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 receive 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 Contra Costa County, completion rates of the federal application ranged from 89 percent at Middle College High in San Pablo and 61 percent at Dougherty Valley High down to 36 percent at Richmond High.

In Alameda County, the completion rates for the federal application ranged from 75 percent at Aspire College Prep in Berkeley to 38 percent at Coliseum College Prep in Oakland.

Students must complete the FAFSA application 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



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