Applying for Financial Aid:
1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) The first step in financial aid is to complete your FAFSA form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Both the student and a parent will need to obtain a FSA ID to be able to sign electronically (https://fsaid.ed.gov). Even if an academic or athletic scholarship is a possibility, colleges expect qualified students to apply for these grants during January of their senior year. The FAFSA is the base for all other aids in the college financial package. Filing Period: October 1-March 2 of senior year.
GET A FSA ID if you will be filing a FAFSA form. The FSA ID will allow you to sign your FAFSA electronically and to correct your processed FAFSA information online. As a dependent student, your parents must submit financial information on the FAFSA. To sign electronically, your parent must also have his or her own FSA ID. Do it early!
Go to https://fsaid.ed.gov and provide your name, social security numbers, date of birth, mailing address, and e-mail address.
Beware of spam blocker software.
*FAFSA AVAILABLE ON THE WEB ON OCTOBER 1ST (www.fafsa.ed.gov)
*Helpline: 800-433-3243 (800-4FEDAID)
*Federal school codes www.fafsa.ed.gov. School code changes may be made by calling 1-800-4FEDAID
2. California State Grants (Cal Grants) Cal Grant awards are state-funded monetary grants given to students to help pay for college expenses. The awards do not have to be paid back.
Cal Grant GPA Verification: DEADLINE March 2 of Senior Year. The GPA Verification will automatically be submitted electronically by TUSD well before the deadline.
Create a WebGrants account to view your Cal Grant Status. https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/
3. CSS Profile -- Required by specific private colleges and universities. To access participating schools and form visit www.collegeboard.org. Seniors must submit now!
Remember the March 2 deadline for most colleges! If you need money, you have to ask for it on time!
Most of the money you will get for college you will get by filling out the FAFSA form between October 1 and March 2 of your senior year. Some private colleges may require you to fill out an additional form called the CSS Profile.
The Cal Grant GPA Verification Form will be submitted electronically by TUSD.
You will not be able to get grants, work-study, or loans unless you fill out these forms on time. In order to fill out the FAFSA, you need to have a social security number and be either a U.S. citizen or have an alien registration number.
Types of Financial Aid families may be awarded:
Financial Aid is a general term encompassing all different sources of money to help you pay for your college education. It includes grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. As you apply to each college, be aware of financial aid deadlines for each school. Students who are not US citizens CAN get financial aid!
A Grant is free money that you get from the federal government (Pell Grant), state government (Cal Grant), or your college. You get grants because your family is needy financially and you qualify academically and/or residentially, and you do not have to pay the money back.
A Scholarship is free money that you get from your college or an outside agency because you have done something special--you have great grades, you have volunteered, you are talented in some way, you are an athlete, you are a member of a certain group, you want to pursue a certain career, etc. You can get scholarships directly from your college, or apply for them on your own. Naviance provides a "scholarship list" as well as a "National Scholarship Search" which generates numerous scholarship opportunities for students. You never need to pay any person or company to find scholarships for you! There are many scam operators who prey on needy students. If you are unsure about a scholarship you have heard about, bring it to the Counseling Office to check if it is legitimate.
Seniors: The TUSD Local Scholarship is posted on the Scholarship List in late October. The application is due right before Winterbreak.
College Work Study programs are jobs that are given to you by the college so that you may earn money while you are attending their campus. You may also choose to get or keep your own jobs that you may already have. A portion of what you earn goes towards your tuition.