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How Do I Apply for Financial Aid

1. Prepare

Getting ready for college can be easier than you think.  It's never too early or too late to explore your options for college. The site discusses key steps in preparing for college and provides resources that can help you along the way.

How Financial Aid Works.  Finding financial aid can seem overwhelming when you're trying to get ready for college. It doesn't have to be! will walk you through how financial aid works, resources to pay for college, and loan repayment options.

The FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as a student's or parent's identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. Usernames and passwords can be used to apply for aid on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), make corrections to your application information, and more - and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to Filling Out the FAFSA®.

2. Know 

File a FAFSA® each year as soon as possible after October 1 for the following academic year (For the 24-25 Academic Year, go to FAFSA Simplification for more info). For example, apply for aid on the FAFSA® beginning as early as October 1, 2024 for the 2025-2026 financial aid award year that starts Fall 2024. 

The FAFSA® website has many resources to help you file the form correctly. Using the on-line application is significantly faster and more accurate than using the paper application.

When you're ready to file the FAFSA® use the on-line version, which streamlines the application process considerably. Remember, it's a good idea to apply. You may be surprised by the amount of aid for which you qualify.  Search for and become knowledgeable about the FAFSA® deadlines.   

3. Apply

This step is where many deserving students falter, either because they assume they won't qualify or because the FAFSA® may seem complex and difficult to complete. 


For more information about FAFSA, go to FAFSA Simplification.

**CSUSB's School Code is 001142. Enter this number on the FAFSA® where indicated on the application.