Cal Grants are California state grants that are administered by the state and awarded by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to help students pay for college expenses. To qualify, students must apply for the FAFSA or CADAA by the state deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements, as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training, and do not have to be repaid.
In addition to meeting the financial criteria and Cal Grant requirements, you must:
- submit the FAFSA or CADAA and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB 540 eligibility criteria
- be a California resident for 1 year and 1 day
- attend a qualifying California college
- do not have a bachelor’s or professional degree
- have financial need at the college of your choice
- have family income and assets below the minimum levels
- be enrolled or plan to enroll in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
- be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time
- have registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required to do so
- not owe a refund on any state or federal grant or be in default on a student loan
- not be incarcerated at the time of enrollment in school
- maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards established by the school.
At a CCC (CA Community College)
Cal Grant A - $0
- The Cal Grant A does not cover your tuition and fees while attending a community college*, however your award eligibility will be held in reserve for up to two years until you transfer to a four-year college.
- 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
*If you are attending a baccalaureate program at a community college, you may receive funds to help pay for your tuition and fees. Please contact your Financial Aid Office at the college for more details.
Cal Grant B – $1,656*:
You can use your $1,656 access award as a living allowance to help pay for books and other community college costs.
requires at least a 2.0 GPA
Cal Grant C – $1,094:
- A student must be enrolled in an occupational or technical program to qualify for the Cal Grant C. (e.g.. automotive technician, court reporter, etc). The amount offered can be used for books, tools, equipment, and other community college costs.
- is available for a maximum of two years
- If you qualify, you will receive an email or letter notification to complete the online Cal Grant C Supplement in WebGrants for Students by the deadline. Even though a GPA is not required to apply for a Cal Grant C, you are still encouraged to submit yours because it can help your chances of receiving an award.
If you are a high school senior or within one year after graduating high school or transferring from a community college to a 4 year school, meet all the requirements, have financial need, submit the FAFSA or CADAA and GPA by March 2nd and graduate from a California high school (or receive your GED), you are guaranteed to receive a Cal Grant award. Be sure to check out the details.
You have three chances to qualify under the Cal Grant Entitlement Awards:
- As a high school senior
- Within one year after graduating from high school or receiving your GED
- As a California Community College transfer student, if you meet the requirements
- Complete a FAFSA or CADAA application by:
- Entitlement Deadline: March 2nd
- Competitive Deadline: September 2nd
- Submit a California Community College GPA, based on 24 completed units, to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2nd. Note: Most colleges, if not all, electronically submit student's GPA to the commission before the deadline.
- If you receive a preliminary award notice you must complete a Transfer Entitlement Certification form at WebGrants for Students
Important! Students must create a Web Grants account (https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/logon.asp) and claim their award. If a student doesn’t claim their award and the school doesn’t either, the student will not show up on the schools roster
Once you submit your completed FAFSA or CADAA and California Community College GPA you will be considered for the appropriate Cal Grant award based on GPA, financial need and college of attendance. For additional information visit the California Student Aid Commission website click here.
To renew your Cal Grant, you must complete FAFSA or CADAA application, available October 1st for the upcoming academic year. As a renewal student, it is not necessary for you to submit a GPA verification form. Once your grant is renewed, you will be able to view your information for the new academic year on WebGrants for Students. This information is usually available by late July when renewals occur.
FRC will notify you of your award amount if you are eligible for payment. Prior to disbursing Cal Grant payments, the school is responsible for validating your eligibility to receive the award. If the school determines that you are not eligible, they have the authority to withdraw the award. It is recommended that you contact your financial aid office to ensure that your grant is renewed. Students must have 10 percent or more of remaining eligibility to renew a Cal Grant award.
The most important deadline for Cal Grants is March 2nd. Be sure you submit your FAFSA and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the March 2nd Cal Grant application deadline.
If you’ll be attending a California Community College in the fall and missed the March 2nd deadline, you have a second deadline of September 2nd. There are only a limited number of awards available for those who apply in the fall, so try to meet the March 2nd deadline.