California mandates FAFSA for graduation – here’s everything you need to know


Abigail Roedersheimer, News Editor

A new requirement for graduation has been added by the state of California — students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. 

The FAFSA awards roughly $112 billion to students each year, $3.75 billion of which went unclaimed last year. In an attempt to encourage students to claim this money, California joined Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, New Hampshire, Colorado, Illinois and Alabama by instating this requirement.

In reaction to this, Laguna Beach High School’s College and Career Center (CCC) plans to offer a financial aid course called “CCGI” on Beachport for seniors that will help them get all of their paperwork in order. 

In addition, the CCC will be holding a FAFSA hands-on workshop on Oct. 20; the registration can be found on all students’ Canvas page.

Mrs. Patty Tacklind, the scholarship and financial aid specialist at the CCC, indicates that once a student has their required paperwork in order, the FAFSA only takes about an hour to fill out. 

“There are so many different ways to afford college,” said Tacklind. “People should apply to the FAFSA. They probably will be awarded more than they expected.”

While students can waive the requirement, filling out the FAFSA opens the door for an array of other scholarships, including some the over 120 offered for the class of 2023 through the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation and academic (merit) based scholarships at some schools. 

The deadline for UC and Cal State schools is March 2, and the portal for this year’s FAFSA opens Oct. 1st.