What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students submit the FAFSA to apply for financial aid for college from the federal government, state governments and most colleges and universities. About 20 million students file the FAFSA each year. Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, student employment and student loans.
What is the CADAA?
The CADAA is the California Dream Act Application which allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) 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. Please note, this application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
See the pdf file below for a side-by-side comparison of FAFSA and CADAA, to know which is right for you.
Use the below checklist to gather the need materials to file your FAFSA or CADAA Application: