The best single source of financial aid is through the college where you have applied. Each college has an Office of Financial Aid from which you may request a separate financial aid application. Keep in mind that most schools have a deadline of January or February for these applications if you plan to attend in the fall.
You should also check into the many scholarships that are available from outside sources including your parents' place of employment or private clubs/lodges as well as any outside groups or organizations of which you are a member.
- Help With Financial Aid Resources
- Tips for Parents and Guardians
- Avoid Financial Aid Scams
- How to sign up for a PIN #
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required by both public and private universities and colleges before scholarships or financial aid is awarded. For more information about the FAFSA and instructions, the website is www.fafsa.ed.gov. The filing priority date for most colleges is March 2. Within four weeks of filing by mail and a few days after filing online, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. It will list the student’s expected family contribution, or EFC. A standard formula is used to calculate the EFC, based on the information the student provides on the FAFSA. The SAR will also be sent to the colleges you indicated on the FAFSA. The colleges will use the EFC to determine if you will be offered grants, loans, and/or work-study program. The earlier you file a FAFSA, the more likely you are to hear from the Commission early. Since most colleges have a May 1 deadline for intention to register, it is to your advantage to know as soon as possible about financial aid so that you can make an informed decision regarding which college you will attend. You will fill the FAFSA out your senior year in high school.
Ultimately, all financial aid decisions are made by the individual college; therefore, it is necessary for you to work with the financial aid officer at each school to which you are applying. Also, be sure to apply on time.
Complete a FAFSA by March 2!
Many colleges, universities and private scholarship programs collect additional information to assist in the awarding of aid through non-federal financial aid programs. In particular, many private colleges require the CSS/PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA and some require that their own financial aid forms are submitted as well. If you are applying to one or more colleges on the CSS Code List (included in PROFILE registration material), you should complete both the FAFSA and PROFILE.
Please check with individual colleges for deadline dates.
In addition to Federal Student Aid, California also provides grants. Every high school senior who graduates, meets academic, financial and eligibility requirements, and applies on time, is guaranteed a Cal Grant award to attend college. In other words, this is free money. It costs nothing for you to apply and does not have to be repaid!
All Cal Grants Applicants Must:
- Be a high school graduate or graduate from high school in 2009
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Have a Social Security Number.
- Be a California resident.
- Attend a qualifying California School.
- Meet U.S. Selective Service Requirements, if required
- Be enrolled at least half-time.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Have family income and assets below the established figures set each year.
- Not be in default of any student loan.
- Not owe any federal or state grant refunds.
- California Student Aid Commission
- Cal Grants
File the FAFSA and GPA Verification Form by the March 2 deadline.
Wilson High School offers scholarships through various organizations.