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How to Apply for Aid - Newly Admitted Undergraduates

Which application do I file?

FAFSA versus Dream Application
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) California Dream Application
  • You (the student) have a valid Social Security Number
  • You (the student) are a U.S. Citizen; Permanent Resident; or eligible non-citizen
  • You (the student) do not meet criteria to file a FAFSA
  • You (the student) meet the conditions of California AB540 status
Submit a 2021-2022 FAFSA Submit a 2021-2022 California Dream application
Eligible to receive funding from federal, state, and institutional aid programs Eligible to receive funding from CA State and CA institutional aid programs

For help on submitting a FAFSA, watch these short FATv videos

 Getting Started 2021-22


For help on submitting a California Dream application, watch these short FATv videos

How do I apply for financial aid under the CA dream act


The 2021-2022 financial aid applications are now live! Submit your financial aid application between October 1 and March 2 for the following academic year. Be sure to file before the priority filing deadline (March 2) in order to be considered for the maximum types of aid. Applications submitted after March 2 will not be eligible for CA State or CSULB Institutional Grants.

Your financial aid application is used to determine your eligibility for all types of aid, and some scholarship providers may use your application information to determine whether you qualify for their awards. You must re-apply for financial aid, including loans; grants; and Federal Work-Study, each year.

How do my parents sign my application if they don't have Social Security Numbers?

FAFSA Filers

In order to electronically sign your FAFSA, your parent(s) will need a valid Social Security Number in order to apply for an FSA ID. If your parent is not able to apply for an FSA ID, your parent will need to print, sign, and mail in a paper signature page.

Dream Application Filers

If parent information was required, navigate to the link on the CA Dream Act website that says “Sign Student Application.”  Your parent must create a Parent PIN and answer the verification questions if they do not already have a CSAC Parent PIN. Your parent will be issued a 4-digit electronic PIN code to sign your application. Keep this code in a safe place, because your parent will need it to re-sign the California Dream Application each time you make a correction to your application or file a new one in a subsequent year.

If your parent does not receive a PIN, your parent must provide a signature page for every correction that is made.

What if I am unable to provide my parents' information on my application?

In situations such as the ones below, you may be able to submit your application without parent information despite being considered a dependent student:

  • Your parents are incarcerated.
  • You have left home due to an abusive family environment.
  • You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted).
  • You are older than 21 but not yet 24, are unaccompanied, and are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

The online application will ask you whether you are able to provide information about your parents. If you are not, you will have the option to indicate that you have special circumstances that make you unable to get your parents’ information. You will then be able to submit your application without entering data about your parents.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you will need to reach out to our office to discuss your options. Be sure to gather as much information and supporting documentation about your situation as you can (legal documents; letters from a school counselor, a social worker, or clergy member; any other relevant information that helps document your special circumstance).

Cal Grant GPA Verification

Eligibility for a Cal Grant is based on the information in your financial aid application as well as your academic history.  Cal Grants may be renewed for up to four years of full-time enrollment.

In order to be considered for a Cal Grant, you must have your GPA verified by the appropriate college or high school office. The following table shows which school should complete your GPA verification based on your current status. After reading these instructions, please contact our office if you have any questions.

Cal Grant GPA Verification


GPA Verified by

Newly Admitted First-Time Freshman

Your High School

Newly Admitted Transfer Student with no units earned at CSULB as of March 1st

Your Former College

Be sure you contact the appropriate school to have your GPA Verification sent to CSAC by the March 2nd deadline.  More information is available on the CSAC Cal Grant page.

Are you wondering if your Cal Grant GPA has been received by CSAC? After you have filed a FAFSA, you can go on-line and check the status of your Cal Grant application by logging on to WebGrants for Students and creating an account. This secure site provides you with resources, information and tools to assist you with the college financial aid process. It will also let you view the status of your Cal Grant or Chafee Grant application, update your address, submit corrections, view your payment history, update your college of attendance, or satisfy outstanding requirements.