A Message from the Executive Director

Post Lupita Cortez Alcalá

Since 1955, the mission of the California Student Aid Commission has been “making education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians.”

This year, the Commission will offer $2.2 billion in Cal Grants to eligible students and $117 million in Middle Class Scholarships for students attending California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) campuses.

To become eligible for student financial aid, all students MUST complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) between October 1 and March 2 and provide the Commission with a school verified Grade Point Average (GPA).*

The pathway to financial aid for higher education begins with a plan. There are steps students can take in elementary school, middle school, and high school to get financial aid for college, vocational, technical, and career education.

There is also student financial aid available for transfer and returning students. There is a place for every student in higher education. The Fund Your Future Magazine is an informational resource containing facts about applying for student financial aid in California and the basic steps to accessing higher education. We have included commonly used terms, definitions, websites, links, and financial education tools in this magazine.

Most college financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need and there is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). However, there are federal, state, and campus-based student aid options: grants, work-study, scholarships, and student loans. To be considered for any financial aid students must apply on-time and fully complete all of the necessary forms, applications, and supporting documents. The California Student Aid Commission is here to help. We have 14 regional California Student Opportunity and Access Program (CalSOAP) offices and offer more than 800 local California Cash for College workshops during the financial aid application season. The Commission also offers free online professional training in financial aid education for high school and college level counselors, teachers, and administrators.

Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Executive Director

*Students can submit a SAT, ACT, or General Education Development test (GED), High School Equivalency test (HiSET), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) or the California High School Prociency Exam (CHSPE) if a valid GPA is not available.