Paying for college in California, or looking for financial aid as a California resident, can be quite a challenge. In the nation’s most populous state, there’s always plenty of competition for scholarships, grants, and some student loans. Couple that with an economic recession and rising tuition costs, and you get a state full of students looking for money for college. With all this competition, it’s important to invest some time into searching for college scholarships and other financial aid assistance.
To help you out in your search for college funds, here are some online resources for California college students.
California Student Aid Commission Website
One of the first places college students and their parents should look for California Financial Aid information is the California Student Aid Commission website. Among many other things, this site is the place to go to find out more about Cal Grants, which are the largest source of financial aid in the state of California and do not have to be paid back. Students are eligible for Cal Grants based on the FAFSA information, and everything students need to know about applying for these grants is on this website.
This website is also a great starting place to find out about general information that California students need to know about financial aid, from information about scholarships and grants to application deadlines to student budget information. A great place to start on the site is the lengthy FAQ, which provides valuable information about Cal Grants and other financial aid information.
The California Student Aid Commission Website is also a great place to get started for finding out more about student loans. Here’s the Loans Programs for Higher Education page on the site.
Scholarships for California Students
Public higher education for California students is divided into a three-tiered system: the University of California, which has ten campuses (including Berkeley, Irvine, and UCLA), the California State University system, which consists of 23 schools (including CSU Northridge and San Diego State University), and the California Community Colleges System.
Community colleges in California do not charge tuition. However, between books, fees, the high cost of living in California, and other expenses typical of nontraditional students, paying for college can still be quite a burden for community college students. A great place to look for information about scholarships, grants, and other information for California community college students is I Can Afford College.com.
University of California students can find a centralized directory of information about available scholarships and grants at the Paying for UC Scholarships site. There isn’t a centralized website with information about scholarships for CSU schools, but students can find that information easily on the website of each individual school.
For more information about student loans, scholarships, grants, and other financial aid, be sure to talk to a guidance counselor or college financial aid counselor. Hopefully these resources will provide you with a good starting point. Best of luck!