Who is considered a California resident?

Cal Grants and other state financial aid programs are for California residents only.

If you’re under age 18 and unmarried as of the application deadline of the state aid program you’re applying to, you’re considered to be a California resident if one of the following applies:

  • one of your parents is a legal California resident as of the program’s application deadline
  • you’ve lived for two years with a responsible non-parent adult and that adult has been a legal California resident for at least one year immediately before the program’s application deadline
  • one of your parents is in the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in California and on active duty as of the first day of college classes

If your parents are living out of the country, you’re considered to be a California resident if you’re under age 18, unmarried and have been living under the direct care and control of a California resident for at least two years before the application deadline of the state aid program you’re applying to, or if your parents have maintained their California residency during their absence from the state.

All married students, regardless of their age, and all unmarried students age 18 or older, must establish their own residency. If you’ll turn 18 on or before the application deadline of the state aid program you’re applying to, you must have lived in California for at least one year immediately before this date to be considered a California resident.

If you aren’t a California resident, you should still submit the FAFSA to apply for student aid from the federal government, your college and your state.