Financial Aid Helpful Tips - Transfer Center

  • Apply for financial aid before finding out if you’ve been accepted by a specific campus. This will ensure you do not miss any chance of being considered for campus scholarships.

  • Follow the Fall financial aid deadlines even if you are deferring your enrollment until the Spring.

  • You should still apply for financial aid even if you think your family makes too much money. You may not receive need-based aid, but may qualify for scholarships or low-cost loans.

  • If you or your family has unusual circumstances or hardship that you feel should be considered, complete the FAFSA as best you can and then send additional information directly to the financial aid office of each campus you’ve applied to. Begin by contacting the college you’re most interested to find out what information they will require and when its needed.

  • If your financial situation changes after submitting the FAFSA, contact the financial aid office to inquire about their appeals process.

  • As soon as you and/or your parents have completed federal tax returns, you will need to correct any estimates provided on your FAFSA.

  • Make sure your email address is appropriate for corresponding with colleges, lenders, and employers. If it isn’t, strongly consider opening another account strictly for these purposes, is more professional, and checked regularly.

  • Identity theft is a real and serious problem. Keep your PIN, social security number, as well as personal and financial information confidential.

  • Keep a copy of everything you submit. If you end up mailing any paper forms, be sure to get a certificate of mailing from the post office for each. This will verify you met deadlines.

  • Reapply each year!

  • Plan ahead – both CalGrant and Pell Grant awards have term limits. You will want to make sure you will have enough eligibility remaining after the community college to continue supporting you at the university.

  • Communicate! Respond to communication requests in a timely manner from your financial aid office and/or the Student Aid Commission. Likewise, communicate any changes in your situation with both of these offices so they can assist you with your options.