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Inland Empire

Cash for College

The state of California’s Cash for College (C4C) program was launched in 2002 with the help of private foundations and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to help youth access the information and resources needed to enroll in higher education, which ultimately fuels California’s economic prosperity. To support the statewide initiative, GIA employs a full-time Inland Empire C4C coordinator (Julissa Loza Mendez) to facilitate local training and support. The Inland Empire C4C Program aims to increase the number of local students who successfully complete the financial aid process and enroll in college.

C4C programs and workshops promote various financial aid opportunities, including grants, scholarships, work-study jobs, and loans. Financial aid workshops cover a range of opportunities including Cal-Grant, Middle-Class scholarships, Programs for Foster Youth, California Dream Act Application (CADAA), and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

GIA’s goal is to expand regional C4C outreach through partnerships with local high schools and postsecondary institutions. Workshops and training are being offered directly to students throughout the region. GIA also supports a train-the-trainer model where school counselors, student advocates, student outreach coordinators, and community partners who work directly with students can become certified C4C trainers at their institutions.

Financial Aid Resources for Students and Educators

Take advantage of GIA’s resources and workshops to help support students in their postsecondary journey. Find numerous resources to help plan and pay for college, including scholarships for undocumented students. Interested individuals can also sign up for Cash for College workshops to help navigate financial aid opportunities. Explore some of the resources by clicking the buttons below.

Training Opportunities For Those Who Work with Students

GIA is excited to announce that starting in December the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will be hosting live office hours to help increase the number of students who successfully complete the financial aid process and enroll in college.

Office hours are available to teachers, counselors, staff, faculty, or anyone who works with students and may have specific financial aid questions. A CSAC trainer will be available at each office hour session to answer questions one-on-one.

January Office Hours:
Tuesday – 1/24: 2-3pm
Wednesday –  1/25: 10-11am
Tuesday – 1/31: 10-11am

Get Certified to Host Cash for College Workshops

Do you want to refresh your financial aid skills and knowledge? Join GIA and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) for a Financial Aid Train the Trainer Certification Webinar.

This training provides attendees with the tools and resources necessary to host local financial aid workshops to assist students and families with completing financial aid applications.

Upon completion, participants will become CSAC-Certified Trainers. By being certified, you can help students with their financial aid application and have the opportunity to host your own Cash For College Workshop.

Find a Financial Aid Workshop Near You

Now you can attend a free financial aid workshop for help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act (CADAA) and Chafee Grant for Foster Youth applications.

Find the closest financial aid workshop near you!

Workshop information can be found by searching for city, zip, time, date, or workshop name. Click ‘Learn More’ to register for a workshop and discover what you’ll need to bring.

A new Inland Empire Cash for College website is underway and expected to be launched in Fall of 2023. Please subscribe to GIA’s email newsletter for updates. If you are interested in learning more or partnering with GIA’s Cash for College Program, please get in touch with Julissa Loza Mendez, Coordinator of Network Engagement, at [email protected] or Ida Hermosillo, Director of Network Engagement, at [email protected].

resources for action

IEstudents.org Website

We have a page dedicated to Financial Aid on the IEStudents.org website.

Visit: https://iestudents.org/financial-support-for-college/

    Financial Aid Checklist

    A helpful financial aid checklist for high school Juniors and Seniors provided by the California Student Aid Commission.

    Visit: https://www.csac.ca.gov/pod/financial-aid-checklist

    FAFSA Resource Library

    A full-suite of resources related to FAFSA completion provided by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN).

    Visit: https://www.ncan.org/page/FAFSA_Resource_Library

    Race to Submit Dashboard

    Review data for FAFSA completion data across the state of California including an easy search tool for specific districts and school sites.

    Visit: https://webutil.csac.ca.gov/dashboard/

    Financial Aid Calculator

    Net price calculators for California Colleges provided by the California Student Aid Commission.

    Visit: https://www.csac.ca.gov/post/calculators-0

    Important Dates & Deadlines

    Dates and deadlines updates from the California Student Aid Commission.

    Visit: https://www.csac.ca.gov/post/important-dates-and-deadlines

    Find a Cash for College Workshop

    Students and families can attend FREE Cash for College workshops across California for help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act (CADAA) and Chafee Grant for Foster Youth applications. If you are interested in attending, hosting, or promoting a Cash-for-College event, visit: https://www.cash4college.csac.ca.gov.

    Here you can search for workshops by location, zip code, school name and county.

    Guide to Filling out the FAFSA

    A downloadable, easy-to-follow guide from Form Your Future that clearly explains the FAFSA process and answers the most common questions asked by students and parents from lower-income backgrounds.

    Visit: https://formyourfuture.org/the-guide/

    Financial Aid Toolkit

    The Financial Aid Toolkit from the U.S. Department of Education provides federal student aid information and outreach tools for counselors, college access professionals, nonprofit members, and other advisors.

    Visit: https://financialaidtoolkit.ed.gov/tk/?_ga=2.84453337.1563174876.1592139205-849197708.1591899721

    Priority Populations for the Initiative

    Inland Empire K-12 Schools and Postsecondary Insititutions

    All students in K-12 and postsecondary schools throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

    Emphasis on Black, Latinx, Indegenous, and historically underserved student groups.

      Connection to GIA's Regional Goals
      1. Increase Educational Attainment, with specific emphasis on accelerating success for historically marginalized students
      Initiative Partners
      • Education Leaders
      • K-12 Schools
      • Postsecondary Insititutions
      • California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)
      Initiative Contact Person(s)

      Julissa Loza Mendez, Coordinator of Network Engagement

      [email protected]

      Ida Hermosillo, Director of Network Engagement

      [email protected]

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