Applying for Aid

Apply for aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

To apply for financial aid, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA every year no later than March 2nd.  Gather the documents needed to apply and go online to; click on the “Start Here” button on the home page, and just follow the directions on the screen. This is the only application you need forFAFSA all types of aid including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.  If necessary, you may provide estimated income information and correct it later.                                              

If you are not eligible to receive aid by submitting the FAFSADreamApp and you meet the AB540 criteria, submit the The Dream Application now or refer to our Dream Act webpage for more information.

For help with your FAFSA, call 1-800-4FEDAID (1-800-433-3243); Mon–Fri: 8:00 a.m.–12:00 midnight Eastern Time or Sat: 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Or, you may contact our Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.

Important facts you should know about FAFSA:

  • You must file a FAFSA before each academic year to be considered for financial aid.
  • The FAFSA application opens January 1 each year.
  • The UCSC school code for your FAFSA is 001321.
  • The U.S. government, California, and UCSC base financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study, on the FAFSA.
  • To receive priority funding, file your FAFSA no later than March 2 each year and submit any requested financial aid documents to our office by June 1st.
    • The Financial Aid Office may ask you for additional documents after you file your FAFSA. Check your UCSC “To-Do List” through the student portal beginning mid-March and make sure you submit any additional documents or clear any FAFSA rejects by June 1st.
  • We recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete your FAFSA
    • The FAFSA requires current tax information. You may submit your FAFSA on time even if you have not yet filed taxes using tax estimates. Later use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA with your actual tax numbers.
    • If you are eligible to use the data retrieval tool and do not, you may need to verify your tax information with an IRS Tax Transcript.
    • Electronic tax filers will be able to access tax information approximately 2 to 3 weeks after filing. Paper filers will be able to access tax information 6 to 8 weeks after filing.

Online FAFSA Resources

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA (video tutorial)

2014-2015 FAFSA

2014-2015 FAFSA Worksheet


FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

The California Dream Act Application

FAFSA Tips for Applicants in Unique Situations

See Also