Beginning in October of your senior year, you should be initiating the financial aid process.
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment opportunities that are available to help students pay for higher education. It is intended to supplement family resources, not replace them.
There are two basic categories of financial aid:
• Merit-based is generally given in recognition of special skills, talents, and/or academic ability. These include: Merit scholar, ie top 10% of the class, an outstanding athlete, accomplished musician, etc.
• Need-based represents the major portion of help available for post-secondary education. Need-based (commonly called financial need,) is the difference between what it will cost to attend to a post-secondary institution and what the family will be able to pay.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is our U.S. government-sponsored program that provides college grants. The FAFSA goes online on October 1st of the student's senior year for the award period of the following academic year. The FAFSA is the standard need analysis form used by the federal government, the state, and colleges. Students should file only one FAFSA regardless of how many colleges they are considering. Clicking here will take you directly to the FAFSA web site, where you can fill out an application online. For public schools in California, the deadline to file the FAFSA is March 2nd.
Students and their families are expected to contribute to the cost of college to the extent that they’re able. This is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA will generate the EFC for a family. If you aren't ready to complete the FAFSA and want an idea of what your EFC would be, you can search the web for calculations or try this one.
For California financial aid, TUHSD electronically submits the GPA Verification Form, for most students. If you are notified that your GPA Verification form was not submitted electronically, you must file the paper version of the Cal Grant GPA Verification form. This form must be completed by March 2nd (September 2, 2020, for community college). Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for Cal Grant A and a 2.0 for Cal Grant B. For more information go to the CSAC website.
Some private schools require the CSS Profile as well. These are typically schools that award their own funds to accepted students. This form requests more complete financial information than does the FAFSA. Each institution customizes the profile. Complete the CSS Profile here.
Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent loans may be available through the college’s Financial Aid Office. Interest rates and repayment plans vary.
If additional funding is needed, students may be eligible for jobs on campus. This is called the Federal Work-Study Program. To qualify for this, the students must complete the FAFSA and be awarded work-study.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR COLLEGE
Students should start the scholarship search by accessing their Tamiscal Naviance account and look under the scholarship tab. Specific scholarships, as well as several database search options, are listed there.
In Marin, we are fortunate to have an additional source of financial aid. 10,000 Degrees, formerly the Marin Education Fund, located in San Rafael, is a non-profit organization committed to providing grants both for vocational programs and for college admission. Free workshops are available. The following link will take you to their website http://10000degrees.org/. In addition, students can obtain funds through private scholarships. These usually entail SAT scores, essays, recommendations, GPA minimums, and other eligibility requirements.
Colleges are required to provide a net price calculator on their website. The net price calculator will give you an idea of how much aid you will receive from that specific school. It is often found in the Financial Aid section. Here is an example of a Net Price Calculator.
The enclosed links will take you to popular scholarship sites.
Scholarship based on academics and accomplishments=
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:
-Apply for financial aid, no matter what!
-Watch for deadlines!
-Apply as early as possible.
-Answer all questions completely, accurately and do not leave any blank.