Financial Aid for College

Financial Aid for College

Student financial aid in the United States is funding intended to help students pay educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc. for education at a college, university, or private school. General governmental funding for public education is not called financial aid, which refers to awards to specific individual students.


FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. The results of the FAFSA are used in determining student grants, work-study, and loan amounts.

The FAFSA application is critical because it is used for Federal Pell Grants as well as California State Grant and other financial aid offered by colleges and universities. You must apply separately for many scholarships.
Fill out the application completely and accurately, and be sure to get it in on time. Even a minor problem with the form could result in delays or the loss of financial assistance.


Cal Grants
Cal Grants are one of the smartest ways to get cash for college. For starters, it’s money you don’t have to pay back. If you’re a graduating high school senior or recent graduate, meet academic, financial and eligibility requirements and submit two forms by the Cal Grant deadline, you may receive a Cal Grant!

When is the Cal Grant deadline?

You must apply by March 2 to maximize your opportunity to receive an award.
If you miss the March 2 Cal Grant deadline and you plan to attend a community college in the fall, you have until September 2 to apply. However, the number of Cal Grant awards is limited.

How Much Money Are We Talking About?

Cal grant award amounts vary by type of college — for 2018-2019, Cal Grants are up to $12,630 at a University of California campus, up to $5,742 at a California State University campus, and up to $9,084 at independent colleges. Depending on which Cal Grant you get, the money can be used for tuition, room and board as well as supplies.

How to Apply

Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) between January 1 and September 2 and submit a verified Cal Grant GPA anytime between November and the September 2 deadline. If you meet the income, eligibility, and GPA requirements, the cash is yours. The best part is, you can fill out the FAFSA online.

To submit a verified Cal Grant GPA, first check with your school to see if they will do it for you. If not, you can go online and download a GPA Verification form, fill out the student section and take it to your school.  Students and parents must register for  FSA ID(Federal Student Aid ID/electronic signature) prior to submitting the FAFSA.  Apply for an FSA ID at:

Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student’s expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student’s enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Quick information on Pell grants:

  • A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.
  • The maximum Pell grant for the 2017-2018 award year (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017) is $5,920.
  • The amount depends on your financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
  • Learn more about Pell grants.
  • To apply, complete the FAFSA.

CSS/Financial Aid Profile:

The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is a financial aid application form produced by the College Board’s College Scholarship Service.

Many schools and scholarship programs use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE as a supplement to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is used primarily by more than 250 of the most selective colleges and universities as well as about 150 private scholarship programs for determining eligibility for non-government financial aid, such as institutional scholarship, grant, student employment and loan programs.

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE Application Costs

Unlike the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is free to file, the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE requires a fee of $25 for the first school (one-time registration fee of $9 fee plus $16 to send the processing results to one college, university or scholarship program), and $16 for each additional school or scholarship program requiring the form. However, low-income students will automatically be considered for a fee waiver to allow the student to apply to a combination of up to eight colleges or universities or scholarship programs.

Application Deadlines

The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE can be submitted as early as October 1 each year. Schools and scholarship programs have individual deadlines which span throughout the year, so it’s important to check with each school or program for their submission deadlines. Make sure to complete the CSS PROFILE online at least two weeks before each deadline

Link to CSS/Financial Aid Profile:


When:   January 24, 2024
Time:    5:00 – 7:00 pm
Where:  Chula Vista High School

How to Apply

Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) between October 1 and March 2. If you meet the income, eligibility, and GPA requirements, you can qualify for financial aid. The best part is, you can fill out the FAFSA online.