Steps to Apply for Aid

StepDetailsResources to Help
Create your FSA ID
  • Create your FSA ID
    • The FSA ID is your legal signature online and the name needs to match the name on your social security card
    • Both student and one parent will need the verified FSA ID to sign and submit the FAFSA online
    • Parents with an ITIN or no social security number DO NOT need to apply for an FSA ID, however a signature page will be required 
    • FSA ID takes 1-3 days to verify with social security administration to confirm your identity
  • Create or activate your Xello account
Apply for FAFSA or Dream Act
  • Create a California Colleges account and link to the FAFSA or Dream Act
  • FAFSA Application
    • Several types of aid including grants, work study, and loans, are available to eligible applicants
    • Start applying for scholarships early - you will need a FAFSA on file to be eligible for most scholarships
  • Dream Act Application
    • Dreamers must complete an affidavit at their school
    • Helps undocumented students who meet AB540 and AB68 pay for college
  • You will receive an email confirming application submission, but this is not a confirmation it has been processed
  • A second email will indicate either "Processed Successfully" or "Action Required"
    • If "Action Required", you will need to go back into the FAFSA/Dream Act application using your FSA ID to make corrections
    • If "Processed Successfully", you will go to the next step
Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • You will receive the SAR within 1-5 days after submitting the FAFSA electronically
  • Your SAR is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted
  • Review your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number
    • Your EFC listed on your SAR will determine the amount of aid you will receive according to a formula established by law
  • Students who have an incomplete or inaccurate FAFSA or Dream Act application will be required to complete numerous forms, which can be challenging and delay your financial aid award
  • The Department of Education has a verification selection process that sometimes makes it necessary for a student's information to be verified even if you completed an accurate FAFSA
    • The school will follow up with you to request forms/documentation to be completed
    • When verification is completed and processed, the financial aid office has the ability to submit the SAR electronically
Create your WebGrants 4 Students account
  • Students are REQUIRED to create a WebGrants 4 Students account
    • 7 days after submitting an accurate FAFSA
    • 24 hours after submitting an accurate Dream Act application
  • Your FAFSA must match your WebGrants account name to be able to create a WebGrants account
Accepting your award letter
  • In May and June, you will receive your award letters from all of the schools you applied to
  • Read your letter in detail!
  • You have to either accept or decline the award and send it back to your prospective school
    • It is important that you carefully read your award letter and follow the instructions on the letter
    • Never assume you've been awarded financial aid without signing your award letter
  • It is critical that you understand that you can jeopardize your spot at a school you've been accepted to waiting on a wait list for another school. If you wait too long, you can potentially lose both.
  • Talk to your counselor if you have questions about your awards
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