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How to Afford College

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Shannon Banks

Applying for Financial Aid

Posted by Shannon Banks

The CSU encourages all students to apply for financial aid, regardless of financial need. This is because many scholarships will require a student to have a financial aid application on file before they can apply for a given scholarship. Applying for financial aid is extremely easy.

First, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After completing all of your information, be sure to list all of the schools you have applied to on the application. This will allow each university to receive your financial information so they can create the most cost-efficient financial aid package for you. Before you commit to a college, your financial aid should be pre-determined. Be sure to look through the type of aid each school is offering before deciding where to attend.

Once you’ve committed to a campus, you can go back to your FAFSA and remove the schools you will not be attending and everything should be good to go! Just remember to stay on the lookout for any specific paperwork that may be requested to determine your financial aid. Priority aid is given to students who submit their FAFSA by March 2, so get your application done as soon as possible!


Tiffaney Boyd

Get Connected!

Posted by Tiffaney Boyd

Hi, my name is Tiffaney Boyd and I am double majoring in Communication and Social Science at CSU San Marcos. Let me tell you, high school does not compare to college – college is full of exploration, events and experiences never imagined in high school. But it’s important to know that there is no need to wait or delay in college. As soon as you’re accepted, go get connected!

On college campuses, there are so many ways to get involved and learn about opportunities that you didn’t know existed. One thing that students often overlook in their first year is the Career Center. Don’t wait until your junior or senior year to stop by. Career counselors can help you at the start to get on the right path for success and help with interviews, resumes and internships.

Student life programs and on-campus clubs and organizations are also crucial to your personal development and connection to the campus. I got involved quite early on and I have no regrets. Through my involvements and connections, I landed a dream paid-internship, and got to fly to Sacramento and lobby on Capitol Hill (for free) and I’ve gained life-long friendships and mentors that were invaluable throughout my college journey.

With the amount of money you will be spending in college on tuition, books, and more, you don’t want to leave as the same person you came in as! So go forth and take advantage of everything your campus has to offer and leave college with memories that no class can teach. Go Cougars!


Kyle Barras

We’re Here to Help!

Posted by Kyle Barras

It’s that time of year again when college applications are due! If you have yet to complete your CSUMentor application because you are not sure what to do, feel free to contact the admissions office at the school you are applying to. I still remember my own experience applying to San Diego State and the apprehension I had; I had more questions than the Internet could possibly answer. It was at that time I looked up the phone number to SDSU’s admissions office and asked all of my inquiries.

The admissions team is there to help you and ease the process of applying to college. Back in high school, I was able to utilize my college career center for application questions, as well as teachers on campus whom I trusted to review my applications and other supplemental materials before I submitted them.

So the moral of the story is to utilize the resources around you, especially if they are free! You don’t want to pass up a great opportunity like attending a CSU, so fill out the application by November 30. It’s the doorway to the future you envision for your life!


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