Financial Aid and Scholarships

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are many opportunities to earn scholarships.  Click on the document below to see a running list of scholarships.  You should also create an account at the following web sites.  See our links page for information about financial aide.
 
FINANCIAL AID
There are several ways to earn financial aid. FAFSA is through the federal government. Cal Grant is through the state government. The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students to receive certain types of financial aid. The CSS profile would need to be completed if you are applying to a private school and some out of state public institutions.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is where you apply for federal financial aid for college. Everyone can, and should, apply for student aid.  FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  You should apply even if you think you will not be eligible because your parents make too much money.  The FAFSA is often required to receive scholarships and work study programs at many universities.  So, just do it.  Apply at fafsa.ed.gov.  Notice it is not .com!  Don’t make that mistake.  It will cost you $$.  NEVER pay for this service.  It is totally free! You are eligible to complete the FAFSA if you are a:
  • U.S Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • Eligible non-citizen
  • T Visa holder

Use the FAFSA on The Web worksheet to help you gather all of the information you will need before you begin. You will need to gather some personal paperwork as well as the appropriate IRS tax forms. All financial information needs to be for the previous financial year. If you don't have your W-2 tax forms yet, you can estimate using your pay stubs and file a FAFSA correction later. We strongly recommend your parents do their taxes as early as possible this year so that you know what your financial aid award will be. 

You will need the following items for your PARENTS and YOURSELF:
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's license # or state ID (if any)
  • FAFSA ID (you will apply for this online at fafsa.ed.gov)
  • W-2 Forms and other records of money earned
  • Federal Income Tax Return from LAST YEAR - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040TeleFile
  • Untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records. (Not needed for FAFSA but may be requested by your college.)
  • Current bank statements. (Not usually required FAFSA.) 
  • Current business and investment mortgage information, business records, stock, bond, and other investment records. (Not usually required for FAFSA.) 
  • Alien registration or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
 
This is a website for a step-by-step guide to completing the FAFSA:
 
Here is another tutorial site with some videos:
https://www.edvisors.com/fafsa/forms/tutorial/
 
This is the FAFSA Site that has many help tools:
 
WebGrants for Students (Cal Grants)
The California Student Aid Commission has created WebGrants 4 Students (WGS) just for you, the student. The goal is to provide you with the resources, information and tools needed to assist you with the college financial aid process. WGS will allow you to manage your Cal Grant and/or Chafee account(s) online by letting you view updates, make school changes, make address changes, make corrections, and post leave of absence requests. It is important for you to understand that your WGS account does not replace your School or FAFSA accounts. Each account must be monitored and managed independently.  You will need to create an account to view your information.  You need to have filed a FAFSA to create an account.  These only apply to graduating seniors.
 
Your GPA will need to be verified. Nearly all seniors will be automatically verified IF you have not submitted a request to exclude access on the LASUSD Information Release Form that was send home in the Fall.  Occasionally, there are students who have had name changes that will not be automatically verified. Please check with the college center to see that your name was included.  If not, you will need to submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. College freshmen will likely need to submit a Cal Gran GPA Verification From that is signed by the high school. After your freshman year of college, the form will need to be signed by your college.
 
The California Dream Act Application allows students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state Financial Aid. This application is unrelated to the Federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  You are eligible to complete the CADAA if you are:
  • Undocumented
  • Have a valid or expired DACA
  • U Visa holders
  • Have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
 
Check out the California Dream Act FAQ for more info. 
 
The CSS is an online application to determine eligibility for non-federal financial aid, which is administered by the College Board, creator of the SAT®. Not every college requires it, but nearly 400 colleges do, so be sure to first check the list of schools to determine whether your child needs to complete the application. 
 
Unlike the FAFSA, there is a fee to apply. The first application is $25 and reports to additional schools are $16 each. Fee waivers are granted to high-need students, generally for household incomes of $45,000 or less per year.
 
Both the CSS application and the FAFSA can be filed as early as October 1 and should be completed as soon as possible to take advantage of aid that is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. All schools have their own deadlines in place for the CSS, but many require students to file the profile two weeks before the college's priority admission application deadline. (FAFSA it self is NOT first come, first served. However, scholarship or aid money offered by private schools may be first come, first served.)
 
