What is a Cal Grant?

A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back. To qualify, you must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.

There are three kinds of Cal Grants — A, B and C — but you don’t have to figure out which one to apply for. Your eligibility will be based on your FAFSA or CADAA responses, your verified Cal Grant GPA, the type of California colleges you list on your FAFSA and whether you’re a recent high school graduate. To learn more about the qualifications, go to Calgrants.org.

Headed to a four-year college?

Cal Grant A

  • will help pay for tuition and fees at four-year colleges
  • award amounts vary by type of college — for 2017-2018, Cal Grants are up to $12,630 at a University of California campus, up to $5,742 at a California State University campus, and up to $9,084 at independent colleges
  • has a GPA requirement. If you’re applying using your high school GPA, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA; if applying using your college GPA, you must have at least a 2.4 GPA
  • requires that your course of study leads directly to an associate or bachelor’s degree, or qualifies you for transfer from a community college to a bachelor’s degree program

Cal Grant B

  • provides a living allowance of up to $1,672, in addition to tuition and fee assistance after the first year, at a two- or four-year college
  • pays most first-year students a living allowance only, which may be used to pay living expenses, books, supplies and transportation, as well as tuition and fees
  • when renewed or awarded beyond your first year, you’ll receive the living allowance as well as a tuition and fee award (up to $12,630 at a UC campus, up to $5,742 at a CSU campus and up to $9,084 at independent colleges for 2017-2018)
  • requires at least a 2.0 GPA

Interested in a technical, vocational or career education?

Cal Grant C

  • assists with the costs of a technical or career education
  • provides up to $1,094 for books, tools and equipment—and up to $2,462 more for tuition and fees if you’ll be attending a school other than a California Community College (community colleges don’t charge tuition and your fees will be waived as a Cal Grant recipient)
  • is available for up to two years

If you qualify, you’ll receive an email or letter notification to complete the online Cal Grant C Supplement in Web Grants for Students by the deadline. Even though a GPA is not required to apply for a Cal Grant C, you’re still encouraged to submit yours because it can only help your chances of receiving an award.