Scholarships & Financial Aid

How do I pay for college and what does financial aid encompass? 

Under the umbrella of aid you have gift aid (money you don't need to pay back including scholarships and grants) and self help (loans and work study).

Gift aid 

Money that is gifted can come from the college itself, private scholarships and grants from the state and federal government. Gifted money can be given based on a family's financial need or because of things like merit. A bulk of money can come from the college itself. It can be helpful to get a sense of who sends money or not and how much! College Navigator is a helpful resource that not only tells you about specific financial aid information for a specific college but the percentage of merit aid and how many students access it. 

Gift aid can also fulfill a family's need financially. FAFSA4caster and the Collegeboard Expected Family Contribution are two estimates of how much a family can roughly be expected to pay. 

Self help

Loans can also be offered through the FAFSA, they are capped in a long and often in interest rates. 

When to apply and how to find more resources 

Families will apply for financial aid beginning of the Fall semester of senior year, but there are so many things you can do earlier. is a site where students can earn “scholarships” with partner schools early on as soon as freshman year for things like grades and awards. 

Choose a college that will give you a strong return on investment It is important to consider a student’s “return on investment” in college. What does this mean? Well, in a sense, when you graduate after you have paid for college will you be able to get a job? Consider the following when choosing a college: Access to internships, job placement rate of graduates, graduation rate and the average amount of time it takes to graduate are some of the factors that can help value your return on investment in a college.

Every college is different and every student's information is different
So financial aid isn't just a one-stop shop, or a simple number that you can easily find. But you CAN gauge college cost well before you receive an admission decision and realize the school's tuition bill is unmanageable. 
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is open October 1 of your senior year and has a priority submission date of April 1. The FAFSA is FREE for seniors to apply, the earlier you apply the greater chance for aid, do not wait to apply. To apply, or to find out more information, please visit Federal Student Aid Programs. 

How can I apply for the Cal Grant?
To be considered for a Cal Grant you must file the FAFSA. The California Student Aid Commission advises students to file as early as possible. In addition, a Cal Grant GPA must be submitted for each student that wishes to receive a Cal Grant.
cal grant
Beverly Hills HS will submit all Seniors' Cal Grant GPA to the California Student Aid Commission unless a student does not want BHHS to share this information. After you submit your FAFSA, check the status of your Cal Grant here. If you are a recent graduate and need BHHS to send your Cal Grant GPA, then please contact Marguerite Ku at [email protected]

How can I find out whether my college has an earlier financial aid and scholarship filing deadline? 
Visit the college financial aid website. The federal and state program deadline will be the same at most schools but institutional scholarships frequently have deadlines in January.

What tax forms will I use for the FAFSA
2021 tax forms (HINT: If you or your parents file a tax return with the IRS, you may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This is an easy way to provide accurate tax information, view and securely transfer information into FAFSA)

What questions will I have to answer on the FAFSA?
The FAFSA questions are all on the FAFSA on the Web worksheet (a helpful tool that explains each section! Very user friendly!) The worksheet can be completed before sitting down to file the FAFSA. By completing the FAFSA on the Web worksheet, students and parents can have all of the answers ready.

Undocumented students 
Can NOT apply for financial aid using the FAFSA. You must complete the DREAM Act application. See the instructions listed below for the California Dream Act Application.

CSS /Financial Aid Profile: Seniors applying to private universities that require the CSS profile need to complete the online CSS Profile no later than
 November 1 for Early Decision and Early Action applications and no later than December 1 for Regular Decision applications. Check specific colleges for extended deadlines. The profile allows students to report their financial and family circumstance information in one streamlined application and submit it to all the colleges that require it for scholarship and grant consideration. Apply online. Fee is $25 for the profile and first college report and $16 for each subsequent college report. Fee waivers are available for eligible applicants.
Can I better predict how much aid a college will give me before I receive a financial aid package from the university? 

Yes! Each college has a Net Price Calculator on their website. Go directly to a college's website's financial aid page and find the Net Price Calculator. There you will be able to input information and get a better sense of what type of aid the college will offer and college affordability overall. 

California Student Aid Commission
Federal Student Aid - 
Free Application for Federal Student Aid - 
Ed Fund - 
FastWeb for scholarships - 
Discus Awards scholarship list
College Scorecard

Scholarships students to acquire throughout High School:

Scholarships for Undocumented Students:
MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide