The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a federal
form for financial aid that is accepted by most schools. The information
you provide will be used to figure the amount your family can afford to
contribute toward your education (also known as your EFC: estimated family contribution).
The FAFSA for college attendance beginning Fall of 2017 can be
filed beginning October 1, 2016, using your 2015 tax year information.
If your financial or living situation has significantly changed since 2015, you will still be required to use your 2015 information, then follow up with a call to each of your colleges' financial aid offices to explain your situation. You will be asked for documentation.
Financial aid deadlines vary by college, but if you file your FAFSA by December you should be in no danger of missing a deadline. If you are unsure, check your college's website.
Your Cal Grant GPA will be uploaded to the California Student Aid
Commission in December. This gpa is calculated differently
than most gpa's you've seen, but should be close to what you normally
know as your cumulative gpa. There is nothing you need to do, no
paperwork to fill out.
What you DO need to do is follow up! It is important for you
monitor your Cal Grant status and make sure your GPA actually made it
all the way into the state's database. Remember, a missed deadline is a
missed deadline, even if it wasn't your fault. After you file your FAFSA. visit webgrants4students
to verify your status - you'll need to create a profile. If anything
you see (or don't see) worries you, ask Mrs. Bastian or your Counselor
to help you figure it out.
This is a federal student loan. With the unsubsidized loan, the interest accrues while you are in school, but you don't pay it until after you stop attending. With the subsidized loan, the government pays the interest while you are in school.
A college might offer Work Study (on-campus employment) as a way for you to meet your cost of attendance. It is important to know that these offers can vary widely from college to college. Work Study is very similar to having an off-campus job, but with Work Study your pay in considered financial aid rather than income.
If you still have unmet need, the PLUS loan is a popular loan for parents of students. Some families choose to use a home equity-type loan. Shop around for best interest rates and repayment options.