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All families should submit a FAFSA regardless of their financial status, or the college they plan to attend.

In California, undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 should also complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). The CDA allows those students to receive financial aid such as private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. The CDA also allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California.

The FAFSA/CADAA filing period for 12th grade students opened Oct. 1, 2019 and the deadline to submit the application is Mar. 2, 2020. Students are encouraged to file their applications early. 


The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds, based on FAFSA applications, assisting 13 million students in completing their education.

But filling out the FAFSA and CADAA application can be a confusing, complex process. The San Diego County Office of Education, and school counselors across the region, have launched the SDCOE Race to Submit to encourage local students and families to complete these important applications.

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