Financial Aid for College
For many families, financial aid is an important part of the college admissions process and something that will impact your decision about which college to attend. We recommend that parents and students start early to learn about applying for financial aid and the resources available to help students cover the cost of attending college.
Financial Aid Resources
- Big Future/Pay For College
- Finaid is a good resource for information about loans, scholarships and other forms of aid.
- FAFSA 4caster to get an early start on the financial aid process.
- California Student Aid Commission information about Cal Grants and California student aid.
- Sallie Mae Loan Information
- 15 questions to ask a Financial Aid office
- Planning & Resources for Junior Families Presentation (PPT) & presentation audio
Financial Aid Applications
All colleges will require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is available October 1. This should be filed no later than January 1 for best access to funds.
Many private colleges also require the CSS Profile. This is a two-step process that should be started early in the school year and completed about a week before the college’s deadline. A few colleges require their own institutional financial aid form.
In addition to the FAFSA, students applying for aid for schools in California are required to fill out the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. This is a quick form that needs to be sent before March 2.
Each college’s website will list the exact forms required to apply for financial aid. Be sure to read the information from each individual college carefully to understand the college’s requirements and deadlines.