What does my “denial letter” mean?

If you received a letter letting you know that you did not qualify for a Cal Grant, the following information may assist you in understanding the information in your letter.

If you received a denial letter and you’re currently a high school senior or you graduated from high school within the last 12 months, please ask your school to verify the area needing correction. The correction should be mailed immediately to the Commission at:

California Student Aid Commission
Program Administration and Services Division
P.O. Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, Ca 95741-9027

If you’re not a current high school senior or a high school graduate within the last 12 months, and the information is incorrect, you’re not eligible to be considered for a Cal Grant and must reapply by the following March 2 Cal Grant deadline. If you’re planning to attend a California Community College in the fall, you may correct and return your Student Aid Report before the September 2 Cal Grant application deadline for community college students. There are only a limited amount of Grants available in the fall and only those applications that are correct, complete and received by September 2 will be allowed to compete. We encourage you to meet the September 2 deadline or to reapply next year.

Denial Reasons
"EL greater than 4 years": EL stands for the year you are in college. New Cal Grants are not offered to students who are beyond their senior year of college. If you received this letter, it’s because either you stated that you had completed a bachelor's or higher degree on your FAFSA or your college verified your educational level as higher than a senior.

"Indication of Prior Bachelor's Degree": If you received this letter, you either indicated you had already received a bachelor's degree on your FAFSA or the Commission received verification from your school that you had already received a bachelor's degree. The Cal Grants are for students who have not yet received a bachelor's degree.

"State of Legal Residence not California": If you received this letter, it’s most likely because you left the residency question blank on your FAFSA or because you indicated something other than "CA." You must be a legal resident of California to be eligible for a Cal Grant.

"Not pursuing an Undergraduate Degree": If you received this letter, it’s because you indicated on your FAFSA that you were pursuing a graduate degree. Graduate students are not eligible for the Cal Grants.

"No Grade Point Average Submitted": If you received this letter, it’s most likely because the Commission did not receive a "certified" copy of your Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by mail or your verified GPA electronically from your school. Your verified GPA had to be received by March 2 (or September 2 for California Community College students).

"GPA Below the Minimum": If you received this letter, it’s because your school certified your GPA under the minimum accepted for Cal Grant qualification. Cal Grant A requires at least a 3.00 high school GPA or 2.4 college GPA; Cal Grant B requires at least a 2.00 GPA. (Cal Grant GPAs don’t include grades for PE, ROTC or remedial courses and may be different from your cumulative GPA and your GPA for college admissions.) If you feel your GPA was reported incorrectly, you’ll need to contact the school that certified your GPA. If an error is acknowledged, the school will need to submit an appeal letter to the Commission, on school letterhead, explaining the situation.

"Code 35 - Denied - Low Score": If you received this letter, it’s because your total "score" was below the minimum required. Competitive Cal Grant applicants are evaluated on the following criteria: GPA, family income and size of household, parents' and applicant’s education background, time out of high school, high school performance standards, and other factors, such as whether the applicant comes from a single-parent household or is a former foster youth. Points are assigned uniformly to all applicants in each area. Based on the information you provided on your FAFSA, the sum of your points was lower than the cut-off score for the entire applicant pool.

"Program Edit Disqual": If you received this letter, it’s because you listed a school that doesn’t participate in the Cal Grant C program or you listed an ineligible degree or certificate program on your FAFSA. You may also receive this letter if you have already completed a bachelor’s (four-year) degree and you aren’t enrolled in a teacher credentialing program or you have already received payment for the Cal Grant T.