How Will I Ever Be Able To Afford College?
Colleges and Universities will expect students and their families to contribute toward the expense of college, however, most college students utilize some form of financial aid to close the gap between what their families can afford, and the actual cost of college.
This page will highlight different financial aid programs for the State of California, as well as Federal programs. Familiarizing yourself with the types of aid available will make the college application process much more friendly, manageable and affordable.
Cal Grant GPA Information Release Form
Click HERE to download the Cal Grant GPA Information Release Form
To apply for aid, students must use FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov
The first step in the financial aid process for students is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information that students provide on the FAFSA is used to determine their eligibility for most financial aid. Students and parents can submit their FAFSA AFTER January 1st of the student's senior year in high school.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® The fast, easy, convenient secure way to apply for financial aid. The CSS Financial Aid Profile isa national, not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Many of the member colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, and scholarship programs use the information collected on PROFILE to help them award nonfederal student aid funds.
For more information regarding the CSS profile please visit https://profileonline.collegeboard.com
General Types of Financial Aid
Federal Aid: Aid that comes from the U.S. government. Usually distributed through the college.
Gift Aid: Financial aid that does not need to be paid back:
- Grants - Typically based on financial need
- Scholarships - Typically based on achievement or talent.
Loans: Funds that must be paid back later, with interest. Federally-guaranteed loans can be from a private lender (e.g. a bank) or form the federal government (administered by the college). Private loans are offered by private lenders with terms set by the lender, not the government.
Private Aid: Financial aid from non-goverment sources.
Federal Aid Programs
Pell Grant: Gift aid that is given based on financial need. How much aid you will be eligible to receive is based on your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), which is determined when you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Federal Work-Study: Provides part-time employment for students who have financial need. Jobs are usually available both on or off campus. Work study is also determined by FAFSA.
Perkins Loan: Fixed low interest loan through your college. You must demonstrate financial need.
Stafford Loan: Currently a variable interest rate loan. You can receive this loan from a private lender or your college. They can be subsidized (no interest accrues while enrolled full-time in school) or unsubsidized (interest accrues while in school.)