The first step in the financial aid process is often to determine whether to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Students complete only one of these applications; never both. Even if you don't think you will qualify for financial aid, several loans, grants, and scholarships require that you complete a FAFSA or Dream Act Application.
Complete the FAFSA by the March 2nd deadline in order to qualify for all Federal and State scholarships, grants and loans.
California Dream Act Application The California Dream Act Information & Application
AB 540 is a California law that allows students, including undocumented students, who have attended a high school in California for at least three years and graduated or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma, to pay in-state tuition to attend California public colleges or universities. You can review whether you're eligible to apply visiting the California Study Aid Commission website or by clicking here.
To complete the FAFSA, students and their guardians will need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- An FSA ID to sign electronically. If you have not already done so, go to www.StudentAid.gov/fsaid to create a FSA ID before you fill out the FAFSA.
There is a wealth of information regarding financial aid programs and scholarships on the internet. Please be aware that you should not have to pay money to apply for financial aid including scholarships. If a site is requesting money, it is a scam!
- Filing the FAFSA: The Edvisors Guide to Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - Your must-have resource! Download this free guide to help you (1) maximize eligibility for student aid, (2) avoid common errors, and (3) complete the FAFSA quickly, easily and accurately. Available for PC/Mac, smartphones and eReaders.
- College Affordability & Transparency Center - start here to find information about how much it costs students to attend different colleges, how fast those costs are going up, and information related to why costs are going up.
- Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) -Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.
- SB UNIFIED SCHOLARSHIP LIST
- Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara – our wonderful local scholarship source
Scholarship Search Sites:
- Fast Web – the largest FREE scholarship database
- Chegg – scholarship matching database
- College Answer - free scholarship information from Sallie Mae
- Scholarships.com – free national scholarship database
- Big Future - find all about how to pay for college with videos, information about scholarships, loans, and tools and calculators to help estimate college costs.
- Cappex.com -With the most comprehensive scholarship database available, students find national and local scholarships that match their qualifications and can sort them by level of effort or competition.
Make sure to check out the Financial Aid & Scholarships section on college websites for specific information related to their campus.