Understanding your Financial Aid Award "Letter"
Receiving your financial aid award letter can be an exciting time when you’re prepping for college. You can see how much financial aid you’re eligible to receive per college you’re accepted to. But it can also be confusing – what do the numbers mean? What is the financial aid award letter, and do you need to act on it? Which college has offered you a better “deal?” The sites below will help you break it down and make the best decision for you. Read each one carefully, as well as your Financial Aid Award from each school. Now is not the time to make a snap decision. Don't focus on what each school is giving you. Focus on what you have to pay. Check with Ms. Montez, Ms. Steinert or Ms. Delgado if you have any questions. 
 
Understanding your financial aid award letter document from Salie Mae - This document is a quick and easy way to learn about the parts of the Financial Aid Award "Letter."
 
How to Read Your Financial Aid Award Letter: 5 Examples - This site is very comprehensive and contains 5 sample award letters. That is useful because colleges are not consistent they vocabulary and styling of the letter. 
 
Making Sense of Your Financial Aid Award Letter: What do the numbers mean? - This site has great definitions of the types of things you will see in your award letter. If something is not clear from the first two sites, you should read this one. 
 
Compare Your Aid Awards - this is a great tool that will allow you to compare the awards from up to 4 different schools. 
 
Understanding Loans
Student loans can be a great way to obtain enough money to make your college dreams a reality. However, taking on too much debt can be a long term burden. If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources. Please see the sites below for more information about student loans. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SCHOLARSHIP MATCH & SEARCH SITES
These sites provide lots of information about scholarships. Some offer matching services. You will complete a profile and they will send you links to scholarships where you match the requirements. Others have features that allow you to search for scholarships based upon your criteria. Students should sign up for the match sites and also look carefully at the search sites. 

Fastweb - is a fantastic website that will help you find scholarships to pay for college.  Log on and complete your profile.  They will email you with scholarship information.
 
College-Scholarships.com - offers lots of information that can help students and parents. There is a list of free financial aid search sites. They also have an online degree “quick match” tool. There are many articles with tips on admissions, financial aid, time management, dealing with difficult roommates, campus life, internships, and much, much more. Please note that the site does not sell any goods or services or collect personal or contact information of any kind.
 
CAPPEX - You can search scholarships to find the ones that match your strengths and skills. Their scholarship directory has more than $11 billion.

Financial Aid.Org - This site has information about scholarships, loans and savings plans.

Student Resource Guide- Here is a link to information about A LOT of scholarships.  This document is provided by Congresswoman Roybal-Allard's office.  Paying for College Student Resource Guide
 
UNIGO- Browse through their list to find new scholarships to add to your college fund. Or use our Scholarship Match to instantly find ones that are perfect for you. 
 
College Greenlight - connects first generation and underrepresented students to caring colleges, generous scholarships, and life-changing counselors and mentors.

Scholarships.com - This is another search engine that will help you locate scholarships.
 
Los Angeles College Promise - provides one year of free enrollment to all full-time students graduating from LAUSD high schools beginning with seniors graduating in 2017. Included in this program are priority enrollment, placement in math and English courses required to succeed in college and career support and counseling.
 

 

SCHOLARSHIPS
Please see the links below for individual scholarships. Pay attention to deadlines and requirements. 
 
Haz La U Scholarship  Due November 14, 2021
The Haz La U Scholarship is available to high school seniors of Hispanic heritage. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award.
  • Be currently enrolled in high school and graduating in the spring of 2022
  • Must have a minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA
  • Must enroll at an accredited higher education institution in 2022-2023
  • Be of Hispanic heritage (includes Spain, Brazil, Philippines)
  • If selected, attendance to virtual regional awards ceremony is mandatory
  • Be a U.S. permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or qualify under the DACA
 
 
Dell Scholarship-Application Due December 1, 2021
Dell Scholars program targets low-income, highly motivated students who are better than their numbers indicate and demonstrate the drive to success despite personal obstacles. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a unique “GPA” of grit, potential, and ambition in their quest for a college education.
  • Be on track to graduate from an accredited high school in the current academic year
  • Demonstrate a need for financial assistance
  • Be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant in first year of college
  • Plan to enroll full time at an accredited higher education institution in the pursuit of a bachelor's degree in the fall directly following high school graduation
  • Earn a minimum of a 2.4 GPA
 
Generation Google Scholarship Due December 10, 2021
This scholarship awards aspiring computer scientist who excel in technology with scholarships. Historically underrepresented groups such as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students are especially encouraged to apply.
To Be Eligible to Apply:
  • Intend to be enrolled in and or accepted as a full-time student in a Bachelors program at an accredited university or college for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • Be studying computer science, computer engineering, or closely related technology field.
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for improving representation of underrepresented groups in computer science and technology.
In order to apply, you will need a completed resume, current official transcript, and a recommendation from a professor, instructor, teacher, advisor or supervisor. In addition, there are four essay questions that will be a deciding factor in the final selection process (submit as a PDF).
 
