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

I am a Dream Act student. Should I complete the FAFSA?

No. Dream Act students should complete the 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 read the information HERE

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 a student is selected for verification, they can access the required forms by logging in to myGateway, selecting Student, Financial Aid, selecting My Overall Status, and selecting any requirements listed. If it is a PDF, print out the forms, fill them out, and submit them to the Financial Aid Office. If it directs you to, login or create an account. From there, it will inform you of the necessary documents required, which are year specific.

READ the requirements carefully to ensure a timely 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 an account through What should I do?

The website 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 account through What should I do?

If you are locked out of account, you will have to contact the Financial Aid Office at (714) 888-7588. Remember to verify your email address so you can reset your password using your email address.

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 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

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 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 Selective Service System?

In order to receive Financial Aid, male students between the age of 18 and 25, are required to register with the Selective Service, if the student has not already done so. Failure to register may cause you to permanently forfeit eligibility for Financial Aid benefits, among other consequences.

Once you have registered, within 90 days you should receive registration acknowledgement from Selective Service, which will serve as official proof of registration. However, if registration acknowledgement is not received within 90 days, we encourage you to verify with Selective Service that registration was received. Verification of registration may be obtained on-line at, by telephone at (847) 688-6888, or by mail (Dreamers can only use the mail option), as follows:

Selective Service System
Registration Information Office
P.O. Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638

Note: Registering with Selective Service does NOT mean that you are joining the military. The United States will utilize the names and addresses of men between the ages of 18 and 25, in case of a national emergency that requires a draft.

For students who did not register and are 26 years of age or older, you must complete and submit a Selective Service System Registration Form (you may not register on-line). The application must be accompanied by a letter of explanation setting forth the reason for your failure to register between the age of 18 and 25.

Selective Service will send a letter of confirmation to you, confirming that you are not required to register due to your age. This letter will fulfill the Financial Aid requirement.

For additional information, please contact Selective Service System at indicated above, or contact the Financial Aid Office at (714)88-7588, or visit our office.

If you do not have a social security number, you must register at any U.S. Post Office by filling out the Selective Service “mail-back” registration. A male can fill it out (leaving the space for his Social Security Number blank, if he has not yet obtained one), sign it, affix postage, and mail it to Selective Service, without the involvement of the postal clerk.

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, please contact Financial Aid Outreach at

Virtual Advisor