California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP)


California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP)

The California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) was established by the state legislature in 1978. Today, Cal-SOAP is instrumental in improving the flow of information about postsecondary education and financial aid while raising the achievement levels of low-income, elementary and secondary school students or geographic regions with documented low-eligibility or college participation rates, and who are first in their families to attend college.

Today, 16 Cal-SOAP projects operate throughout California by consortia made up of secondary and postsecondary schools and community agencies. Cal-SOAP works in cooperation with other intersegmental outreach programs to avoid service duplication.

Current Cal-SOAP projects include: Central Coast (Santa Maria), Central Valley (San Joaquin), East Bay/Solano (Oakland, Richmond and Solano County), Inland Empire (through CSU San Bernardino), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Merced, Northcoast (Eureka), Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego/Imperial, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, South County Gilroy, and South San Joaquin.

Because each project specializes in serving students within its community, the types of programs and services may differ. However, the projects share the common goal of improving the flow of information about postsecondary education and financial aid while raising achievement levels of targeted students. Some common services provided by the consortia include advising, tutoring, parent outreach, and college awareness workshops.

The Cal-SOAP program is administered by the California Student Aid Commission, with individual projects applying each year for continued state funding. By law, each state allocation must be matched by an equal or higher level of local resources.

Cal-SOAP has extensive intersegmental participation, including:

  • One hundred twenty-six public school districts, from the largest urban districts to small rural districts plus individual high schools;
  • Nine of the ten general campuses of the University of California system;
  • Seventeen of the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system;
  • Forty of the state’s one hundred and thirteen community colleges- including all those in each area in which a project is located;
  • Sixteen of the seventy-one Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities members; and;
  • Fifty-three other community-based organizations.

If you have any questions, please email

Our mailing address:
California Student Aid Commission
Attn: Specialized Programs/ Cal-SOAP
P.O. Box 419026
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9026


Inland Empire Cal-SOAP RFA
The Inland Empire Cal-SOAP RFA application period has now closed

Thank you for your interest in the Inland Empire Cal-SOAP RFA. This item was presented to the Commission at its January 17, 2020 meeting as Agenda Item 6. The Commission approved the staff recommendation to award grant funds to two consortia led by University Enterprises Corporations at CSU San Bernardino, and the Riverside County Office of Education. Please view Agenda Item 6 for more information.


Cal-SOAP Manuals

The Cal-SOAP system is available to authorized Cal-SOAP users only. If you are a current user and unable to log in successfully, please contact your respective Cal-SOAP project director to review your user credentials. Upon successful log in, you can access a wide range of user training materials under the Help hyperlink.

Cal-SOAP Policies and Requirements Manual

Map of the 16 Cal-SOAP locations throughout the state

Cal-SOAP Locations

Today, Cal-SOAP projects operate in sixteen locations throughout the state by consortia of secondary and postsecondary schools and community agencies.