Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


College Financial Aid Applications Are Down 10% Among High School Seniors

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

With less than a week before the March 2 priority deadline, only around one-third of California high school seniors have completed an application for a Cal Grant, according to the California Student Aid Commission. That's a 10% decline compared to this time last year.

High school counselors and groups like GEAR UP 4 LA are working overtime to try to keep students on track for college. Applying for financial aid is a crucial step.

"This is our kids' future. We know that if they don't secure financial aid, they're less likely to attend [college]. We know that if they don't go to college right now, the chances of them going later decreases," said Janicia Centeno-Castillo, assistant director of GEAR UP 4 LA.

Centeno-Castillo and others who work with high schoolers say the pandemic's forced isolation has taken a toll on students' motivation and their ability to look beyond daily survival. Some are also skeptical of whether they'll be able to study on campus next year.

Support for LAist comes from
"The kids feel a little strung along. We can say, 'hey look, it's looking better,' but at the end of the day, there's so much doubt right now, and a lot of fear," Centeno-Castillo said.


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.