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GUIDANCE LINKS

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Riverside Sheriffs' Association Student Scholarship Program

The Riverside Sheriffs' Association established this scholarship program to assist member's children and students attending high schools in Riverside County, California. >>more information

Federal Aid

Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Perkins Loan Program is designed to help you pay for your education through long term low interest loans. The only requirement for this loan is that you must demonstrate financial need. You can borrow up to 4,000 dollars per year as an undergraduate. No repayment of the loan is required while you are in college. Payment begins 9 months after you leave college or your enrollment status falls below half-time. If you join the armed services you can get a deferment. The interest rate over ten years is 5%. Some reasons for canceling repayment of the loan are: If you become a full time teacher in any one of a number of subjects.

Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant

This grant awards from $100 dollars to $4000 dollars per year if you can demonstrate exceptional financial need and the student does not have to repay the money. These grants are renewable over four years so long as you remain eligible. So don't win the lottery!

Federal College Work Study

The work study program provides you with a job while attending college. Student's usually work a limited number of hours per week while college is in session and ensures that the job will not interfere with your academic program. In this program you may work on campus in a number of capacities with various departments. Some off campus jobs exist. Average earnings during the academic year would usually be 1,500-2,000 dollars. Often times summer jobs are available.

Regular Student Employment

Besides the work study program most colleges employ students directly

Pell Grant

The Pell Grant ranges from $200-$4050 and your eligibility is based upon your families financial circumstances. Part time students are eligible for Pell Grants but their award is reduced accordingly. Students must have a social security number to complete this form. Pell Grants can be used at colleges, vocational, technical, business schools, and hospital schools of nursing.

Federal Stafford Student Loan

This loan is a long term low interest loan offered through the federal government. College freshman may borrow 2,625 per year, sophomores 3,500, juniors 5,500, and seniors 5,500. The loans are interest free until repayment begins. To obtain this loan you need to apply through FAFSA. Within six months of finishing college the student must begin to repay the loan or obtain short term deferments.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Under this loan program the student does not have to demonstrate financial need for the loan. The Student does however have to pay the interest on the loan while in school.

State Aid

Cal Grant

To qualify for cal grant A, B, or C a student must:

  • Be California Resident Attending a Eligible College or University in the State
  • Be Making Satisfactory Academic Progress as Determined by the College or University
  • Be in a Program Leading to a Certificate or College Degree
  • Not Poses a B.A. Prior to Receiving a Cal Grant
  • Have a Valid Social Security Number
  • Have a 2.0 Grade Point Average

 

Cal Grant A

This grant assist low and middle income students with tuition and fee costs. Recipients are selected on the basis of financial need and G.P.A. The minimum program length of study is two years. The assistance ranges up to 2,046 at a CSU, 4,984 at a UC and up to 9,708 at an independent College or University, base upon financial need. A FAFSA form and GPA verification form are required.

Cal Grant B

This grant provides a living allowance(some tuition and fee assistance) to very low income students. This award ranges up to 1,551 dollars. A FAFSA and GPA verification form are required.The minimum program length of study is one academic year and when it is renewed beyond the freshman year the grant includes additional tuition and fee awards

Cal Grant C

This grant assists vocational students with their tuition and training costs. Students must be enrolled in a vocational program at a community college, independent college, or a vocational school in a program of study from four to twenty-four months of study in length. Awards range up to 2,592 for tuition and fees; and up to 576 dollars for books, tools, and equipment. A FAFSA form and GPA verification form are required.

Other Ways to Finance a College Education

ROTC: Reserve Officer Training Core

The Military Branches have scholarship programs to help students who are interested in becoming officers in the service after graduation. Scholarships are awarded to college freshman based on their high school grades, SAT/ACT scores, activities at school or in the community. Scholarships are also awarded to college sophomores and juniors based on their performance in the ROTC program and grades in college.These scholarships pay for tuition, fees, books, and laboratory expenses. In addition scholarship holders receive 100 dollars per month for ten months during the school year.

Military Loan Repayment

The department of defense provides 65,000 dollars in loans to be repayed for individual students who qualify. Check with your local military recruiter for more information.


IMPORTANT!!!!   FREE FINANCIAL AID FOR GRADUATING SENIORS!

Dear Senior Parents, Please read the following article regarding the FAFSA.  It will help you to understand the importance of applying, whether you feel your family will qualify or not.  The FAFSA is simply the application form to determine your eligibility for the Cal Grant (California Aid) or the Pell Grant (Federal Aid).  As stated, it is absolutely FREE to apply and FREE aid, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!  But it is VERY IMPORTANT that you act quickly and submit it (online) as soon as possible. As noted below, some of the funds are awarded to earliest filers on a first come/first served basis!             

REMEMBER….the deadline for submitting the FAFSA is MARCH 2nd

Part of the application process is submitting your child’s GPA. The school will take care of that process, but you must first read and fill out the attached Cal Grant Information Release Form.  It needs to be signed  by both you (if your child is under 18) and your student, and then returned to the Guidance Office by FRIDAY, JANUARY 29th.  Once all of the signed forms have been returned, we will submit their official GPA to the Student Aid Commission.  If we do not receive the release form by the due date, YOU will then be responsible to submit your child’s GPA by the due date of March 2, 2010 in order to be eligible. If you have any questions regarding this entire process, please don’t hesitate to call, email or stop by the school Guidance Office.  We would be more than happy to help you out in any way!

