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The Race to Submit Initiative

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 4, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:


The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the California Department of Education (CDE) invite you to participate in the statewide “Race to Submit” campaign to encourage all California high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). Filing financial aid applications is the first step towards college success and helps eligible students qualify for federal, state, and campus-based aid, as well as some private scholarships. The Race to Submit is based on the highly successful Riverside County initiative that increased FAFSA/CADAA completions countywide by approximately 35 percent over three years.

The Race to Submit is complete with a real-time dashboard located at that allows local communities to review their progress weekly and compare their high school, district, or county progress to that of other communities across the state. The goal of this initiative is to increase financial aid application completions, using a network of support.

During the application period, beginning October 1, 2017, and up until the March 2, 2018 Cal Grant deadline, each high school, district, and county can use the Race to Submit Dashboard to gauge the submission and completion of the FAFSA and CADAA, along with how many Cal Grants have been awarded to their students.

The Race to Submit Leaderboard will display all California high schools by the Top 10 completed application percentages, by six levels determined by the graduating class size. The top five schools at each level will be recognized by the California Student Aid Commission. The Race to Submit campaign will celebrate the progress and success of all schools and districts that make significant strides in FAFSA and CADAA completion between October 1, 2017 and March 2, 2018. Locations for free Cash for College Workshops are available at

We encourage you to communicate with your students and their families that the Race to Submit is on!

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact the California Student Aid Commission by phone at 916-464-8271 or the California Department of Education, College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office, Career and College Transition Division by phone at 916-323-6398.


Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Lupita Cortez Alcalá
Executive Director
California Student Aid Commission


Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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