Early Outreach & Support Programs

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is a form of monetary assistance for students to attend college. There are two main applications that students can complete: Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California DREAM Act Application (CADAA). This is usually the first step in seeking financial assistance for higher education and it is highly recommended to complete as soon as the application period opens in October to determine how much money your student can get in grants, loans and work study. Review the information below for details about these applications and more!

What you need to know about the FAFSA:

Types of Student Aid:

FAFSA: Form and FSA ID

After the FAFSA is complete:

Steps to complete the FAFSA:

Creating a WebGrant Account:

What to know about the California DREAM ACT Application (CADAA):

If a student wants to attend college in California, they are eligible to apply for financial assistance to pay for tuition regardless of immigration status. Immigrants Rising is a great place to get started with up to date information about this application. Start with the CA DREAM ACT Overview to see if this application is a good option for you.


Paying for college can be stressful, especially the closer your student gets to their last year of high school. Thankfully, students can apply for scholarships their junior year! Every scholarship has requirements- make sure the student is eligible before completing the application. There is no limit to the amount of scholarships a student can apply to. They are encouraged to complete as many applications possible to increase their chance to attend college, get a degree and make a career without having to spend a cent out of pocket. California Colleges and local organizations like the Community Foundation for Monterey County are a good place to begin your search.

There are also opportunities for students who are not US Citizens or Residents. Immigrants Rising constantly updates their list of scholarships available. Since CADAA only covers tuition costs, it is important to find other means to help pay for the rest of your student's college expenses. Scholarships are a great way to cover those extra fees.

How to choose between Financial Aid Offers:

For every school that your student is accepted to, an amount of money will be offered to cover tuition and other college expenses for that year. It is up to the student to determine which institution will provide the best financial assistance and may need your help in comparing the offers provided to them. Take a look at the Financial Aid Offer Comparison Tool that allows you to compare up to four institutions at a time and can assist in choosing the best offer for your student. This tool can be used regardless if they applied to FAFSA or CADAA.

Loans and FAFSA Renewal

Renewing FAFSA:

Should be done every year while in college.

Loan Repayment:

Strategies to pay back school loans.