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Financial Aid

More Funding. Less Debt.

10,000 Degrees is committed to helping students from low-income backgrounds access the funding they need to realize their dreams of earning college degrees. Through our ongoing financial aid workshops and one-on-one support, students and families can learn first-hand about the many ways they can pay for college. In fact, through free state and federal financial aid, including grants and scholarships, 10,000 Degrees students receive on average $16,000 in non-loan aid, resulting in 80% less student loan debt than their peers nationally.

Help for Students & Families

Financial Aid Workshops

Learn about the financial aid process, deadlines, and how to pay for college. Workshops are hosted at local high schools. For more information, contact your College and Career Counselor.

“Cash for College” Support

Students and families can access this FREE professional help to make sure they successfully complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream application.

Undergraduate Scholarships

10,000 Degrees proudly provides scholarships to students with significant financial need who exhibit a strong desire to go to college. Learn more

Required for 10,000 Degrees Students

Students who wish to apply for the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarship must first fill out the FAFSA OR California DREAM ACT application.

Eligible students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) BEFORE completing the 10,000 Degrees application.

The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  To complete the FAFSA, students will need their own current or previous year’s tax return, W-2’s, and other financial information – students will also need their parents’ current or previous year’s tax return, W-2’s, and other financial information. The annual FAFSA deadline to submit is March 2; however, we strongly recommend students complete the FAFSA as early as possible. Upon completing the FAFSA, students will be provided with their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – students will be asked to supply their EFC when filling out the 10,000 Degrees application. All financial data submitted are subject to verification.

If you are not eligible to file the FAFSA, you must fill out the California Dream Act Application, if eligible.

The California Dream Act application is available online at www.caldreamact.org. To complete the California Dream Act application, students will need their own current or previous year’s tax return, W-2’s, and other financial information – students will also need their parents’ current or previous year’s tax return, W-2’s, and other financial information.  As with the FAFSA, the annual California Dream Act deadline to submit is March 2; however, we strongly recommend students complete the FAFSA as early as possible. All financial data submitted are subject to verification.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is available through the U.S. Department of Education, the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. At the office of Federal Student Aid, our more than 1,300 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college or career school. Students must fill out the FAFSA form in order to apply for federal and state student assistance. Many colleges and universities, especially public institutions, also require the FAFSA.

Learn more: https://fafsa.ed.gov/


What is the Expected Family Contribution on the FAFSA?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of a family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Each family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula.


What is the California Dream Act?

The California Dream Act Application allows students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Learn  more: https://dream.csac.ca.gov/


What is a Pell Grant?

Federal Pell Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.

Learn more: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/pell

What is FSEOG?

In oder to receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), students must be eligible to receive a Pell Grant and have exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFCs will be the first to get FSEOGs. Just like Pell Grants, FSEOGs don’t have to be paid back.

Learn more: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/fseog

What is the TEACH Grant?

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) supports undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate students who are currently or will be taking coursework necessary to become elementary or secondary teachers. Students must be enrolled at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant Program, agree to meet specific requirements, and sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.

Learn more: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach


What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study.


What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5%) loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Federal Perkins Loans are made through a school’s financial aid office – each college or university is the lender, and the loan is made with government funds. Students must repay this loan to their college or university.


What are Direct Stafford Loans?

Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) at participating schools.


What are Cal Grants?

Cal Grants assists with tuition and fees at public and independent colleges, and some occupational and career colleges. At the University of California and the California State University, the award covers up to full system-wide fees. Coursework must be for at least two academic years.


What is the California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth?

Free money for foster youth for college or career training.


What is the BOG waiver?

The Board of Governors Fee Waiver was created to provide access for California residents to Community Colleges so that the cost of enrollment would not be a barrier.


What is EOP?

The Educational Opportunity Program is designed to improve access and retention of historically low-income and educationally disadvantaged students.


What about loans?

Parents of dependent students may apply for private Direct PLUS Loans to help pay their child’s education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met.