Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for financial aid?
The first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Please visit How to Apply for more information.
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Remember, this is a FREE application available at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa/.
I am a CA Dream Act student. Should I complete the FAFSA?
No. Dream Act students should complete the CA Dream Act Application. Remember, applications must be completed by March 2nd to be eligible to receive a Cal Grant. If completed after those deadlines, Dream Act students are still eligible to receive the CCPG. For more information on the CA Dream Act Application, please visit our CA Dream Act page.
What is the deadline for filing the FAFSA/CADAA (i.e., applying for financial aid)?
The FAFSA/CADAA is available October 1st through June 30th of the following academic year. You can apply for FAFSA/CADAA anytime during those 21 months. For example, if you need to apply for the 2021-2022 FAFSA/CADAA, the application is open from October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022.
March 2nd is the priority FAFSA/CADAA filing deadline for most colleges and universities to be considered for Cal Grant. For California Community College students only, a second deadline of September 2nd has been established.
I want to apply for the Cal Grant. How do I complete the GPA Verification?
If you have completed 16 or more units at Fullerton College, the GPA Verification will be sent automatically for all students who have completed the FAFSA/CADAA prior to the March 2 deadline. If you do not have 16 or more units completed at Fullerton College, you will need to go to your prior school to have the GPA Verification completed.
How is the FAFSA/CADAA used to determine my financial aid need?
The federal government and the state of California uses data provided on the FAFSA/CADAA to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Financial Aid Office calculates a student’s cost of attendance which includes tuition, living expenses, miscellaneous fees, book, etc. The cost of attendance minus EFC equals a student’s financial need which we then try to meet with federal grants, state grants, academic or talent scholarships, institutional grants, federal work study, and federal loans.
Are there any forms to fill out besides the FAFSA/CADAA?
All students have the possibility of being selected for a verification process by the Department of Education or the California State Commission. Once a student completes the FAFSA/CADAA, they will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) or application data. On that SAR/data, the student will be informed that they are selected for verification.
If you are selected for verification, you can access the required forms by logging into your VerifyMyFAFSA account. On this account, you will be informed of the necessary documents required to complete the verification process.
READ the requirements carefully, as incomplete documents may delay the disbursement of funds. If you upload incorrect or incomplete documents, the Financial Aid Office will have to reject it and request the correct form which could delay your award and funds.
I cannot create a VerifyMyFAFSA account. What should I do?
The VerifyMyFAFSA account obtains information directly from your FAFSA/CADAA. Make sure that you are creating the account with the exact same information you supplied on your FAFSA/CADAA. Confirm the birth date, social security number or Dream Act ID number, and name provided on the FAFSA/CADAA. For example, if you put Ana-Maria on the FAFSA/CADAA but tried to create an account using Ana Maria, it will reject it. For more information on how to create your account, please read How to Activate Your Verifymyfafsa Account
I locked myself out of my VerifyMyFAFSA account. What should I do?
If you are locked out of your VerifyMyFAFSA account, you will have to contact the Financial Aid Office at (714) 888-7588.
I uploaded my taxes but they were rejected. What should I do?
The Financial Aid Office is required to obtain certain documentation from students based on their FAFSA/CADAA, which most of the time includes a Tax Return Transcript which is different than a 1040 Form. You can obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS website or you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool through FAFSA.gov to expedite the process.
See this IRS page to check your eligibility on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. CADAA students are, unfortunately, unable to do IRS Data Retrieval and will need to upload 1040 tax returns via your VerifyMyFAFSA account.
Will everyone be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA?
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) form allows information to be released to the student over the phone or via email. The student can also allow a parent or someone else to receive information on their behalf. No personal information will be released without a completed FERPA on file.
The FERPA form is available through your VerifyMyFAFSA account. If it is not available to you, please contact the Financial Aid Office at (714) 888-7588.
How do I apply for Federal work-study?
Students interested in federal work-study must complete the FAFSA and indicate “Yes” on Question 31 to say they are interested in federal work-study. Students who complete their financial aid file by May 29th and have the highest financial need will be offered the award first. You can find out more information on our Federal Work-Study page.
Do I qualify as an independent student?
Students qualify as independent if they can answer YES to at least one of the following 2020-21 dependency questions:
- Were you born before January 1, 1997?
- As of today, are you married? (Also answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
- At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2021?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2019, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2019, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at-risk of being homeless?
- • At any time on or after July 1, 2019, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless of were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you answered no to any of the above questions, you are most likely a dependent student and must provide parental information on the FAFSA.
What is the Outreach Plan?
The Financial Aid Office Outreach Plan includes presentations in English and Spanish to students and parents regarding financial aid, workshops on completing the FAFSA or California Dream Act, informational booths, on campus classroom presentations, and assistance on other parts of financial aid.
If a student, staff, or member of the public is interested in a financial aid presentation by the Financial Aid Office, pleas send an email to Financial Aid Outreach.