Financial Aid Programs

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 using the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application by the deadline and meet all eligibility, financial, and minimum GPA requirements of either program.

Overview

California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
Overview For Students

The California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth (Chafee Grant) awards up to $5,000 a year to eligible foster youth. The Chafee Grant may be used at any eligible California college or university, or career or technical school. Students attending schools in other states may also qualify. A student’s receipt of a Chafee Grant award shall not exceed five years (whether or not consecutive).

Overview

Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program (LEPD)
Overview For Students

The Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program (LEPD) provides a need-based educational grant to dependents and spouses of employees who lost their lives in the line of duty or were totally disabled as a result of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force incurred in the performance of duty in the following professions:

Overview

Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment (PIALR) Program

The Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment (PIALR) Program allows the Commission to repay up to $11,000 in student loans for licensed attorneys who agree to practice in public interest areas of the law in California over four years.

This program is currently in the planning stages and more information will be made available soon. If you have any questions, please reach out to the PIALR Program Staff at PIALR@csac.ca.gov.

Overview

Golden State Teacher Grant (GTSG) Program
Overview For Students

The Golden State Teacher Grant (GSTG) Program awards up to $20,000 to students currently enrolled in a professional preparation program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and working towards earning their preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential.

Students must:

  • Complete their program and obtain their credential within 6 years from the date their initial GSTG payments are mailed to their institution.
  • Commit to work at either a priority school or a California State Preschool Program (CSPP) for 4 years within 8 years of completing their program.

Brochures

Golden State Teacher Grant Program One-Page Brochure

Golden State Teacher Grant Program Multipage Brochure


Eligibility

To be eligible for the GSTG, a student must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled in a professional preparation program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) that either:  

    • Has a main campus location or administrative entity in California, including programs operated by California (CA) Local Education Agencies.

      • Visit CTC’s website for a current list of programs meeting this criteria. Remember, only those located on the map in CA may be eligible.​
    • Is a private postsecondary institution offering the program to CA residents exclusively online.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
  • Be working toward a preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential.
    • Applicants pursuing a teaching credential who are already in process of clearing a teaching credential, already hold a clear teaching credential, or are in an induction program are ineligible for the GSTG.
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® Application  Federal Student Aid) or CA Dream Act Application (CA Dream Act Application).
  • Complete their program and obtain their credential within 6 years from the date their initial GSTG payment is mailed to their institution.
  • Commit to work at an eligible priority school or a CSPP for 4 years within 8 years of completing their program.

Service Obligation

There is a service requirement tied to receiving GSTG funds. The commitment is documented in the Service Agreement (SA) and no funds are awarded until the SA is accepted by the participant. 

All GSTG recipients commit to work at an eligible priority school or California State Preschool Program (CSPP) for 4 years within 8 years of the date they complete their professional preparation program. Any time working prior to completing their program and obtaining their credential is not counted towards the 4-year service requirement.

A CSPP is a state-funded or federally funded preschool program in California, including tribal and Head Start programs. A new CSPP list is published every school year that includes all eligible, active programs.

Priority schools are CA public schools that provide instruction in any grade K-12 with more than 55% of pupils classified as English Learners, eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or current foster youth. Priority schools are not the same as schools funded by Title I. The priority school list is compiled by April 15 annually using data submitted via CALPADS to the California Department of Education (CDE) by each public California school. Nonpublic schools are not eligible as priority schools as they do not report data to CDE.

When determining an eligible school for employment, GSTG recipients may refer to either the list published for the school year they received initial GSTG funds or the school year they are seeking new employment for after completing their program.

2020-21 GSTG Priority Schools List

2021-22 GSTG Priority Schools List

2022-23 GSTG Priority Schools List

2023-24 GSTG Priority Schools List

2023-24 GSTG CSPP List


Repayment

GSTG recipients have 6 years to complete their program and be issued their preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential by the CTC from the date the Commission mails their initial GSTG payment to their institution. Failure to meet this requirement will result in immediate placement on a 4-year Repayment Schedule for 100% of the grant funds disbursed.

The 8-year timeframe to complete their 4-year service obligation begins on the date they complete their program. At the end of the 8-year timeframe, they will be required to repay 25% of their total awarded amount for each year their service obligation is not met. For those their obligation is met, no repayment will be necessary. The repayment is for funds awarded only, no interest.

 For example, if the obligation is met for:

  •  1 year = Repay 75% of the awarded amount
  •  2 years = Repay 50% of the awarded amount
  •  3 years = Repay 25% of the awarded amount
  •  4 years = No Repayment, obligation complete

The 4-year service does not need to be completed consecutively as recipients have the full 8 years from their program completion date to complete the obligation. Furthermore, recipients may change schools during their service obligation period as long as they are working at eligible priority schools or CSPPs.


Frequently Asked Questions

GSTG Frequently Asked Questions FAQ


How To Apply

STEP 1: Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid) or CA Dream Act Application (CA Dream Act Application). 

STEP 2: Submit a Golden State Teacher Grant (GSTG) Application.

The 2023-24 GSTG application is now open. We will continue to accept applications through April 1, 2024, or until all funds have been awarded, whichever occurs first.

The 2024-25 GSTG application will be open from September 1, 2023 through April 1, 2025, or until all funds have been awarded, whichever occurs first. Institutions will be able to review 2024-25 GSTG applications for eligibility and award determination in the spring of 2024, after the opening of the 2024-25 FAFSA and CADAA.


Next Steps

Once a student has submitted a GSTG application, they will receive a confirmation email. The student’s institution will verify their eligibility and determine their award amount.

After the institution verifies the student’s eligibility, the student will be asked to sign their Service Agreement (SA). The SA outlines the program requirements, service commitment, and repayment obligation of the grant. 

After the SA has been signed, the student’s institution will be able to request payment(s). Unless otherwise requested by the institution, the grant will be evenly disbursed among all terms the student is enrolled in during the academic year. The institution may begin requesting payments for each term according to the following timeline:

  • Fall – August 1
  • Winter – November 1
  • Spring – January 1
  • Summer – April 1

It takes approximately 6-8 weeks from the date the payment request is submitted for the check to arrive at the institution.


Pre-Enrollment Conditional Award Notice

If you are interested in enrolling in a professional preparation program leading to a preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential and would like to submit a request for a pre-enrollment conditional award notice from the Commission, please email goldenstateteachers@csac.ca.gov with the subject line “Pre-Enrollment Conditional Award Notice”. The notice will provide information regarding the GSTG award amount you could be eligible to receive upon enrollment in a CTC-approved professional preparation program and formal GSTG application.


Contact Information:

GSTG Coordinator Contact Information by Institution

California Student Aid Commission
Golden State Teacher Grant Program
goldenstateteachers@csac.ca.gov

Overview

California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program
Overview for Students

The California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program (DSIG) encourages California Dream Act Applicant (CADAA) Students with a Cal Grant A award that met Cal Grant B eligibility or a Cal Grant B award to perform community or volunteer service.  The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will award up to $4,500 per academic year (up to $2,250 per semester or up to $1,500 per quarter) to 1,667 eligible students. The grant will be available to the student for up to 8 semesters or up to 12 quarters while they have an active Cal Grant A or B award.