 
Due December 14, 2021
The Edison Scholars Program recognizes students who want to be makers of tomorrow — the dreamers, inventors, guardians and pioneers — those who dare to be great.  Each year, Edison International awards $40,000 college scholarships to 30 high school seniors to help them follow their dreams in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) and empower them to change the world. This is a chance for students with big dreams to advance their education and take part in shaping a brighter future.
 
 
Patient Care Medical Scholarship  Due December 1, 2021
Patient Care Medical is pleased to offer (3) $1,000 scholarships to students across the U.S. Our scholarship program aims to ease the financial burden of attending an institution of higher education by helping students pay for tuition and education-related expenses.  To apply, please write a 1,000-word essay explaining a time you faced a challenge or failure. How did it affect you? What did you learn from the experience?
 
 
In 1985, McDonalds created the McDonald’s HACER Program to assist Hispanic students as they pursue their higher education goals. The McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship is an outstanding opportunity for students who have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage. Scholarships are worth $25,000 per year. As long as award winners are in good standing, scholarships are for all four years!
Who is Eligible to Apply?
  • high school seniors
  • legal U.S residents
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • eligible to attend a two-four year college or university with a full-time course of study
  • willing to disclose other scholarship programs applied for
  • planning to enroll and attend an accredited college or university in the academic year after your selection
  • willing to provide verification of college acceptance
  • have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage
 
 
The scholarships below show the deadline from last year. They will be updated as new deadlines are announced.
 
 
Due February 7, 2020
Each year, AALA awards scholarships to outstanding LAUSD students for their academic achievement, school/community service, and their need.
 
 
Hispanic Scholarship Fund- Due February 15, 2020
Every year, HSF selects ~10,000 outstanding students as HSF Scholars from a broad and talented pool of applicants. HSF Scholars have access to a full range of invaluable Scholar Support Services, including career services, mentorship, leadership development, knowledge building, and wellness training. HSF Scholars are eligible to apply for all Scholar Conferences including, the STEM Summit, Finance Conference, Media & Entertainment Summit, Entrepreneurship Summit, and Healthcare Summit. HSF Scholars may also be eligible to receive a scholarship, which range from $500-$5,000 and awarded directly to students.
 
 
Rotary Club Scholarships  Due February 24, 2020  
The Rotary Club of Los Angeles (“LA5”) will award $250,000 in college scholarships this June to Los Angeles area high school seniors starting four-year colleges in Fall 2020. The Rotary Club is planning to award $10,000 to 25 students. Students may use the money however they choose. Scholarships are competitive and intended to assist students with financial needs who value community service like the Rotary Club. Students should visit the Club’s website for more information, which includes a link to the online application. (See above link.) 
 
 
The Sylmar Woman's Club Scholarship  Due February 27, 2020
The Sylmar Woman's Club has been dedicated to providing scholarships for students of Sylmar Charter High School and LA Mission College for more than 75 years! You do NOT need to be female to apply. However you MUST live in Sylmar. Applications are due to Ms. Delgado in the College Center, Room 1, no later than February 27, 2020. You will need to submit:
• A one page essay on your goals for the future:
• A letter of recommendation from an adult who knows you but is not a relative
• A transcript
An application form
 
 
World Trade Week Scholarship  Due March 5, 2021 
The World Trade Week committee offers $500 scholarships to aspiring students in international trade fields. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduating high school seniors entering an accredited college or university with the goal of a career in international trade, as well as college students pursuing international degrees. By fostering international trade education and international business development, the committee hopes to develop a network of international trade professionals willing to provide mentoring to future students interested in international business.  
 
 
Kinecta Scholarship  Due March 15, 2021
Kinecta is dedicated to helping young adults reach their academic goals. They are proud to offer eight $2,000 scholarships to assist deserving full-time students to help make higher education a reality. 
You’re eligible if you are:
  • Age 24 or younger
  • A high school senior applying for, or already accepted as, a full-time student at an accredited college or university.
  • OR a full-time student attending and continuing at an accredited college or university.
The application period opens February 1. 
 
