Financial aid is any type of assistance used to pay college costs, including living expenses like rent and food. There are four main types of financial aid:
Do not have to be repaid and are usually need-based; often government funded
Do not have to be repaid and are often based on merit, personal interests or background
Part-time employment through the college, where students earn money
- Student Loans
Borrowed funds that students must repay with interest
Applying for financial aid is free but it takes time and attention to lots of details to figure out which aid you might be eligible for and fill out the applications.
What should I do to get started?
TIPS: Don’t be shy about asking for help. Start as early as possible.
- Learn about financial aid and what’s available.
Check out these resources:
- Financial aid checklist
- Icanaffordcollege.com: Helps California community college students understand and apply for financial aid
- FinAid.org: Comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools
- Scholarships for LA County Students
- CaliforniaColleges.edu: Resources for college financial planning
- Get help. Your high school counselor, Independent Living Program or the financial aid office at the college you are thinking about going to can help you complete the FAFSA and apply for all financial aid. If the college has a program for foster youth, get help from the foster youth counselor. CLICK HERE to find campus support programs.
- Submit your FAFSA form. This federal form is the key to most financial aid.