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17

Fund Your Future

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR’S FINANCIAL AID TIMELINE & CHECKLISTS

BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER

SENIOR YEAR

Focus on your grades and credits to graduate.

Take the required California high school

graduation exams.

Write your personal statement, s

cholarship essays.

Visit colleges, take college tours in person, or

take virtual college tours online.

Learn college application deadlines. Apply

to the colleges of your choice. Consider the

Universal College Application.

Search online for scholarship opportunities,

scholarship deadlines, and college and career

planning tips. Begin applying for scholarships.

Attend your school’s fall financial aid

workshops and college and career fairs.

Sign up for the SAT at

www.collegeboard.com

and/or the ACT at

www.actstudent.org.

Ask if your school will submit your verified

Cal Grant GPA electronically, or if you’ll

need to submit it using the paper Cal Grant

GPA Verification form, located at

www.calgrants.org.

Use cost calculators to help you determine

the overall college cost of attendance (COA).

Colleges are required to have these calculators

available to you online.

Visit

www.fafsa.gov to

complete the

FAFSA4caster, the federal financial aid

estimator. Visit

www.caldreamact.org to

complete the California Dream Act Application

worksheet. The FAFSA4caster provides

estimated financial aid award amounts and is

great practice for completing the

FAFSA in January.

*When a state deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or

holiday, applications will be accepted through the next

working day.

BEGINNING IN OCTOBER

SENIOR YEAR

Submit your Free Application for Federal Student

Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application

(CADAA) and School Verified Cal Grant GPA after

October 1 and before March 2.* If your parents (or

you) haven’t yet completed a federal tax return,

use estimates. Make updates or corrections later.

Check with each college you’re considering

about other financial aid deadlines, and mark

your calendar.

Free help completing financial aid applications

is available; never pay for the FAFSA or to have

it completed for you. Attend a Free Cash for

College program in January or February for

help completing the FAFSA or California Dream

Act Application and other forms. For dates and

locations, go to

www.cash4college.org.

Keep all of your FAFSA or CADAA and Cal Grant

online account information, ID numbers, and

passwords in one place for easy access.

After you’ve completed your FAFSA or CADAA

Application, visit

www.webgrants4students.org to

open an online account.

Use

webgrants4students.org

to review your

California Aid Report (CAR), which you’ll

receive in an email notification after you

apply and are approved for a Cal Grant. Use

webgrants4students.org

to make address

corrections, updates on final school choice, and

to confirm your high school graduation.

College acceptance letters and financial aid

offers are sent out in the spring. Review each

offer and compare offers and ask questions. Use

the “Compare Your Aid Awards” tool at

www. bigfuture.collegeboard.org.

Consider grants, scholarships, work-study,

and other aid you don’t have to repay before

accepting a student loan. If needed, borrow

only what you must, and check out low interest

federal student loans at

www.studentloans.gov .