Application Process

Complete the FAFSA or CA Dream Application

Students must complete one of the following financial aid applications:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA

The FAFSA is the application students complete to be considered for federal, state and institutional aid.  To be eligible, you must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, Lawful Permanent Resident, or Eligible Non-Citizen.

Use it to apply for federal student financial aid, such as grants, loans, and work-study. Students must file a new FAFSA each academic year.

California Dream Act Application

California residents who cannot complete the FAFSA should complete the California Dream Act Application to be considered for state and institutional aid.  To be eligible, you must:

  • NOT be eligible to file the FAFSA
  • Be a California Resident
  • Be eligible for AB540 status*


*For more information on AB540 visit the Admissions, Residency page.

For both applications apply between October 1 and March 2 for priority status. After March 2, awards will consist of the remaining available funds. New applicants for Cal Grants (including entering freshmen) must submit a GPA Verification Form as well as the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application by the March 2 deadline.

No separate application needed for Cal Poly Scholarships. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or California Dream Act Application by March 2 for full scholarship and financial aid consideration.

To ensure Cal Poly receives a copy of your FAFSA data, list Cal Poly and the Title IV School Code 001143 on the college release section.

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