Get Free Cash for College!

Attend a free workshop to complete the application process.

JANUARY 13, 2014 -- With graduation just a few months away for high school seniors, the reality of college costs may begin to set in.  High school seniors and their parents can eliminate some stress and possibly lessen the financial burden of college by completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application and applying for state and federal grants, including a California grant.  Cal Grants offer cash for college that doesn’t have to be repaid!

The Cal Grant program is the California Student Aid Commission’s merit- and need-based financial aid program.  In order to be eligible, there are a few simple qualifications: high school students must be seniors or recent graduates, have at least a 2.0 GPA, meet other eligibility and financial requirements and submit two forms by the March 2 deadline – it’s that easy.

To help with the application process, the Central Coast Cal-SOAP offices at Allan Hancock College and Cuesta College are cosponsoring a series of free Cash for College Workshops to help students and parents complete and submit financial aid forms.  Spanish-speaking staff will be available at all locations.  Attention high school seniors: Attending a workshop may also result in a bonus $1,000 scholarship! 

Workshop dates and locations are:

  •   Wednesday, Feb. 5

4-8 p.m.

Arroyo Grande High School, Rooms 958 & 959

  •   Thursday, Feb. 6

3-7 p.m.

Santa Ynez High School Library

  •   Thursday, Feb. 6

5-8 p.m.

Pioneer Valley High School Library

  •   Tuesday, Feb. 11

5-8 p.m.

Cuesta College, SLO Campus, High Tech Center-bldg. 3400, Open Lab (upstairs)

  •   Wednesday, Feb. 12

5-8 p.m.

Cuesta College, North County Campus,
  Room N5004

  •   Thursday, Feb. 13

4-8 p.m.

Nipomo High School Library

  •   Tuesday, Feb. 18

3:30-7 p.m.

Cabrillo High School, Room B8

  •   Wednesday, Feb. 19

4-8 p.m.

Santa Maria High School, Room 235

  •   Thursday, Feb. 20

4-8 p.m.

Righetti High School, Plato Labs, Rooms 621 & 622

  •   Tuesday, Feb. 25

3-7 p.m.

Lompoc High School Computer Lab, Room P-1B

  •   Wednesday, Feb. 26

4-8 p.m.

Santa Maria High School, Room 235

  •   Thursday, Feb. 27

12-6 p.m.

Allan Hancock College, Bldg. A, Room 406

Students can find the free FAFSA application onnlie at and can fill it out and bring it with them to the workshop.  The Cal Grant GPA verification form is available at, but students should check with their high school counselor before submitting the form.  Since counselors are required to complete part of this form, some high schools may submit the Cal Grant GPA verification for the student.

Both forms must be sent to the California Student Aid Commission and postmarked by March 2, 2014.

Those planning to attend a Cash for College workshop must bring with them the following information:

  • Student’s Social Security number and driver’s license (if available)
  • Parent’s Social Security number ( If available)
  • Parents’ federal income tax return of W-2 forms from tax year 2012 or 2013
  • Student’s W-2 forms or records of income earned during 2012 or 2013
  • 2013 bank statements
  • Business records
  • Permanent resident card, if student is not a U.S. citizen
  • List of colleges student is interested in attending

In addition to grants, the FAFSA application may also provide an opportunity for low-interest loans.  Current high school seniors, college students, and any adult 18 years of age or older interested in attending college should apply to be considered for grants and scholarships.

Also be aware that the California Dream Act is now available for students who meet the AB540 waiver eligibility requirement.  For more
information, go to

For information about the local workshops, call the Central Coast Cal-SOAP office at 1-805-922-6966 [or toll free 1-866-DIAL AHC (342-5242)], ext. 3710.

For additional information on Cal Grants, log on to or call toll-free (888) CA-GRANT (224-7268).

- AHC -


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Last Modified Jun 8, 2018