The FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that learners and parents fill out to receive financial aid for postsecondary education. This can include four-year colleges, community colleges, and trade schools. In most cases, the learner AND parent will need to fill out the FAFSA. Each will supply their own information. For divorced, widowed, and non-traditional family situations, this graphic can help you decide which family member should be included in the FAFSA and which parent will need to provide information.
The FAFSA opens on October 1, 2021. It should be filled out as soon as possible. For learners heading to a four-year college, the FAFSA deadline can vary by college so be sure to check the deadline on each college website. For students attending a public college in California (the University of California, the California state system, or a California community college) the final deadline for maximum financial aid is March 2, 2022. Do not wait until the last minute as some colleges award aid on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are some helpful resources to explain FAFSA:
- How to fill out the FAFSA: This video explains the necessary documents, information, and steps required to fill out the FAFSA. Information and documentation include your social security, your taxes, and W2. You will also need your permanent resident card if applicable.
- How to create an account for the FAFSA: This video explains the steps to create an ID for both students and parents. The student and the parent must each create their own account. A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is necessary to log in and complete the FAFSA.
- Information for parents filling out the FAFSA: This video explains the parent portion for filling out the FAFSA for dependent students. This video explains the difference between a dependent and independent student and will help you determine your dependency status.
- FAFSA YouTube channel: This provides numerous videos to help explain financial aid in general including filling out the FAFSA, tips for parents, and understanding loans.
The California Dream Act allows undocumented California learners to apply for financial aid for California state colleges. This video explains more about CADAA.
Eligible learners who file the CADAA may receive grants for University of California schools (examples: UCLA, UC Irvine), the California State University system (examples CSU Long Beach and San Diego State University), and the community college system.
Check here to see if you qualify under the California Dream Act or AB 540.
If you have any questions about the FAFSA, the CADAA, or financial aid in general please contact iLEAD Exploration’s College Advisor, Laura Kazan, at laura.kazan@ileadexploration.
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