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How to Apply for Financial Aid

Completing the FAFSA application

Prior to applying online, visit to obtain a Federal Student Aid ID so that you may electronically sign your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, your parent(s) may also apply for a FSA ID. As instructed on the website, if you do not have a FSA ID for an electronic signature, be sure to print and mail the signature page when you transmit your application.

Starting December 2023, parents/contributors now have the ability to create an FSA ID without access to a SSN. 

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Log on to
  2. Locate the Action Menu Box and scroll down to the To Do List item.
  3. Click on the To Do List item and complete all outstanding items.
  4. Once all items have been completed, continue to follow up on your financial aid status by logging in and viewing your financial aid status or by contacting the financial aid office.

Failure to complete these online forms will delay your financial aid award and/or stop any disbursement of funds. 

When to Apply

Both the FAFSA and the Dream Act applications open *October 1st of each year. Go to the FAFSA website to apply for the FAFSA, or go to Dream Act website to apply for the Dream Act.

*See 24-25 application guidelines below.

Important Updates for the 2024-25 FAFSA

Overview of Changes

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has undergone significant updates due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. Most issues that students have had completing the FAFSA have been resolved, so students should apply now if they have not already done so.

Key Changes to the FAFSA

Delayed Timelines:

  • The FAFSA for the 2024-25 academic year was released on December 31, 2023, instead of the usual October 1.
  • This delay means financial aid offers may also be delayed.
  • The California Student Aid Commission has announce that the state financial aid priority deadline has been further extended to May 2, 2024.

Simplified Application Process:


  • The number of questions on the FAFSA has been significantly reduced to make the application process easier for students. 
  • Introduction of the IRS Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to automatically transfer tax information, replacing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Student Aid Index (SAI):

  • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is now called the Student Aid Index (SAI).
  • The SAI calculation no longer includes the number of family members in college, which may impact aid amounts.

Contributor Consent Requirement:

  • All contributors (students, parents, spouses) must provide consent for their tax information to be transferred from the IRS.
  • Consent is required once per award year and cannot be revoked.
  • All contributors must complete their section of the FAFSA before it can be submitted.
  • Mixed family status (e.g., contributors without SSNs) can now submit a FAFSA.

Potential Difficulties

Processing Delays:

  • Due to the simplification updates made to the FAFSA, the Department of Education (DOE) is experiencing delays in making FAFSA applications available for packaging by our campus. The DOE is working to resolve these issues and make the applications available to schools soon.

Contributors without SSN:

  • Federal Student Aid (FSA) have announced that they will resolve FAFSA submission issues for students who have a contributor without an SSN.
  • If the contributor is required to verify their identity for their account, they are instructed to contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSA IC) at 800-433-3243 or using the FSAIC Email Contact form and request a case number.
  • Additional information can be found here.