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Financial Aid


Financial aid is money you qualify to use toward college expenses like tuition, room, board, books, supplies, transportation, etc. These expenses add up so the more aid you apply for and receive, the better!


This is money you qualify for based on either financial need or merit for college related expenses. You do NOT need to pay this back!

Grants, like Cal Grant and Federal Pell Grants,
are offered by the state and federal
government respectively, but there are limits to how much aid can be awarded.

-Cal Grants have additional merit-based requirements. CMHS sends GPA verification information automatically during your senior year, but you must claim your award online on WebGrants before the end of the school year.

We are required to explain this process to you and have an option for parents to "opt-out". This means that their child's G.P.A. would NOT be sent digitally through WebGrants. This process has nothing to do with college admission and deals only with the financial aid process.
Please complete this form to opt-out:
English form 
Spanish form

-Federal Pell Grants are based on need and are  managed by your school.


This is money you qualify for based on financial need to use for college-related expenses. These types of aid are NOT free. 

-Loans earn interest and must be repaid monthly beginning 6 months after you stop attending school. Loans can be financed by the government or private institutions, but interest rates are significantly lower for government loans. Government loans also are awarded in many forms. Private loans have high interest rates and require credit checks. These should be a LAST resort.

-Work-study funds make you eligible to work part-time, on-campus while you are in school. You only receive this money as you work a work-study eligible job. These jobs tend to be better paid and more flexible to accommodate college student schedules.

FAFSA and DREAM Act applications open on October 1st and priority submission closes March 2nd. (Early submission gives your more opportunities to be awarded money!)

  • FAFSA is for citizens & permanent residents.
  • Dream Act is for students who are undocumented/dreamers.
  • The Class of 2023 will use 2021 tax returns
  • The Class of 2024 will use 2022 tax returns
  • The Class of 2025 will use 2023 tax returns
  • The Class of 2026 will use 2024 tax returns

-College-Related Expenses - estimated cost of attending college while supporting an average college student lifestyle.
​​​​​​​-Need-Based - Funds offered due to financial hardship
-EFC (Expected Family Contribution) - Estimated money a family an contribute to college expenses.
-Interest - A percentage rate of money charged regularly for the use borrowed money. 

ex. I borrowed $1000 for a year at a 3% interest rate, so I will pay back $1030 for borrowing the money.

-External - Offered by organizations or companies not connected to your future college/university or current school.
-School-Based - Offered by college/university you plan to attend.


The Dream Act


The Pirates' Promise