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Financial Aid

FINANCIAL AID FOR COLLEGE
 
 
The cost of going to college is a concern for parents and students. From the modest cost of attending a community college like Diablo Valley College to the higher price of going to an independent (private) college…there is a need to understand the challenge of paying for college. The following information may be of help to understand some basic terminology and information about financial aid.
 
 
 
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WHAT IS THE COST OF GOING TO COLLEGE?
 
Tuition and Fees... 
Tuition charges help pay for the cost of instruction.
Some colleges charge fees in addition to tuition.
Independent college tuition is significantly higher than public colleges.
Check college website for information regarding tuition and fees.
 
Room and Board...
Students living away from home have both housing and food costs.
Many colleges provide campus housing for frosh students.
Check college website for on-campus room and board costs.
 
Travel...
Need to consider costs of traveling from home to college.
Estimate number of trips home during college year.
Some colleges allow cars on campus... but parking fees are involved.
 
Books...
All college textbooks must be purchased must be purchased.
Book costs can add up to a few hundred dollars each year.
Finding used textbooks at campus book stores can help reduce book costs.
 
Personal Expenses...
May need new clothes to cope with climate of college.
Going to campus activities from football games to concerts.
 
 
     (Always check the college website for information regarding the above categories…and remember to consider the cost of travel)
 
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WHO QUALIFIES FOR FINANCIAL AID?
 
 
To qualify for financial aid…families must demonstrate a “need”…college costs minus your family’s contribution equals your “need.” The family contribution is determined from the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). Some factors involved in estimating family contribution are income, assets, and age of your parents as well as the number of children in your family.
 
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WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF FINANCIAL AID?
 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA: The CAL Grant program awards grants that help pay tuition costs for California students going to a California public or independent college.
 
COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS: Organizations in the community give scholarships that are usually one year awards to outstanding Seniors. 
 
COLLEGES: Every college has a financial aid office which helps students find grants, loans, scholarships and work study programs. Request information from the Financial Aid Office at the college you will attend about loans that are available to parents and students. 
 
MILITARY: The military services have opportunities that range from programs for enlisted persons to attendance at West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy.
 
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WHAT APPLICATIONS ARE NEEDED TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?
 
FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID... FAFSA
All colleges want the FAFSA form completed. 
The FAFSA can be obtained on-line at the FAFSA website.
Submit FAFSA either on-line or by mail during January and February.
FAFSA gives "basic" financial aid information to US Government and colleges.
Required to qualify for federal financial aid programs.
No fee involved...the FAFSA is Free.
 
 
 
CAL GRANT INFORMATION    
Cal Grant Awards are state funded monetary grants given to students to help pay for college expenses. These awards do not have to be paid back. Follow this link for the CAL GRANT GPA VERIFICATION FORM:
 
 
THIS LINK PROVIDES A HELPFUL STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL FOR FILLING OUT BOTH THE FAFSA AND THE CSS PROFILE:
 
INDIVIDUAL COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION OR PROFILE
Profile: The Financial Aid Profile (CSS) is needed at most private colleges.  There is a  fee for this service.
Some colleges have thier own financial aid application.
Student needs to contact college financial aid office for application.
Financial aid application is sometimes sent with admissions application.
Check deadline carefully so application is submitted on time.
Usually there is no charge for individual college financial aid application.
 
LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Each year local scholarships are awarded to graduating Seniors.
Log into Naviance to locate many scholarship, both local and national scholarships.
Application are required by some local organizations giving scholarships.
Scholarships recognize student achievement during high school.
Selection of scholarship winner made by organization or faculty committee.
Student receives recognition at high school awards ceremony.
 
EMPLOYMENT
It must be recognized that monies earned by students who are employed will be taxed at a higher rate.  Many colleges and universities would prefer to see volunteer or community service efforts.
 
CHECKLIST FOR SENIORS APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID
___ Find out the costs at the colleges where you are applying.
___ Talk with your parents about how college costs will be paid.
___ Obtain the Free Application for Federal Student Aid...FAFSA
___ Obtain the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form
___ Check with colleges about individual financial aid application.
___ Check with Career Center or website about local scholarships
___ Be sure to mail or submit all aplications on time.
___ Obtain copy of the Financial Aid Workbook.