Step 1: Figure out which application is right for you

You only need to apply with ONE depending on certain qualifications: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Apply with CADAA if you:

  • Are Undocumented (with or without DACA)
  • Have a U-Visa
  • Have Temporary Protected Status

Apply with FAFSA if you:

  • Are a U.S. Citizen
  • Are a Permanent Resident (Green Card)
  • Are an eligible non-citizen
Step 2: Gather the required information & documents

If you’re a student:

  • Student FSA ID/Login Info (for FAFSA only)
  • Social Security Number (if applicable)
  • Alien Registration Number (if applicable)
  • 2022 Federal Income Tax Return (if applicable)
  • List of schools you’re interested in attending

If you’re the parent/contributor:

  • Contributor FSA/ID Login Info (for FAFSA only)
  • 2022 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Amount in checking & savings accounts
  • Untaxed income such as child support received
  • Assets like businesses, investments, real estate, etc. (Not including retirement or primary residence).
Step 3: Create your FSA-ID

Whether you’re a student, parent, or borrower, you’ll need to create your own account (FSA-ID) to apply for, receive, and manage your federal student aid.

  • You must have an account to do the following:
  • Fill out the FAFSA or CADAA form online (See #1 above to choose your form)
  • Complete other online forms (such as the Master Promissory Note) if required
  • Review the federal student aid you’ve received
Step 4: Apply for financial aid… Don’t delay!

The FAFSA application is now OPEN for 2024-2025. The submission deadline is April 2, 2024.

Questions? Visit to get free help from financial aid experts!
Deadline for California Community College students is Sept 3, 2024.