Step 5: What's Next

What can students expect after applying for financial aid

After submitting your FAFSA:
  • If you applied online: You will receive a link to your Student Aid Report by email in 2-3 days
  • If you applied using a paper application: You will receive your Student Aid Report by mail in 7-10 days
  • Upon receiving your Student Aid Report, you can make corrections or update your FAFSA information if needed
  • Be sure to respond to any requests for information from your colleges
  • Your financial aid award letter will vary depending on your college of choice, when you filed the FAFSA, and when you submitted any additional documents to the financial aid office
  • Compare your financial aid offers, if you applied to more than one college
  • Accept your aid online or by signing and returning your award letter
  • Receive your aid. Be sure to talk to your college financial aid office about your options and whether direct deposit, a debit card or a check is right for you. If you change your mind about how you would like to receive your award money, check with your financial aid office.
  • Attend entrance loan counseling if you have accepted a federal student loan

Make sure you contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend for additional information and to ask other questions.

How to enroll at a California community college:

  1. Apply
  2. Submit official transcripts (if applicable)
    • This may be required if you previously attended college or a trade school
  3. Activate your college account
    • You can do this after you receive an email with your college account activation instructions
  4. Complete your college's orientation process
    • You will find information on how to do this on your college's registration page
  5. Complete assessment
    • This is necessary to ensure your prerequisites are met for your classes
  6. Meet with a counselor
    • Set up an appointment with a counselor to define your goals and develop an education plan
  7. Register online
    • You can register online through your college account
  8. Pay your fees
    • It’s important to note that all fees are due upon registration, unless you received financial aid that covers them
  9. Get your student ID card
    • You can pick up your ID at your college’s Admissions and Records office

Steps may vary from college to college, so make sure to check with your college’s Admissions and Records office.


Financial Aid Office Locator

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