Applying for financial aid is especially difficult for students with nontraditional or undocumented families. However, these students ARE eligible for some aid in California. With your help, they can get the money that they need to make the transition into college. In this section, we have gathered resources to help you advise students through complicated situations such as these.
The most important things to know, in order to help these students get aid:
Foster students in California may be eligible for the CHAFEE grant, which is up to $5000 a year, and can be used at colleges inside or outside of California.
In order to be eligible for the CHAFEE grant, a student must have been in court dependency between the ages of 16 and 18.
Many foster students are able to file as an independent on the FAFSA, but doing so will require supporting documentation from their social workers.
Still looking for more information? Visit our page on Foster Students!
Undocumented families, due to their sensitive legal situation, may need counseling to help them through the financial aid process.
Don’t miss these important resources:
Still looking for more information? Visit our page on Undocumented Students!
Gathering parents’ financial information is often a stumbling block for students in the financial aid process. Many students would prefer to file as an independent on the FAFSA, but the rules for doing so are very strict:
- If at all possible, students should attempt to gather full financial information from their parents, even if the parent does not plan to contribute to the student’s education.
- If this is not possible, it may be possible for college financial aid officers to complete a “dependency override”.
Deciding who should be counted as a parent or as a member of a household can often be very confusing. Many students will need advice to make this important decision.
Still looking more information? Visit our page on Complicated Family Situations!