Q: I have seen that there are a lot of different kinds of financial aid – Pell Grant, Cal Grant, BOG fee waiver, Chafee grant, work study, loans – and I’m confused by all these different sources. Are these all covered by a single application or do I have to fill out multiple applications?
A: Most forms of financial aid, including the federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant, BOG fee waiver, work study, and loans are applied for through a single form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the FAFSA is submitted, the financial aid office at your school will determine which specific forms of aid you are eligible for. If a student is undocumented, they would submit the California Dream Act Application instead to qualify for state aid.
One additional form that you will want to make sure to also submit is the separate Chafee grant application. This must be submitted in addition to the FAFSA in order to apply for the Chafee grant program which is a financial aid source just for foster youth. Finally, after you have submitted a FAFSA, you should confirm that your high school submitted your GPA to the Webgrants system, which is required to obtain a Cal Grant. You can read about how to do this and much more in the Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth.
Note that private scholarships typically do need to be applied for individually, with separate applications for each. To learn more about ways to search for scholarships, follow this LINK.