at once. Be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office of each college or university for current information.

Men 18 years or older must be registered with the selective service in order to receive federal financial aid. Students may register at any post office or online at www.sss.gov.

Applications Needed To Apply For Financial Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

This form is needed to apply for federal financial aid for all universities and colleges. The filing period for California is January 1 to March 2. Private universities may have earlier deadlines. Check the financial aid instructions for each college.

Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Print a paper copy of the FAFSA to use as a worksheet. (Note: Do not use the FAFSA.com site. Use only the FAFSa.ed.gov site)

Cal Grant

This form, in addition to the FAFSA, is needed to qualify for a Cal Grant, which may be used for California schools only. The filing period is January 1 to March 2.

Applying for a Cal Grant Takes Two Forms:  FAFSA + Your Verified GPA = a Cal Grant Application.  File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Cal Grant Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification form by the March 2 deadline for a Cal Grant – that’s money you don’t have to pay back.  http://www.calgrants.org/index.cfm?navId=22

You must apply by March 2 to maximize your opportunity to receive an award.

If you miss the March 2 Cal Grant deadline AND you plan to attend a community college in the fall, you have until September 2 to apply. However, the number of September Cal Grant awards is limited, so apply early.

GPA Verification Form for the  2015-2016 School Year  

Students: Please submit the Cal Grant GPA Information Release Form http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/gpa_information_release.pdf  to Mrs. Castillou at the Career Center who will then enter your GPA electronically for you.  Be sure to sign and date the form.  Make a copy for your records.

If you do not have SSN, please visit the Career Center for the non-SSN form.

CSS/Financial Aid Profile Online at CollegeBoard.com

This form is used to apply for non-federal financial aid for selected private universities, colleges, and/or scholarship programs. The schools and programs that use this form are listed on the College Board website. It is important to check the financial aid instructions provided by each university or program to determine if you need to use the CSS Profile. To apply for federal financial aid, the FAFSA will still need to be filed. It is important to file your CSS Profile as early as possible.  https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile

For Early Decision Applicants, it is recommended you file the CSS Profile in October.

(rev 1/9/15)




Last Modified on January 8, 2015