The financial aid process doesn’t have to feel intimidating and confusing. These financial aid resources take the mystery out of applying for and keeping financial aid.

Resources for Students & Adults Supporters

Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth in English and Spanish – This comprehensive guide begins with an explanation of different types of financial aid available, includes helpful tips to completing the FAFSA/CADAA, key steps on what to do after the FAFSA/CADAA to ensure maximum aid awards, and explains how to keep getting financial aid.

FAFSA and CADAA Visual Step by Step Guides for California Foster Youth in English and Spanish – These guides are intended to complement the Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth with screenshots of the actual FAFSA and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) applications and detailed instructions.

Guide to Completing the Spanish CADAA Paper Application – Spanish-speaking students who prefer to complete the CADAA application in their native language must complete the paper version of the CADAA application. This document provides step by step review of Spanish paper application, including key steps on what to do after completing the CADAA, and resources available to support students in their transition to postsecondary.

Scholarship Resources for California’s Current and Former Foster Youth – This document provides students with key tips on applying for scholarships as well as a list of private scholarship opportunities, including some just for students with experience in the foster care system.

After the FAFSA/CADAA Checklist in English and Spanish – Submitting the FAFSA or CADAA is just the first step in securing the best financial aid package. This checklist outlines the other critical steps to ensure that students receive their financial aid as well as helpful resources if students need assistance.

IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter – This document reviews steps on how to obtain an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter for people who do not file taxes to verify their non-filing status to a college or university.

Student Spotlights: Learn more about completing the FAFSA, the types of aid available, and the steps to maintaining financial aid from a student’s perspective. 

Guide to Dependency Overrides: This document from Youth Law Center provides an overview of how a student who does not otherwise qualify as independent but who has “unusual circumstances” that prevents the student from providing parental information can request to be considered independent.

Resources for Adult Supporters

Webinar – Completing the FAFSA/CADAA: A How-To for Adult Supporters of Foster Youth –  This is a “how-to” webinar designed to assist those working with foster youth to successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Conversation Starters and Motivational Responses to Encourage Foster Youth Students to Attend College Amid the Pandemic – These conversation starters and responses can help adult supporters to better engage foster youth students in discussions around college planning amid the pandemic.

High School Counselor Foster Youth FAFSA/CADAA Challenge Toolkit – This guide is designed to support high school counselors to work with foster youth on FAFSA/CADAA completion and includes a tips sheet, commonly used child welfare terms, and frequently asked questions high school counselors may encounter.