Financial Planning

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A Saint Mary's Education is Financially Within Reach

When we see your potential as a student, we pledge to help make your educational dreams come true! Over 90 percent of Saint Mary’s students receive some form of financial aid. Enabling students to access a Saint Mary’s education is part of our commitment to individual attention and a part of our Lasallian heritage.

The average Saint Mary’s financial aid package was approximately $36,780 for the 2020–21 academic year.

How to Pay for College: A Team Effort


It Starts With You

1. Do your best to maintain a high-achieving GPA in order to qualify for merit-based scholarships. Typically, first-year students enter Saint Mary’s with an average GPA of 3.6.

2. Apply for additional Saint Mary’s Scholarships.

3. Research and apply for as many outside scholarships as you can.
Saint Mary's Recommended Scholarships
Scholarship Search Websites That Work

4. If you live in California, submit the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to your school’s Registrar.

5. It’s never too early to start saving for college expenses. Some options include applying for a part-time job or joining a local organization that may offer college funding opportunities. These can include libraries, community centers, churches, and volunteer service organizations.


Your Family and Support System

1. If your family is able to start a tax-free educational savings account, such as a 529 college savings plan, they should do so as early as possible. Plans like these allow for extended family and friends’ contributions as well.

2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between six months and one year before you plan to attend college. In order to calculate financial need, the FAFSA will request parent/guardian tax info from the year prior. For example, if you plan to attend college in Fall 2021, you can fill out the 21-22 FAFSA in Fall 2020 and include your parents’ 2019 tax information. The application opens on October 1, and the priority deadline is February 15. The FAFSA is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. Nationals, and Permanent Residents, as well as eligible non-citizens.

3. After your FAFSA is processed, you’ll receive an email about the federal Student Aid Report (SAR). Review the SAR to learn your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the applicant. The EFC is what the federal government expects your family/support system to contribute toward your college expenses. It’s used to determine how much financial aid a student is eligible to receive for any college.



How Saint Mary's Supports You

1. We will review your FAFSA and Cal Grant (California residents only) data and academic information.

2. After you’ve been admitted, we create the best possible financial aid award package for you that includes:

  • Automatic consideration for merit scholarships up to $30,000 (based on your academic achievements).
  • Scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study (based on your financial need).

3. The SMC Business Office offers payment plans so students and families can pay as they go.

4. Financial Aid Services offers educational resources on student and parent loans, as well as financial literacy programs designed to help students with money management.