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How to Prepare for College

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Financial Aid: Free Money for College!

Posted by Marisol

The easiest way to apply for financial aid is by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines the grants and scholarships you qualify for. The first time I filled out the FAFSA, I was nervous because the application was very lengthy and can take a while to fill out. And in addition to your personal information, you’ll need your parents’ as well. The good thing is that it saves all your information so if you don’t know the answer to something you can continue it later.

Try to go to FAFSA seminars at your high school or ask a counselor for help on any questions you may have. I remember I went to a seminar that explained what certain questions meant and they even helped me get started on filling out the application. If you need more help you can also call the colleges you plan on attending, or you can even get live web help from the FAFSA site too. Try your best to apply and finish the application before March since the deadline is usually in the first days of March.

Financial aid can be very helpful, and in my case it’s the only reason I was able to go to a CSU without paying for it all myself. I’ve been in school for five years now and each year I got enough financial aid to pay for all of my schooling, including books and housing. So remember, it doesn’t hurt to apply for a FAFSA. Plus, it saves your personal information so the following school year it will be easier and faster to fill it out. So go to and get a head start on applying for free money!


CSU & UC Applications Open!

Posted by Jade

October 1st is the day! Fall 2014 applications for the CSUs and UCs have officially opened (although you will not be able to officially submit your UC applications until November 1st). If anything, you should remember that filling out a college application TAKES TIME. Do not assume that you are going to get all your applications gathered, filled out, and submitted in one day. You may have questions or concerns.


Luckily, CSU Mentor for example has an express feature where you can fill out one application and then copy your personal info to other campus applications! Saves you a lot of time, but make sure your info is right the first time around! Also, just because you start your application doesn’t mean you have to finish it; you can always save what you input for later and come back to it.


What you’ll need in order to apply to CSUs and UCs:


  • Transcripts. You don’t need to submit your transcripts at this point, but you will definitely need them to fill out high school course information and GPA info.
  • Test scores, if you have them.
  • A close estimate of your family’s annual income. You will need this information in order to get a fee waiver or apply for EOP.
  • Social Security Number, if you have one.
  • Residency status and info.


Applications for both the CSUs and UCs are due by November 30, 2013. If you’re applying to private colleges and universities, be sure to check the requirements and deadlines for each school as they may differ from campus to campus. Best of luck!

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!




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