Here you’ll find many resources that we have collected to help students, parents, and school administrators to learn about federal and state financial aid, planning for college, and seeking scholarships.

Attention: Kern Community Foundation’s 2020-21 Scholarship Application Season is coming up December 1, 2019, through March 1, 2020. Don’t miss out! Visit our Scholarships page between those dates to get details and apply online. 

Preparing for College

Click here to review Kern Community Foundation’s useful Scholarship Presentation.

College Entrance Requirements (A-G)

All students applying to be freshmen at a four-year college in California are required to meet “A-G Course Requirements.” This consists of a specific number of classes in History, English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, and Visual/Performing Arts. Not every class offered by a high school in those topic areas qualifies as “A-G”. To see the exact class list for your specific high school, visit the official listing at UC Doorways here.

*Keep in mind, though managed by the University of California (UC) system, this course list is also used by California State Universities and many Private Institutions in California.

College Searching

Though nothing can beat an in person college visit, many students will search online to identify schools that they want to apply to.

College Search tool at BigFuture by College Board
If you know what type of school you’re looking for (size, majors, housing, etc.) you can use this tool to see what schools fit your criteria that may not be on your radar.

College Search: Get Matched tool at Unigo
If you’re not sure what type of school might be a good fit for you, consider using this tool. It asks you questions about yourself to match you with schools that would be a good fit for you. You don’t know to know what kind of school you’re looking for, you just have to know YOU.

College Scorecard
A new website from the US Department of Education, this site allows you to search colleges by location, size, program, type, and other factors. Compare average cost of attendance, income of recent graduates, graduation rates, and more.

College Abacus
Use this tool to estimate the price you will actually pay, based on your income, at colleges throughout the United States.

Pell Abacus
If you are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch at school, use this tool to estimate the price you will actually pay, based on your income, at colleges throughout the United States.

College Planning

CaliforniaColleges.edu
A comprehensive website aimed at students, counselors, and parents that helps guide and support the college planning and preparation process. It allows users to explore accredited colleges and universities, determine which schools and majors best match a student’s career aspirations, develop personalized student plans of study, learn more about financial aid and how to pay for college, and access information about college admission requirements and apply online.

¡Gradúate! A Financial Aid Guide to Success
A comprehensive step-by-step guide on the financial aid and college enrollment process for Hispanic high school students and their families produced by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In 2010, President Obama reestablished the Initiative to increase educational opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and deliver a complete and competitive education for all Hispanics.

StudentMentor.org
This site matches students with a mentor that can help them with many issues including major/career advice, graduate school application process, financing their education, interview advice, time management skills, transferring to another school and many more. You and your mentor can set a schedule of when you meet and what advice that they can offer.

 

College Applications

Once you’ve decided where to apply, be sure to know how and when to submit the application.

University of California

Application opens in the Fall.
Application can be submitted from November 1 – November 30.
Access the University of California Application here.

California State University

Application opens in the Fall.
Application can be submitted from October 1- November 30.
Access the California State University Application here.

California Community College

Registration for Community College is done on a rolling basis through out the year. Find a college near you here to register. Remember, assessments and orientations are required prior to starting classes.

Private and Out of State Colleges

Each college system has their own timeline. Be sure you know what is expected at your college choice.

Financial Aid

Deciding to go to college is wonderful, but now you must figure out how to pay for it. Very few students will receive the coveted “full ride” scholarships. Most students will need to piece together funding each year from the sources listed below. The list below covers the basics, but is by no means exhaustive. Additional searching on your own can lead to great pay off when fees come due.

There are many sources of funding available for students pursuing college. It is important that you consider each of the following types of aid when planning for college.

 

Federal

Complete the FAFSA and learn about your federal aid options

  State

Apply for a Cal GrantDream Act grant, or a Middle Class Scholarship

  Institutional

Read and understand your award letter

  Scholarships

Search for private scholarships through your local Community Foundation, or through search engines like FastWeb, Unigo, Scholarship America, or The Ultimate Scholarship Guide.

 

Useful Websites

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is an important first step for accessing federal student aid. The Federal Student Aid is an office of the U.S. Department of Education which ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school.

Federal Student Aid
The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs, about $150 billion a year in grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans to more than 14 million students.

California Student Aid Commission
A website from the State of California which provides details about financial aid available to Californians, including Cal Grants, Dream Act Grants, and Middle Class Scholarships

FinAid
Website provides students with financial aid information, information on loans, saving for your education and other types of aid that a student can use to fund their education. The site also has a link to a scholarship search engine for additional opportunities.

Funding Your College Future
This website provides California residents with state and federal financial aid information about the Middle Class Scholarship, CAL Grant Program, and Cash for College Workshop. Additional financial resources are available for parents and college graduates with outstanding student loans.

 

Personal Finance Tools for Students

  • Bank of America: Creating a Budget
  • Better Money Habits: Bank of America Personal Finance Education
  • Hands on Banking: A Video Series
  • Khan Academy: Finance and Capital Markets classes on Interest and Debt and Accounting and Financial Statements *these are more professional learning tools, but would be excellent for a student with academic propensity for economics or finance.

 

Kern Community Foundation