NOTICE: This website is no longer updated, as the Decade of Difference initiative has reached its sunset date. Relevant information has been transferred to the main HCOE site.

FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes the path to higher education can be daunting. Go! Beyond High School is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions that we receive regularly through our financial aid nights and cash for college events. These are questions from students and parents that hopefully will be what you’re looking for. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed here, please call (707) 445-7020.

FAQ Categories

FAFSA/Dream Act Specifics =After Filing Cal Grants




FAFSA/Dream Act Specifics

1. Don't I make too much money to apply?

  • Need-based aid vs Merit-based aid
  • Access to institutional scholarships & grants (merit) only possible w/FAFSA application at most schools

2. Why is the deadline so early?

  • March 2nd is PRIORITY deadline for Cal Grants
  • FAFSA for CA connected to that

3. Do I have to apply by March 2nd?

  • No, BUT priority filing allows for maximum amount of aid for student.

4. How can I know ahead of time what my EFC will be?

  • Every college is required to provide on their website a tool called “Net Price Calculator” that helps you determine your estimated EFC.
  • is a tool that will help you determine your approximate EFC.

5. Can I fill out both the FAFSA and Dream Act applications?

  • No, you can only fill out one or the other, but not both.





After Filing

1. What if my financial situation changes? (i.e., major loss of income, etc.)

  • “Special Circumstances” is something to explore with your financial aid office at the college you plan to attend.

2. What is the EFC?

  • Estimated Family Contribution: the amount of money the government calculates you and your family could reasonably contribute toward the cost of your education for the school year.

3. How are we notified of the next steps?

  • Notification comes within 3-5 days if email is provided; 2-3 weeks if no email is listed.

4. What is SAR (Student Aid Report)?

  • Summary of the information provided on the FAFSA.
  • Must be reviewed for accuracy and corrected, if necessary. Make sure all the information: legal name, date of birth, SSN, etc., is accurate.
  • Can be updated and returned online for fastest processing of the application.
  • Don’t leave spaces blank. Put in a zero if there is nothing to report for that question.




Cal Grants

1. Are Cal Grants only for California schools?

  • Yes, Cal Grants are for use at eligible colleges, universities and career technical schools in California.
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