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Financial Aid Overview

<<< STEP 3: UNDERSTANDING THE TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE

Benefits for Special Groups

Besides the Educational Opportunity Program, there are other financial assistance and programs benefiting special groups.

Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Veterans, and Their Dependents

Federal educational benefits
There are a variety of programs that provide benefits to veterans and/or active duty members of U.S. Armed Forces. The most notable programs are the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, Montgomery G.I. Bill, and Vocational Rehabilitation. For more complete information on this and other programs and services, go to www.gibill.va.gov or call toll-free (800) 827-1000. Eligible active, National Guard, and Reserve service members may qualify for the Department of Defense Military Tuition Assistance (MilTA). For more information about MilTA go to www.militaryonesource.mil/voluntary-education.

State Educational Benefits
The California Department of Veterans Affairs administers a college fee waiver program for children and dependents of service-connected disabled veterans or service-related deceased veterans. Under the program, mandatory system wide fees may be waived at any UC, CSU, or California Community College. Contact the County Veterans Service office (listed in the phone book under County Government Offices), your college's Office of Veterans Affairs, or the California Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-952-5626.

Surviving Dependent of Law Enforcement or Fire Prevention Personnel

Children of California city, county, or state law enforcement or fire prevention personnel who were killed or who died as a result of active duty are eligible for registration fee waivers (also known as Alan Patee Scholarships) at any California public institution of higher education. You need to provide verification documentation, such as a letter from the law enforcement or fire prevention retirement benefits administrator, a birth certificate, and death certificate. Contact your school registrar's office for more information.


Foster Youth

Students who are in the foster care system (or who were formerly in the foster care system) may qualify for special assistance. One opportunity for California students is the Chafee Grant program administered by the California Student Aid Commission.

Most CSU campuses also offer support services and other assistance to former foster youth. Information is typically included on the campus website and located by searching for foster youth.

Disabled Students

Disabled students who meet the academic qualifications for a college should apply for admission and if needed, financial aid.

All public schools and colleges, and many independent schools, provide disabled student services. Benefits may include counseling, tutoring, readers, interpreters, note takers, special parking zones, and loan of special equipment. You may also request that a class be relocated to a more accessible place on campus.

Your student budget, as calculated by the college, should include all educational expenses necessary to accommodate your disability. Be sure to work with your financial aid office if you apply, so they understand your particular circumstances.

For more information, contact the campus' Services for Students with Disabilities office, the national organizations serving your particular disability, or the nearest office of the California Department of Rehabilitation (www.dor.ca.gov/dor-locations/).

If you have a disability severe enough to interfere with getting a job, but not so severe that you cannot work at all, you may be eligible for vocational training assistance from the California Department of Rehabilitation. Benefits may include help with tuition and fees, books, tools, special equipment, and transportation. Those with the most severe disabilities are served first.

Hearing-impaired individuals with a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf may contact the California Student Aid Commission at TDD (916) 526-8988. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education offers a free cassette recording of financial aid information. Call (800) 4-FED-AID or TDD (800) 730-8913.

For information on benefits for service-disabled veterans, call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000.

Native Americans

Native American students who can document membership in a federally recognized tribe may receive education grants from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). If you're a member of a California tribe, contact the Bureau's Office of Indian Education, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825, (916) 978-6000.

Athletes

Athletes considering a National Collegiate Athletic Association college should contact the NCAA for information on college recruiting rules, grade point average, and testing requirements. Visit their website (Academics and Athletes section) or write to the NCAA at 700 W. Washington St., P.O. Box 6222, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206, or call (317) 917-6222.

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