Financial Aid & Scholarships

Sources of Aid

  • Federal - awarded by the federal government
  • State - awarded by the state government
  • Institutional - awarded by the college the student chooses to attend
  • Private - awarded by an outside organization


Types of Aid

  • Scholarships/Grants - do not have to be repaid
  • Work Study - earned by the student as payment for a job on or off campus
  • Loans - must be repaid


Grants and Scholarships

  • Federal Pell Grant: Federal. For students with high financial need. Must complete the FAFSA.
  • Federal Supplemental Grant: Federal. Based on exceptional need. Must complete the FAFSA.
  • Cal Grant: State. A maximum parent income (middle range) applies. A GPA of 3.0 is required for 4 year colleges, and a GPA of 2.0 is required for 2 year or specialty colleges. Must complete the FAFSA or the Dream Act application (for undocumented students).
  • Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW): State. Pays the enrollment fees at a community college. Must complete the FAFSA.
  • CSU State University Grant (SUG): Institutional. Must complete the FAFSA.
  • UC Grant: Institutional. Limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to undergraduates who are eligible and whose Financial Aid Notice and all required documents are complete.
  • California Chafee Grant Program: Federal. For current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training or college courses. Must complete the FAFSA.
  • Institutional Scholarships: Many institutions offer their own merit-based and/or need-based scholarships. Students are often automatically considered when they apply to the institution. Sometimes an institutional scholarship will require a separate application. Check each school’s website for detailed information.
  • Private Scholarships: Many organizations offer scholarships to students who meet certain criteria. Visit your College and Career Center to learn about available organizational scholarships. You may also use scholarship search engines such as FastWeb (



Work Study

A program to help students earn money while in school. Students do not pay taxes on work study income. Must complete the FAFSA and indicate interest in work study.



  • Federal Stafford Subsidized Loans: Based on financial need. The federal government pays the interest until six months after the student stops attending college. The interest rate is variable %.
  • Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loans: Not based on financial need. Interest can be paid while in school or accrued, with a 6-month grace period. The interest rate is variable %.
  • Federal Perkins Loans: Based on exceptional financial need. Eligibility for a Pell Grant is determined first. This is federal money but the school serves as a lender. This loan is given to the student, carries an interest rate of 5%, holds a 9-month grace period, and will be cancelled for careers like teacher, nurse, and law enforcement.
  • Parent PLUS Loans: Granted to parents of students (biological or adoptive, not guardians). Not based on financial need. The loan is subject to a credit check. May cover the entire cost of attendance. Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement.
  • Private Loans: Not sponsored by the federal government. They are credit and income based. The interest rate is usually higher than Stafford or PLUS loans.