2012 Eligibility Changes as a Result of the 2012 Budget Act

The recently enacted 2012 Budget Act and accompanying legislation made several important changes to the Cal Grant program.

Cal Grant Award Amounts

Certain Cal Grant maximum award amounts for new and renewal students are reduced for the 2012-13 academic year by 5% as follows:

  • Maximum Cal Grant A & B Tuition and Fee awards at private for-profit institutions will be reduced from $9,708 to $9,223*
  • Maximum Cal Grant A & B Tuition and Fee awards at independent institutions will be reduced from $9,708 to $9,223*
  • Maximum Cal Grant B Access awards will be reduced from $1,551 to $1,473
  • Maximum Cal Grant C Tuition and Fee awards will be reduced from $2,592 to $2,462
  • Maximum Cal Grant C Books & Supplies awards will be reduced from $576 to $547

* Renewal Cal Grant recipients already in attendance at an ineligible school may continue to use their Cal Grant at that school for the 2012-13 academic year only, but their award will be reduced by an additional 20%. The maximum Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B Tuition and Fee award for renewal Cal Grant recipients already in attendance at an ineligible school will be reduced from $9,223 to $7,380. The Cal Grant B Access award and Cal Grant C awards will not be further reduced from the amounts listed above. Beginning in 2013-14, renewal Cal Grant recipients who remain at ineligible schools will no longer be able to receive Cal Grant payments.

 In 2013-14, the maximum Cal Grant A & B Tuition and Fee awards for new students at private for-profit institutions will be reduced from $9,223 to $4,000.
  In 2013-14, the maximum Cal Grant A & B Tuition and Fee awards for new students at independent institutions will be reduced from $9,223 to $9,084.

School Eligibility

To participate in the Cal Grant Program, a California university or college must have an approved Institutional Participation Agreement with the California Student Aid Commission and meet certain requirements in California law.

THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA HAS PUT NEW ELIGIBILITY QUALIFICATIONS ON CAL GRANT PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS.

Qualifying schools must now

  • Keep their federal student loan Cohort Default Rate (CDR) below 15.5% to remain eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program. That means that 84.5% or more of the institutionís federal student loan borrowers must be successfully repaying their loans within 3 years of completing their certificates or degrees.
  • Keep their graduation rate above 30% to remain eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program. That means that more than 30% of an institutionís students are completing their certificate or degree within 150% of the published program length. For example,
    • Their graduates complete a 4-year BA or BS degree in 6 years or less.
    • Their graduates complete a 2-year Associate or Transfer degree in 3 years or less.
    • Their graduates complete a 6-month certificate in 9 months or less.
  • Only schools with more than 40% of their students borrowing federal student loans have to meet the CDR and graduation rate requirements.
  • A limited exception in law allows institutions that do not meet the graduation threshold to continue to be eligible through the 2016-17 academic year if their CDR is below 10% and their graduation rate is above 20%.

What schools meet the new CDR and graduation rate requirements?

  • All 10 UC campuses qualify.
  • All 23 CSU campuses qualify.
  • All 112 California Community Colleges qualify.
  • Many private 4-year and 2-year universities and colleges qualify.
  • Some private career and technical colleges qualify.

The Student Aid Commission has prepared lists of all Eligible Cal Grant Schools for 2012-13 and Ineligible Cal Grant Schools for 2012-13 , or you can search for eligible schools here.

Institutional Eligibility for Cal Grant Participation — Frequently Asked Questions

Program Changes
  • Students initially qualifying for both Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B , but awarded a Cal Grant B, may renew in subsequent years as a Cal Grant A if they do not meet the Cal Grant B financial need renewal requirements but do meet the Cal Grant A requirements.
  • Community College Transfer Entitlement Award recipients must have attended a community college in the academic year immediately preceding the year for which the award applies. However, the 2012 Budget Act made a one-time exception to permit students who attended a community college in the 2011-12 academic year to apply for a Transfer Entitlement award in 2012-13 or 2013-14.

To view a PowerPoint detailing these changes, please click the link below.