Here you’ll find many resources that we have collected to help student, parents, and school administrators to learn about federal and state financial aid, planning for college, and seeking scholarships.
Types of Aid
There are many sources of funding available for students pursuing college. It is important that you consider each of the following types of aid when planning for college.
Read and understand your award letter
Search for private scholarships
Student Financial Aid
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is an important first step for accessing federal student aid. The Federal Student Aid is an office of the U.S. Department of Education which ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school.
- Federal Student Aid
The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs, about $150 billion a year in grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans to more than 14 million students.
- California Student Aid Commission
A website from the State of California which provides details about financial aid available to Californians, including Cal Grants, Dream Act Grants, and Middle Class Scholarships
Website provides students with financial aid information, information on loans, saving for your education and other types of aid that a student can use to fund their education. The site also has a link to a scholarship search engine for additional opportunities.
- Funding Your College Future
This website provides California residents with state and federal financial aid information about the Middle Class Scholarship, CAL Grant Program, and Cash for College Workshop. Additional financial resources are available for parents and college graduates with outstanding student loans.
Choose a College
- College Scorecard
A new website from the US Department of Education, this site allows you to search colleges by location, size, program, type, and other factors. Compare average cost of attendance, income of recent graduates, graduation rates, and more.
- College Abacus
Use this tool to estimate the price you will actually pay, based on your income, at colleges throughout the United States.
- Pell Abacus
If you are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch at school, use this tool to estimate the price you will actually pay, based on your income, at colleges throughout the United States.
Plan for College
A comprehensive website aimed at students, counselors, and parents that helps guide and support the college planning and preparation process. It allows users to explore accredited colleges and universities, determine which schools and majors best match a student’s career aspirations, develop personalized student plans of study, learn more about financial aid and how to pay for college, and access information about college admission requirements and apply online.
- ¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide to Success
A comprehensive step-by-step guide on the financial aid and college enrollment process for Hispanic high school students and their families produced by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In 2010, President Obama reestablished the Initiative to increase educational opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and deliver a complete and competitive education for all Hispanics.
This site matches students with a mentor that can help them with many issues including major/career advice, graduate school application process, financing their education, interview advice, time management skills, transferring to another school and many more. You and your mentor can set a schedule of when you meet and what advice that they can offer.
Search engine that offers many different resources for students including links to scholarships programs that students can apply to, helpful information regarding financial aid, student life information, helpful information for job searching and much more.
This site simplifies the scholarship search process and helps students find scholarships to pay for college and grad school. They provide a time-saving, customized list of free scholarships that match a student’s hobbies, interests and academic background.
- Scholarship America
Site that provides student resources, including application tips, test preparation and much more. It also provides links to further scholarship opportunities as well as information around financial aid.
- The Ultimate Scholarship Guide
This Shop Sleuth web page provides a variety of scholarships resources, from general information to specific opportunities based on field of study and other targeted criteria.
Once You’re Admitted
- Understand Your Financial Aid Award Letters
Once students have been admitted to college they receive a financial aid award letter that explains all of the grants, scholarships, work study, and loans that a school is offering. These letters can be confusing, but understanding what students are being offered, what money is a gift, what needs to be earned, and what needs to be paid back. You can also see a detailed guide to financial aid letter here.
- Compare Financial Aid Award Letters
Students who have been admitted to multiple colleges may have multiple award offers to compare. This can be a major factor in which college a student attends. This resource will help you to understand how much you and your family will need to pay for tuition, housing, food, transportation, and other expenses.
- High School to College Summer Checklist
Once you have been admitted and selected a college to attend, there are a lot of things to do over the summer. Use this checklist, and any resources provided by your college, to make sure you are staying on track to arrive on campus ready to learn and succeed in the fall.