Besides applying for college or a vocational training program and enjoying senior year activities, all high school seniors should apply for financial aid to help fund their post high school pursuits.

85% of students have a chance of receiving some kind of financial aid.
92% of applicants from low-income households receive grant money, which never has to be paid back.

We encourage all high school seniors from families of all income levels to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Seniors attending 4-year colleges, community colleges and career and vocational training programs should apply for financial aid.

Knowing early that money is available to help pay for college or vocational training, may allow students to pursue advanced education or training earlier than they thought possible. U.S. citizens and permanent residents complete the FAFSA. Others, read CA Dream Act FAQs to determine eligibility. To access the CADAA click here.

Just Apply – Don’t Leave Money on the Table
The FAFSA not only determines eligibility for federal Pell Grants for low-income students, but it’s used by colleges to administer federal student loans, work-study funds and scholarships from the schools. Some private schools match the cost of tuition at a UC, but require a FAFSA to award those merit based scholarships. Many outside scholarship providers require the FAFSA – even for merit based scholarships.

Statewide Cash for College Webinar

Have questions about FAFSA or CADAA? Attend one of the CA Student Aid Commission’s Statewide Cash for College Webinars! These webinars provide students and their families information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Register here

California Student Aid Commission
castudentaidcommThe State of California helps pay for college through Cal Grants, Community College Fee Waivers and Middle Class Scholarships. Students must complete the FAFSA or CA Dream Act App by April 2 to be eligible for financial aid from the State of California. Learn about all the CSAC Financial Aid Programs.

Student should never pay to complete and submit a FAFSA – the first F stands for FREE.

Access the FAFSA here and the CADAA here.

The updated FAFSA and CADAA applications will be available in December 2024, but the deadline for California State Priority submission in California is April 2. Students should check if their college has a deadline earlier than April 2.

To receive a Cal Grant or Middle Class Scholarship, students must also create a WebGrants 4 Students account to monitor and accept their grant.

Need help completing your FAFSA or CADAA? attend one of the CSAC Cash for College Webinars or contact us.

Carolyn Siegfried, Executive Director – Pedrozzi Foundation, and Robin Fahr, host of Conversations with Robin Fahr on Tri-Valley Community Television – TV30 , discuss why all students should apply for college financial aid and not leave money on the table. (Segment produced by Tri-Valley Community Television)