College and Careers

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Financial Aid for College

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money that is given, paid or loaned to you to help pay for college.

Financial Aid can be:

  • Grants: Free money that does not have to be paid back.
  • Scholarships: Free money awarded to students for academic achievement or many other special talents.
  • Work-study: Salary for students to work part-time during the school year, adding money to their financial aid package to help pay for their schooling.
  • Loan: Money that is borrowed and must be repaid with interest.

How do I apply for this money?

To apply for any money, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Application period is between January 1st and March 2nd of your senior year in high school. This is the priority deadline for consideration for the CAL Grants and other institutional awards.

Can I still receive scholarships if I am not a citizen?

Yes! The DREAM ACT allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities. AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.  Simply use the following DREAM ACT Application or visit for more information or to apply today.

How much does a college education cost?

Costs vary from institution to institution. Public institutions are usually less expensive than private institutions because they receive state and/or local support. Private colleges tend to charge more, because they receive less financial support from state and local government than public colleges.

  • Tuition: The amount of money that a college charges for instruction and the use of some facilities, such as libraries.
  • Fees: Charges that cover costs generally not associated with student’s course load (athletic activities, student activities, clubs and special events).
  • Other Expenses: Includes room and board (housing and food), books, transportation, supplies and other miscellaneous costs.

Resources for Choosing a Career


At Mapping Your Future you can explore careers, prepare for college (help with selecting a school and applying for admission), pay for college (financial aid), and manage your money (student loans and more).

The Occupational Outlook Handbook contains information on different jobs, including:  (1) the required training or education, (2) earnings, (3) expected job prospects, (4) what workers do on the job, and (5) working conditions.

What Do You Like?


What Do You Like?  This website allows students to identify subjects or areas of interest with potential careers.  If you’re not sure what you want to do, this might be the place to start.


Resources for Choosing a College

Use College Board's BigFuture to find colleges and more.




College Navigator


College Navigator provides information about schools, including “programs offered, retention and graduation rates, prices, aid available, degrees awarded, campus safety, and accreditation.

Resources for Scholarships and Financial Aid


Paying for College is provided by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard’s District Office.”  It includes information about scholarships, internships, and fellowships; you’ll also find suggested books and websites.

Annual Report 2010 - home banner

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) “works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. HSF has awarded over $330 million in scholarships over the past 36 years and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life.

"Honoring the legacy and character of our nation’s 40th President, the GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program rewards college-bound students who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship with financial assistance to pursue higher education.

Each year, the Program selects numerous recipients to receive a $10,000 scholarship renewable for up to an additional three years – up to $40,000 total per recipient. Awards are for undergraduate study only, and may be used for education-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, and board. In addition, Scholars are invited to participate in a special awards program."



The City of Commerce Scholarship Program is open to residents of the City of Commerce.  Applications may be accessed at the provided link.  The application form becomes available in January and is due in April each year.



Please see the file below for more scholarship resources and information.