WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID?
There are three categories of federal student aid: grants, loans and work-study. Grants provide financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Loans provide borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Work-study allows students to earn money to help pay for education expenses while enrolled in school. You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for federal aid. Many private/independent schools utilize private funds to assist students. You must complete the CSS Profile to assess your eligibility for these funds.
In order to complete your FAFSA online, you and one parent will need to get a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. SENIORS - this will probably be your first step in the financial aid process.
What is the FAFSA? Federal Student Aid uses the data on your FAFSA to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an indicator of your family's financial strength to pay for education after high school. The school you are choosing to attend will subtract your EFC from your total cost of attendance. The result is your financial need. To maximize the aid you can receive, be sure to submit your FAFSA between October 1 and March 2. Seniors - This is the most important step! Without a FAFSA on file you will not qualify for any federal funds so do not put this off!
The CADAA serves the same function as the FAFSA but is only for state aid and does NOT require citizenship status. The California Student Aid Commission uses the data on your CADAA to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and help determine qualification for Cal Grant Money to help pay for school.
Cal Grants are specific funds awarded to California residents planning on continuing their education in California. There are various types of Cal Grants based upon you financial need and the type if school you will be attending. You must complete a GPA verification form and the FAFSA to be eligible for a Cal Grant. The HLPUSD submits the GPA verification for ALL students electronically with no additional form needed!
The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program will provide scholarships to undergraduate students with family incomes up to $156,000. Each year, the state will allocate funding to help middle-class students attend UC and CSU. The goal of this funding is to provide scholarships that help cover up to 40% of CSU or UC systemwide tuition and fees.
If you are or were in foster care and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college. You don’t have to pay this money back. You may also be able to use your grant to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You can use your Chafee Grant at any eligible California college or university or career or technical school, as well as schools in other states.
The CSS PROFILE is completed through CollegeBoard, just like the SAT's. This is basically the same idea as the FAFSA and will ask many of the same questions. The difference is that this is used by private institutions and access private funds, not federal money. Many private/independent school require you to complete the CSS Profile. Check with the schools you are interested in applying to for deadlines to submit the Profile.
FAFSA4caster will help you get an early start on the financial aid process by providing you with an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. In addition, FAFSA4caster will increase your knowledge of the financial aid process and provide information about other sources of aid. This is a great tool for the 9th - 11th grade!
Student Aid Commission
CAL GRANT GPA VERIFICATION
The HLPUSD uploads all student verified GPA data to the California Student Aid commission by October 1st for Cal Grant consideration. Students do not need to complete any additional forms.
ACCESS WEBGRANTS4STUDENTS HERE
Need help understanding you Financial Aid Award letter? See this resource!
UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAL GRANT!!! SEE YOUR COUNSELOR!
CASH FOR COLLEGE
Looking for someone to lead your family through the financial aid process? Register for a local Cash for College Event! Events are held October - February across the county. Click the link for more info and upcoming dates. Students planning on attending ANY college or university can attend.