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All college-bound seniors are encouraged to apply for financial aid even if they think they don’t qualify. Many factors besides income are taken into account to determine eligibility. By submitting the FAFSA, students will be considered for federal and state grants, loans, work study, and college-based aid. Colleges use the FAFSA to award their own grants and scholarships.

Your journey will start with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Everyone who is applying for financial aid must complete the FAFSA.  Your FAFSA will help you determine your financial need – based on a college’s cost and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Types of Financial Aid
There are several levels of financial aid that students can possibly use: Financial aid from the federal government, aid from state resources and aid from private resources. Four of the most popular types of financial aid are:

  • Grants – Students do NOT have to repay grants. They are typically given for athletics, academics, special talent, need-based, etc.

  • Scholarships – Students also do NOT have to repay scholarships. Scholarships can be awarded for athletics, academic excellence or special talent.

  • Loans – These must be repaid. There are two types of loans: federal student loans and private loans.

  • College Work Study – Work study allows colleges to hire students for employment to pay their own way as they attend college. You do not repay the money earned.


The level of aid that a student can obtain is based on different factors: financial need, overall G.P.A., and cost of individual colleges. Financial aid is not just for four year universities, it also can be used for community colleges and trade school programs. One important question students will need to ask themselves- "How will the degree help pay for itself in the future?"


 Federal Aid


State Aid


California Community College Aid

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