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SMARTTRACK College Funding High School Initiative

The SMARTTRACK® College Funding High School Initiative provides La Salle families with free resources and discounted advanced services to help you plan ahead and pay less for college. Click here to create your free account and schedule your complimentary evaluation. You may be surprised to learn that you can significantly lower out-of-pocket costs, maximize grants and scholarships, and pay for college in a more tax-advantaged, cost-efficient way.

Financial Aid Based on Need

The majority of the student population in higher education today is receiving some kind of financial aid from colleges and/or state and federal governments based on need. As a general rule, if parents have a question about whether or not they would qualify for financial aid, they should go ahead and apply for it. Often families with large incomes do qualify, depending on other financial commitments (number of children in private schools, or in college, or medical bills, etc.)

1. Federal Aid – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed in order to receive any kind of need-based aid from the government, the state, or the college. The application opens on October 1st and it is recommended to have it submitted by December but no later than the priority deadline of March 1st. There is no fee to process this form. The FAFSA can be accessed online at the Department of Education website at www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The FAFSA is a federal form and is free. DO NOT USE "fafsa.com" this is a paid service.

2. State Aid – To be eligible for state aid (Cal Grant), a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by early March of the senior year in high school and must be applying to at least one California college. The GPA Verification Report is filed electronically by the Counseling Center for all seniors, so there is no need to complete the GPA Verification Form individually. There is no fee for the Cal Grant or the FAFSA.

3. Institutional Aid - In addition to the FAFSA, some private colleges require families seeking need-based aid to file the CSS PROFILE. The online first step of the financial aid form is accessed at: profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp. The CSS PROFILE should be filed as soon as possible. There is a fee for the CSS PROFILE registration and per college form.

Financial Aid Based on Merit and Special Qualifications

Colleges and universities, private organizations and companies provide scholarships based on merit and special qualifications. Like grants, scholarships are outright gifts of money that need not be repaid.

1. Colleges and Universities – By checking off appropriate boxes on the application form, a student lets a college know that he/she wants to be considered for an academic scholarship. Winning such an award depends on an outstanding high school record or an outstanding talent. Some institutions offer special scholarships in athletics or music, be sure to read each school's financial literature thoroughly.

2. Private Organizations and Companies – Numerous private organizations (Elks, Soroptimists, Rotarians, etc.) and companies (Target, Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Edison, etc.) offer scholarships. Some send applications to the college counseling office. The criteria may range from a superior academic record, to the excellence of a specific project or essay, to an unusual degree of volunteer involvement in the community. In addition, there are a number of competitions for scholarships available to students with special qualifications having to do with ethnic background, special talents, and religious beliefs. Many companies offer scholarships to children of employees.

DISCOVER LA SALLE

La Salle College Preparatory was founded in 1956. Today, we are the only truly diverse and co-educational Catholic high school in Pasadena.