Pre-college Programs

Financial aid overview on how to pay for college

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:

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA Overview Link

Types of Student Aid:

Types of Aid Link

FAFSA: Application and FSA ID

Application and FSA ID Link

Steps to complete the FAFSA:

Completing the FAFSA Link

After the FAFSA is complete:

What Happens Next Link

Creating a WebGrant Account:

How To Create 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 their immigration status. Immigrants Rising is a great place to get started with the most current information about this application. Start with the CA DREAM ACT Overview to see if this application is a good option for you.

CA DREAM ACT Application


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 before their senior 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. There are encouraged to complete as many applications possible to increase their chance to attend college, get a degree and start their 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 you 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 additional 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 these comparison tools: Tool #1 or Tool #2 that allows you to compare up to four institutions at a time and can aid in deciding which offer is best for your student. These tools can be used regardless if student applied to FAFSA or CADAA.

Loans and FAFSA Renewal

Renewing FAFSA:

Should be renewed every year while in college.

Loan Repayment:

Strategies to pay back school loans. Loan Repayment Link