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Important News

  Pell Grants Federal Student Aid

  The Federal Pell Grant Program was created to improve   the access of low-income students to postsecondary   education. Grant recipients enroll at a variety of institutions.


  Announcing the 2014 Arthur S. Marmaduke Award Arthur S. Marmaduke

  The California Student Aid Commission is seeking   nominations for the 2014 Arthur S. Marmaduke Award.   This annual award goes to one outstanding California high   school counselor...Just click on link below!


  Student Debt - Income-Based Repayment Federal Student Aid Repay Your Loans

  Understanding the repayment process for your federal   student loans can go a long way toward building a solid   financial foundation.



Top Ten Things you Need to Know

1. The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS):
The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is a new program beginning in the 2014-15 academic year that provides undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.

2. Students must meet the following requirements:
Be a California resident attending a UC or CSU; be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have AB 540* student status; meet certain income and other financial aid standards; maintain satisfactory academic progress; not be in default on a student loan; and, must not be incarcerated.

3. Apply starting January 1, 2014:
Complete a 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at or the California Dream Act Application at Use the California Dream Act Application if you do not have a Social Security number (SSN) or if you have a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) number. Make sure your email address is listed on your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application.

4. If your family earns up to $100,000 per year:
You may be eligible for a scholarship of up to 40 percent of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees: The maximum award amount is a lesser percentage of mandatory systemwide tuition and fees for each academic year beginning in 2014-15 at 14%, 2015-16 (20%), and 2016-17 (30%)

5. Students whose families earn between
$100,001 and $150,000 per year:
May be eligible for a reduced scholarship of no less than 10 percent of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees.

6. MCS scholarships are not set amounts and
may vary by student and institution:
The award is determined after you are awarded any federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant and institutional need-based grants for which you are eligible. The final award amount will be based on the number of students eligible for the MCS statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget.

7. The MCS is being phased in over four years:
Each academic year, the maximum amount of the scholarship will increase until 2017-18, when the maximum scholarship award will be up to 40 percent of the mandatory systemwide fees and tuition.

8. To get assistance completing the FAFSA
or California Dream Act Application:
Attend a Cash for College workshop January 1 thru March 2. Students must reapply each year. Visit for locations.

9. If you are selected to receive a MCS:
If you are selected to receive a MCS, you will be notified by the Commission.

10. Need more information about this scholarship?:
Contact your UC or CSU campus Financial Aid Office or check the California Student Aid Commission's website for updates.

Posted: 12-12-13

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Steps to College 2014

The Sacramento Bee featured an article and an editorial about Steps to College 2014, the northern California conference that helps DREAMERS in education path to higher education. Thousands of families visited the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento on Saturday, February 1, 2014 to complete applications for college financial aid, college admission, and immigration pathways to citizenship undocumented students can to attend college in the Golden State regardless of their legal status thanks to the California Dream Act.

See Links to full article, photographs and Editorial

To download... click links below!

Steps to College 2013 video - to view click below!
Steps to College 2013

Dream Act video - to view click below!
California Dream Act Application PSA

Authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.

AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

California Dream Act Video Interviews on UNIVISION California Dream Act Training Webinar

Presented by the California Student Aid Commission. Watch the newest California Dream Act Training Videos.You can download the five training video presentations here: Dream Act Training Webinar!

2014-15 Dream Act Application Documents 2013-14 Dream Act Application Documents

Sacramento Charter High School won the fall 2013 College Challenge, now they welcome Zendaya as their Celebrity Principal for a Day on March 3rd!

Congratulations! to all of the staff and students who made a national victory possible! See Zendaya and Trevor Jackson hang at SAC High School

The College Challenge aimed to build college awareness among all high school students and encourage seniors to complete college applications, and we really saw students rise to the challenge. There were over 131,000 check-ins at FAFSA workshops, SAT and ACT celebrations, college campus visits, and library study sessions; more than 423,000 games played; 26,000 polls answered; over 150,000 Mind Games trivia questions answered; and almost 8,000 college application submissions reported!

It was a close competition between more than 70 schools across California and the Metro Detroit region. In the end, one school really stood out and took the top national prize. That school is
Sacramento Charter High School!

From the very beginning, Sacramento Charter High School fought hard to stay on top. The Student Ambasasadors hosted pep rallies, set up lunch time computer stations and made regular classroom visits to make sure everyone in the school knew about the competition and how to log on to to earn points. Their Challenge video even took first place in the Student Ambassador Video Contest we held in November. As the winners, Student Ambassadors Chantay Crawford and Aryanna Lewis were flown to Los Angeles to attend the Teen Nick HALO Awards!

The senior class worked hard on their college applications and the entire student body played educational games, answered polls, checked in to FAFSA workshops and conducted college searches! For all of their efforts, Sacramento Charter High scored 496 out of 500 points for a nearly perfect score!

Congratulations to the staff and student body at Sacramento Charter High School!

We also had five regional winners that we would like to recognize. These schools will each walk away with a $5,000 cash prize for all of their hard work! Congratulations to all five of our College Challenge regional winners!

Northern California
Irvington High School, in Fremont, CA

Los Angeles
Los Angeles International Charter High School, Los Angeles, CA

South-Central California
Design Science Early College High School, Fresno, CA

Los Angeles Surrounding Area
Nuview Bridge Early College High School, Nuevo, CA

Metro Detroit
Harper Woods High School, Harper Woods, MI


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