Staff Report

Parents and students can reduce the cost of college attendance by taking advantage of a free Cash for College workshop from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.

The Central Coast Cal-SOAP offices at Hancock and Cuesta colleges are co-sponsoring a series of workshops to help students and parents complete and submit financial aid forms that could result in thousands of dollars of college financial aid.

The free workshops are intended for high school seniors and their parents. No reservations are required. The application process takes about one hour to complete.

At each workshop, staff will be on hand to help students fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or a California Dream Act application, as well as apply for state and federal grants, including a Cal Grant.

Students can find the free FAFSA application online at and the California Dream Act application at Cal Grant GPA verification form is available at, but students should check with their high school counselor before submitting the form. Since counselors are required to complete part of this form, some high schools may submit the Cal Grant GPA verification for the student.

Both forms must be sent to the California Student Aid Commission and postmarked by March 2, 2018.

Those planning to attend a workshop should bring the following information with them:

– Completed income tax forms from 2016 for parents and high school seniors

– Student’s Social Security number and driver’s license (if available)

– Parent’s Social Security number (if available)

– Records of untaxed income such as welfare benefits

– Social Security benefits, or child support payments

– Bank statements from 2016

– Business records

– Permanent resident or DACA card (if a student is not a U.S. citizen)

– A list of colleges the student is interested in attending

For more information about the local workshops, email Diana Perez at, or call the Central Coast Cal-SOAP office at 805-922-6966, ext. 3710.

To learn more about Cal-SOAP, visit