- The FAFSA for the 2020-2021 college school year opnes OCTOBER 1, 2019.
- The FAFSA is still open for the 2019-2020 college school year!!! (Deadline for 2019-2010 school year is June 30, 2020.)
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.gov) is now open for students planning to enroll in college for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Your IRS tax return for 2017, is used for the 2019-2020 academic year. Use the IRS Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA to electronically load your 2017 tax information.
- FSA ID: Students & their parents should apply for their FSA ID at https://fsaid.ed.gov Students have their personal FSA ID & the parents have their personal FSA ID (one ID per set of parents). The parent FSA ID can be the same one used for an older sibling (if applicable). The FSA ID is your electronic signature for your FAFSA application.
- Cal Grant GPA: All students must file a FAFSA application in order to be eligible for a Cal Grant. The FAFSA/Cal Grant priority filing period is October 1, 2018-March 2, 2019. All WHS senior Cal Grant GPA’s have been electronically uploaded to the California Student Aid Commission, so Cal Grant GPA Verification Forms are NOT required. Students are still encouraged to apply for the FAFSA even though the March 2nd deadline has passed,
- What next? Students should create an account at www.Webgrants4Students.org approximately 7-10 business days after submitting the FAFSA so they can track their Cal Grant status.
- FAFSA Assistance:
o FREE FAFSA Guide: Download a FREE ebook for The Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA
o FAFSA You Tube Videos from the U.S. Dept. of Education: including a FAFSA overview & directions on how to complete the form
o Khan Academy videos on how to complete the FAFSA
- CSS Profile Assistance:
The CSS Profile is a financial aid application that roughly 200 colleges and universities (nearly all private) use to determine eligibility for their own institutional financial aid. Check https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx for the full list of colleges that use the Profile. The cost is $25 for the initial CSS Profile; additional reports are $16.
o If you have questions about the Profile, the Hotline for families: (844) 202-0524
o Khan Academy CSS Profile Video Tutorial:
- Interpreting the Financial Aid Letter
Financial aid award letters, also known as financial aid notifications, summarize the types and sources of student financial aid available to help the student finance the cost of his or her education.
The goal of this guide is to help students and their families understand how to evaluate financial aid award letters and determine the true cost of college, so that they can make a more informed decision about the tradeoffs between college affordability and college quality, between financial fit and academic fit. This guide also discusses how to compare real college costs on an apples-to-apples basis.
Paying for College:
Cost of Attendance should be a big component in determining your list of college choices. All colleges/universities are required to post “Net Price Calculators” on their websites (usually found in the Financial Aid section). The calculators vary by school, however, it usually requires inputting tax information, Student GPA, & ACT/SAT scores. There are 2 major categories of aid available: Need-based Aid (based on family financial data) & Merit Aid (based on student GPA and/or ACT/SAT test scores). Make sure you research your colleges to see what they offer since it varies from school to school. Grants & Scholarships are FREE money that do not need to be repaid. Loans need to be repaid with interest.
See the link at the bottom of this page to download the October 2018, presentation from California Lutheran University Financial Aid
- Need-based Aid:
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the universal application for determining financial need-based aid for higher education (www.fafsa.gov). The federal government, states, & colleges use the results (Expected Family Contribution, EFC) to determine your level of “financial need”. Student Aid can include grants (Pell, Cal Grant), work study, and loans (Perkins, Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, Direct PLUS, personal). The FAFSA application period (for future college freshmen term 2019-2020) opens October 1, 2018, and will use data from your 2017 tax return. Take advantage of the IRS Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA application to electronically populate the FAFSA from your federal tax return. In addition, some private universities utilize the CSS Profile which requires additional financial information.
The FAFSA is FREE! Beware of websites or companies that try to charge you to complete this form. Make sure you go to FAFSA.gov
Scholarships are FREE money that do not need to be repaid. Beware of websites or companies that try to charge you to match & complete forms for your student. There are many FREE sites that do the same thing: Fastweb, Scholarships.com, etc.
Scholarships usually require applications & some form of essay/personal statement. Some scholarships are based on “merit/achievements” and some are based on “financial need”. Your WHS CCC lists many scholarship on your Naviance account (Naviance/Colleges/Scholarship&Money). Your User Name is your email address and your password should be your student ID number. There are some opportunities for Gr. 9-11 also!
It is not too early for seniors to be thinking of scholarship opportunities to help pay for college. Many of the large Foundation scholarships occur from October-December (Coca-Cola, Elks, Ventura County Community Foundation, etc.). Local scholarships generally occur in the spring from January-May (WHS Scholarship Foundation, Rotary, Westlake Women’s Club, etc.).
As you complete your applications for admission, make sure that you research & apply for university-specific scholarships for which you may be eligible (BEFORE you are accepted!).