Cal Grant is a financial aid program administrated by the California Student Aid Program in California that provides aid to California undergraduates, vocation training students, and those in teacher certification programs. Cal Grants are the largest source of California state aid . Cal Grant gives funds to students who meet grade point average and parent income requirements. Cal Grant applicants must file FAFSA to determine eligibility. Up to $9,700 a year is available to qualifying students3 which can be applied to tuition, room and board, or books and other supplies. Students applying for the Cal Grant must submit the FAFSA anytime between 1 January and 2 March along with the Cal Grant GPA verification form3. The student must be a graduating, or recently graduated, high school senior from California or have recently obtained their GED. For students that do not have a high school GPA to submit(such as students that were homeschooled, attended charter school or have a GED) they may substitute their GED, ACT, or SAT scores.
• Submit the FAFSA and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
• Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (your parents don’t need to be citizens or eligible noncitizens)
• Be a California resident when you graduated from high school
• Have a Social Security number
• Attend a qualifying California college
• Not have a bachelor’s or professional degree (except for Cal Grant A and B extended awards for a teaching credential program)
• Have financial need based on your college costs
• Have family income and assets below the established ceilings
• Meet any minimum GPA requirements
• Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
• Be enrolled at least half time
• Have registered with U.S. Selective Service (most males)
• Not owe a refund on a state or federal grant, or be in default on a student loan
Types of Cal Grants3
Cal Grant A: This award may be applied to tuition and other fees at public or private colleges for students working towards an associate's or bachelor's degree. The grant covers $2,772 at Cal State schools and $6,636 at UC schools. Up to $9,708 is given to students attending a private school.
Cal Grant B: This award is given to low income students as a living allowance and partial tuition assistance. First year students are given up to $1,551 for books and living expenses; after that the awards are the same as Cal Grant A. To be eligible for this grant the student must be engaging in at least one academic year of courses.
Cal Grant C: This award provides assistance for tuition at occupational or career colleges. $576 is available for books and equipment and $2,592 is available for any school besides a community college. The vocational program must be at least four months in length but not more than two years.
Cal Grant A Competitive Award: For students that did not qualify for the regular Cal Grant A, this award is available but not guaranteed to all that meet the minimum eligibility requirements. The student must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be from a low to middle income family. This award helps with tuition and fees at qualifying schools with programs of more than two years.
Cal Grant B Competitive Award: Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and are from a disadvantaged or low income family. The money may be used for tuition and access costs at eligible schools with programs of more than one year in length. The first year, this grant can only be used for access costs like living expenses, transportation, supplies and books. Starting with the second year, this award may also be applied to tuition.