Paying for College

Cost of College

Many school offer student scholarships. Please visit the individual school section for scholarship information.

Ten Steps to Paying for School:
1. Find out as much as you can about schools you are interested in attending. Request information on the costs of attendance, and try to calculate your school expenses.

2. Save money now to pay for school if you haven’t already done so. View the Start Now! Saving for College and Introduction to 529 College Savings Plan webcasts for more information. Also consider educational loyalty and affinity programs.

3. Discuss options for paying for school. Also, talk to your high school counselor about applying for local or private scholarships. View the Paying for College webcast for more information.

4. Request information and forms on financial aid, and complete admission applications.

5. Apply for financial aid. Start by completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which will help determine your need for financial aid. You can get the form from your high school counselor or a financial aid office of a school you are considering attending. View the Understanding the FAFSA webcast for more information.

6. Complete any other aid or admission forms required by the school.

7. Review the Student Aid Report (SAR). This will summarize the information you completed on your FAFSA, and will include your Estimated Family Contribution. Review the SAR to make sure it is correct, and send it to the financial aid offices of the schools in which you are considering enrolling.

8. Review your award letter. The letter, which comes from the school’s financial aid office, will let you know what kind of financial aid, and how much, for which you qualify.

9. Consider the financial options outlined in the award letter. These options may include: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Accept or reject all or part of the award package, and complete any other forms required by the school.

10. Reapply for financial aid each year you are in college or postsecondary training. If you filled out a FAFSA the year before, you will probably be eligible to complete the shorter Renewal FAFSA.

Do you homework on the total costs of going to college. Then compare that to how your salary, career, and future increases in value.

For more information please visit http://www.cpec.ca.gov/CollegeGuide/FinancialAid.asp