FAFSA – The Heart Of The Financial Aid Process

Consider the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA as the beginning of any application for federal student aid. Almost everything else in the financial aid spectrum hinges upon this form being completed. Many schools' financial aid offices won't even know you exist until you have completed this form. It's really that important.
Completing or renewing the FAFSA will become an annual event for you while you're enrolled. It should be written on your calendar every January 1st as this is the earliest you may complete a FAFSA for the upcoming school year. Every year, your financial aid office must re-determine your financial aid eligibility, and the submission of your FAFSA is what kicks-off the process.
Following is a simple timeline of the financial aid application process:

  • Step One: Student completes and submits FAFSA
  • Step Two: Department of Education calculates EFC
  • Step Three: EFC is presented to the school and student via Student Aid Report or SAR
  • Step Four: School calculates student's aid eligibility and sends award letter
  • Step Five: Student compares award letters and follows further instructions

Nothing in steps 2 - 5 can occur until you have completed your FAFSA. So let's focus preparing to complete the FAFSA.
As with anything that involves money and Uncle Sam, applying for federal student aid is a process where one thing leads to another. But if you prepare properly, and simply follow instructions, you'll be amazed how easy it is. First, if you plan to submit your FAFSA electronically (recommended), you must apply for a Personal Identification Number or PIN. You can do this by visiting http://www.pin.ed.gov. If you are a dependent student, a parent must apply for a PIN as well. It will take 1 – 3 business days to get your PIN back by email or 7 – 10 days if by U.S. postal service.
Once you’re ready to complete the FAFSA, you’ll want to have the following items handy:

  • Federal tax return
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security Number
  • Any other pertinent financial documents (e.g. bank statements, investment account information)

It's also a good idea to check the eligibility requirements for applying for federal aid. They are:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number (unless you're from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
  • Comply with Selective Service registration, if required (see www.sss.gov for more information)
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs

Completing the FAFSA online has some distinct advantages over paper:

  • You and your school will get the results of your application a lot faster.
  • There are built-in help screens to guide you along the way.
  • The online application is self-editing to help reduce errors.
  • Your data is secured through the encryption software.

The FAFSA is designed to be completed by the student...even a dependent student. Dependent students will be asked to provide financial information for the entire family. For the 2008-09 Academic Year, a student is considered "dependent" IF "no" is the answer to ALL questions below:

  • You were born before Jan. 1, 1985.
  • You are or will be enrolled in a master's or doctoral degree program (beyond a bachelor's degree) at the beginning of the 2008-09 Academic Year.
  • You're married on the day you apply (even if you are separated but not divorced).
  • You have children who receive more than half their support from you.
  • You have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you at the time you apply and through June 30, 2009.
  • Both your parents are deceased, or you are (or were until age 18) a ward or dependent of the court.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
  • You're a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. (A "veteran" includes students who attended a U.S. service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable. For more details on who is considered a veteran, see the explanatory notes on the FAFSA.)

Very often when a student is considered to be dependent, the question arises, who is/are the parent(s)? Here is how the questions regarding parental information should be answered:

  • If your parents are married, answer the questions about both parents.
  • If your parent is widowed or single, answer only the questions about that parent.
  • If your parents have divorced or separated, answer only the questions about the parent that you lived with most during the last 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, answer only the questions about the parent who provided most of your financial support during the last 12 months.
  • If your parent has remarried after being widowed or divorced, answer the questions about both your parent and your stepparent.
  • If you have a legal guardian, you cannot use your legal guardian's information on your application. A legal guardian is not considered a parent in the financial aid process.
  • If you have foster parents, you cannot use your foster parent's information on your application. A foster parent is not considered a parent in the financial aid process.
  • If you were adopted, follow the instructions above for parents, based on your parent's current marital status. (Note: For purposes of completing the FAFSA, it does not matter which parent claimed the student on their tax return.)

The components of the FAFSA are comprised mainly of: 1) demographic data, 2) income information, and 3) asset information. And, in the case of a dependent student, the same will be asked of his or her parents. It's good to know that protection allowances are built into the EFC calculation for both students and parents. In other words, not all of your reported income and assets will be counted when determining your financial need. Things such as household size, number in college, and the age of the older parent will have huge impact on your overall need calculation.
Last but not least, roughly 1 out of 3 FAFSA submissions are selected randomly by the Department of Education for verification. If you are selected for verification, it will be noted on your Student Aid Report or SAR. Some FAFSA's are selected for verification due to inconsistent information being reported (e.g. your parents reported having $50,000 in savings accounts, but no interest income was reported). Your financial aid office will contact you for the additional information they need. Usually, all that is required is a copy of all pertinent tax returns and something called a Verification Worksheet. The worksheet will help the financial aid office validate things such as household size, number in college and income that was not taxed.

Get your FAFSA done as early as possible! Some financial aid funds are simply given to the earliest filers on a first-come/first-served basis!!!

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