Now that you have the know-how to streamline your application process, we just have one more question: Do you have your financial documents (tax/income/bank statements) ready?
Gather this information and keep it handy
Depending on your situation, you may need to fill out some or all of the following information. Gather as much of this information as you can before you dive into the application process:
- Your Social Security number (be sure to enter it correctly)
- Your Parents’ Social Security numbers (if you’re a dependent student)
- Your driver license number (if you have one)
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and spouse, if married)
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income and veterans’ non-education benefits for yourself and for parents, if you have a dependent student
- Information on cash (savings and checking account balances), investments (stocks, bonds and real estate – not including the residence you live in) and business and farm assets. And if you’re a parent of a dependent student, make sure to keep these records.
If your child is a dependent student:
- IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040
- Foreign tax return
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
Use your personal email address, (not a school or work-related address that may change). Always respond quickly to emails and other requests from the college financial aid office. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did!
Now that you're prepared, find the right financial aid application.
Fill out your FAFSA.
If you are a Dream Act student, fill out your California Dream Act Application here.
One and done
Don’t worry, only one FAFSA or California Dream Act Application form needs to be completed each year and is the one form that will determine your eligibility for all types of financial aid. Once you complete either a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application it will automatically be sent to every college you list on your application. If you’re not sure which college you will attend yet, just list all of the ones you are considering. You can always update that information later by logging back into your application. Pretty cool, right? Use the table below to see which tax year to use.
||Tax Filing Year to be Used
||October 1, 2018
||October 1, 2019
||October 1, 2020
We'll be in touch
After filing your application, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in 3-5 days, recapping the information you provided. A copy of your SAR will automatically be sent to the California Student Aid Commission and each college you listed on your application. Once those colleges get your SAR, they'll let you know how much aid you qualify for.
What if I make a mistake on my application?
No worries! Once the financial aid office reviews your application, they’ll let you know if any corrections or additional information is needed. If this occurs and the financial aid office contacts you, remember to respond as quickly as possible! This is why it’s really important to use a personal email, (not associated with your school or work), that you’re checking often.
Financial Aid Help is Easy to Find
Got Questions? We Have Answers!
Check out the FAQs for a great list of commonly asked questions and answers. If you have other questions or need assistance with financial aid forms, your local community college Financial Aid office can help! Locate the nearest Financial Aid office.