Message from the Office of College and Career Readiness (CCR)
As students plan for college, career, and beyond, it is essential that steps are taken before applying for financial aid. It is the District’s mission to help students and their parents complete an accurate FAFSA or DREAM Act application to receive financial aid on time.
Most FUSD students who plan to attend college or vocational school depend a great deal on financial aid to cover their educational expenses. The application process can be cumbersome for families and they may need guidance and/or advice. We encourage students and parents to take advantage of the resources offered to prevent possible delays or jeopardizing their financial aid.
We encourage families to contact their high school counselor or use CCR’s website for financial aid resources and events on various financial aid topics. Throughout the academic school year, high school counselors, financial aid partners, and CCR host financial literacy workshops to help students and their parents complete an accurate FAFSA, answer questions, and learn about the financial aid available to students such as grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans.
If you need support with financial aid, please contact your high school counselor, or you can also email Gloria Ponce Rodriguez at email@example.com.
Sources of Financial Aid
Check out this video to learn about grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education. Visit StudentAid.gov to learn more.
Where to Find Aid Information
- U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA)
- California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)
- Colleges and Universities – For campus or institutional aid, go to the financial aid office at your college to search for scholarships and grants.
- Private aid and scholarships – Check with your high school website, Xello, and the various links under “Search for Scholarships” on this page.
Understanding Types of Financial Aid
There are three types of financial aid:
- Grants: usually based on financial need and don’t have to be repaid
- Loans: borrowed money that must be repaid with interest
- Work-Study: a job that lets you earn money while you’re in school
Depending on your financial need, a combination of different types of financial aid can be awarded. Before accepting your award, you will need to determine if a loan is necessary to cover all your college expenses. You may have enough in grants to cover your charges and not need a loan.
Students can use their financial aid funds to cover tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, labs, and study abroad. Once you use all of your funds to cover all of your college costs and have funds left over it is called a student’s refund. The strong recommendation is to save it for any future costs you may acquire the following year.
How to Determine Financial Need
To determine how much financial aid a student needs to attend a school, use the formula: Cost of Attendance (COA) – Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Financial Need.
- Cost of Attendance (COA)
Cost varies by school. Each college estimates the COA by adding together the costs of tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other miscellaneous living expenses. Most colleges publish the COA on their website.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of a family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate a student’s EFC. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or taxable Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. 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 postsecondary institutions to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
- Financial Need
The difference between the COA at a school and your EFC. While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.
This tool from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can help you:
- Understand your financial aid offer
- Plan to cover the remaining costs
- Estimate how much you’ll owe and if you can afford that debt
- Compare offers from different schools
- Decide what to do next
State Financial Aid
- Cal Grant
- Chafee Grant
- Middle Class Scholarship
- California Military Department GI Bill Award Program
- Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program
- John R. Justice (JRJ) Program
- Golden State Teacher Grant Program
Applying for Financial Aid
Steps to Apply for Aid
|Step||Details||Resources to Help|
|Create your FSA ID|
|Apply for FAFSA or Dream Act|| |
|Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)|
|Create your WebGrants 4 Students account|
|Accepting your award letter|| |
- How Financial Aid Works – For most students planning to attend college or career school, financial aid is essential. At studentaid.gov they walk you through how financial aid works, resources to pay for college, and loan repayment options.
- Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan – UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will ensure that you will not have to pay UC’s systemwide tuition and fees out of your own pocket if you are a California resident whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid.
- California Community Colleges – Information on different types of financial aid and how to apply.
- Alphabet Soup – Acronyms and definitions of financial aid terms.
- Student Aid Glossary – Definitions of terms related to college and financial aid.
- English-Spanish Glossary of Student Financial Aid and Postsecondary Education – Look up the Spanish definitions of commonly used financial aid and postsecondary education terms.
- California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) – The state’s college access and financial aid agency provides financial aid resources and information about California-specific opportunities.
- Financial Aid Information for Undocumented Students – Admission policies, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities at colleges and universities throughout the nation and abroad for undocumented students and DREAMers.
- Immigration Resources on Financial Aid
- College is For Everyone! A California Financial Aid Guide for Youth with Juvenile Justice Involvement
- Net Price Calculator – Search for net price calculators by college or university. Calculators allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.
- College Costs – Learn about college costs and get tips on how to lower costs when you go to school.
- Jobs and Work Study – Having a job while pursuing your education is one way to meet your student contribution and reduce the amount you’ll have to borrow.
- Federal Work Study Programs at CSU Campuses – If you participate in a Federal Work-Study program you’ll work part-time while you’re going to school. Search for the Federal Work-Study programs and requirements at your CSU campus.
Students who are current or former foster youth are eligible for a wide variety of financial supports when attending college or vocational school. After foster youth complete the FAFSA they will also need to complete the Chafee application to receive an additional grant. We recommend exploring the links below.
- ACS Chemistry for Life – ACS Scholars
- ACS Chemistry for Life – Project SEED
- AES Engineering
- Airport Minority Advisory Council
- American Indian College Fund
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- American Welding Society
- APIA Scholars
- Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA)
- Automotive Hall of Fame
- BigFuture Scholarship Directory
- BigFuture Scholarships
- BigFuture Student Search Service
- Black Student Scholarships
- CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California
- Central Valley Scholars
- Chamber of Commerce
- Cirkled In
- Coca-Cola Scholarship Foundation
- College Board Scholarship Partners
- CSU Scholarships
- Education Employees Credit Union Student Grant Program
- Education Employees Credit Union scholarship list
- Fresno State Scholarships
- FUSD Scholarship Fund
- FCC Scholarships
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Golden 1 Credit Union
- Grapes from California
- Great Minds in STEM
- HBCU Scholarships
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Japanese American Citizens League
- LGBTQ+ Scholarships
- LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC)
- MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide
- NAACP Scholarships
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program
- National Merit Scholarship Corp
- National Space Club and Foundation
- NCRF Scholarship List
- Nursing Scholarships
- Prudential Emerging Visionaries
- RaiseMe (Learn how RaiseMe works)
- SME Education Foundation
- Society for Science
- Society of Women Engineers
- Tuition Funding Sources
- UC Scholarships
- US Institute of Peace National High School Essay Contest