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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid
An Office of the US Department of Education

As you prepare for college or career school, explore how financial aid works, learn about the types of aid, and find out if you’re eligible. You can also estimate what aid you may be eligible for when you check out Federal Student Aid Estimator.


Applying for Financial Aid

Federal student aid from ED covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid can also help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in whether they do!

Apply for federal student aid—grants, work-study, and loans—using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Learn more.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school. 

View FAFSA Deadlines.

Note: Starting with the Class of 2023, filling out the FAFSA is a graduation requirement. 

California Student Aid Commission

California Dream Act Application (CDAA)

The California Dream Act allows undocumented students, DACA recipients (valid or expired), U Visa holders and students under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), Senate Bill 2000 (SB 2000) and Senate Bill 68 (SB 68), to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. 

In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California. 

Check out some resources from the California Student Aid Commission for undocumented/Dreamer students filling out the California Dream Act Application. 

Related Information

CSAC Cash for College Logo

Students and families can attend free Cash for College Workshops across California for help completing the FAFSA, CADAA and Chafee Applications. 


Financial Aid Events

April 29, 2024: Districtwide Financial Aid Workshop 

Deadline to apply for financial aid was extended to May 2

All SMUHSD 12th graders and their families are invited to get in-person help with FAFSA or CADAA / Dream Act Applications on Monday, April 29.

Workshop details:

Monday, April 29, 6 - 8 p.m. at the San Mateo High School Library

Additional information:

  • As a reminder, it is a graduation requirement that you have to file for financial aid
  • No RSVP required - just show up!
  • Any student is welcome to attend any workshop, regardless of what school they attend.
  • A Spanish-speaking staff member will be on hand to help with the application process.
  • Please bring your school-issued Chromebook or a personal laptop
  • Students might need the following to complete their applications: tax returns, net worth of investments / businesses and current balances of cash and bank accounts.

Questions? Contact your school site's College, Career and Financial Aid Advisor. 

What you need to know about FAFSA

Contact Info


Talk to a College and Financial Aid Advisor at your school site. 

Visit your school site Financial Aid web page for information specific to your school site.