Application for Participation

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Once an institution has been deemed eligible to participate in the Cal Grant program by the California Student Aid Commission (Commission) as a qualifying institution, the institution must download, complete, and submit the following seven documents. The Cal Grant Institutional Participation Agreement (IPA) is the managing contract between the Commission and Cal Grant participating institution.The Cal Grant IPA must be signed by the institution’s president, chancellor or Chief Executive Officer as reported to the U.S. Department of Education. All other documents may be signed by the Financial Aid Director/Administrator.

  1. Cal Grant Institutional Participation Agreement (IPA) — Serves as the contract between your institution and the Commission and provides guidance regarding the administration of the Cal Grant program. Please ensure it is initialed and signed as requested.
  2. Cal Grant Program Review Survey — Provides an overview of your institution and its existing financial aid practices.
  3. College Cost Estimate Form — Requests information regarding undergraduate and vocational/technical programs used to determine a student’s cost of attendance at your institution. A separate College Cost Estimate Form is required for each qualifying course with unique costs offered at your institution.
  4. Institutional Contacts Form — Lists the names of key staff responsible for different aspects of administering the Cal Grant program and disseminating pertinent student financial aid program information.
  5. System Administrator's Access Request Form  — The completion of this form will allow the System Administrator (SA) to grant users at the institution access to the WebGrants system. The form must be authorized by the school official.
  6. Information Security and Confidentiality Agreement — Provides the names of staff agreeing to comply with the security requirements as a condition of accessing the WebGrants system and data. (This form is included with the System Administrator’s Access Request Form above)
  7. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Form — Cal Grant funds are transferred directly from the State Controller’s Office to the participating institution’s specified account. This information allows institutions to receive advances electronically. ”This document will require an original signature in blue ink.”

Submission of the supporting documentation numbered 8 and 9 depends on the type of institution:

  • Non-Public* Institutions must submit these two types of documentation.
  • Public Institutions and Non-Public Institutions qualifying under the 10% Rule* do not submit these two types of documentation.
  1. Verification of Title IV Receipt of Funds — Submit documentation from the U.S. Department of Education (i.e., Final Funding Authorization form, Common Origination and Disbursement Report, or Statement of Account) that verifies that Title IV funds (Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant [SEOG], Federal Stafford Loan Program, and/or Federal Work Study [FWS]) have been allocated to the institution.

For Non-Public Institutions with the main campus out of state, the disbursement documents must demonstrate that the institution’s main out-of-state institution is disbursing those funds. Submit a copy of accounting ledgers or student ledgers, and/or FWS payroll statements that verifies the main out-of-state institution disbursement of Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs (SEOG, Federal Stafford Loan Program, and FWS) for each California location.

  1. Verification of Title IV Disbursement to Student — Submit student ledger(s) that verifies that Title IV funds (Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs, SEOG, Federal Stafford Loan Program, and/or FWS) has been disbursed to students. For Non-Public institutions with the main campus out of state, the Title IV funds must be disbursed at each California campus requesting Cal Grant participation.

Also, each California additional location must submit a copy of accounting ledgers or student ledgers, and/or FWS payroll statements verifying each California additional location disbursement of Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs (SEOG, Federal Stafford Loan Program, and /or FWS).

All institutions must provide the following four supporting documents:

  1. Institution Catalog — A current copy of the institution’s campus catalog describing the length of the course of study offered through the institution’s programs of study (for Non-Public Institutions with the main campus out of state, specifically for their California locations).
  2. Third-Party Financial Audit Reports — A copy of the institution’s audited financial statements for at least the two (2) most recently completed fiscal years.
  3. Financial Aid Disbursement Policy — The institution is required to establish and maintain a written disbursement policy and schedule that includes the institution’s enrollment/payment periods reported to the Commission. If this information is provided in the campus catalog, please mark that page.
  4. Institution’s Refund Policy — The institution is required to establish and maintain a written refund policy that includes the Cal Grant Program. In the case of a refund (i.e., if a recipient withdraws, drops out or is expelled for a term for which a payment is made), the policy should specify how the institution calculates the refund based upon the institution’s refund policy and how it determines the portion to be returned to the Commission on behalf of the State.

The Commission will also use information collected from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the institution’s Title IV eligibility, accreditation, school officials, and additional locations/branches/sites (if applicable) to verify and determine the institution’s eligibility to participate in the Cal Grant program.

If you have questions regarding your application or require assistance in completing the forms, please contact the Commission at (888) 294-0153 or at csacipa@csac.ca.gov. Please mail your complete application to:

California Student Aid Commission
Program Services and Administration Division
Attention: IPA Processing
PO Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027


*If your institution qualifies under the “10% Rule,” it does not provide items 8 and 9 listed above; however, it must download, complete, and submit the Financial Statement and Demonstration of Administrative Capability Form.

10% Rule: Under Section 69432.7(l)(1)(B) of the California Education Code, a Qualifying Institution for the Cal Grant Program means a nonprofit postsecondary institution headquartered and operating in California that: (a) expends at least 10% of the institution’s operating budget, as demonstrated in the most recent audited financial statement, for the purposes of institutionally funded student financial aid in the form of grants, (b) demonstrates to the Commission that it has the administrative capability to administer the funds, and © is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.