Application for Participation


Before submitting an application, an institution must be deemed eligible to participate in the Cal Grant program by the California Student Aid Commission (Commission). This requires the institution’s cohort default rate and graduation rate thresholds to be certified by the Commission. Please send requests to verify eligibility to Include the school name, OPE ID, and contact information. Please also indicate what federal programs you are participating in (Pell, SEOG, Direct Loans, and/or Work-Study). If your institution is requesting participation for additional locations, please make sure the OPE IDs for all locations are included in your request.

Once the institution has been certified, please complete and submit the application documents listed below. Missing or incomplete forms may cause a delay in processing the application. Completed applications are reviewed in the order received. This process can take several months once all documents have been received. Upon approval and execution of the Cal Grant Institutional Participation Agreement (IPA), further instructions about the administration of the Cal Grant program will be provided.

The Cal Grant IPA must be signed by the institution’s President, Chancellor or Chief Executive Officer as reported to the U.S. Department of Education. All other documents may be signed by the Financial Aid Director/Administrator unless otherwise specified.

Utilize the Cal Grant Application Checklist to complete the required documents below. Applications for the 2021-22 academic year must be received by July 1, 2021. If your institution is requesting participation for additional locations, you will be required to submit documents for each location. Please direct questions about the required documents to Note: Please send all documents via email. All items should be scanned individually and not as one file. See Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

1. Cal Grant Institutional Participation Agreement (IPA) — Serves as the managing contract between your institution and the Commission and provides guidance regarding the administration of the Cal Grant program. The agreement must be initialed and signed by the President/Chief Executive Officer/Chancellor.

1(B) Cal Grant IPA Extension Amendment — Due to ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has adopted an amendment to extend the 2017-21 IPA through June 30, 2023.

2. Cal Grant Program Review Survey — Provides an overview of your institution and its existing financial aid practices.

2(B) Please include a copy of your institution’s Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR).

3. College Cost Estimate Form — Requests information regarding undergraduate and vocational/technical programs used to determine a student’s cost of attendance at your institution. Please submit one College Cost Estimate referencing the program with the highest cost. In special circumstances where the highest-cost program is significantly more expensive and does not represent the majority of students, a separate College Cost Estimate Form should be submitted. The College Cost Estimate start dates will determine your pay periods for Cal Grant awards.

4. Institutional Contacts Form — Lists the names of key staff responsible for different aspects of administering the Cal Grant program and disseminating pertinent student financial aid program information.

5. System Administrator's Access Request Form & Information Security and Confidentiality Agreement  — The completion of this form allows WebGrants access as System Administrators (SA) at their Cal Grant-qualifying institution(s).  The form must be authorized by the school official identified as the Authorizing Official (AO). The AO cannot be someone who has access to the WebGrants system. Each institution may submit forms for a maximum of two (2) SAs. Once access is granted, SAs may create user access accounts for additional staff. Agreeing to comply with the security requirements is a condition of accessing the WebGrants system and data.

6. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Form — Cal Grant funds are transferred directly from the State Controller’s Office to the participating institution. This information allows institutions to receive funds electronically.

6(B) Interest-bearing documentation – Please provide a bank statement or bank letter which includes the account number and shows that the account is interest-bearing.

7. Third-Party Audited Financial Statement Reports — A copy of the institution’s audited financial statements for at least the two most recently completed fiscal years.

8. Institution Catalog — A current copy of the institution’s campus catalog describing the length of the course of study offered through the institution’s programs of study and financial aid policies. For Non-Public Institutions with the main campus out of state please provide the catalog specific for your California locations.

Please provide the page numbers of the following financial aid information when submitting your application: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, disbursement policy, and refund policy.

9. California License Exam Certification  — California Education Code (CEC) 69432.7(l)(2)(A) requires institutions provide an access point for students to view the institution’s license examination passage rates for undergraduate programs that lead to employment for which passage of a California licensing examination, if required. All institutions must complete this form annually, regardless of whether programs require CA license exam.

10. Certification of Compliance with Education Code Section 67386 (Student Safety Policy) —requires any California college or university to establish programs and policies regarding student safety to be eligible to receive student financial aid from the State of California.

11. Certification of Compliance with Education Code Section 66281.8 (Sex Equity in Education) – In order for any California college or university to be eligible to receive student financial aid from the State of California, certain policies and procedures must be established regarding sex equity.

12. Title IX Exemption or California Equity in Higher Education Act — CEC 66290.2 requires educational institutions in the state who hold exemption from federal Title IX provisions or California Equity in Higher Education Act provisions to notify the Commission with a written declaration. Non-exempt institutions should also provide a written statement confirming their non-exempt status. 


(A) Pell + 2: All Non-Public institutions qualifying under CEC 69432.7(l)(1)(A) by participating in Pell Grant and in at least two other federal student aid programs (SEOG, DL, FWS) must submit items 13 & 14 below:

13. Verification of Title IV Receipt of Funds — Submit a G5 External Award Activity History Report from the U.S. Department of Education that verifies that Title IV funds (Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs: Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant [SEOG], Federal Stafford Loan Program, and/or Federal Work Study [FWS]) have been allocated to the institution for the current academic year. 

14. Verification of Title IV Disbursement to Student — Submit student account ledger(s) that verify Title IV funds (Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs: SEOG, Federal Stafford Loan Program, and/or FWS) have been disbursed to students.

For Non-Public institutions with multiple campuses, the Title IV funds must show disbursement at each location.

For Non-Public institutions with the main campus out of California, the Title IV funds must show disbursement at each California campus requesting Cal Grant participation. Each California additional location must submit a copy of student accounting ledgers, and/or FWS payroll statements verifying each California additional location disbursement of Pell Grant and two of the three federal student aid programs.


(B) 10% Rule: Under CEC 69432.7(l)(1)(B), a qualifying institution for the Cal Grant program means a nonprofit post-secondary institution headquartered and operating in California that: (a) expends at least 10% of the institution’s operating budget, as demonstrated in the most recent audited financial statement, for the purposes of institutionally funded student financial aid in the form of grants, (b) demonstrates to the Commission that it has the administrative capability to administer the funds, and (C) is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Non-Public institutions that do not qualify under Title IV requirements may qualify under CEC 69432.7(l)(1)(B). Institutions qualifying under the 10% Rule must download, complete, and submit the Financial Statement and Demonstration of Administrative Capability Form.

In addition to documents collected from institutions, the Commission will also use information collected from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the institution’s Title IV eligibility, accreditation, school officials, and additional campuses/ locations/ branches/sites (if applicable) to verify and determine the institution’s eligibility to participate in the Cal Grant program.

If you have questions regarding your application or require assistance in completing the forms, contact the Commission at (888) 294-0153 or at

Email completed applications

California Student Aid Commission
Program Services and Administration Division
Attention: IPA Processing
PO Box 419027
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9027