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Students Will Get An Extra Month To Apply For Financial Aid, Which A Lot Of Them Still Have To Do

A school bulletin board shows different colored documents showing the three different types of Federal Student Aaid
A poster at Alhambra High School explains the various forms of financial aid available for college-bound students.
( Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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California students attending or hoping to attend a four-year college next fall now have an extra month to apply for state financial aid.

On Thursday, the California Student Aid Commission announced that the deadline to apply for a state Cal Grant is now April 1.

Cal Grants provide full tuition at UC and CSU schools, and up to $9,220 each year at private in-state colleges.

Applications are down 10% overall compared to pre-pandemic 2020. They're down more than 26% among California Dream Act applicants since 2020. They're down 21% among community college students since 2020.

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There is a little bit of good news: Among students going into college for the first time, applications to California's public colleges and universities are up over 2021, even though they're still way down from 2020. Applying for financial aid is a big indicator of whether a student plans to attend college.

Last year the state let students file for an extension if the COVID-19 pandemic affected their ability to apply for financial aid on time. This year, the commission has gotten so many of those requests that they decided to make a blanket extension for all students.

Starting next year, applying for college financial aid will be mandatory for all California high school seniors, unless they request a waiver. L.A. Unified School District's new superintendent has until late April to present a plan for how to comply with the new state rule.

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