California Community College Students and Financial Aid Recipients walking in front of a campus building


You can accomplish amazing things with a California community college education. Don’t let finances get in the way. Get help paying for college costs like tuition, books or sometimes even the rent with a variety of financial aid options to help you reach your educational and career goals.

Money shouldn’t stand in the way of your educational goals. Community colleges give you a wide range of financial aid options to help pay for your education.


Aid that you DO NOT have to repay

You automatically get considered for federal grants when you submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). U.S. citizens fill out the FAFSA, while undocumented students must submit the CADAA.


Aid that you DO NOT have to repay

Thousands of scholarships are available to students, both from the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment and various private organizations. You may already qualify for a scholarship and not even know it.


Aid that you earn and DO NOT have to repay

Federal work-study programs offer part-time employment to enrolled students. Jobs might be on-campus or in the community, and participants earn at least the federal minimum wage. Contact your college's financial aid office to explore your opportunities.


Aid that you DO have to repay

Student loans can help you pay for college, but they need to get paid back in full plus interest. Therefore, make sure that you investigate every other financial aid opportunity before taking on student loan debt.

Need Help Paying for College?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial aid year-round. No matter your financial situation, it's always free to apply and it opens the door to most types of financial aid.

Undocumented students can receive aid by submitting a California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Undocumented students will not need to submit a FAFSA, and should instead complete a California Dream Act Application to apply for free financial aid to help pay for your community college education.

Grants & Scholarships

Now that you've filled out your FAFSA or CADAA, you can see what types of financial aid are available. Free money for college could be waiting for you.

California Community Colleges Grants and Scholarships Recipient Working at Her Computer

Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award

State Grant

The Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award provides free money to current high school seniors and recent high school graduates.

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State Grant

Cal Grants are available for undergraduate, high school, and transfer students. You can automatically apply for each one by filling out a FAFSA or CADAA.

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Cal Grant - Transfer Entitlement

State Grant

Transfer Entitlement Awards provides free money to students who plan to transfer directly from a California community college to a four-year university.

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California College Promise Grant

Fee Waiver

Low-income students and those receiving cash assistance may apply for a California College Promise Grant (CCPG), which waives tuition.

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Investment and Development Savings Program

Families of low-income public school students can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names.

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Grant for Foster Youth

Current and former foster youth and dependents or wards of the court may qualify for up to $5,000 a year in free money for career training or college.

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Golden State Education and Training Program


The Golden State Education and Training Grant Program (GSETGP) supports Californians who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a one-time grant of $2,500 to reskill, up-skill, and access educational or training programs to get back into the workforce.

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Middle Class Scholarship

The Middle Class Scholarship provides bachelor degree seeking undergraduate students enrolled at a California community college with a scholarship to help meet the total cost of attendance.

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Federal Grant

Federal Pell Grants go to undergraduate students who come from lower-income families. You automatically apply for Pell Grants by submitting a FAFSA form.

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State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) Program

SFRF Emergency Financial Assistance Grants

For enrolled students of California Community Colleges facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant aids students to remain enrolled in the current term or re-enroll in the subsequent term.

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The California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment offers over 3,000 student scholarships per year. Many private organizations also award various scholarships.

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State Grant

The Student Success Completion Grant provides free money for students to take more classes and earn their degrees faster. Apply by filling out a FAFSA or CADAA form.

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Support Services

California community colleges offer a wide array of student support services and programs to help you stay enrolled and complete your college goals. Your success is our success.

California Community Colleges Financial Support Services Building on a Sunny Campus


Free Money for Groceries

CalFresh helps students buy food and eat healthier by giving them extra cash for groceries. Signing up for CalFresh won't affect any existing financial aid.

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Natural and Man-Made Disasters

Students affected by fires, floods, earthquakes or other disasters should complete the FAFSA or CADAA and then contact their college financial aid office.

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Financial Wellness Initiative

Learn the tools and skills that will help you make informed decisions about finances through CashCourse.

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Success Initiatives

Eligible current and former foster youth can receive financial assistance for books and supplies, transportation, tutoring, food and emergency housing.

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Food Pantries and Emergency Funds

For students facing unstable housing situations and/or food insecurity, your local community college may offer additional financial resources or support.

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California Dream Act

Undocumented, Dream Act-eligible students should fill out a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) instead of the FAFSA.

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Success Is Right Around the Corner

California community colleges offer career training and certifications in some of the most highly coveted and fast-growing professional industries.

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Thank You for Your Service

In addition to tailored financial aid opportunities, veterans will receive priority registration across the California Community College system.

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More Ways To Pay for College

Even if you don't qualify for any grants, scholarships or student support programs, there are other ways you can get money to pay for your education.

California Community Colleges Grants and Scholarships Recipient Working at Her Computer


Explore All Other Aid Types First

If you have exhausted all your financial aid options and still need money for college, you can apply for a loan. You must pay back the loans with interest.

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Part-Time Employment

Work-study students gain experience and earn money through a part-time job on-campus or in the community. Talk to your financial aid office about your options.

Apply Now

Upcoming Financial Aid Events Near You

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College of Marin Campus



Virtual FAFSA/Dream Act Assistance at College of Marin

10:00am - 01:00pm

Drop in between 10-1pm for help completing your financial aid application. Or, stop by for questions regarding the status of your application/awards.

Financial Aid Office




FAFSA/CADAA Submissions Lab at Hartnell College

03:30am - 05:00am

We are here to help! The Financial Aid Office hosts  FAFSA and DREAM Act Submission Labs to assist you in submitting your financial aid application.  See below for details.

Salinas Main Campus: Every Monday (except holidays), January 9 through December 11, from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM in Building B-110

Alisal Campus: February 16, March 13, April 10, and May 8, at 3:30 - 5:00 PM in Room C205

Soledad Education Center: January 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21, April 11 & 25, May 9 from 3:00 PM - 4:45 PM, Room 110

King City Education Center: February 24, March 24, April 18, and May 2 from 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM in Room 109

Financial Aid Office

411 Central Ave. Salinas, CA 93901

Santiago Canyon College Campus



SCC FINANCIAL AID WORKSHOP at Santiago Canyon College

12:30pm - 02:30pm

Assist students with completing their financial aid application.

Financial Aid Office



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