SAN JOSE -- Despite needing and qualifying for financial aid, many California high school seniors do not apply for federal and state college aid, a study indicates.
Data analyzed by the Oakland-based advocacy group Ed Trust-West shows that only 54 percent of high school seniors in public schools completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, required to received federal aid, for the 2012-13 school year. Only 50 percent of seniors completed the application for Cal Grants, the state financial aid program.
The study breaks down applications by schools and district. In Santa Clara County, completion rates of the federal application ranged from 81 percent of seniors at KIPP San Jose Collegiate down to 37 percent at Live Oak in Morgan Hill and 34 percent at Overfelt in San Jose.
In San Mateo County, the completion rates for the federal application ranged from 64 percent at Mills in San Mateo to 22 percent at East Palo Alto Academy.
Students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for aid such as grants, work-study jobs and student loans. The deadline for the CalGrants application is Monday.
According to the report, schools with high application rates are proactive in informing students and parents about the applications.
The report and data are available at http://financialaid.edtrustwest.org/.
-- Sharon Noguchi, staff