Financial Aid


Estimate your aid with FAFSA4caster


How much will my loan payment be and how much interest will I pay?

Check out the when deciding about student loans.


Do you need help paying for college? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the first step to Financial Aid. If you are not eligible to file the FAFSA but meet AB540 criteria, you may be eligible to file the Dream Act Application and qualify for California Aid.

Attend a FREE Cash For College Workshop. We'll assist you with filling out the FAFSA or Dream Act Application, and you may be eligible for a scholarship drawing of up to $1,000. You could also be in the running for free tickets to a Kings game! (must be at least 25 participants at workshop)

Think your family income is too high and you won't qualify for financial aid?

NEW THIS YEAR - MIDDLE CLASS SCHOLARSHIP provides undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000. a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.


Details to come

Information and Materials you need to bring to the workshop in order to complete the FAFSA or Dream Act Application:

  • student's Social Security card and drivers license (or government issued ID) if available
  • parent's Social Security card (if available)
  • parent's federal income tax return or W-2 forms from tax year 2016
  • records of untaxed income such as child support, TANF, interest income, veterans non-education benefits, Social Security benefits
  • student W-2 forms, pay records or records of income earned during 2016
  • bank account records or statements
  • records of stocks, bonds or investments
  • business records
  • if not a US citizen, bring alien registration card (if available)
  • a list of the colleges you are interested in

"But I've already submitted my FAFSA or Dream Act Application!" Great! Come to the workshop, pull up your app, we'll review it with you and you will be eligible for the scholarship and Kings tickets drawings.

Remember, to qualify for a Cal Grant you must submit the FAFSA or Dream Act application no later than March 2nd.

LUSD seniors will submit all senior Cal Grant GPA's to the California Student Aid Commission for Cal Grant consideration on January 31. Create your account on to check your California Aid Report (CAR) once your FAFSA and GPA have been submitted.

Can't join us on January 20st? Visit the website for a complete list of workshops in your area.


What Is Financial Aid?

Any money from outside the family that pays postsecondary (college) expenses

Understanding College Costs

• More than just tuition:

Also includes room and board, books, transportation, personal expenses, etc.

• Vary by type of college:

Community colleges are less expensive than four- year schools

Private colleges can be more expensive than public colleges

• Look at costs over a child’s entire postsecondary education

Four to six years total

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

• Amount family can reasonably be expected to contribute, but not what the family will pay to the college

• EFC the same regardless of what college the student attends

• Calculated using a federal form and formula

What Is Financial Need?

• Difference between college costs and EFC

• Will vary by college

• Amount of financial need determines the aid a student will receive

Types of Financial Aid

• Scholarships

Awarded on the basis of merit or unique characteristics; does not have to be paid back

• Grants

Awarded on the basis of financial need; does not have to be paid back

• Loans

Considered self-help aid

Must be paid back, usually after student finishes school

Many different types

A good investment in child’s future

• Employment

Self-help aid

Earnings used to cover college expenses


Sources of Financial Aid

• Federal government

Largest source of financial aid

Awarded mainly on the basis of financial need

Apply every year using a standard form

• States

Offer both merit-based and need-based aid (CalGrant Program;

Usually have residency requirements

• Colleges

Varies widely from college to college

Offer both merit-based and need-based aid

May be offered as part of the admissions process

• Private sources

Churches, civic organizations, and employers

Varying award amounts and application procedures

Small awards add up

How to Apply for Financial Aid

• Complete a standard federal form every year

• Standard federal form is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

CA High School Seniors file between January 1st and March 2nd of Senior Year.

Collects demographic and financial information about the student and his or her family

Data used to calculate the EFC

• File the CalGrant GPA Verification Form by March 2nd of the senior year for CalGrant consideration

• Information from the FAFSA may be used by states, colleges, and private sources to award aid

• Ask colleges if other forms are required - Many Private schools require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA.

Federal Financial Aid Programs

• Federal grant programs

Federal Pell Grant

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

• Federal loan programs

Federal Perkins Loan Program (borrowed by students)

Stafford Loans (borrowed by students)

PLUS Loans (borrowed by parents and graduate students)

• Federal employment programs

Federal Work-Study (student earns money through a campus provided job to help pay for education)

Estimating Eligibility Using FAFSA4caster

• On-line tool developed by U.S. Department of Education to help families financially prepare for college

Asks for data provided on the FAFSA

Estimates the EFC

Estimates eligibility for federal financial aid

• Estimates possible financial aid at various types of colleges

• Gives an idea of realistic costs, financial need, and financial aid

Researching Financial Aid

• Begin early

• Find scholarships that match student’s academic interests, hobbies, and unique characteristics

• Don’t pay for scholarship searches

• Be wary of promised results

• Report fraud

What to Do Now

• Begin researching financial aid options

• Start saving

• Encourage child to take college prep classes

• Share information with student

• Encourage student to participate in extracurricular activities

Develop leadership skills

• Help child develop strong study skills