The State of California, through the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) sponsors the Cal Grant A, B, and C Programs for undergraduate students.
Types of Cal Grant Awards
Cal Grant A can be used for tuition and fees at public and private colleges as well as some occupational and career colleges. To get this Cal Grant, you need to be working toward a bachelor's degree.
Cal Grant B provides low-income students with a living allowance and assistance with tuition and fees. Most first-year students receive an allowance of up to $1,672 for books and living expenses. After the freshman year, Cal Grant B also helps pay tuition and fees in the same amount as a Cal Grant A. For a Cal Grant B, your coursework must be for at least one academic year.
Cal Grant C awards help pay for tuition and training costs at occupational or career colleges. This $1,094 award is for books, tools and equipment. You may also receive additional funds for tuition at a school other than a California Community College. To qualify, you must enroll in a vocational program that is at least four months long at a California Community College, private college, or a vocational school. Funding is available for up to two years, depending on the length of your program.
Cal Grant A and B Competitive Awards are for students who aren't eligible for the entitlement awards. The main difference is that these awards are not guaranteed.
Cal Grant A Competitive Awards are for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low-and middle-income families. These awards help pay tuition and fees at qualifying schools with academic programs that are at least two years in length.
Cal Grant B Competitive Awards are for students with a minimum 2.0 GPA who are from disadvantaged and low-income families. These awards can be used for tuition, fees and access costs at qualifying schools whose programs are at least one year in length. If you get a Cal Grant B Competitive Award it can only be used for access costs in the first year. These costs include living expenses, transportation, supplies and books. Beginning with the second year, you can use your Cal Grant B Competitive Award to help pay tuition and fees at public or private four-year colleges or other qualifying schools.
Requirements for a Cal Grant
- Be a California Resident or AB 540 Eligible
- Submit the FAFSA or Dream Act Application and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by deadline
- Are attending or going to be attending a qualifying California college
- Have not already earned a bachelor's or professional degree
- Have financial need at your college
- Have family income and assets below the ceilings
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress at your college
- Are in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
- Are enrolled at least half-time
- Have registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required to do so
- Do not owe a refund on any state or federal grant
- Are not in default on any student loan
To renew your Cal Grant, you must re-apply for financial aid, continue to have financial need, make satisfactory academic progress, and be enrolled in at least 6 units.
Deadlines and Application Process
The deadlines are March 2nd and September 2nd of each year for community college students.
Applicants must file a FAFSA and GPA (Grade Point Average) Verification form by the deadline. A GPA verification form must be completed by your high school or by the last college you attended. GPA's are sent electronically to the California Student Aid Commission by the Cerritos College Financial Aid Office for students who have at least 16 degree applicable units at Cerritos College and have attended Cerritos College in the last year. It is the students responsibility to verify with the Financial Aid Office that their GPA was sent electronically.
Cal Grant Resources
California Student Aid Commission's Phone #: 1 (888) 224-7268
For further information please contact the Financial Aid office at (562) 860-2451
Ext. 3226 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.