March 2 nd Deadline to Apply for State Funded Cal Grants for College!
Financing your children’s college education, especially in these times of rising tuition, can seem impossible, but there are many financial aid resources out there for families.
Financial aid can sometimes be confusing, because there are several different kinds. Almost all financial aid is either a grant, scholarship, work-study, or loan. Think of a grant as the ultimate graduation gift, because you don't have to pay it back. Scholarships are also free money for college, but are usually based on merit or ability, such as athletic scholarships. Work-study is a program where your employment as a student is subsidized so that you can earn money to put yourself through college. Finally, loans are money for college that must be paid back, but not until you graduate in most cases.
The State of California offers one of the best financial aid programs, the Cal Grant. Cal Grants are cash awards to qualifying students in amounts up to about $12,000 per year that can be used for college, university, career or technical education. March 2 nd is the filing deadline for a 2013 school year Cal Grant award.
In order for your child to be considered, you must complete both of the following requirements: First, a 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.ed.gov , must be completed by the March 2 deadline. Second, your child’s Grade Point Average (GPA) must be sent to the California Student Aid Commission by your child’s school, also by March 2. This can be done either electronically or using a paper form. If your child’s school does not verify GPA online, the paper form can be downloaded at http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/gpaform.pdf .
You can also attend a free “California Cash for College” workshop if you need help filling out the FAFSA form. The nearest workshop will be held on February 25, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Madison High School, 4833 Doliva Drive, San Diego, CA 92117. You can also find a workshop at www.cashforcollege.org .
It is so important that all of our children have an opportunity for higher education, regardless of financial means. Your work as a parent to ensure the timely filing of a FAFSA for your child is a critical step in making college affordable. Please call my San Diego office at 619-645-3090 if we can assist you with the process.