Applying for Aid

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What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money available from federal, state, institutional and private sources to help students meet college costs. Financial aid helps fill the gap between the costs of attending college and the amount which students and their families can afford to pay.

Two types of categories of financial aid are available. Scholarships and grants are referred to as gift aid, since these funds typically do not need to repaid. Self-help aid includes work-study. Your own aid “package” may include several types of awards. Financial aid will help pay for educational costs including:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation costs

 

Am I Eligible?

Different types of aid (private scholarships, state grants, etc.) have different rules, eligibility criteria, to determine who receives the aid.

U.S. Citizens and Eligible Non-Citizens

Students must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for federal aid:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED or CHSPE
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Enroll in a program leading to a degree, certificate or transfer
  • Not be in default on any student loan nor owe a repayment on any Title IV aid at any institution
  • Must be registered with Selective Service (The Draft) if you are male at least 18 years old, born after December 1959; unless you meet certain specified exceptions
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

AB540

Assembly Bills 130 & 131, known as the California Dream Act of 2011, are laws increasing access to financial aid for undocumented students who attend a public university, community college or private college in California.  In order to qualify, students must meet the requirements of AB 540 and NOT be eligible to apply for the FAFSA.  Students who meet these requirements must complete the California Dream Act Application.

How do I apply?

U.S. Citizens and Eligible Non-Citizens

Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at www.fafsa.gov.  Once the application is complete, it will take approximately 5-10 business days for your FAFSA application to be processed into the system.

AB540

Fill out the California Dream Act online at https://dream.csac.ca.gov/.  Once the application is complete, it will take approximately 2 weeks for the Dream Act Application to be processed into the system.