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Financial Aid Information
California Dream Act: AB 540 eligible students attending college in California may apply for and receive student financial aid from both publicly (including Cal Grants) and privately funded sources. Students may complete the Dream Act Application online for 2017-2018 assistance at http://www.caldreamact.org in lieu of the FAFSA. Check the California Dream Act Application Worksheet for more details. Student's GPA must still be submitted (without a social security number) from their high school. Check your eligibility for Federal Financial Aid if you are a non-U.S. citizen.
The California Student Aid Commission (Commission) notified Financial Aid Administrators and High School Counselors that the parent signature option of the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) is not functioning properly when using the Mozilla Firefox browser. The Following web browsers should be used for optimal compatibility Microsoft Internet Explorer version 9.0 or higher Google Chrome version 24.0 or higher Apple Safari version 5.0 and higher
If you are a dependent of a California military veteran, you may qualify for tuition fee waiver under the California College Fee Waiver program (formerly known as Cal Vet Program). California College Fee Waiver Application.
You may qualify for all resident tuition & fees for a public school or the higher of the actual tuition & fess or $17,500 per academic year for a private school under the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA will match that amount and issue payment directly to the institution. Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100% rate). Therefore, you may be eligible if:
- You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
- You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
- You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.
For elegible military dependents, you may also qualify for the GI Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA). The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. Effective October 1, 2013 some DEA beneficiaries may be eligible for 81 months of GI Bill benefits if they are eligible for more than one education benefit. For more information click here.
For the Veterans Education Benefits and/or Chapter 35 use the VONAPP (Veterans Online Application). Due October 1.
The CHAFEE GRANT Program is for students who are eligible or have been eligible for foster care between their 16th and 18th birthday. This grant may be used for career and technical training or college courses.
CSS PROFILE is required by some private and out-of-state colleges and universities as well as some programs. The application and list of colleges requiring the profile is available at CSS Profile beginning October 1. There is a $25 fee for registration and reporting to one college. Each additional college costs $16. A limited number of fee waivers (for up to 8 colleges) are granted automatically (determined by information you input). Fee waiver is for families with income of less than $40,000 and assets (not including their home) of up to $30,000. Recommend file early. Click here for INFORMATION NEEDED TO FILE THE CSS PROFILE AND LIST OF COLLEGES REQUIRING THE CSS PROFILE
Find out Cal GRANT Income and Asset Ceilings.
To check your CAL GRANT status, click here, then scroll down and "create an account." Remember to keep your user ID and password in a safe place for following years. Mark these two email addresses as safe: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com as they will use one of these to notify you as early as February of your Cal Grant eligibility. If you are accepted to a program that is eligible for a 5th year Cal Grant, you must request this by submitting a Cal Grant 5th Year Benefits Request.
Re-qualifying for Cal Grants. Governor Brown spearheaded a new senate bill requiring students must now re-qualify each year to receive their Cal Grant. This is done by submitting a FAFSA verifying their income/assets have not exceeded the income/asset ceiling for their particular Cal Grant. It is expected that the student will be making progess in school and keeping up their grades, but grades need not be reported.
Understand your Financial Aid Award Letter by using this FASTWEB guide. Find the best college for you by comparing what each college offers. Sample financial aid award letter (without numbers, but with definitions).
As of May 2015, a PIN number is no longer used to submit a FAFSA. Instead, you will now use an FSA ID, which consists of a user-created username and password. It allows users to electronically access personal information on Federal Student Aid Web sites as well as electronically sign a FAFSA. Enter your FSA ID (only the student should log in with an FSA ID), Or enter the student's name, Social Security Number and date of birth. (You may have to enter your FSA ID later in the process when you start this way). An e-mail address cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. You can use e-mail to unlock an FSA ID, retrieve a forgotten username or reset a password. For security reasons, only the FSA ID owner should have these capabilities. If you need help with your FSA ID, please call 1-800-557-7394.
The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet for 2017-2018 is now available. The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet in Spanish for 2017-18 is available, too. You will want to use the 2017-2018 for graduating seniors of the class of 2017. Be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer your tax information to FAFSA. This link will give you instructions on how to do this whether you have filed your taxes on paper or online.
For answers to questions on completing the FAFSA, call 1-800-433-3243.
Federal School Codes for the FAFSA may be located here.
Check here for a list of information needed to fill out the FAFSA.
Put the cursor in the box you are filling out on the FAFSA to receive a
message box on the right hand side to assist you in filling out that
item (How to or Help Information).
