Who Should Apply for Financial Aid?
If you feel that your family will be unable to meet the cost of a UC education with family resources alone, you should apply for financial aid. Financial aid is awarded to students based on their family’s demonstrated financial need. Students who receive scholarships are also eligible for financial aid. In fact, most scholarship recipients also receive need-based financial aid.
How Do I Apply?
The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You should complete this form as soon as possible after January 1st of the year you will be attending and every year thereafter. You should not wait for taxes to be filed! You can and should use estimated information to complete the on-line form as some types of financial aid are on a first-come, first-serve basis and do run out before all eligible students are funded. While no date guarantees the availability of funds, the sooner you file the FAFSA, the better your chances of receiving all the aid for which you qualify.
Although there are two ways to complete the FAFSA, the quickest and, in our opinion, the easiest way is on-line at www.fafsa.gov. First, the student and a parent should create an FSA ID and password by visiting https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm. Once the student and a parent each have created and FSA ID and password, the family is ready to complete the FAFSA on-line through the secure, government website at www.fafsa.gov. You will be asked to enter personal family information that is needed to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and in some cases, institutional financial aid. After you submit the completed and signed FAFSA, you will receive results, called a Student Aid Record (SAR) in about 2-3 days. Your state aid agency and all the colleges you listed on the FAFSA will receive your results about the same time. Colleges will use this information to create a financial aid award for you. If you are unable to complete the FAFSA on-line, please contact us in the Financial Planning Office so that we can help or provide an alternative.