Federal Student Aid
Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation awarding, more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in applying for financial assistance. The FAFSA is available from October 1 - June 30 each year. We recommend applying as soon as possible in order to ensure maximum possible funding.
Apply To The FAFSA Here
We recommend that all students complete the FAFSA regardless of family income. Some institutional scholarships do not take financial need into consideration but utilize the FAFSA form as their scholarship application. Keep reading to learn about Institutional Scholarships.
You can also apply through the myStudentAid mobile app, available for both iOS and Android!
Learn More About myStudentAid
Do you want to meet in-person with local experts to walk through the FAFSA process? Find local workshops dates and other Cash for College information at the link below.
Find Workshop Dates Here
What's the Pell Grant? Click the link below for a great explanation written by Shannon Lee at Affordable College Online. "The Pell Grant is popular form of federal financial aid that goes to students who do not have the financial means to otherwise pay for college. The Pell Grant is popular because it does not need to be paid back, like a student loan does."
Sometimes a to-do list is necessary! Take a look at these College Preparation Checklists created by Federal Student Aid. These are great tools that can be used by both students and parents from elementary school onward!
Create a Checklist Here
The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker is an interactive data dashboard that tracks and ranks states’ progress toward 100 percent of their high school seniors completing the FAFSA and measures change year over year. The tracker shows weekly progress and allows for year-to-year comparisons at the national, state, city, school district, and school levels.
Learn More About the FAFSA Tracker Here
- Do you need help planning a successful transition into college?
- Are you looking for help with SAT and the Advanced Placement preparation?
- Do you need to take a peek at how much your top college would cost?
Check out College Board! The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.
Learn More About College Board
Dream, Aspire, Plan and Prepare for College!
Educational Resource Binder
California Student Aid Commission created a comprehensive guide for undocumented students searching for financial aid.
Click Here to Learn More
California Dream Act
"The California Dream Act application mirrors the FAFSA, only it's for students who don't have a permanent Social Security number. CADA application information is confidential - it is NEVER shared with the federal government, homeland security, or immigration and customs enforcement. CADA students and their parents are protected by the same privacy and information security laws and safeguards as all other Cal Grant applicants" -CSAC.CA.GOV
The mission of the California Student Aid Commission is to ensure that "education beyond high school is financially accessible to all Californians". Funding is available through the state for California residents or AB 540 eligible attending college in California. These grants are available from January 1 with a deadline of March 2.
You Must File FAFSA Or CADA To Be Considered For State Aid
Click Here to Learn More
Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)
- The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with family incomes and assets up to $177,000 a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.
- Beginning on October 1st through the March 2nd deadline, students may complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) at www.caldreamact.org. Use the California Dream Act Application if you do not have a Social Security number (SSN) or if you have a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) number. Make sure your email address is listed on your FAFSA or CADAA. Once you are accepted to a UC or CSU, you will automatically be considered for the MCS scholarship.
- Students whose families have income and assets up to $177,000 per year may be eligible for a scholarship of no less than 10% and no more than 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the University of California and the California State University.
- These grant opportunities are determined by the type of college attended, household size and income, and in some cases GPA. Funds are awarded on a first come first served basis.
Cal Grants At A Glance
California Chafee Grant
Awards a maximum of $5,000.00 a year for job training or college in addition to other federal aid or state funding. To be eligible you must:
- Have been in foster care between ages 16-18
- Not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1st of the award year
- Stay in school and maintain good grades
- Be enrolled at least half-time
- Doesn't require a Social Security number
Learn More about the Chafee Grant
Colleges have scholarships available for students based on grades, financial need and major. Check in with your college’s financial aid office to learn about scholarships and if there are any extra requirements that need to be completed in order to apply for funding. In addition, if you have declared your major we recommend checking in with your department, which may have access to more scholarships.
Humboldt Area Foundation Workbook
At Humboldt Area Foundation we have created a tool to help students prepare for scholarship season. Check out our 2021 student workbook below!
HCOE Financial Aid Hub
The Humboldt County Office of Education's Financial Aid Hub is where North Coast California students, parents, and educators will find financial aid resources and high schools can view and track their FAFSA, CADAA, and Chafee Grant numbers.
Learn More about HCOE
North Coast Cal-Soap
The Northcoast Cal-SOAP Consortium provides academic tutoring and college advisement to low-income and first-generation students who have the potential to succeed in post-secondary education.
Learn More about Cal-Soap
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.
Learn More About Gear Up
TRiO Upward Bound
Upward Bound is a Federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. What's the goal? The program is designed to support students prepare for and complete college. Upward Bound works with high school students from low-income families and/or families where neither parent have a bachelor's degree.
Humboldt State's Upward Bound: Serves six local high schools: Arcata High, Hoopa Valley High, South Fork High, Hayfork High, Southern Trinity High, and Trinity High.
HSU Upward Bound
College of the Redwoods' Upward Bound: Serves seven local high schools: Del Norte High School, Eureka High School, Fort Bragg High, Fortuna Union High, McKinleyville High, Castle Rock Charter and Sunset High.
CR Upward Bound
TRiO Talent Search
Talent Search is a college and career training program which encourages pre-college students to complete high school and post secondary education. Individuals in this program will benefit from professional tutoring, mentoring, career exploration and more.
HSU Talent Search
There are numerous other scholarships available to student attending college, such as scholarships provided by the Humboldt Area Foundation. Our application will be available between January 15 and March 15. You can also check out the Scholarship Finder, a comprehensive site that allows students to search for scholarships offered by local schools, businesses, service clubs, and individuals. If you are a high school senior, we recommend checking in with your counselor on a regular basis about scholarships available throughout your community.
Are you interested in attending College of the Redwoods or Humboldt State University? Please look at these tools to help you in your journey from enrollment to attendance!
How Do I Apply To HSU?
"Humboldt State University is a place for students with a spirit of adventure and passion for making a difference in the world." Find out what steps you need to take toward enrollment.
Learn More About Applying to HSU
How Do I Apply To CR?
"College of the Redwoods offers a wide variety of accessible learning opportunities, including online classes and other distance education options. CR awards Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees as well as a wide variety of career technical certificates for vocational and professional development. It is an accredited, two-year institution that has articulation agreements with major four-year universities. CR is committed to the success of each student."
Learn More About Applying To CR