FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

The 2020-2021 FAFSA is available October 1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form that determines your eligibility for student financial aid. We recommend applying as soon as possible in order to ensure maximum possible funding. 

Apply Here!

You can also apply through the myStudentAid mobile app, available for both iOS and Android!

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FAFSA Video Overview

Need an overview of FAFSA? Check out this video tutorial created by Federal Student Aid!


See more videos on the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel! 

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Understanding the Federal Pell Grant

What's the Pell Grant?  Click the link below for a great explanation written by Shannon Lee at Affordable College Online. "The Pell Grant is popular form of federal financial aid that goes to students who do not have the financial means to otherwise pay for college. The Pell Grant is popular because it does not need to be paid back, like a student loan does."

Learn Here!

Local FAFSA Workshops

Do you want to meet in-person with local experts to walk through the FAFSA process? Find local workshops dates and other Cash for College information at the link below. 

 Find Dates Here!

Checklist for Parents and Students

Sometimes a to-do list is necessary! Take a look at these College Preparation Checklists created by Federal Student Aid. These are great tools that can be used by both students and parents from elementary school onward!


Form Your Future

The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker is an interactive data dashboard that tracks and ranks states’ progress toward 100 percent of their high school seniors completing the FAFSA and measures change year over year. The tracker shows weekly progress and allows for year-to-year comparisons at the national, state, city, school district, and school levels.

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California Dream Act

"The California Dream Act application mirrors the FAFSA, only it's for students who don't have a permanent Social Security number. CADA application information is confidential - it is NEVER shared with the federal government, homeland security, or immigration and customs enforcement. CADA students and their parents are protected by the same privacy and information security laws and safeguards as all other Cal Grant applicants" -CSAC.CA.GOV 

Financial Aid Guide for Undocumented Students

California Student Aid Commission created a comprehensive guide for undocumented students searching for financial aid.

Click Here

California Student Aid Commission (State Aid)

The mission of the California Student Aid Commission is to ensure that "education beyond high school is financially accessible to all Californians". These grants are available from January 1st with a deadline of March 2nd. 


Cal Grants

These grant opportunities are determined by the type of college attended, household size and income, and, in some cases, GPA. Funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Cal Grants at a Glance

Application Instructions

Middle Class Scholarships

  • The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with family incomes and assets up to $177,000 a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.
  • Beginning on October 1st through the March 2nd deadline, students may complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) at www.caldreamact.org. Use the California Dream Act Application if you do not have a Social Security number (SSN) or if you have a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) number. Make sure your email address is listed on your FAFSA or CADAA. Once you are accepted to a UC or CSU, you will automatically be considered for the MCS scholarship.
  • Students whose families have income and assets up to $177,000 per year may be eligible for a scholarship of no less than 10% and no more than 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the University of California and the California State University.

California Chafee Grant

Awards a maximum of $5,000.00 a year for job training or college in addition to other federal aid or state funding. To be eligible you must:

  • Have been in foster care between ages 16-18
  • Not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July 1st of the award year
  • Stay in school and maintain good grades
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Doesn't require a Social Security number

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College Preparation & Mentorship Opportunities

Preparing for college can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it has to be confusing! A good mentor can make all the difference. Check out the local mentorship opportunities below. 

Humboldt Area Foundation Workbook

At Humboldt Area Foundation we have created a tool to help students prepare for scholarship season. Check out our 2020 student workbook below! 

 Download Workbook

HCOE Financial Aid Hub

The Humboldt County Office of Education's Financial Aid Hub is where North Coast California students, parents, and educators will find financial aid resources and high schools can view and track their FAFSA, CADAA, and Chafee Grant numbers.

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North Coast Cal-SOAP

The Northcoast Cal-SOAP Consortium provides academic tutoring and college advisement to low-income and first-generation students who have the potential to succeed in post-secondary education.



GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. 

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TRiO Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a Federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. What's the goal? The program is designed to support students prepare for and complete college. Upward Bound works with high school students from low-income families and/or families where neither parent have a bachelor's degree.  

 Federal Info

Humboldt State's Upward Bound serves six local high schools: Arcata High, Hoopa Valley High, South Fork High, Hayfork High, Southern Trinity High, and Trinity High.

HSU Upward Bound

College of the Redwoods' Upward Bound serves seven local high schools: Del Norte High School, Eureka High School, Fort Bragg High, Fortuna Union High, McKinleyville High, Castle Rock Charter and Sunset High.

CR Upward Bound

TRiO Talent Search


  • Do you need help planning a successful transition into college?
  • Are you looking for help with SAT and the Advanced Placement preparation? 
  • Do you need to take a peek at how much your top college would cost? 

Check out College Board! The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

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Early Outreach

Dream, Aspire, Plan and Prepare for College! 

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Local College and University Enrollment

Are you interested in attending College of the Redwoods or Humboldt State University? Please look at these tools to help you in your journey from enrollment to attendance! 

How Do I Apply to CR?

"CR offers a wide variety of accessible learning opportunities, including online classes and other distance education options. CR awards Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degrees as well as a wide variety of career technical certificates for vocational and professional development. It is an accredited, two-year institution that has articulation agreements with major four-year universities. CR is committed to the success of each student."

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How Do I Apply To HSU?

"Humboldt State University is a place for students with a spirit of adventure and passion for making a difference in the world." Find out what steps you need to take toward enrollment. 

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