The College Counseling Office supports CA students and families throughout the financial aid application process.
Typically, families complete a variety of forms to determine aid eligibility including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE, and institutional forms for individual colleges and universities.
There are two types of financial aid:
- Need-based aid, for which eligibility is determined by CSS, federal guidelines, and institutional policies, is divided into several categories, including grants, loans, and work-study.
- Merit-based aid, also referred to as scholarships, is awarded for academic excellence, athletic or artistic talent, leadership or other criteria.
(What It Costs to Attend) – (What Your Family Can Pay) = Financial Need
One of the most important factors in considering financial aid is calculating a family’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This calculation will determine, in part, the amount of need-based aid for which a family is eligible. “Need” is the difference between what it costs to attend a particular college and what the EFC indicates that a family can afford toward those costs.