Reserve your college money by completing a financial aid form as soon as possible!
- Beginning October 1st, you must submit either the 2023-2024 FAFSA or CA Dream Act application. U.S. citizens and permanent residents submit the FAFSA. AB 540 students submit the Dream Act application.
- If you are submitting a FAFSA, start by getting a FSA ID for yourself and one for a parent at www.FSAID.ed.gov. This can sometimes take 1-3 days to process, or longer if there are problems.
- Both the FAFSA and Dream Act are based on tax forms. Use the 2021 tax forms that your parents completed last spring.
- Three days after submitting, you'll receive an email summary. Check your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). If your EFC is blank or if it seems too large, you have made errors that need to be corrected. Visit the College Center for assistance.
- Once your FAFSA has processed, visit the Cal Grants web site to make sure that your GPA was received. You can also check your award detail to see what type of Cal Grants you received. In April, you can use the "School Change" tab to send your Cal Grant to a different college.
FAFSA Tips (see handout below for more details)
- User your name exactly as it appears on your high school transcript for the Cal Dream Act application.
- For the FAFSA, use your name exactly as it appears on your social security card.
- If you're able, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is built into the FAFSA. This will help you avoid having to request an IRS tax transcript if you're chose for verification.
- To ensure your eligibility for the Cal Grant program, list at least one CA college on your FAFSA.