Livermore High School

Financial Aid

Changes to the FAFSA® Process for 2017–18

SUBMIT A FAFSA EARLIER: Students will be able to submit a 2017–18 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit their FAFSAs as early as October 1 every year.

 

USE EARLIER INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION: Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 income and tax information.

 

Here’s a summary of key dates for submitting the FAFSA depending on when you plan to go to school:

 

IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND COLLEGE FROM

YOU WILL SUBMIT THIS FAFSA

YOU CAN SUBMIT THE FAFSA FROM

USING INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION FROM

JULY 1, 2017 – JUNE 30, 2018

2017–18

OCTOBER 1, 2016 – JUNE 30, 2018

2015

JULY 1, 2018 – JUNE 30, 2019

2018–19

OCTOBER 1, 2017 – JUNE 30, 2019

2016

Parents often ask whether their family should apply for financial aid. The California Student Aid Commission, which administers the Cal Grant program, recommends that every student apply for financial aid. Applying is also a good safety measure in case the family’s financial situation changes.

 
The term Financial Aid includes:
  • need-based grants
  • scholarships
  • work study
  • student loans
  • parent loans
In addition to both federal and state aid, colleges and universities often provide their own institutional aid and scholarships for incoming students. Refer to the financial aid information accompanying each application for specifics and deadlines.
 

Many private schools will ask you to complete the College Scholarship Search (CSS) Profile. Students must register and file the CSS Profile online.

FAFSA (Free Application for federal Student Aid)

All institutions of higher education evaluate requests for any type of financial aid by considering a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if a family’s income is too high for need-based aid, the student may qualify for scholarships, work-study, or low interest student loans. Don't assume you will not qualify for financial aid. The FAFSA formula not only consider income and savings in calculating a family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but also other factors such as the age of the parents and the number of children enrolled in college.
 
  • To estimate your EFC, follow this link to the FAFSA website, and click on the FAFSA4caster link in the "Thinking About College" section of the page. The benefit of using this pre-application estimator is that data can be saved to pre-populate the online FAFSA form.
  • You’ll need a Federal Student Aid Student ID (FSA ID), a personal identification number that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your PIN also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online. You can get your PIN as you fill out the FAFSA, but you also have the option to get it ahead of time. Find out how to get a FSA ID and what to do if you forgot your FSA ID.  The logon and FSA ID created for the FAFSA4caster will also be used for your FAFSA form.  Getting an FSA ID before you begin the FAFSA could prevent processing delays, and it only takes a minute.
 
The FAFSA must be completed to apply for federal and state student grants,work-study grants, and loans.  Additionally, many institutions require submission of the FAFSA in order for students to be considered for their own institutional aid.
 
The filing period for the FAFSA is between October 1st and March 2nd for California public colleges and universities. Other colleges and universities may have earlier or priority deadlines; it is important to check filing dates for specific colleges. The preferred method of filing is online.  Filing the FAFSA on time is important in case circumstances suddenly change (e.g. a parent loses a job); it is much easier to amend an existing application and ask a college to reconsider the application before their discretionary funds are distributed. Families should NOT wait until the last year's tax return to complete the FAFSA; estimate information based on the previous year, then amend the application when you have the most accurate data. It's important to file the FAFSA on time; check the colleges for specific deadlines.
 
For help and advice, you can call FAFSA Customer Service at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Cal Grants

The State of California provides aid for students through its Cal Grant program. To apply for a grant, students must verify their grade point average records by filing a GPA Verification form in addition to the FAFSA application form.

 
Eligibility for a Cal Grant is based on family income, family assets, and the student’s unweighted state GPA (calculation includes sophomore and junior year grades only).
 
  • Students who have demonstrated financial need and have a 3.00 minimum GPA are entitled to a Cal Grant A.
     
  • Students who have need and at least a 2.00 GPA are entitled
    to a Cal Grant B.
     
  • Students attending a vocational school may qualify for a Cal Grant C.
 
This link from the California Student Aid Commission will help you determine whether you meet the family income and asset ceilings. The amount of family assets (including savings and investments) is determined from information submitted on the FAFSA form (home equity is not included in the FAFSA asset calculation).

Useful Links

Federal Aid

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

FAFSA Customer Service: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)

 

State of California Aid

California Student Aid Commission

California Student Aid Financial Aid Programs

http://www.calgrants.org/

 

Other Useful Tools

Parent's Guide to Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education

College Board Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator

Evaluating Your Financial Aid Award Letters

College Scholarship Search (CSS)/Financial Aid Profile

Financial Aid/ Scholarship Search Engines

Resources

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