Fund Your Future
HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR’S FINANCIAL AID TIMELINE & CHECKLISTS
BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER
Focus on your grades and credits to graduate.
Take the required California high school
Write your personal statement, s
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 atwww.collegeboard.com
and/or the ACT atwww.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 atwww.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.
FAFSA4caster, the federal financial aid
estimator. Visitwww.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
BEGINNING IN OCTOBER
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
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 towww.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, visitwww.webgrants4students.org to
open an online account.
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. Usewebgrants4students.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 atwww. 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 atwww.studentloans.gov .