Race to Submit


The Race to Submit is a statewide campaign that aims to increase the number of financial aid application for California high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application. Filling out these financial aid applications is the first step towards college success and helps students qualify for federal and state aid to help pay for college. These efforts were modeled after the successful 2017-18 FAFSA and CADAA Completion Initiative in Riverside. The Riverside County Office of Education and Riverside County high schools increased the percentage of FAFSA and CADAA completions from 52% to 70% for the class of 2017 with their Race to Submit initiative. Their goal is to reach 93% by class of 2019.

The Race to Submit encourages all California high schools and districts to view and track their FAFSA and CADAA number. The online tool helps measure the number of submitted and completed applications. This initiative aims to motivate California high schools and districts to increase application count by supporting their students with FAFSA and CADAA submission.

During the application period, beginning October 1 and up until the March 2nd Cal Grant deadline, each high school, district, and county can use the Race to Submit to gauge the submission and completion of the FAFSA and CADAA, along with how many Cal Grants have been awarded. In the fall of each year, a performance view is displayed which totals the estimated federal Pell Grant and actual offered Cal Grant funding for each high school senior class.

The Race to Submit provides progress updates of the following data by high school, school district and county on a weekly basis:

  • FAFSA/CADAA completion and submission rates
  • Number of Cal Grant applications submitted and completed
  • Number of students eligible for Cal Grants
  • Number of Cal Grant awards


This Race to Submit Resource Guide provides a summary of the Race to Submit initiative, Dashboard features, FAFSA/CADAA strategies and general financial aid resources. Click on the link below to access the Race to Submit Resource Guide.

Race to Submit Resource Guide

Create your own reports using the following features to customize your own tables and graphs.

Search – Use our interactive search field with auto-completion to search for schools, school districts, and/or counties.

Export – Download data for all schools, school districts, and counties in CSV format.

Glossary – See a list of commonly used terms.

Comparison – Add up to 5 schools, school districts, and/or counties to view a comparison set.

View All – See a listing of all schools, school districts, or counties.


The Leaderboard displays schools by the top 10 completed application percentages by six levels determined by the graduating class size. The top school at each level will be recognized by California Student Aid Commission. The Race to Submit will celebrate the progress and success of all schools and districts that make significant strides in FAFSA and CADAA completion between October 1, 2017 and March 2, 2018.


Are you interested in supporting the Race to Submit? Starting October 1 through the March 2 Cal Grant deadline, students and families can attend FREE Cash for College workshops across California to receive assistance completing the FAFSA or CADAA and Chafee Grant for Foster Youth applications.