•  *What is Financial Aid?


    Financial aid is any monies given to a student for the purpose of meeting educational expenses.  Types of aid include scholarships, grants, loans and work-study.

    To the extent they are able, parents have the primary responsibility to contribute to their dependent child’s education.  Students also have a responsibility to contribute as they are the primary beneficiary of the education.

     Financial Aid is designed to supplement the family’s resources, not supplant them.  It is there to bridge the gap between the cost of a college education and what the family can afford.

    Financial Aid can be divided into categories:

    Gift Aid- (Grants or Scholarships) Does not need to be repaid

    Self-Help Aid- Comes in two types: loans which must be repaid and work-study which is money earned while attending college (jobs can be on campus or off campus; students are paid at least federal minimum wage; funds depend on availability at the school)

    Need-based Aid- Determined by income and awarded based on demonstrating financial need 

    Non-need based Did- Awarded on merit or talent


    Who gets aid?


    Most people are eligible for some type of financial aid for college or career school, and there is no age limit or cut-off age to receive federal student aid.

    Some general eligibility requirements to receive federal student aid include being a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, being enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program.

    The amount of aid you receive will depend on the following:

    Cost of Attendance (COA) - the total amount of one year of school- includes tuition, room & board, books, supplies, transportation, personal expenses and loan fees.

    Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - is an index number that college financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive. 

    The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law.  A family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits could be considered in the formula. Your college will first determine whether you have financial need by using this simple formula.


    Calculating Your Financial Need

       Cost of Attendance (COA)

     - Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    =  Financial Need

     For more information on how aid is calculated, go to studentaid.gov/how-calculated


    The FAFSA

    To determine if you qualify for federal aid, students and parents will need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning October 1st of the student’s senior year and renew each year while in college (www.fafsa.ed.gov).  This form collects demographic and financial information to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Please complete the FAFSA as soon as possible as aid is distributed on a first come, first-served basis. It is the student’s responsibility to determine financial aid deadlines for the colleges to which they are applying.

    We encourage all families to complete a FAFSA even if you think you won’t qualify.  If available, some colleges will distribute institutional monies to students based on academic merit, a talent, race, religion or geographical location and may not consider income for these awards.


    The CSS Profile

    The Profile is an online application that collects information used by several hundred colleges and scholarship programs to award institutional aid funds. The CSS Profile is completed online by families (profileonline.collegeboard.org).  Unlike the FAFSA, there is a fee to register and submit the initial application and fees are required for each additional college. The Profile collects additional data including home equity, medical expenses, tuition costs and information for the non-custodial parent.


    Cal Grant

    Cal Grant is a financial aid program administrated by the California Student Aid Commissions (CSAC) providing aid to California undergraduates, vocational training students, and those in teacher certification programs. Cal Grants are the largest source of California state funded student financial aid (free money). There are several types of Cal Grant awards – click here for more information about the different types.

    For 2018-19 Income & Asset Ceilings please click here

    The Tamalpais Union High School District automatically submits the required documents for students to the California Student Aid Commission to determine eligibility for the Cal Grant. Eligibility is determined by unweighted grades earned in Sophomore & Junior year.  Students are required to submit a completed FAFSA by March 2nd to be eligible for a Cal Grant.



    *Some of the information provided in this section is taken from the Federal Student Aid Funding Your Education booklet.