Cal Grants

Overview

Cal Grant Programs

The Cal Grant is a California-specific financial aid allocation that does not need to be paid back. Cal Grant applicants must apply for the FAFSA or CADAA by the deadline and meet all eligibility, financial, and minimum GPA requirements of either program. Grants are for students attending University of California, California State University or California Community College, or 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. 

Eligibility Requirements

Cal Grants are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training, and do not have to be repaid. In addition to meeting the financial criteria and Cal Grant requirements, you must:

  • submit the FAFSA or CADAA application and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria
  • be a California resident for 1 year
  • attend a qualifying California college
  • not have a bachelor’s or professional degree
  • have financial need at the college of your choice
  • have family income and assets below the minimum levels
  • be enrolled or plan to enroll in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
  • be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time
  • have registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required to do so
  • not owe a refund on any state or federal grant or be in default on a student loan
  • not be incarcerated
  • maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as established by the school. Recipients who do not meet the standards are ineligible for Cal Grant payment and will not use eligibility during the terms they are ineligible for payment.

More questions? Cal Grant FAQ

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Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award
For current high school seniors and recent high school graduates

The Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award is for current high school seniors and recent high school graduates. Applicants must submit a high school GPA, FASFA or CADAA to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2.

Who is considered for a High School Entitlement Award

  • Current High school seniors and last year’s high school graduates
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
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Cal Grant Competitive Awards
For students who are not eligible for the Cal Grant Entitlement awards

This is a competitive award and limited to 41,000 awards each academic year. To be considered for the award, you must meet the general cal grant eligibility requirements and complete a FAFSA or CADAA. Only students who are not awarded a Cal Grant Entitlement award can apply.

Who is considered for a Competitive Award

  • Students who are not awarded a Cal Grant Entitlement award.
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements.
  • Students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
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Cal Grant C Award
Free Money For students who are pursuing an Occupational or Technical Program

The Cal Grant C program provides FREE MONEY to students pursuing an occupational or technical program. Students must apply for FAFSA or CADAA to apply. No GPA requirement.

Are you interested in pursuing an occupational or technical program that could bring you closer to your dream job? The California Student Aid Commission provides State financial aid for those who meet certain income, asset, and other financial aid standards to attend college. The Cal Grant C program provides FREE MONEY to students pursuing an occupational or technical program.