How to Apply for Financial Aid
For questions or to speak with someone in the Financial Aid office please contact 530-282-0202 ext. 603
2024-25 FAFSA Changes
Big changes are coming to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid application (FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 aid year!
The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the need analysis that determines federal aid eligibility, changes in terminology, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.
There are a number of benefits of the FAFSA simplification act, including a more streamlined application process and a better user experience for the FAFSA, expanded eligibility for federal student aid, and reduced barriers for certain student populations (e.g., homeless and unaccompanied youth, incarcerated students, English language learners, and students from low-income backgrounds).
Some fundamental changes include, but are not limited to:
- The FAFSA will be shorter and more user-friendly. The FAFSA will reduce the maximum number of questions from 108 to 46. And because the FAFSA on the Web is dynamic, some students won't even be presented with all 46 questions. This streamlined format will simplify the application process and make it less daunting for students and their families.
- The FAFSA will be Role-Based. Students and parents will only see their questions related to their role. When a student logs in, they will only be able to see questions that should be answered by the student, and the parent or spouse will need to log in to see the questions related to their role.
- Students may list up to 20 colleges. Previously, the FAFSA only allowed students to list up to 10 colleges and universities.
- The FAFSA will be available in more languages. The application will be expanded to include the 11 most common languages spoken by English learner students and their parents.
- Applicants will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange. All persons on the FAFSA MUST CONSENT for the Department of Education to receive tax information or confirmation of non-filing status directly from the IRS even if they did not file 2022 taxes. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions to be answered.
- All contributors must provide financial information. A contributor refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information.
- The Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -1500.
- The number in college will not be used to calculate SAI. The application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI. As such, undergraduate students with siblings in college may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.
- The parent responsible for submitting the FAFSA in cases of divorce or separation has changed. For dependent students, financial information was previously needed from the parent(s) the student had lived with the most in the last 12 months. With the new FAFSA, financial information will be required from the parent(s) who provided the most financial support to the student.
- Family farms and small businesses must be reported as assets. Families must now report the value of their small business or family farm. If the family farm includes the principal place of residence, applicants should determine the total net value of all farm assets and subtract the net value of their principal residence to determine the final value of their farm assets.
- The general types of aid available to students and federal student loan limits will not change.
- The FAFSA will still be required for consideration of federal and state financial aid every year.
- Dependency status questions that determine if your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA will remain the same.
- The FAFSA will still request tax information from the prior-prior year, which means you'll report 2022 income and assets on your 2024-25 application.
- The questions regarding an applicant's gender, race, and ethnicity will have no effect on federal student aid eligibility and are included for statistical purposes and data collection only.
Students who plan to begin classes at in the fall of 2024 should complete the FAFSA as soon as it becomes available. The Department of Education has indicated that students will be able to complete the 2024-25 FAFSA by December 31st and schools will begin receiving FAFSA data by January 31st.
What you can do now - Make sure to create your StudentAid.gov account—and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form when it’s available. If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own StudentAid.gov account
How to Apply for Financial Aid?
If you enjoyed the video above, feel free to check out the links below to help guide you through the FAFSA experience:
- Overview of the Financial Aid Process
- How to Create an Account and Username (FSA ID) for StudentAid.gov
- How to Fill Out the FAFSA
- FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status
- Federal Student Aid – Myths About Financial Aid
- Troubleshooting Your Account Username and Password (FSA ID)
- After the FAFSA: What Happens Next
For additional videos about financial aid, please visit Federal Student Aid's YouTube channel.
Type of aid:
Estimated annual amount:*
(up to the following amounts)
|Federal Pell Grant
|Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
|California College Promise Grant (CCPG)
|Waiver for CA Enrollment Fees
|FRC Promise Scholarship Program
|Waiver for CA Enrollment Fees
|Cal Grant A
|Applicable to Eligible Bachelor Program Recipients3
|Cal Grant B
|Cal Grant C
|Access award of up to $6,0006
|Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)
|California Chafee Grant
|Direct Subsidized Loan
|Direct Unsubsidized Loan
|Parent PLUS Direct Loan
Up to the Cost of Attendance based on credit check approval
Note: The Estimated Annual Amounts displayed above are subject to change for each individual student. The amounts provided are for the maximum award amount for each program and is not guaranteed to each student.
1 Maximum amount shown is based off of a student enrolled full-time (12 units) with a 0 EFC. Pell grant will be prorated based off of students enrollment (full-time, half-time, three-quarter time, or less than half time).
2 SEOG awards are made on a first-come basis until designated funds are exhausted.
3 Applicable for Bachelor Program students only. Award amounts vary depending on enrollment. Must be enrolled in at least half-time (6 units).
4 Will be prorated based off of students enrollment. Must be enrolled in at least half-time (6 units).
5 Will be prorated based off of students enrollment. Must be enrolled in at least half-time (6 units).
6 This includes what the student is eligible for in Cal Grant A, B, or C and up to an access award of up to $6,000 for qualifying Cal Grant A and B recipients and up to $4,000 for eligible Cal Grant C recipients.
7 Students enrolled in 12 to 14.99 units may be eligible for up to $1,298 annually. Students enrolled in 15 or more units may be eligible for up to $4,000 annually.
8 Applicable to eligible foster care youth.
9Freshman or students who have completed 29 units or less may be eligible for up to $3,500. Sophomores or Students who have completed 30 or more units may be eligible for up to $4,500. Juniors/Seniors in the Bachelors Degree Program may be eligible for up to $5,500.
10 Dependent students may be eligible for up to $2,000. Independent students may be eligible for up to $6,000.
- Types of Financial Aid
- How to Apply for Financial Aid
- Finish Line Scholars Program
- Financial Aid Workshops
- Cost of Attendance
- Financial Aid TV (opens in new window)
- Plumas Pipeline
- Unusual Circumstances
- NextUp / Foster Youth
- Veteran Services
- Forms and Policies
- Important Dates
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