How to Apply?
Step 1: Go to either the Official FAFSA or CA DREAM Application website and complete your application after January 1st of your Senior Year.
**Remember these applications are both FREE, if you have to pay than you are at the wrong one.**
•Official FAFSA Website: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
- Visit this website to apply for your FAFSA
- You need to complete your FAFSA EVERY YEAR
•CA DREAM Application Website: https://dream.csac.ca.gov/
- The California Dream Act allows certain students who meet the AB 540 requirements to apply for and receive state financial aid at California public and private colleges and private scholarships administered by California public college
- Visit the website to learn more about the AB 540 qualification
- You need to complete this EVERY YEAR
** Remember you only need to complete either the FAFSA or the CA Dream Application, not both. Please check the requirements for each to determine which one you should complete. **
Step 2: Make sure that you have the following documents and information with you when filling out your FAFSA or CA DREAM Application. All of these documents and information are necessary in order to complete your application.
- Completed CURRENT IRS Tax Forms (either IRS 1040 or IRS 1040A or IRS 1040Z) for Your Parents & Yourself (if you are working), if you do not have your taxes completed for that year yet, use the Tax Information from the previous year. You will have to go back after you have submitted your taxes to make the proper corrections.
- W-2 Form and any other tax information for your Parents & Yourself (if you are working)
- Social Security Information for Yourself & Your Parents (just for FAFSA, you do not need this for CA Dream)
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support recieved, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and your parents.
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business assets for you, and for your parents.
- Please also find out the following information:
- Mother’s Date of Birth
- Father’s Date of Birth
- Parents’ Date of Marriage (month/year)
- Parents’ Date of Divorce/Separation (month/year)
- If you have a parent that has passed away, please list the month and year
Step 3: Make sure to check on the deadlines for each program. Federal Student Aid (priority deadline is March 2nd), State Student Aid, College or Career School Aid and other financial aid all have different deadlines. (https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa). There are a few first come first serve federal student aid programs, so be sure to apply ASAP!
Step 4: IMPORTANT: Once you’ve submitted your FAFSA/CA DREAM Act, you’re not done yet. Please go and check out the Next Steps Page for more information on what to do after you’ve submitted your application. (https://ocapicafafsa.wordpress.com/fafsa/after-you-filled-out-your-fafsa/)