- When you are listing the federal school codes, list a California College in one of the first 3 school codes submitted.
- When you list the federal school codes, you will be asked to specify where the student will be living: on campus, with parents, or off campus housing. This may be different for each college for which you list. THIS DOES NOT REGISTER YOUR STUDENT FOR ON CAMPUS HOUSING.
- When completing financial aid for college,
you typically complete forms using the dates of the school year you will
be attending college, not the school year you are a graduating senior.
When completing the district scholarship application, complete the form
using the year that you are a graduating senior.
- Seniors: attend a "Cash for College Workshop" and receive help completing the FAFSA as well as an opportunity to potentially receive a $1,000 Scholarship.
- For help in understanding federal grants Federal Student Aid 2017-2018 Grant Program Fact Sheet.
- For general information about FINANCIAL AID, check out a Quick Guide to
Financial Aid 2016-2017 award year.
- Click here to estimate your financial aid award: FAFSA4Caster
- Types of Student Aid
- Click here for Federal Student Loans and Interest Rates Federal Student Aid Programs
- Click here for information on Direct Parent PLUS Loans or Direct Parent PLUS Loans Information, or for Direct Student Loans, to include subsidized and unsubsidized, click here=
- Federal School Codes for the FAFSA may be located here.
- Check here for a list of information needed to fill out the FAFSA.
- Who are considered "my parents" when filling out the FAFSA In Espanol
- Are you considered a dependent or an independent student? If you answered yes to any of the questions on the link, you are an independent student and don't need your parents' information for the FAFSA.
- Who are undocumented students? Financial Aid information and undocumented students. En Espanol
Balance of Cash, Checking and Savings Accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CD's), (Do not include student financial aid)
Business and/or investment farm value includes market value of land, buildings, machinery, equipment, inventory, etc. Business and/or investment farm debt means only those debts for which the business or investment farm was used as collateral.
Value of your family home
Investment Farm value does not include the value of a family farm that you (your spouse and/or your parents) live on and operate.
Business value does not include the value of a small business if your family owns and controls more than 50% of the business and the business has 100 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees.
Stocks, Stock Options & Bonds, Other Securities, Installment and land sale contracts (including mortgages held) Commodities, etc.
|Value of Annuities
Mutual funds, Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) or Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA). Do not include UGMA and UTMA accounts for which your parents are the custodian but not the owner.
|Life insurance plans
Money market accounts
Real estate investments
Keogh or other retirement plans, Pension Funds
Education savings accounts owned by your parents, including
Coverdell savings accounts,
529 college savings plans and the refund value of 529 prepaid tuition plans
If 529 College Savings Plan is owned by someone other than parent or student, only include amount distributed (in question 45j), UGMA and UTMA accounts for which you are the custodian, but not the owner.
Tax benefits and educational expenses: Information on deductions for interest paid, American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Coverdell and 529 programs. OR IRS Tax benefits and deductions.
For IRS clarification on Scholarships and taxation click here.
Trusts and Financial Aid Information. How to determine which trusts must be claimed and by whom.
Ways to Save for College to include Savings, Treasury Bonds, 529 Plan, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, etc.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students will qualify for a tax credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, to pay for college expenses.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit modifies the existing Hope Credit. The AOTC makes the Hope Credit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.
The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. These income limits are higher than under the existing Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits.
The AOTC applied to tax years 2009 and 2010 under ARRA. The credit was extended to apply for tax years 2011 and 2012 by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the AOTC for five years through December 2017.
Tuition/Fee Information for UC's
This chart estimates the cost of attending UC for one year as a California resident undergraduate. For a significant proportion of UC students, these expenses are offset by grants and scholarships. And UC's Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan ensures that, at a minimum, systemwide tuition and student services fees are covered for eligible students with parent total income of $80,000 or less.
- UC Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP)
UC BERKELEY MIDDLE CLASS ACCESS PLAN (MCAP): The Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) is a new financial aid program to help middle-class families pay for the growing cost of an undergraduate degree. For families whose gross income ranges from $80,000 to $150,000 annually and who have typical assets, the groundbreaking plan caps the contribution parents make toward the total annual cost of a UC Berkeley student’s education at a maximum of 15 percent of their total income. Many parents in this income range will be asked to contribute less than the 15 percent cap. We encourage eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application if they wish to be considered for the Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan. UC Berkeley began making MCAP awards in academic year 2012-13. Please note: The UC Berkeley's Middle Class Access Plan is different from the State of California-sponsored Middle Class Scholarship. http://financialaid.berkeley.edu/middle-class-access-plan