- Applying for Financial Aid
- FAFSA Help
- Financial Aid Information and Links
- Scholarships & Scholarship Search Links
All parents of students attending college in the fall should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1. Complete it as early as possible. You will need to register for a pin number to sign the FAFSA electronically. Visit the FSA ID website to apply for a pin and the Federal Student Aid website to complete the FAFSA.
If you're applying to colleges in California and you're also applying for financial aid, fill out the cal grant form. You'll need to bring in the form to your guidance tech by March 1 in order to receive it back by March 2. It has a March 2 postmark deadline. Visit the CAL Grants website to download the one-page GPA verification form you need to bring in to your guidance tech.
If you're applying to private colleges anywhere in the United States and also applying for financial aid, fill out the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. Visit the College Board website to see a list of the colleges requiring the CSS Profile as well as to apply.
Please review the other tabs within this section for additional information.
If you need help with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the financial aid department at Saddleback College has help available every Wednesday from 4-6 pm in its Career Center. Students can attend alone or with parents. Parents cannot attend without a student. This resource is available to students going to ANY college next year, whether Saddleback or not.
While you're looking for scholarships and other ways to fund a college education, it is important to exhaust all of the other available resources. Below you will find some links that provide valuable tips about financing your future...
How much money is my family expected to contribute to my college education?
Financial aid is intended to fill the gap between the cost of a college education and what a family is expected to contribute toward that cost. For example, if a family is expected to contribute $7,000 per year and the cost to attend the student's selected university is $35,000, the financial aid package will cover the remainging $28,000. If your expected family contribution is $7,000 and you'll be attending a community college for less than that cost, your financial aid package may be slim to none. The types of financial aid include: grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Use the "net cost calculator" or "net price calculator" on each college's website to ESTIMATE what your expected family contribution will be. All colleges are also supposed to have a Net Cost Calculator or Net Price Calculator on their websites. This will give you an idea of how much money from your family, savings, work, and/or scholarships that you will need to come up with in order to fund your college education. Nothing is final until your FAFSA (see below) with very detailed information is processed. The categories include grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back after graduation), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Scholarships from the colleges may also be included as part of your financial aid package.
Federal Website with a Wealth of Information
- Financial Aid Toolkit - This site has a wealth of information
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
All Seniors should fill out the FAFSA. This form, once you fill it out completely and send it off, gives the government finance people a chance to review your financial needs and to offer you some options regarding your eligibility for different types of aid. It is an intense application that needs to be completed by your parents using their tax return information. The FAFSA can be submitted between January 2 and March 2 of your senior year. Visit the following website to get started:
If you follow all the steps related to the FAFSA, you will receive a financial aid package that will detail the financial aid for which you qualify. The categories include grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Grants can come from the federal government or from California. Federal grants will be included in the financial aid package based on the information included on your FAFSA.
Some private schools will require you to fill out the PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA. This is used to find financial info that is not provided on the FAFSA. The PROFILE has different due dates depending on the college so check your college/university financial aid websites to determine if this is required and when it is due. The PROFILE can be found at the following website:
Students who may possibly attend a 2 or 4 year college in California should apply for a Cal Grant. There are specific GPA/income/family size criteria to qualify but typically it covers the cost tuition to a CA public college. You must submit a "Cal Grant GPA Verification Form." Visit the following website to download the form. This form also needs to be submitted between January 2 and March 2 of your senior year. The FAFSA is required in addition to the Cal Grant form. It's an easy form that just needs a signature from someone in the guidance department so print it out and bring it in.
For other information regarding federal aid and scholarships, review these sites:
- California Student Aid Commission
- Financial Aid Toolkit
- U.S Department of Education Financial Aid
- College Scholarships
- Quest Bridge
Don't forget to check the scholarship page regularly for new scholarships. They come in all shapes in sizes with varying criteria.