Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FAFSA is a graduation requirement.
Seniors! You may start filling out the FAFSA on December 31, 2023.
Please visit the California Student Aid Commission website to find webinars on how to get CASH for COLLEGE!
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications for 2023/24 open on October 1! It is essential that you submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Applications must be submitted by March 2, 2023. However, it is essential to note that college financial aid offices allot money on a first-come-first-get basis by the date you submit your FAFSA.
What is federal student aid? It's money from the federal government that helps you pay for college, career school, or graduate school expenses. Aid is available through grants, work-study, and loans. Every student who meets certain eligibility requirements can get some type of federal student aid, regardless of age or family income. Before you apply, get an estimate of how much aid you could get https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/.
Submit your FAFSA or Dream Act application and your verified Cal Grant GPA by March 2nd to qualify for a Cal Grant. Cal Grants are for students pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training and do not have to be repaid. Click here for the Cal Grant FAQ webpage.
What to prepare ahead of time:
File the FAFSA early! Financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- FSA ID - both student and parent(s) need an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA
- Tax return and income statement
- Parent and student Social Security Number / Alien Registration Number (non-US citizen)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
Independent students don't need parent information
Students and Parents can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
- Don't forget to electronically sign your application
- Make sure Admissions has your SSN
- If applying for a Cal Grant, make sure state residency listed is "CA" for California
What happens after I file?
Notification is sent when FAFSA is processed
- SAR (Student Aid Report) sent to student
- ISIR sent to institutions specified on FAFSA
- Contains data elements completed on FAFSA
- Correct FAFSA as needed
- CAR or ineligibility letter sent to student
- Schools send follow-up request for missing information
- Schools send award letter as early as December
- Follow up with the Financial Aid Office at the college
- Each Financial Aid Office makes their own decision
- The school's decision is final, and cannot be appealed with the US Dept of Education