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Financial Aid


Seniors & parents: Join us for Financial Aid Night on Tuesday, January 16th at 6pm: English in the Performance Hall, Spanish in the Innovation Hub. Experts will be on hand to discuss all forms of financial aid, and ways to pay for college. 

We strongly recommend that all TL families complete a FAFSA (U.S. Citizens) or California Dream Act (undocumented) application. These top-tier financial aid applications qualify students for many forms of aid, from need-based (such as Cal Grant), to merit based scholarships. Review this resource for more information about which application is best for you. April 2nd is the priority filing deadline for both applications. Students and families who wish to opt out (not recommended) must complete and submit an opt-out form, available in English and Spanish


Types of financial aid

Financial Aid Overview from 10,000 Degrees: our local financial aid experts

10,000 Degrees Scholarships

Cal Grant: Need based. Submit your FAFSA by April 2nd to qualify.

CSS Profile: The College Board's financial aid form to fill out for aid from over 400 private & out-of-state schools, and some scholarships.  Available October 1.  Fill out in addition to FAFSA if your school requires it.

NACAC application fee waiver for many private/out-of-state public schools 

California State University application fee waiver:embedded in CSU application

University of California application fee waiver: embedded in UC application

California Student Aid Commission  general California student aid information

The College Solution: excellent advice about paying for college!

WUE The Western Undergraduate Exchange

About 160 colleges in 17 Western states/territories may charge you no more than 150% of their in-state tuition, instead of out-of-state!  For example, if their tuition for in-state residents is $10,000, you pay no more than $15,000. Note: You must apply for WUE status with your college; it is not automatically granted by all colleges.



Need-based versus merit-based aid: Need-based aid is dependent on the family's financial circumstances.  Merit-based aid can be awarded based on talent in academics, the arts, athletics, and so forth, regardless of the family's financial need.  

Net price: The net price of a college is what the family will pay, after subtracting grants and scholarships.

Net Price Calculator: Colleges offer their own calculators so that families can estimate about how much that college might cost them to attend.  This link allows you to access them from one website!

EFC/Expected Family Contribution: the amount the family will be expected to pay from parent income & assets; and student income & savings.  Also influenced by family size; age of oldest parent; number of children currently attending college.  Other considerations include health-related expense; loss of property; or death in family.

Subsidized versus unsubsidized loans: Subsidized loans are based on financial need (the amount of the loan cannot exceed your financial need), and there is no interest charged until after you graduate from college.  Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need, and charge you interest from the moment you take them on.



California Dream Act: (AB 130) Allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities. 

10,000 Degrees: Our local financial aid experts, who specialize in helping first generation and low income student and families.  

AB 540   :  Non-resident tuition exemption for California students


Financial aid articles:

* Paying For College Can Be Overwhelming.  Here's What You Need To Know To Find An Affordable Option (Feb. 5, Time)

College Costs Are Less Terrifying Than You Think (Jan. 27, New York Times)

Didn't Get Enough Financial Aid For College? You Can Ask For More Money - (Jan. 17, 2021, NPR)

Shady College Loan Practices Every Student Should Watch Out For (Dec. 11, 2019, Cosmopolitan)