Skip to main content

Financial Aid Information


All Seniors should begin applying for the FAFSA on October 1st. Applications are due by March 2nd. College Students must submit the FAFSA EACH YEAR that they are enrolled in college.

FAFSA is the only official website--beware of scams!)  It is FREE to apply! 

Cal Grants

To be eligible for the Cal Grant complete your FAFSA along with the GPA Information Release Form and turn it in to the Counseling Office Rm V-125

  • OHS will submit your GPA Verification Form electronically to expedite the process, but we must have an accurate Social Security Number on file!
  • Be sure to have your parent sign the form as well

If you need a new form, download the Form or stop by the Career Center to pick one up.

To check the status of your Cal Grant go to Web Grants 4 Students

Financial Aid Vocabulary

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – The government’s financial aid form used to determine eligibility for federal aid programs.

This form is available online FAFSA October 1st of the student’s senior year in high school. 

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) - A figure derived from the FAFSA which estimates how much your family can pay for college and is used to determine eligibility for Federal Aid. 

The expected family contribution (EFC) is not necessarily what your family will pay.  Not all colleges use the FAFSA EFC; many institutions have their own formula for determining what your family can pay for college.

Cost of Attendance (COA) – The total estimated cost of attending a college for one year, including tuition, food, housing, travel, and books and other expenses.

Financial Need  – The difference between your expected family contribution and the cost of attendance.  

For example, if a school’s cost of attendance (COA) is $20,000 and your expected family contribution (EFC) is $3,000, your financial need is $17,000

COA – EFC = Financial Need

$20,000 - $3,000 = $17,000

Financial Aid Package – The combination of federal, state, and college funds a school awards to help your family pay for college.  The financial aid package may consist of scholarships, grants, loans and/or work-study.

Net Price - Your family’s bottom line cost for one year at a given college.  Net Price = Cost of   Attendance – Grant/Scholarship Aid

Example:  State University’s cost of attendance is $30,000 and you are offered $20,000 in scholarship, your family’s net price is $10,000.

Net Price Calculator- Each college you apply to has a Net Price Calculator available on its website.

The calculator provides a rough estimate of your family’s bottom line cost at the institution, and results can vary widely from school to school.  The calculator is useful as a preliminary tool in determining college costs.

Types of Financial Aid:

Gift Aid –“free money” that does not have to be repaid

  • Scholarships (based on academic or other talent)


                                        -Outside Organization

Grants/Scholarships (based on your family’s financial need)




Self-Help Aid– funding which must be earned or repaid

  • Student Loans- must be repaid after graduation

Federal Perkins Loan-

  • Government loan program administered by colleges

  • Usually reserved for needier students

  • Up to $5,500 annually with no interest while enrolled

  • 5% interest begins accruing 9 months after graduation

  • No credit approval required

Direct Stafford Loan

  • Most common type of loan for students, funded by Dept. of Education

Work Study

  • Students work during the school year and earn money to help pay for books, supplies, and other educational expenses.

Helpful Websites:


College Board- Pay for College

Financial Aid

Top 10 Tips for Sophomores

UCSD Financial Aid Presentation