To determine how much it will cost to attend college, and learn about financial aid online we recommend that you visit: finaid.org and collegeaffordabilityguide.org

If you would like to learn about how colleges determine your financial need eligibility we recommend that you visit: ecmc.org or fafsa.ed.gov and select the FAFSA4caster on the bottom right of the webpage.

In general, there are four sources of Financial Aid available to students

Federal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation awarding more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for financial assistance. The FAFSA is available January 1st each year, the California priority deadline to file FAFSA is March 2nd.

We recommend that all students complete the FAFSA regardless of family income. Some institutional scholarships do not take into consideration financial need but utilize the FAFSA form as their scholarship application. Keep reading to learn about Institutional Scholarships.

California State Aid

Funding is available through the state for California residents or AB 540 eligible attending college in California. These grants are available from January 1st with a deadline of March 2nd, to learn more visit csac.ca.gov.

Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)

  • This program provides undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 and a maximum annual household asset amount of $150,000, with a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.
  • Families earning up to $100,000 are eligible for up to 20 percent of the statewide mandatory tuition and fees. In 2017-18, the maximum scholarship award will be up to 40 percent of the mandatory systemwide fees and tuition.
  • Families who earn between $100,001 and $150,000 per year may be eligible for a reduced scholarship of no less than 10 percent of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees.

California Dream Act

  • This program is used to determine the California state financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), AB 130 and AB131. The California Student Aid Commission (see link above) will process applications and any aid received can only be used at eligible California institutions.

Cal Grants

  • These grant opportunities are determined by the type of college attended, household size and income, and in some cases GPA.

Institutional Aid

Colleges have scholarships available for students based on grades, financial need and major. Check in with your college’s financial aid office to learn about scholarships and if there are any extra requirements that need to be completed in order to apply for funding. In addition, if you have declared your major we recommend checking in with your department which may have access to more scholarships.

Outside Scholarships

There are numerous other scholarships available to student attending college, such as scholarships provided by the Wild Rivers Community Foundation. Our application will be available between mid-January and early March. If you are a high school senior we recommend checking in with your counselor on a regular basis about scholarships available throughout your community as there are many local clubs who award scholarships.


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