Senior Financial Aid Checklist

There are several steps to applying for financial aid, and it can seem overwhelming. Just take everything step by step. Ask for help if there's something you don't understand. 

Take notes and keep your usernames and passwords secure. That way you can go back and easily continue an application you couldn't finish in one sitting. 

CLICK HERE to see Cal Grants income Ceilings (how much your parents can make), and HERE to see whose income you include on your financial aid forms!

If you ARE a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen:

1. Create an FSA ID HERE.  You and your parents need to use an FSA ID to sign your FAFSA, and it's easier to have it done before you start your FAFSA. You must have a Social Security Number to create an FSA ID. It cannot be a "work only" SSN. If you have an SSN, but your parents don't, YOU create an FSA ID, and THEY do not. It's OK. (Anytime the FAFSA asks for your parents' SSN and they don't have one, just put in all zeros.)

2. Fill out your FAFSA: You will need your parents' tax information from tax year 2018. You are filling out the 2020-2021 application. (If you plan to attend school in Summer 2020, you might have to also do a 2019-2020 application.) Do this as soon as possible after the Oct. 1 opening date. March 2 is the deadline for four-year schools and for CalGrant eligibility, and September 2 is the deadline for community colleges, but DO NOT wait! The sooner you know what money you'll receive, the sooner you can make good decisions about school. Some grants have limited resources. 

You can get an APP for your FAFSA! Android or Apple

3. California State Aid (CalGrants): After you submit your FAFSA application, you may see a link to open a WebGrants account. Your FAFSA information is automatically shared with CalGrants, but with a WebGrants account, you'll be able to check your status, view your awards, and manage your account online. It takes a few days for your information to register with FAFSA and get sent to this site, so wait about a week before you open the WebGrants account. You can clink on the link on the FAFSA confirmation page and save as a bookmark, or visit THIS LINK to complete the setup. REMEMBER TO WAIT A WEEK!

 

Make sure your Verified GPA has been sent to the California Student Aid Commission. Most schools will do this automatically by the March 2 deadline. It is REALLY IMPORTANT that your information on your high school transcript matches your information from your FAFSA. 

Go back to WebGrants in February to confirm your school of attendance. Log in on the WebGrants page, then go to the CalGrants main page to find the link. Come back again when you graduate to submit your high school graduation confirmation. 

4. If you will be a community college student, create a California Community Colleges account here. You will use this account to apply for admission to a community college and for the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver), which waives your community college enrollment fees (there is no tuition).

5. Apply for your California College Promise Grant (formerly the BOG Fee Waiver) here. The deadline is September 2, but DO NOT wait! You'll log in with your CCC account you just made! This links to the FAFSA and uses that information to determine your eligibility.  Yes, your first two years of community college are free IF you go full-time. If you don't want to take a full load of classes, you'll need the CCPG mentioned above to cover those fees.

Your waiver does NOT move with you from community college to community college. You'll need to apply every time if you move schools. Some schools take the info straight from the FAFSA and don't require a separate application. Contact your school's Financial Aid Office for more information. 

If you are NOT a U.S. Citizen:

 

1. Fill out the California Dream Act application here. This is NOT an application for financial aid. It helps determine AB 540 status. It is NOT used for immigration purposes. It is safe and necessary to apply for California state aid. You will need your parents' tax information from tax year 2018.

 

You are filling out the 2020-2021 application. (If you plan to attend school in Summer 2020, you might have to also do a 2019-2020 application.) Do this as soon as possible after the Oct. 1 opening date. March 2 is the deadline for four-year schools and September 2 is the deadline for community colleges, but DO NOT wait! The sooner you know what money you'll receive, the sooner you can make good decisions about school. Some grants have limited resources. 

2. California State Aid (CalGrants): Confirm your Dream Act information has been shared with CalGrants if you can. Wait about a week after you submit your Dream Act application, then go to this website to create your WebGrants account. Use your Dream Act ID to sign in. With a WebGrants account, you'll be able to check your status, view your awards, and manage your account online. It takes a few days for your information to register with the Dream Act application and get sent to this site, so REMEMBER TO WAIT A WEEK before you open the WebGrants account.

Make sure your Verified GPA has been sent to the California Student Aid Commission. Most schools will do this automatically by the March 2 deadline. It is REALLY IMPORTANT that your information on your high school transcript matches your information from your CADA.

Go back to WebGrants in February to confirm your school of attendance. Log in on the WebGrants page, then go to the CalGrants main page to find the link. Come back again when you graduate to submit your high school graduation confirmation. 

3. If you will be a community college student, create a California Community Colleges account here. You will use this account to apply for admission to a community college and for the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver), which waives your community college enrollment fees (there is no tuition).

4.Apply for your California College Promise Grant (formerly the BOG Fee Waiver) here. The deadline is September 2, but DO NOT wait! You'll log in with your CCC account you just made! This links to the FAFSA and uses that information to determine your eligibility.  Yes, your first year of community college is free IF you go full-time. If you don't want to take a full load of classes, you'll need the CCPG mentioned above to cover those fees.

Your waiver does NOT move with you from community college to community college. You'll need to apply every time if you move schools. Some schools take the info straight from the FAFSA and don't require a separate application. Contact your school's Financial Aid Office for more information. 

SOME ADDITIONAL

FINANCIAL AID INFO!!!!!

These websites provide valuable information about your financial aid, especially with the California Community Colleges:

Sac City College Financial Aid Office

Financial aid payments are made either by direct deposit to your personal checking or savings account, direct deposit on to your BankMobile One Debit Card, or by check. For more information on selecting your disbursement preferences, go to: https://lrccdonecard.vibeaccount.com/

 

American River College Financial Aid Office

All disbursements are made through BankMobile Financial Services.  Students will be sent a Refund Selection Kit once the college has received the student's FAFSA and the student has selected an eligible educational program (major) at American River College.  DO NOT THROW THIS ENVELOPE AWAY - you will need it to select your refund method.

(NOTE: If you have thrown this envelope away, please contact the financial aid office for a new one!) 

Financial Aid awards should be listed in the financial aid sections of your student portal. You may see that you were awarded a Pell Grant and a Cal Grant, even though your Cal Grant awards page shows that you were NOT awarded a tuition Cal Grant. For now, accept all GRANTS offered. In the end, the SCHOOL determines how much you'll receive in the way of grants overall, depending on the cost of your school and your need. If you have questions, CALL financial aid! Every case is different. 

Make sure FAFSA and CalGrants know where you have committed to going to school! If they don't know, they can't send your money to the school. 

Let's see how much you know about student loans! Take this QUIZ!

 
 

© 2016 Hiram Johnson High School Law Academy Partnered 

Sacramento Police Department Magnet Academies

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