Step 3: Apply Now

Ready to get the application process started? Just click on the links below. They’ll guide you to the sites for all of the most important financial aid and community college application forms. If you need some help filling out the forms, make sure to get in touch with the financial aid office at your local California community college. 

To find the college closest to you, use the zip code locator on the right side of this page. 

Although you can apply for financial aid year-round at California community colleges, there are some types of aid that have specific deadlines, such as Cal Grants.  Be sure to visit our Important Dates/Deadlines page for more information. 




This is the biggie: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the starting point for just about any kind of financial aid, and the recommended form to complete for the California College Promise Grant.

Beginning in fall 2016, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available every year on October 1. This means you have the chance to complete the forms sooner than ever before, which will give you a better idea of what your financial aid package will look like so you can figure out how you are going to pay for school before it begins. Filing early will also give you a better chance to receive more aid, if you qualify. To plan ahead for the 2017-2018 academic year, complete the FAFSA as soon as October 1, 2016 to get the most aid possible.

Academic Year FAFSA Available Tax Filing Year to be Used
2017/2018  October 1, 2016 2015
2018/2019 October 1, 2017 2016
2019/2020 October 1, 2018 2017

Follow this link to start a new application or review one you’ve already started:


Want to get an idea of your eligibility for federal financial aid? The FAFSA4caster will ask you a few quick questions and then provide an estimate.  Check it out at

Cal Grants

Let’s hear it for two of the sweetest words in the English language: free money. With a Cal Grant, you can get money for college expenses, and you don’t have to pay it back. For more information visit

Chafee Grant

If you’re in foster care or you were in the past, you might qualify for this grant. You don’t have to pay the money back, and there’s a chance you can use it to help pay for child care, transportation and rent while you’re in school. You must file the FAFSA and the supplemental Chafee Grant form to quality. For more information and to apply visit

California College Promise Grant (Formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver)

If you’re worried about the cost of community college enrollment, look into the California College Promise Grant . If you qualify, you won’t have to pay the community college enrollment fees. If you file a FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for the California College Promise Grant at California community colleges. Click on the following link to download the California College Promise Grant 2019-2020 Application, also available in Spanish. 

Once you complete the application, you'll need to mail or hand deliver it to your community college's financial aid office. To find contact information for your college's financial aid office, you can use the zip code locator on the right side of this page.  

Dream Act Application

The California Dream Act is really two laws that were passed in 2011, and allow AB 540 students to apply for and receive several types of financial aid. If you think you qualify, visit our Dream Act page for more information and to set your dream in motion.

California Community College Admission

You can apply to most California community colleges using this site. Just choose your college from the drop-down menu, click “apply,” and you’re on your way:

Financial Aid Office Locator

Enter your zip code to find the nearest financial aid office