College Financial Aid

Student financial aid in the United States is funding intended to help students pay educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc. for education at a college, university, or private school. General governmental funding for public education is not called financial aid, which refers to awards to specific individual students.

 

FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. The results of the FAFSA are used in determining student grants, work-study, and loan amounts.

 

The FAFSA application is critical because it is used for Federal Pell Grants as well as California State Grant and other financial aid offered by colleges and universities. You must apply separately for many scholarships.

Fill out the application completely and accurately, and be sure to get it in on time. Even a minor problem with the form could result in delays or the loss of financial assistance.

 

SENIOR STUDENTS MUST SUBMIT THEIR FAFSA BY MARCH 2, 2011

Gants

Cal Grants

Cal Grants are one of the smartest ways to get cash for college. For starters, it’s money you don’t have to pay back. If you’re a graduating high school senior or recent graduate, meet academic, financial and eligibility requirements and submit two forms by the Cal Grant deadline, you may receive a Cal Grant!

 

What is the Cal Grant deadline?
You must apply by March 2 to maximize your opportunity to receive an award.

If you miss the March 2 Cal Grant deadline and you plan to attend a community college in the fall, you have until September 2 to apply. However, the number of Cal Grant awards is limited.

 

How Much Money Are We Talking About?
With a Cal Grant you can get up to $9,700 a year to pay for college expenses at any qualifying California college, university or career or technical school in California. Depending on which Cal Grant you get, the money can be used for tuition, room and board, even books and pencils. The best part is, it’s yours to keep and you don’t have to pay it back.

 

How to Apply

Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) between January 1 and September 2 and submit a verified Cal Grant GPA anytime between November and the September 2 deadline. If you meet the income, eligibility, and GPA requirements, the cash is yours. The best part is, you can fill out the FAFSA online.

To submit a verified Cal Grant GPA, first check with your school to see if they will do it for you.  If not, you can go online and download a GPA Verification form, fill out the student section and take it to your school.

 

Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Quick information on Pell grants:

  • A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.
  • The maximum Pell grant for the 2010-11 award year (July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011) is $5,550.
  • The amount depends on your financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
  • Learn more about Pell grants.
  • To apply, complete the FAFSA.