Financial Aid for College

Financial Aid Resources

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We recommend that ALL graduating seniors and their families complete the FAFSA. Whether you think you qualify or not for federal aid, many colleges, universities, and organizations use the information from your FAFSA to determine whether you receive an award from them. You can start your application beginning OCTOBER 1st, and we encourage you to apply early. Some awards are given on a "first come, first serve" basis so if you wait, you may miss an opportunity. The FAFSA website is comprehensive and if you need help, you can talk to someone "live" while online. Apply online at

**On the FAFSA, AOC students should indicate that they will be a "first year/attended college before" when asked about grade level. Students applying to at least 1 California school should put a California school in the FIRST spot on the college list in order to be considered for a CalGrant. If you don't put a CA school first, you won't be considered for a CalGrant.**

FAFSA4caster provides basic information and helps you estimate your eligibility for federal student aid. 

CalGrants are funded by the State of California for students who will attend a qualifying California college (includes COC), university or career or technical school. You must FIRST apply for a FAFSA in order to apply for a Cal Grant. The Hart District will submit GPA verification directly to the Student Aid Commission by the October 1st deadline. You do NOT need to bring a paper verification form to the school. Students applying to at least 1 California school should put a California school in the FIRST spot on the college list in order to be considered for a CalGrant. If you don't put a CA school first, you won't be considered for a CalGrant. March 2nd is the deadline--don't wait to start the FAFSA so you can meet this deadline.

The CSS Financial Aid Profile  is a College Board fee-based service that some colleges and universities require you to complete to apply for non-federal financial aid and scholarship programs. Before completing the application, check the Admission's or Financial Aid Office's website for each school to which you applied to verify if it is necessary. There is a fee for this service.

StudentAid.Gov is a U.S. Department of Education website. For pdf documents and how to videos, go to their resources page.

US Dept of Education College Affordability and Transparency Center  shows the actual cost of attending specific colleges including tuition, fees, books, etc. The College Scorecards are accessed through this site.

Net Price Calculator Center Federal law requires colleges and universities to provide prospective students a way to figure out their financial aid eligibility and "net price calculators" are the most common tool. Net price calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account. There isn't one "calculator" and some are easier to use than others. This link takes your to the federal government's search engine. Enter the name of the school and your result will most likely open in a new tab showing a page linked to the school's website.

California State University (CSU) Financial Information

CA Make Money Choices Budgeting Activity

COC Financial Aid Office Website 

California College Promise GrantOnce students graduate from AOC, they will no longer receive the fee waiver for COC tuition and will have to pay $46 (2019-20 cost) a unit for their classes. Students who want to take COC classes in the summer AFTER graduation AND who may qualify for the California College Promise Grant, have to apply for the FAFSA during their senior year since summer is included in that school year.  For example, Summer 2020 counts in the 2019-20 school year. This means you have to do 2 FAFSAs. To learn more about the California College Promise Grant and eligibility requirements, go to

FastWeb is one of the largest FREE searchable scholarship databases.

FinAid offers comprehensive financial aid information on everything from scholarships to grants and loans.

GoingMerry is a free scholarship finding service inspired by what the Common App® has done for college applications to make it easier for students to find and apply for scholarships. Academy of the Canyons has its own GoingMerry school page showing local, regional, and national scholarships. 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is the professional organization for the people at colleges and universities who handle financial aid.

Raise.Me  is a charitably funded organization where students can earn guaranteed scholarships from 250+ colleges as early as 9th grade, making it easier to plan financially for school. Funders of include the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Facebook’s charitable giving. National youth organizations partnering with include the National Speech & Debate Association, College Summit, Close Up Foundation, and VolunTEEN Nation, among others. Starting in 9th grade, students can be eligible to start earning scholarships for their achievements in and out of the classroom, like getting good grades, having perfect attendance, leadership roles, participating in sports & clubs, community service, test scores, and more. Go to for more information.

Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation has been recognizing and rewarding the achievements of graduating seniors of the William S Hart Union High School District since 1951.

Scholarship Finder--free search tool through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Scholarships.Com is a free scholarship database.

Tuition Funding Sources is a private website with a large scholarship database.

University of California (UC) Financial Information

Western Undergraduate Exchange provides information about the requirements and procedures for getting your tuition REDUCED at specific schools in western states.

Click on the document below for the Financial Aid Presentation for 2019-20 given by COC Office of Financial Aid on October 3, 2018.
FinAid 101 Presentation from the National Association for College Admission Counseling
The two lists below are OLD and some of the information is out of date and inaccurate; however, they do provide a thorough list of scholarships to research to get up to date information and links to websites.