Just like classes, you need to apply for financial aid each year — October 1st is the first day FAFSA and California Dream Act applications are accepted. Applying is free, and you can even apply before you have registered for classes. Submit your application as soon as possible to increase your chance of receiving awards; some aid is first come first served. Need help? Application workshops are held year-round. Everyone should apply for financial aid, even if you do not think you are eligible.