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Financial Aid for College

10 FAFSA Facts Every College-Bound Student Should Know click HERE

Saddleback Financial Aid office offers many resources for helping students sign up for FAFSA, even if you are NOT planning on attending Saddleback College.  Please check out the links below for help!

Please watch this tutorial on FAFSA and scholarship information click HERE

Do you need help understanding how to fill out your FAFSA application? click HERE

Do you have a question about FAFSA and would like to Zoom with a financial aid specialist?    click HERE

Email or call Saddleback's Financial Aid office with questions. or        (949) 582-4860 or click HERE to visit their website.

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 Opt Out Form

Assembly Bill 2160 was signed into law in September 2014 mandating that all public schools electronically submit grade point averages (GPAs) for grade twelve students to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).  The bill also requires the school district to notify parents in writing of opt-out requirements by September 21, 2018 for current grade twelve students.  The district created the attached form for parents to opt out of the mandate. 

Please return your opt-out form to Tracy Brown in the Guidance office by Friday, September 25, 2020.

If you have questions, please contact the Guidance Office

GPA Opt Out Form (PDF)


To apply for aid, students must use FAFSA on the Web at

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 October 1st of the student's senior year in high school. 

CSS Profile

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®   The fast, easy, convenient secure way to apply for financial aid.  The CSS Financial Aid Profile is a 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.

Information regarding the CSS profile

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 and State 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).

Cal Grants are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need and academic achievement which is measured by GPA's and scoring criteria.  visit for information.

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.)

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are awarded to student who demonstrate exceptional financial need and are Pell Grant recipients.

California Community College Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOG) waives per-unit enrollment fees for financially qualified California residents.

The California Chafee Grant Program gives money to current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training or college courses.  Visit for more information.

CEEB High School Code


California Student Aid Commission Financial Aid Planning Guide

Invierte En Tu Futuro -

Source: Information used to complete this page taken from literature produced by: The California Student Aide Commission/EdFund, FastWeb, and the Federal Student Aid Information Center.

On The Web

Student Aid

LendEDU's Video Series on Scholarships and Financial Aid made simple 

For questions about federal financial aid, visit the U.S. Department of Education site for students and parents.

This student-focused Web site, sponsored by the California Student Aid Commission, provides information on all Cal Grants in one location

The California Student Aid Commission's Web site provides details on all the California state aid programs and how to apply for them.  Students can click on WebGrants for Students for fast answers about their Cal Grant application.

Here you will find information on free California Cash for College workshops where students can get line-by-line help completing the FAFSA and other forms.

EdFund's Web site presents information on planning and paying for college, federal loans, tools for financial literacy, and much more.

Click here for EdFund's online financial planning tool, EdWise, which can help students borrow wisely, create a realistic spending plan and more  Need Money for College?  Visit FastWeb to search for over 1.3 million scholarships!

College affordability guide - financial-aid

College affordability guide - methodology

Form Your Future

Cal Grants are Free Money!!!

There are three kinds of CAL Grants:  Cal Grant A; Cal Grant B; and CalGrant C.   Cal Grants can be used at any UC, CSU, California Community College, almost all independent colleges, and many career and technical schools in California.

To be eligible  for a Cal Grant you must:

  • Submit a FAFSA application by the deadline (usually in March)
  • GPA will be automatically be submitted per Assembly Bill 2160
  • Be a US Citizen
  • Be a California Resident
  • Meet any minimum GPA requirements
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Attend a qualifying CALIFORNIA college
  • Have financial need based on your college costs and your EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
  • Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
  • Be enrolled at least half time

To find out more about the Cal Grant program please visit

California Dream Act

For information regarding the California Dream Act visit

Information in Spanish (PDF)


Dream Act




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