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Affording College

Pacifica is committed to preparing its students for college, but the financial landscape is understandably a significant factor in the final decision making process.  It is critical that students and families are aware of the resources available when it comes to paying for college.  Below we have listed some websites with information about costs, scholarships, financial aid, and college financing.

It is important to note that despite rising sticker costs, affording college can still be a realistic endeavor.  Do not let the price tag discourage you from applying to a particular school, but also be sure to balance your college list with schools that could provide better financial aid opportunities.

We apologize, but we do not accept requests for additions to the site. 


Federal Student Aid » Part of the U.S. Department of Education and the largest provider of student financial aid in the country.  Includes information about the types of aid, the FAFSA application, and repayment options.

FinAid » Free and comprehensive site covering all aspects of financial aid.

Project on Student Debt »  Major initiative of the Institute for College Access & Success.  Their mission is to “increase public understanding of rising student debt and the implications for our families, economy, and society.”  Contains information on loan trends as well as student debt statistics from individual colleges.

Sallie Mae » Provides private loans as well as general advice on managing financial aid.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) » California residents may be eligible to receive tuition discounts at various large public universities in the west.  Flagship state universities are generally not represented and students often have to satisfy additional requirements to receive the WUE rate.

Net Price Calculators » Colleges are required to provide net price calculators on their financial aid websites, which can be used to estimate your actual cost of attending a particular school.  If you are having difficulty navigating through financial aid websites, College Results Online provides direct links to each college’s Net Price Calculator. 


FAFSA » The free federal form required by all colleges.  You may obtain a pin number in the fall and complete the application after January 1.  Most colleges have FAFSA priority deadlines before March.

CSS Profile » An additional financial aid application from the College Board that is required by many private colleges and universities.  Check financial aid websites for the schools you’re interested in to see if the CSS Profile is required.  There is a $25 registration fee + $16 per school.


The following websites provide scholarship listings based on various qualifications.  The largest scholarships you receive will likely come from the colleges themselves, but smaller outside scholarships can help offset additional costs.  Many smaller scholarships go unclaimed, so it is in your best interest to apply to as many as possible.

Fastweb » 

Big Future by The College Board »

Cappex » 

FindTuition.com » 

Chegg (formerly Zinch) » 

The following scholarships are offered to students of diverse backgrounds:

The Gates Millennium Scholars » 

QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship » 

Office of College Counseling


At Pacifica, we believe that the college counseling process begins and ends with the students. It is our goal to demystify college admissions and help them find their voice in the process of discovering the ideal place for the next chapter of their story to unfold.

Ben Lah
Director of College Counseling

B.A. Economics, Pomona College
M.A. Postsecondary Education, Columbia

T: 310.828.7015 ext. 111

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