Many of you have not applied for financial aid (sent 1/29/20)

Dear Seniors & Parents,

Since many of you have applied to colleges/universities in California, including two-year institutions, I keep close tabs on whether you're eligible for a Cal Grant, the free money from the state of California. I recently ran a report from my account with the California Student Aid Commission, the organization that runs the Cal Grant program, to see which of our seniors are missing the required financial aid application.

As a reminder, to qualify for a Cal Grant you must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.

According to the report, almost 50% of you have NOT completed the FAFSA and it is my recommendation that EVERY senior complete it. The FAFSA deadline for seniors applying to California four-year institutions is March 2, 2020.

In a previous email sent to all seniors and their parents, I informed you that the district already uploaded your Cal Grant GPA to the California Student Aid Commission. The other required step is for you to complete the FAFSA or CADAA by March 2, 2020.

Here are several reasons why everyone should complete the FAFSA or CADAA:

  1. You won't know if you qualify for aid unless you apply.
  2. You can't get the best student loans without applying for financial aid.
  3. You could qualify for state aid (Cal Grant), but if you don't complete a FAFSA, you aren't eligible.
  4. Don't assume that you won't qualify for financial aid because you're sitting on a lot of home equity. The FAFSA won't ask if you own a home, so if you are house rich and cash poor, the FAFSA will give you a break.
  5. You may have more than one student in college. Maybe you've decided not to apply for aid because you've been turned down before. Plenty of affluent families who didn't qualify for aid with one child in college can qualify when supporting two college students. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to meet with me individually to discuss your financial aid situation.

Thank you.


Lisa Neumaier

College & Career Specialist

Sir Francis Drake High School

(415) 458-3481 - direct line