Cal Grant Program Summary

The Cal Grant Program is a state-funded educational opportunity grant program to assist students in paying for a college education. As a result of recent legislation (SB 1644), the existing Cal Grant program has been changed and additional grants have been added.

This document provides general guidelines for the new programs. For detailed legal descriptions, please refer to the California Education Code.

General Cal Grant Eligibility Requirements

All Cal Grant applicants must:

Be California residents
Be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
Meet U.S. Selective Service requirements
Attend an eligible California qualifying postsecondary institution
Be enrolled at least half-time
Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined at school of attendance
Have family income and assets below the established ceilings
Not be in default on any student loan
Not owe any federal or state grant refund



Entitlement awards are guaranteed for all students who meet program eligibility requirements.

Cal Grant A Entitlement Awards

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Provide grant funds to help pay tuition/fees for California residents at qualifying institutions offering undergraduate academic programs of not less than two academic years.
Awards are guaranteed for those who meet the program eligibility criteria.
If a student receives a Cal Grant A award but decides to attend a California Community College first, the student may choose to hold his or her award in reserve for up to two years.

Cal Grant B Entitlement Awards

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Provide grant funds for access costs for low-income students in an amount not to exceed $1,551. This grant is to be used for living expenses and expenses related to transportation, supplies and books. Beginning with the second year of Cal Grant B benefits, Cal Grant B also helps pay for tuition/fees for California residents attending qualifying institutions offering undergraduate academic programs of not less than one academic year.
Awards are guaranteed for those who meet the program eligibility criteria.

California Community College Transfer Entitlement Awards

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Beginning in 2002-03, these awards will be offered to California Community College students who were not awarded Cal Grant As or Cal Grant Bs within a year of graduating from high school but meet certain requirements at the time of transfer from California Community Colleges to qualifying institutions offering baccalaureate degree programs.
Awards are guaranteed for those who meet the program eligibility criteria.



The following awards, which are limited in number, are offered on a competitive basis and are not guaranteed.

Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards

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The Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards are to be used for the same purposes as the Cal Grant A and B Entitlements awards, except that they are not guaranteed. These awards will be offered on a competitive basis to those students who did not receive an entitlement award.
The number of new Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards to be issued each year is 22,500.
Competitive Cal Grant A awards are intended for students from low- and middle-income families. These awards provide grant funds to help pay tuition/fees for California residents at qualifying institutions offering undergraduate academic programs of not less than two academic years.
Competitive Cal Grant B awards are intended for students from disadvantaged and low-income families. These awards provide grant funds for access costs for low-income students in an amount not to exceed $1,551. This grant is to be used for living expenses and expenses related to transportation, supplies and books. Beginning with the second year of Cal Grant B benefits, Cal Grant B also helps pay for tuition/fees for California residents attending qualifying institutions offering undergraduate academic programs of not less than one academic year.

Cal Grant C Awards

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Assist students with tuition/fee and training costs for occupational or vocational programs.
Awards are for vocationally oriented students from low- and middle-income families.
Recipients are selected based on financial need and vocational aptitude and must be enrolled in a vocational program at a California Community College, independent college, or vocational school, in a course of study lasting from four months to two years.
The number of new Cal Grant C awards to be issued each year is 7,761.




For legal descriptions of the state aid programs, see the California Education Code.