Many people who dream of attending college are concerned about costs. The fact is, college is not cheap. Paying for college can be a challenge, but there are financial aid opportunities for everyone. Don't disqualify yourself by not applying for aid. Almost everyone who attends college needs some form of financial assistance. The following are suggestions for both parents and students who are interested in financial aid.
Ten Step Action Plan for Students
- Start early by talking with your parents about going to college.
- Identify the key person at your school for scholarship information and CSF (California Scholarship Federation.
- Access the services offered at our school.
- Get organized to meet deadlines. Set up a calendar.
- Obtain and read the California's Financial Aid Workbook for Students
- Obtain and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Cal Grants GPA Verification Form
- File your FAFSA between January 1 and March 2. Be sure that your school verifies and sends your GPA Verification.
- File a CSS Financial Aid PROFILE if your college requires it.
- Negotiate with your selected colleges about financial assistance.
- Pursue every lead; meet every deadline
Tips for Parents
Planning and timely action can make a difference in how much money you and your student have to pay for a college education. Here are four basic tips for parents, guardians or anyone who wants to help a student attend college:
- Start early.
- Get help.
- Meet deadlines.
Start early: One of the first things to do is open a tax-free "college savings account" to which you and your student contribute. It can start with birthday gifts or even recycled can money. In a "credit mad world," a savings habit will be invaluable for your student. Check out California's special savings plan. http://www.scholarshare.com
Get help: Financing a college education is a complicated task. Contact the high school scholarship advisor to identify who can help you. Investigate outreach programs. Talk to friends who have students in college. Attend financial aid meetings and college fairs.
Meet deadlines: Staying ahead of schedule gives you more options, especially in looking for financial information on loans or scholarships. Missing a deadline eliminates any chance of getting a grant or scholarship.
Negotiate: Reduce cost by negotiating with the college financial aid office and with the organizations that are providing loans. Financial Aid Officers at colleges can provide you with excellent information.