Wednesday, December 19, 2012


With our current economic crisis and college costs rising much faster than ever before, most families must consider finances when planning for college.  These families often count on financial aid in their planning, so it is a good idea to understand the types of aid that are available to college students and their families.

Most college financial aid is need-based aid.  This is money awarded to help meet the difference between total college expenses and the expected family contribution (EFC).  The EFC is a dollar amount calculated when families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.  This number is based on family and student assets and income, and it is the same for every college regardless of cost.  Colleges award need-based aid to bridge the gap between costs and family contribution, but many colleges cannot afford to meet 100% of need.  Students can supplement their financial aid package by outside loans, through employment, and with other need or merit-based scholarships.

Merit-based awards often are given to encourage a student to choose a specific institution.  Students may qualify for merit awards in athletics, music, art, or academics.

To apply for financial aid, families may file the FAFSA as soon as January 1st for the next academic year.  Applications and information are available online at Early application is advised.

Please plan on attending the financial aid workshop that will be held Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:00pm in the LRHS cafeteria.  Tammy Velasquez, Financial Aid Counselor from California Lutheran University, will be the speaker.  She will explain the Cal Grant program and take you step by step through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form for the 2013/2014 school year.

All parents of seniors and/or senior students to attend this financial aid workshop. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nancy La Belle at or (805) 495-6494 x 325.

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