Monthly Archives: February 2018

FAFSA Submission

Q: I am working with foster youth to complete their FAFSA by the March 2 deadline. How do we know it was successfully submitted and received?

A: The FAFSA form will be processed a few days after submission, and it will be indicated when you log back into FAFSA.

You can also make a correction by choosing “Make FAFSA Corrections,” or click to “View or Print your Student Aid Report (SAR).”

 

For additional resources on completing FAFSA, please review the Financial Aid Planning Guide.

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Cal Grant Time Limits

Q: I was awarded a Cal Grant to attend community college, but my counselor is telling me I shouldn’t take the money because it could run out later. Could you explain why I wouldn’t want to accept this money?

A: Currently, the Cal Grant is available only for a maximum of four years of full-time enrollment at a community college, CSU, UC or private institution. At a community college, the grant provides up to $1,672 to cover non-tuition costs, such as books, housing and transportation. At a 4-year university, the money can also be used to pay for tuition costs and therefore provides significantly more: up to $7,414 for a student attending a CSU campus, $14,302 for students attending a UC campus and $10,756 for students enrolled at a qualifying private institution. If you utilize the funding while in community college, you run the risk of not having enough funds remaining when you transfer to a university and when the available benefit is significantly more.

It should also be noted, that this limitation would change if Senate Bill 940 passes. For foster youth specifically, the maximum time would be extended from four to eight years, allowing students to utilize the grant throughout their educational career. To support the passage of this bill, please consider sending in a letter of support as well as sign on to the budget request letter to expand Cal Grant access for foster youth. Support letters can be sent to Carolyn@jbay.org

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Independent Status on FAFSA

Q: How do I know if I qualify for independent status on the FAFSA, and what exactly does it mean to be an independent student?

A: Independent Status” on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) means that youth do not have to provide any information, including income and asset information, about their biological, adoptive, or foster parents (including relative or non-relative caregivers) or legal guardians in the Parent Demographics section. This will mean that parental contribution is not added into a student’s contribution to determine his or her Estimated Financial Contribution (EFC), the index number that determines how much a student can pay for education and how much financial aid students receive.

If any of the below applies to students, then they qualify as independent students on the FAFSA:

  • Was an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any time since the age of 13
  • Age 24 or older at any time before December 31st of the award year
  • Was determined at any time since July 1st of award year to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless
  • Is married as of the date student applies
  • Will be a graduate or professional student when the award year starts
  • Is currently serving on active duty for purposes other than training
  • Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Has dependents other than a spouse

Citation: U.S Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid, 2018-2019 Application and Verification Guide https://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/1819FSAHbkAVG.pdf

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GPA Verification for Cal Grant

Q: I’m assisting a high school senior with submitting his FAFSA. I understand that students must have their school submit a Grade Point Average verification form by the March 2nd deadline to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant entitlement grant. This seems like an important detail – how would we know if his school got the GPA verification in by the March 2nd deadline and how much time will it take the school to submit it?

A: You are correct. The GPA Verification Form must be submitted by the March 2nd deadline in order to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award.

California law requires that all public and charter high schools electronically upload GPAs by October 1st of the year prior to the award year for current enrolled seniors that do not opt-out. If a student is attending a different type of high school, the student should check with the school as to whether they electronically upload GPAs. For schools that do not submit GPAs electronically, students should use the paper GPA Verification Form, which is available through their high school or at www.csac.ca.gov (click on “Cal Grant GPA Forms” under “Students and Parents”). The paper form must be postmarked by the March 2nd priority deadline of the award year.

Students can log on to WebGrants for Students to find out if their GPA verification has been received by the California Student Aid Commission. Here, students can also view the status of their Cal Grant or Chafee Grant application, update their address, submit corrections, view their payment history, update their college of attendance, or satisfy outstanding requirements.

Citation: http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=1177

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