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APPLY TODAY: Cash for College

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California is leading a statewide campaign to support students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and has extended the application deadline for state financial aid programs to May 2, 2024.

SACRAMENTO – With fewer high school students across the country filing for federal student aid so far this year, California is promoting a statewide campaign to mobilize local partners and engage high school seniors in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

From tuition to textbooks and other costs of attendance, financial aid is essential to making college more accessible and supporting student success.

In light of delays and issues impacting the federal rollout of the 2024-25 FAFSA, Governor Gavin Newsom in March signed an urgency measure by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) to support students navigating the process by extending the application deadline for state financial aid programs from April 2 to May 2.

Students bound for four-year institutions should complete the FAFSA or CADAA by the May 2 priority deadline to be eligible for various state financial aid programs, including the Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship. For community college students and foster youth, the deadline is September 3, 2024.


The Governor issued the following letter highlighting the state’s outreach efforts to ensure students don’t leave money on the table for college, including financial aid workshops scheduled across the state through May 2 for students, high school counselors and other partners.

A copy of the Governor’s letter can be found here and the text is below:

2024-25 Race to Submit: Cash for College

California is committed to helping students – our future leaders and innovators – pursue their college dreams and reach their full career potential. Financial aid helps hundreds of thousands of students in our state to achieve their higher education goals, and it’s critical that everyone who could benefit has the opportunity to enroll. The first step in accessing financial aid is timely submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which unlocks federal, state and institutional aid.

This year, California passed an urgency measure to extend the application deadline for state financial aid programs from April 2 to May 2, meaning students have an additional month to submit their FAFSA by the state’s priority deadline. This action was taken to help students who have been impacted by challenges in the federal rollout of changes to the FAFSA.

The California Department of Education and the California Student Aid Commission are teaming up with local partners throughout the state to offer financial aid workshops for students, counselors and others in the community, among other resources to support outreach and training.

We’ll keep working with partners throughout the state to get the word out and help students and their families unlock these crucial opportunities to get them on the path to college success.


Governor Gavin Newsom

Click here to learn more about changes to the FAFSA and CADAA this year.