The number of California college students looking for financial aid is on the rise.

A record number of students across the state are signing up for college financial aid. 

The U.S. Department of Education says over the last six years, the number of California residents applying for federal financial aid rose almost 74 percent.  

Patti Colston is a spokeswoman for the California Student Aid Commission. 

"Incrementally, the amount of students who have applied for financial aid in the state of California has increased almost 24 percent every year since the 2008-2009 academic year," Colston said. 

She says while tuition skyrocketed at California State Universities and University of California campuses during the recession, schools during that time offered more grants and scholarships to soften the financial blow.