 
The California Credit Union Scholarship Program is designed to acknowledge exceptional students throughout the greater Los Angeles areas. They award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each to students who are motivated in their academic endeavors, active in their schools, and contributing to their community, giving back to others through their participation, service, and volunteer work. 
Click on the link for requirements and details.
 
 
The Council of Mexican American Administrators - Due March 26, 2021
LAUSD Graduating High School Seniors are invited to apply for the CMAA High School Senior Scholarship which awards $2000 to deserving students who demonstrate higher education aspirations. To apply, please complete this application. Follow all directions. Requirements are:Hispanic descent from at least one parent.
You will enroll in a four-year college or university this fall.
At least a 3.50 LAUSD Weighted GPA
 
 
Asian Pacific Community Fund  Due April 2, 2021
The Asian Pacific Community Fund, and their corporate sponsors offer several scholarships to offer scholarship programs to assist students in their pursuit of higher education. They do not have an ethnicity requirement. See the links below for the various scholarships.
 
 
The Andres and Maria Cardenas Family Foundation Scholarship 
Due April 2, 2021. 
The Andres and Maria Cardenas Family Foundation (AMCFF) is a philanthropic organization that seeks to advance students in our community and to motivate our students to achieve their highest aspirations. Each year the board awards scholarships to deserving high school and college students who are attending, or have attended, one of our ten partner schools (including Sylmar Charter High School.) The AMCFF seeks to honor not only high achieving students, but also students who demonstrate the qualities of Andres and Maria Cardenas – hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to community.
 
 
The Dr. Karin Duran Memorial Youth Scholarship program provides financial assistance to outstanding high school Latinas from the San Fernando Valley community who will be first-time college students. 

ELIGIBILITY
1. Be of Latina heritage
2. Be a graduating senior from a high school in the San Fernando Valley
3. Be attending a two-year or four-year college or university in FALL 2019
4. Have a minimum 2.5 unweighted cumulative GPA

The Scholarship Selection Committee is looking for applicants who demonstrate the following:
1. Balance of school, family, employment and/or community involvement.
2. Financial need.
3. Essay-clarity, originality of ideas and good writing skills.
4. Leadership abilities.
 
 
The Los Angeles Federal Credit Union Scholarship  Due April 30, 2021. The Los Angeles Federal Credit Union annually awards scholarships to high school seniors who have been accepted to a college or trade school, existing college students, and teachers through our Jack C. Mathews College Scholarship Competition. Click on the link for requirements and details. 
 
The CGCS-Bernard Harris Scholarship Program was established to encourage minority students to pursue college degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  This spring, $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to two African American and two Hispanic students currently completing their senior year of high school in a member district of the Council of the Great City Schools.  
 
 
All qualified California residents may apply for a scholarship. This scholarship program was established to assist deserving students by offering financial assistance to help meet educational expenses.
  • Be a graduating high school senior with written proof of acceptance at an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5
  • Submit a completed application along with all required supplementary documents by the application deadline of June 1, 2021. (Resume, Two Recommendation Letters, Transcript, Acceptance letter from the school you will attend during the next school year. 
  •  
Her Vaga Bound Roots' Vagas with Degrees Scholarship Foundation and The Women's Empowerment Network is providing an exciting opportunity to provide a college scholarship to one person at The Women's Empowerment Expo in Burbank, CA on January 29, 2022. The scholarship application closes on November 1st, 2021 at 5pm PST. Check the link above for eligibility requirements and to apply.
 
 
This scholarship is open to high school and community college students pursuing a Culinary Arts degree at a community college or private institution. Details are listed below./
ELIGIBILITY
  1. Be female of Latina heritage.
  2. Be graduating senior from a high school in the San Fernando Valley or a current community college student residing in the San Fernando Valley.
  3. Be attending a Culinary Arts degree/certificate program at a public or private institution for Fall 2021.
  4. Have a minimum 2.5 unweighted cumulative GPA.
  5.  
Scholarships Open to Undocumented Students
The My Documented Life website has links to many scholarships available to undocumented students. Check it often for updates.
Immigrants RisingThe Immigrants Rising website has many scholarships listed that are available to undocumented students, as well as those who have US citizenship or residency.  Check the scholarships to be sure they are available to students in our area. They also have many resources for immigrant students and their families.