Applying for and managing financial aid may feel confusing. Here is a simple toolkit of resources that explains types of financial aid, application platforms, and helpful calculators to help determine the true cost for college.
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Apply for federal grants, loans, and work study money. You must have a social security number.
Both students and parents need an FSA ID to submit a FAFSA. If you do not already have an FSA ID (a username and password) you can create one by visiting: https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/create-account/launch
Click HERE for instructions on how to create your FSA ID
(The California Dream Act Application): Apply here for financial aid if you 1) have no social security number, 2) were enrolled full time in high school in CA for at least 3 years, and 3) will be graduating from a CA high school.
Other useful links
CSS Profile Presentation: An interactive presentation on how to fill out the CSS Profile. This is a financial aid application required by some private universities or out of state schools. Check with your prospective university to see if this is needed.
CSAC: Log in after you have submitted the FAFSA to check Cal Grant award status, make a school change, or monitor and manage awards. You are automatically considered for Cal Grants by submitting the FAFSA.
Net Price Calculator Center: Search for and use the net price calculator for specific colleges and universities.
Big Future Financial Aid Tools: Read articles pertaining to calculating cost and aid, loan repayment, and comparing financial aid packages.
Federal Student Aid Estimator: Use this tool to see how much federal student aid you may be eligible for in the 2024–25 award year.