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.
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