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FAFSA & Financial Aid


what is FAFSA/CADAA?

what is FAFSA/CADAA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) are FREE applications that can grant you thousands of dollars in financial aid to be used for your college education and/or career & technical training beyond high school. In addition, students planning to attend a local community college will qualify for TWO FREE YEARS OF TUITION by completing the FAFSA or CADAA!




Which Application Do I Apply to?

Apply for the FAFSA If:
  • You are a U.S. Citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • You have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • You plan to be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at a college or career school (trade/vocational)
Apply for CADAA If:
  • Are Undocumented
  • Have a valid or expired DACA status
  • Are a U Visa holder
  • Have Temporary protected Status (TPS)
  • Meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540
  • You plan to be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at a college or career school (trade/vocational) in the state of California.
Both applications open on October 1st of every year and are due March 2. The sooner you apply the better as aid is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Cal Grant

Cal Grant

Your Cal Grant GPA will be uploaded to the California Student Aid Commission during fall semester of Senior year. 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. Yurkovic or your Counselor to help you figure it out.

CSS Profile

CSS Profile

Many colleges do not require any additional financial aid forms beyond the FAFSA® to determine their financial aid awards. However, about 400 colleges (mostly private ones) require you to also fill out the CSS Profile, which is a separate application run by the College Board, the same company that administers the SAT. The CSS Profile is used to award non-federal financial aid. Check with your college (or see this list here) to see if you need to fill out the CSS Profile. 
The main differences between the FAFSA® and the CSS Profile are: 
  • The cost: The government version of the FAFSA® is free. The CSS Profile costs $25 for the first school and $16 per additional school. However, you may be eligible for fee waivers. (Your college would then give you a promo code to enter at the end of the form, when you’re meant to pay.)
  • The username: You’ll need an FSA ID to submit and sign your FAFSA® application. You’ll need a College Board username (like the one you used for viewing SAT scores) for the CSS Profile.
  • The questions: The FAFSA® asks the same set of personal info and financial questions to everyone. The CSS Profile customizes the application based on what schools you’re applying to. (It might include a bunch of questions your college has specifically requested.)
  • The assets considered: While the FAFSA® never asks you about the value of your home, the CSS Profile does. Different schools then decide how much to weigh your home equity when evaluating how much your family can afford to pay.
  • The years considered: While the FAFSA® only asks you for your tax information from two years ago, the CSS Profile asks you about your income two years ago, one year ago, and this year (your expected/estimated income). This way, colleges can see if there’s lots of fluctuation in your family’s financial situation. They also will see more updated information. 
Financial Aid Links

Financial Aid Links

FAFSA Resources


CADAA Resources


Additional Resources

  • CSS Profile - a few colleges require this financial aid application, in addition to the FAFSA. (Your college will let you know.)
Types of Federal Student Aid

Types of Federal Student Aid