Paying for College

Whether you are a US citizen, a permanent resident, or an undocumented student who qualifies under AB 540, money for post-secondary education is available for you! Our “Paying for College” page contains information regarding the FAFSA and CA Dream Act application, financial aid award letters, scholarships and much more. Use the links, resources, and worksheets below for all your financial aid inquiries. Remember you can also come to the College Center located in the library and speak with Ms. Kronstadt or Ms. Cifuentes for further assistance.
 

APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

 

In order to receive financial aid for a four-year university/college, community college, vocational or technical school, students will need to complete either a FAFSA or Dream Act application. Please read below for further information.

 

 

 

 

FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid) <<*please follow the link to access application*

  • Be a US citizen or Permanent Resident (have a green card/eligible non-citizen)
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a high school diploma or recognized equivalent, such as a GED

Note: Students completing a FAFSA application will also need to create a FAFSA ID.

 

California Dream Act Application <<*please follow the link to access application*

The California Dream Act is designed to provide undocumented students who are eligible for AB540/AB2000 access to financial aid.

*To qualify for AB540/AB2000, students must have:

  • attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR
  • attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years AND
*The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for     example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) AND
*Enrolled in an accredited and qualifying California college or university; AND
*The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
 
 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR FINANCIAL AID AWARD PACKAGE

 
After a college accepts you, you'll receive a letter outlining how much the school will cost and what kind of financial aid package you'll receive for one year. Financial aid award letters don't always look the same, but they contain the same general information:
  • Grants
    • Federal (Pell Grants)
    • Institutional (college/university)
    • State (Cal Grants A/B/C)
  • Scholarships 
  • Work-Study
  • Federal Student Loans 
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) - an estimate of what you can expect to pay for tuition & fees, room & board, books & supplies, & personal expenses for one year. 
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - an index that colleges use to determine financial aid eligibility.

 

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
 
Federal Aid State Aid  Institutional Aid
Must file the FAFSA Must file the FAFSA or the California Dream Act application
Must file the FAFSA or California Dream Act application
 
May need to file the CSS Profile for private and out-of-state colleges/universities.
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct Plus Loan
  • Cal Grant (A, B, or C)
  • Chafee Grant
  • Middle-Class Scholarship
  • Blue & Gold Opportunity Program (UC campuses)
  • Need-Based grants and scholarships
Based on a student's financial need.
Example: A need-based grant might award based on a student's low-income.
 
  • Merit-Based grants and scholarships
Based on a student's skill or ability. 
Example: A merit-based scholarship might be awarded based on a student's high grades and/or SAT/ACT scores. 
COMPARING AWARD LETTERS
 
To figure your financial aid award package(s) use the worksheets below, entitled: 
 
  • FAFSA_Financial Aid Award Worksheet (if you filled out a FAFSA application)
  • DREAM_Financial Aid Award Worksheet (if you filled out a DREAM ACT application) 
 
*For further questions or concerns, please visit the College Center and speak with Ms. Kronstadt or Ms. Cifuentes*