$ Financial Aid $

Financial Aid for College

Applying for financial aid starts in October of your senior year by filling out the FAFSA OR the CA Dream Act!

Submit your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Now

Student financial aid in the United States is funding that is intended to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, and supplies for post-secondary education at a community college, four-year college, or university.
There are four types of financial aid:


  • FREE MONEY given to students by schools, companies, organizations or the government.  It does not have to be paid back.
  • Often merit-based; awarded to students based on the student’s achievements including a high GPA, high ACT/SAT scores, athletic ability, musical ability, leadership, community service and more.


  • FREE MONEY given to students by schools, companies, organizations or the government.  It does not have to be paid back.
  • Often need-based; awarded to students based on their family income level.

Work Study

  • The student works a part-time job on campus and earns more than minimum wage because the government pays part of their wage.
  • Colleges decide how much work study they will offer to which students and it is need-based.


  • Money students borrow from the bank to help pay for their education.  Loans must be paid back with interest after you finish or leave college.
  •  Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.

How can I earn financial aid?

  • When you are applying to colleges, be sure to fill out each school’s scholarship application
  • Complete the FAFSA or the CA Dream Act between Oct 1st and Mar 1st.
    • (Fill it out even if you don’t think you are eligible for free money from the government!)
    • Every school has a different definition of “financial need”.  For example: Stanford offers need-based aid to any student whose family makes $125,000 or less.
    • Everyone who completes the FAFSA is eligible for low interest student loans.
  • Apply to private scholarships from organizations and companies, especially local organizations and companies.

Information from Federal Student Aid


Federal Student Aid


Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Opens Oct. 1st
Priority Deadline Mar. 1st

California Dream Act

Financial aid application for AB 540, DACA, and eligible undocumented students
Opens Oct. 1st
Priority Deadline Mar. 1st 

California Student Aid Commission

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