Cost of College

    Direct Costs – tuition, fees, campus housing

    Indirect Costs – books, supplies, room & board, personal expenses, transportation

    What Exactly is Financial Aid?

    Financial Aid is the money you and your family can get for educational expenses.  It’s designed to supplement the amount you and your family contribute.  There are four basic types of financial aid and they start with the FAFSA or CSS Profile.

    1. Grants: awarded based on need; you do not have to repay a grant.
    2. Scholarships: awarded on special ability, academic achievement, religious affiliation, ethnic background, special interest, or random drawing; you do not have to repay a scholarship.
    3. Work Study: a federal program offering part-time jobs both on and off campus.  You don’t repay work study funds because you’re trading work for financial aid.
    4. Education Loans: funds borrowed from a financial institution or the federal government.  You must repay education loans, usually with interest.

    Free money includes:

    • Grants
    • Fee Waivers
    • Scholarships
    • Work-Study Programs

    Money you need to pay back includes:

    • Loans

    *Subsidized:  Government pays interest while student is in college

    *Unsubsidized: Student is responsible for cost of interest while in school


    FAFSA Website

    FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  You can file a FAFSA starting in October of your senior year.  This establishes eligibility for grants and loans from the federal and state government such as Cal-Grants.  Eligibility for this money is based primarily on parents’ income from two years prior to the student’s freshman year in college (i.e., For Fall 2019 college attendance, 2017 tax information is needed to fill out the FAFSA).

    How to Get Started with the FAFSA

    1. Create a FSA ID
    • The FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature. Only create a FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use.  You are not authorized to create a FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member.  Save your FSA ID for next year’s application submission!!!
    1. Complete the FAFSA Application
    • What you need to file.

    If you are a U.S. citizen and dependent student:

    -Your Social Security Card
    -Your driver’s license (if any)
    -Your 2018 W-2 forms
    -Your 2018 Federal Income Tax Return
    -Your 2018 untaxed income records
    -Your current bank statements
    -Your parents’ Federal Income Tax Return
    -Your parents’ 2018 W-2 forms
    -Your parents’ bank statements
    -Your parents’ untaxed income records
    -Your parents’ current business and investment records

    CSS Profile (financial aid for some Private Colleges)

    CSS Profile Website

    The CSS PROFILE form is administered by the College Scholarship Service (CSS), the financial aid division of the College Board. The CSS PROFILE is required by many private colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for non-government financial aid, such as the institution's own grants, loans and scholarships.

    If your Private School is not listed on the CSS Profile as a member school, they more than likely will have their own need-based methodology that is separate from the FAFSA and CSS Profile.  Contact the private colleges in your senior year for this information.


    Where do I find Scholarships?

    • Naviance
    • College & Career Center and the College & Career Center Website
    • RJUHSD Local Scholarship Program Feb. 1-28
    • Organizations your family is connected to – Local businesses, clubs, unions, banks, churches, parents place of employment.
    • Check your intended college’s website under financial aid/scholarships.
    • Online searches – be sure they are FREE. Here a few…
    1. Financial Aid on the Web: finaid.org
    2. Salle Mae Scholarships: https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/college-scholarships/
    3. College Board: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-scholarships
    4. College Board Opportunity Scholarships: https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/
    5. Going Merry: https://www.goingmerry.com/
    6. Wired Scholar: wiredscholar.com
    7. com: www.gocollege.com
    8. Search for Scholarships: Scholarships360.org
    9. Student Aid: Studentaid.gov
    • RJUHSD Local Scholarship Program.
    • Check the RJUHSD Local Scholarship Program from February 1 – 28th. Applications will be available 2/1/19.  A list of previous scholarships is available to review in the College & Career Center in December.

    Helpful links and Website for financial aid

    Information on Cal Grants and California Financial Aid Programs: CSAC Website

    Federal Student Aid at a Glance

    Creating a FSA ID

    Senior Financial Aid Checklist

    College Board High School Checklist (Freshman-Senior years)

    Sierra College Financial Aid Workshops

    CSS Profile Website  - Use your same user name and password as you use to log into Collegeboard.org.  

    FAFSA Website - Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans) to pay for college or career school.