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The FAFSA Application Submission window for the 2024-2025 school year will open October 1, 2023 and close March 2, 2024
If I meet the basic eligibility criteria for federal student aid, who decides how much money I’ll get?

Your eligibility depends on your Expected Family Contribution, your year in school, your enrollment status, and the cost of attendance at the school you will be attending. The financial aid office at your college or career school will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
What does cost of attendance (COA) mean?

Your COA is the amount it will cost you to go to school. Most two-year and four-year colleges will calculate your COA to show your total cost for the school year (for instance, for the fall semester plus the spring semester). Schools with programs that last a different period of time (for instance, an 18-month certificate program) might give you a COA that covers a time period other than a year.
If you're attending at least half-time, your COA is the estimate of
  • tuition and fees;
  • the cost of room and board (or living expenses for students who do not contract with the school for room and board);
  • the cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer);
  • an allowance for child care or other dependent care;
  • costs related to a disability; and/or
  • reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs.
What’s the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Your EFC is an index number that college financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school. The information you report on your FAFSA form is used to calculate your EFC.
The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year. The EFC Formula guide shows exactly how an EFC is calculated.
Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.
California Dream Act (CADA) Application COMING SOON
Learn more about this financial aid application at the CA Dream Act website
Eligibility Criteria
  • Satisfaction of either of the following:
  • High school attendance in California for three or more years, OR
  • Attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of those schools. OR
  • Attainment of credits earned at a California adult school, OR
  • Credits earned at a California Community College, OR
  • A combination of the schools listed above
  • Graduated or will graduate from a California high school, OR
    Attainment of General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), OR
    Attainment of an associate degree from a California Community College, OR
    Fulfillment of minimum transfer requirements from a California Community College to a University of California or California State University, AND
  • Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university, AND
  • If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible, AND
  • Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)*
How to fill out the FAFSA form

How to fill out the FAFSA form