Financial Aid

FAFSA (opens October 1, 2018)


The (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or FAFSA, is the first step in the financial aid process. Use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, student loans, and college work-study. In addition, most states and schools use FAFSA information to award their financial aid.  Get started on your application today at





Overview of the Financial Aid Process: 

How to Fill Out the FAFSA: 

How to Create Your FSA ID: 

FAFSA Determining your Dependency Status: 

FAFSA and FSA ID Tips for Parents:



WWW.CSAC.CA.GOV  (California Student Aid Commission)  for information and services regarding financial aid of all types.


QWho should fill out a FAFSA?

A: Everyone considering going to college! Even if you do not think you'll qualify for federal grants, most states and many colleges also require it to award institutional aid and scholarships. It is also required if you take out student loans, which are cheaper than private loans. 


Q: What financial information do I need to apply?

A: 2017 parent tax return


Q: How long does the application take?

A: It is true, the application is long, however only a few questions can be tricky. Many of the questions do not apply to the majority of applicants, so you can skip through many of them. 


Q: Should I fill out the FAFSA as soon as it opens on October 1?

A: You should try to fill it out as soon as possible, at least in the month of October. Federal grants will not be affected by when you apply, however some states and colleges give out limited award money until it runs out. 




Financial aid resources:



 Important Financial questions to ask when college searching:

  1. Does your institution guarantee to meet 100% of financial need, and if not, what percentage of need does your school meet for the average student?
  2. Does your institution have a standard “unmet need” formula for students who apply for financial aid?
  3. Does your institution have a maximum ceiling on the financial aid a student can qualify for?
  4. If my financial need remains the same for the next 4 years, will my student receive the same financial aid package in years 2, 3 and 4 at your institution?
  5. If my family’s financial need increases in year 2 at your college, will your financial aid package be adjusted accordingly, or will it remain the same?
  6. If my student doesn’t apply for financial aid in his/her freshman year of college, can he/she apply for aid in future years?
  7. Is there a “cut-off” date for guaranteeing that a student will receive financial aid?
    • Financial aid is distributed on a first come, first served basis. At some institutions full financial aid will be reduced for students applying after a certain guarantee date even if the final deadline hasn’t passed.
  8. What is your institution’s policy on packaging outside scholarships into a financial aid award package?
    • Some colleges will start removing grants (free money) first if your student receives outside scholarships, while others will start by removing loans. It makes a big difference.