Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

To apply for a Cal Grant, you must complete and submit two forms: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form between October 1st and March 2nd* of the year immediately before the fall term in which you would like to use your Cal Grant.

The FAFSA is also the application used to apply for financial aid from the federal government, including federal Pell Grants, as well as financial aid from colleges. You can submit the FAFSA online, or complete the paper FAFSA. The processor of FAFSA is available by calling toll free 800.433.3243 for additional assistance. Get a federal student aid identification (FSA ID), ahead of time to electronically sign the online FAFSA. If you’re a dependent student, your parents must also get an FSA ID to e-sign your FAFSA.

If you’ll be mailing the FAFSA or the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form, be sure to get a Certificate of Mailing from the Post Office as evidence you met the Cal Grant March 2nd* application deadline. (The FAFSA must be mailed to the federal processor and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form must be mailed to the California Student Aid Commission.)

Need help completing the FAFSA or other forms? See your high school counselor or college financial aid administrator, or attend a free California Cash for College workshop.