What is a Cal Grant Award?
A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back. To qualify, you must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.
There are three kinds of Cal Grants — A, B and C — but you don’t have to figure out which one to apply for. Your eligibility will be based on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application responses, your verified Cal Grant GPA, the type of California colleges you list on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application and whether you’re a recent high school graduate.
Cal Grant A
Will help pay for tuition and fees at four-year colleges
award amounts vary by type of college — for 2018-2019, Cal Grants are up to $12,570 at a University of California campus, up to $5,742 at a California State University campus, and up to $9,220 at independent colleges
has a GPA requirement. If you’re applying using your high school GPA, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA; if applying using your college GPA, you must have at least a 2.4 GPA
requires that your course of study leads directly to an associate or bachelor’s degree, or qualifies you for transfer from a community college to a bachelor’s degree program
Cal Grant B
Provides a living allowance of up to $1,648, in addition to tuition and fee assistance after the first year, at a two- or four-year college
pays most first-year students a living allowance only, which may be used to pay living expenses, books, supplies and transportation, as well as tuition and fees
when renewed or awarded beyond your first year, you’ll receive the living allowance as well as a tuition and fee award (up to $12,570 at a UC campus, up to $5,742 at a CSU campus and up to $9,220 at independent colleges for 2018-2019)
requires at least a 2.0 GPA
Interested in a technical, vocational or career education?
Cal Grant C
Assists with the costs of a technical or career education
provides up to $1,094 for books, tools and equipment—and up to $2,462 more for tuition and fees if you’ll be attending a school other than a California Community College (community colleges don’t charge tuition and your fees will be waived as a Cal Grant recipient)
is available for up to two years
If you qualify, you’ll receive an email or letter notification to complete the online Cal Grant C Supplement in Web Grants for Students by the deadline. Even though a GPA is not required to apply for a Cal Grant C, you’re still encouraged to submit yours because it can only help your chances of receiving an award.
For the Cal Grant A or B Entitlement awards:
If you receive a letter stating you were disqualified for a Cal Grant and you feel this was in error, you may be able submit an appeal depending on the reason. In your appeal, please state why you feel you are eligible and submit all documentation supporting your appeal. If you believe you were denied due to an error, be sure to submit any documentation supporting the correction of that error. If you don’t have any documentation to support your corrections, you may submit an appeal. However, the Commission may not be able to overturn the denial. You will need to work with your college or high school because you’ll also need certification from your school verifying your request to correct any errors.
For Cal Grant A or B Competitive awards:
If you’re applying for a Cal Grant A Competitive award or Cal Grant B Competitive award (you’re not a current high school senior or a recent graduate) and you received a disqualification letter, you’ll need to reapply next year unless you’re planning to attend a California Community College in the fall. If you’ll be attending a community college in the fall and correct your Student Aid Report before the Cal Grant September 2 deadline. If you receive your denial after the September 2 deadline, you’ll need to apply again next year.
If you don’t qualify for a Cal Grant this year, you’re encouraged to apply again next year.
In the meantime, visit your local library or search the Web for other financial aid resources or scholarships that are available. You can also make an appointment with your college’s financial aid office to learn what campus based aid may be available. You may also wish to explore low interest federal student loans by visiting www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov.
Here are some other resources that may help you find the right college or more ways to pay for college or career training: