“Cali” Is Here To Help

Students can opt-in to Cali through participating School Districts or by attending a Cash for College Workshop.

Cali is an innovative, two-way chatbot engagement platform, to help students apply for financial aid. Cali proactively engages students via text message to increase engagement, drive action, build connection, and gain insights into the barriers and challenges students face when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

CSAC is working with Mainstay, the service provider, to develop and launch Cali. Mainstay is a full-scale, student engagement platform powered by behavioral intelligence that helps leverage AI technology to work with students via text and provide personalized nudges encouraging them to complete their FAFSA or CADAA. CSAC is partnering with Val Verde and working with our Cash for College Program, to launch Cali across the state. 

The timing of this pilot could not be more important. The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) launched a new, Better FAFSA on December 30, 2023, and some students are experiencing challenges in completing financial aid applications. CSAC encourages students to opt-in to Cali to navigate the new Better FAFSA. Cali can walk students through their FAFSA or CADAA by helping students’ problem-solve recurring issues when attempting to complete the Better FAFSA or CADAA. 

CSAC regularly update resources on the new Better FAFSA and CADAA, which  can found here: and

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Cali

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For more information, please contact:
California Student Aid Commission
AI Chatbot Team