Parents and students can significantly reduce the cost of college attendance by taking advantage of free “Cash for College” workshops beginning this October.
The Central Coast Cal-SOAP Consortium at Allan Hancock College and Cuesta College are co-sponsoring a series of virtual workshops to help students and parents complete and submit financial aid forms that could result in students being awarded thousands of dollars for college.
There will be a total of 30 Cash for College workshops. The workshops began in early October and will run through February 2021. Spanish-speaking staff will be available at all virtual events.
The free virtual workshops are intended for high school seniors and their parents. The application process takes about one hour to complete.
At each workshop, staff will be available to help students fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or a California Dream Act application. Students will also be able to apply for state and federal grants, including a Cal Grant, which offers cash for college and does not have to be repaid.
Students can find the free FAFSA application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and the California Dream Act application at www.caldreamact.org.The Cal Grant GPA verification form is available at www.csac.ca.gov, but students should check with their high school counselor before submitting the form. Because counselors are required to complete part of this form, some high schools may submit a Cal Grant GPA verification for the student. Both forms must be postmarked and sent to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2, 2021.
Those planning to attend a workshop should bring the following information and items with them:
- Completed income tax forms from 2019 for parents and high school seniors, including
- Student’s and parent’s Social Security Number (if available)
- Records of untaxed income such as welfare benefits (optional)
- Social Security benefits, or child support payments
- Bank statements (optional)
- Business records (optional)
- Permanent resident or DACA card (if a student is not a U.S. citizen)
- A list of colleges the student is interested in attending
In addition to grants, the FAFSA and California Dream Act applications may also provide an opportunity for low-interest loans. Current high school seniors, college students and any adult 18 years of age or older interested in attending college should apply to be considered for grants and scholarships.
The Middle Class Scholarship is also available for families with incomes and assets up to $177,000. To be eligible, students must complete a FAFSA by the March 2 deadline and enroll at a UC or CSU campus.
To view upcoming virtual workshop dates and reserve a spot at a Cash for College visit https://www.hancockcollege.edu/calsoap/workshops.php or call 1- 805-922-6966 ext. 3710.
For additional information on Cal Grants, log on to http://www.calgrants.org or call toll-free 888-CA-GRANT (224-7268).