Cal Grant Competitive Awards
For students who are not eligible for the Cal Grant Entitlement awards


Who is considered for a Competitive Award

  • Students who are not awarded a Cal Grant Entitlement award.
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements.
  • Students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

Deadline to Apply: (20,500 Awards offered each deadline)

  • California Community College, CSU, UC or eligible Private College students March 2nd
  • California Community College Students Only September 2nd

How to Apply

  • Complete a FAFSA or CADAA by the stated deadline.
  • Submit a verified GPA to the California Student Aid Commission by the stated deadline.

This is a competitive award and limited to 41,000 awards each academic year. Students who are awarded a competitive award must claim their awards electronically using WebGrants for Students. Students are selected for this award based on information from their FAFSA or CADAA and their GPA. 

Students are scored based on information provided on their FAFSA and their GPA. Scoring components include: GPA, parent education level, access equalizer, student or parent household status, family income and household size.

20,500 competitive awards are offered to students who meet the March 2 filing deadline. 20,500 competitive awards are offered to students who are enrolled at a California Community College for the fall term and have a GPA reported by the September 2 filing deadline.

California Community College students with 12 units or more may qualify for an augmented Cal Grant B Access award. Amount will vary depending upon number of qualifying students. Check with your California Community College campus to see if you qualify for the increased Access Award.

Cal Grant A

  • For low to middle income students
  • 3.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for a program that is at least two academic years in length resulting in an associate or baccalaureate degree of 48 semester units or the equivalent
  • Can only be used for tuition and fees 
  • If awarded while attending a California Community College, it will be held in reserve up to two academic years until student transfers to a 4-year college

Cal Grant B

  • For low income students
  • 2.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for a program that is at least one academic year in length resulting in an associate, baccalaureate degree or certificate of at least 24 semester units or the equivalent
  • Offers an award amount to assist with tuition and fees, also includes an additional annual Access Award amount (living expenses)
  • Sophomore through Senior years the student will receive tuition and fees plus Access Award at tuition charging college