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Financial Aid

Need Money for College?

College can be very expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Students of all income backgrounds can qualify for various forms of aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. By completing a financial aid application (FAFSA or CADAA), students give the government and their campuses the necessary information to evaluate their financial aid award. Check out the links throughout this page to learn more about applying for aid, finding scholarships, finding affordable schools, and more. If have any questions, feel free to drop by the College Center or reach out to Ms. Bryan or Mr. Rico.

FAFSA

Link to FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the main form used by most universities and colleges to determine a student's need for tuition assistance. Graduating high school seniors should fill out the FAFSA no later than March 2nd. The federal and state government, as well as the schools receiving a student's FAFSA, will review the information provided. The student should receive a financial aid offer from each school around April. You will need the following:

  • Your Social Security Number (and your parent's, if they have one)
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Your parent or legal guardian's most recent tax returns, W-2s, or other records of money earned 
  • If you do not have a parent/guardian with a social security number, they can sign your FAFSA with a physical form you can access when you're ready to submit

California DREAM Act Application

Link to CADAA

Students who do not have a social security number may complete a California DREAM Act Application (CADAA). Just like FAFSA, the DREAM Act app is used by universities and colleges to determine a student's need for tuition assistance. Graduating high school seniors should complete it no later than March 2nd. The state government and the schools receiving a student's CADAA will review the information provided and send out a financial aid offer around April. Note that CADAA only provides financial aid for schools within California. You will need the following:

  • Satisfaction of the AB 540 eligibility requirements outlined here. If you're not sure, let us know
  • Your parent or legal guardian's most recent tax returns, W-2s, or other records of money earned 
  • A parent/guardian who can electronically sign with you

CSS Profile

Link to CSS Profile

In addition to your FAFSA or CADAA, some private colleges will want you to submit a CSS Profile. See the list of those colleges here. The CSS profile provides your selected school(s) with more financial information for them to consider when deciding your award. While FAFSA/CADAA focus more on income, CSS focuses more on assets. It costs $25 to create a CSS Profile and to send it to a school. An additional $16 are charged per additional school, but students qualify for a fee waiver if their family earns below $100,000. See Ms. Bryan for more waiver information. CSS Profile deadlines vary by school, but tend to be around February.

  • The last two years of your household's tax returns, W-2s, or other records of money earned
  • If you own a home, its equity
  • Retirement savings information
  • Other information, found here

 

Who is considered a parent for financial aid purposes?

Calculate College Cost

To estimate how much a school will end up costing you, you can use a Net Price Calculator. Net price refers to the amount of money you will be responsible for paying after free money from financial aid is considered. So, if a school costs $30k and you get $25k in free aid, your net price is $5k and it can be covered out-of-pocket, with loans, or with work-study.

For select top colleges, a similar tool exists. MyinTuition, the quick college cost estimator, was developed at Wellesley College and has now been adopted by many of the best colleges and universities in the country. It can quickly and easily show that a top college can not only become an option, but a comfortable financial fit for many families. Video tutorial here.