Types of Aid
GrantsGrants are awarded based on financial need (often with academic achievement requirements) and do not need to be repaid.
LoansLoans are borrowed funds you must repay with interest. A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money at a low-interest rate and with flexible terms of repayment. The government is the lender and funds are dispersed through the university you attend.
- Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with an EFC of $4,617 or less.
- Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG) are awarded to Pell Grant recipients who have completed a rigorous college preparation sequence of high school courses.
- Cal Grant A is awarded based on financial aid and GPA to undergraduate students for tuition and fees.
- Cal Grant B is awarded to very low-income students to be used for books and living expenses.
- California Chafee Grant is available for qualified foster youth and former foster youth in amounts up to $5,000
A private student loan is offered by a lender such as a bank or credit union. Private loans typically have higher interest rates than federal student loans, and require a credit check for approval.
ScholarshipsScholarships are funds that do not require repayment. Scholarships are awarded through corporations, community groups, service organizations, and colleges and universities.
- Federal Perkins Loans offer up to $5,500 per year at a 5% interest rate.
- Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans range from $3,500 – $8,500 per year. Interest is not charged while the student is attending college full time. The undergraduate interest rate is 4.5%.
- Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are offered in amounts from $5,500 to $20,500 at an interest rate of 6.8%.
- Direct PLUS Loans for Parents can be taken out in an amount not exceeding the Cost of Attendance less all other financial aid received. Parents must have a good credit rating. Interest charged on the loan is 7.9%.
Students and parents must be watchful for scholarship scams. A legitimate scholarship will not charge you to apply. Phrases like “enter for a chance to win” suggest a contest rather than a true scholarship application.
Your high school counseling office and your university’s financial aid office have resources to help you find scholarships you may be eligible for. Also check with your parents to see if their employers or employee associations offer scholarships.Work StudyFederal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education and living expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study. Students will often be placed in jobs on campus, however, many AVID graduates are able to work as AVID Tutors at local middle and high schools under the Work Study program.