Department of Education videos:

Watch this helpful video to learn what you should know before taking out a student loan!

Financial Aid FAQ

I am not a high school graduate.  Can I still get financial aid?

Students without high school diplomas who are 18 years old can qualify for financial aid if they have a GED or another high school proficiency certificate, such as the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).  For more information go to

How do I know how much financial aid I will get?

You can use to get an estimate of how much aid you might receive from the U.S. Department of Education.

How do I know what my payments will be?

You can estimate your payments by using a student loan calculator like:


Financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).


Borrowed money for college or career school.  This money must be repaid, usually with interest.

What Should You Know Before Taking Out a Student Loan?

empowering California's foster youth to make fully-informed decisions about their college options


There are different kinds of financial aid: 


This is a federal program through which you work to earn money to help you pay for school.