Filling Out FAFSA? Remember to check your eligibility for free money for college from the State of California with CalKIDS

It’s that time of the year for high school seniors to prepare for college expenses by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This document is completed by almost 18 million students each year and can open the door to federal and state student aid.  In the 2024-2025 application, aka Better FAFSA, there are some changes to this process, which are outlined here.

When you are completing the form, please consider this: your student may already have up to $1,500 in an account funded by the state of California. These accounts are part of the California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS).

Under the program, each California public school student from a low-income family, as defined by the Local Control Funding Formula, receives $500. This can increase to up to $1,500 for some especially vulnerable students.

The money must be spent on postsecondary education, which includes both college and career training. Items covered include tuition, books, computers, and other expenses.

But to use these funds, parents or guardians need to claim their child’s account. It’s easy to do. Full details are at

CalKIDS brings greater equity to our society by opening higher education opportunities to families that have often been left out.

Research has proven that even a small amount of college savings can transform a child’s future. Children in families with low-to-moderate incomes are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate than children without an account.

Please help us spread the word to families in your schools. With college expenses continually rising, $500 could be a big help.

In partnership with CalKIDS.