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Cal Grants

California student aid commission

If you are planning on attending a college or university in California, you may qualify for a Cal Grant. This is money from the state of California to use towards your education that you do not have to pay back. 


How do I apply for a Cal Grant?

  1. You must submit a FAFSA or CADAA
  2. Submit GPA verification (Don't worry about this part, your high school automatically sends all GPA verifications to the California Student Aid Commission)
  3. Create an account on the Student Aid website and claim your award


General eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. Citizen or meet AB-540 eligibility
  • Be a California resident for at least one year
  • Attend a Cal Grant eligible school at least half-time
    • All California community colleges, UC's and CSU's are eligible, but some private colleges are not. Check out a complete list of eligible schools here


Cal Grant A

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Low to middle income (see income ceilings)
  • Minimum 2 year program
    • Students attending community college will not receive Cal Grant payment, instead it will be placed on reserve for two years until they transfer to a four year institution
  • Maximum awards:
    • UC's: $12,570, CSU's: $5,742, private non-profits: $9,084
    • Can only be used towards tuition and fees

Cal Grant B

  • Minimum GPA: 2.0
  • Lower income (see income ceilings)
  • Minimum 1 year program
  • $1,656 Access Award for living expenses during freshman year
  • Awards for tuition and fees given starting in the 2nd year of college

Cal Grant C

  • No minimum GPA
  • Low to middle income (see income ceilings)
  • Minimum 4 month program
  • Maximum awards:
    • Community colleges: $1,094 for books/supplies 
    • Eligible private/vocational schools: $2,462 for tuition/fees plus $547 for books/supplies
  • Special consideration for priority  occupations


Note: You may qualify for more than one type of Cal Grant but you can only receive aid from one.


Other Grants Offered by California Student Aid Commission


Middle Class Scholarship 

  • Must be enrolled at a UC or CSU at least half time
  • Income must be less than $184,000
  • Only students who have less than 40% of tuition/fees covered by grants and scholarships are eligible
  • Maximum awards:
    • MCS scholarships are not set amounts and may vary by student and institution. The award amount is determined after you are awarded any federal, state, and institutional need-based grants for which you are eligible. The final award amount will be based on the number of students eligible for the MCS statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget. Typically covers between 10% and 40% of tuition and fees.
  • Automatically considered after submitting FAFSA or CADAA

Chafee Grant

  • For foster youth (current or former; at least 1 day between the ages of 16-18)
  • Up to $5,000 per year
  • Can be renewed until the age 26 (but only 5 consecutive years)
  • Can receive Chafee and Cal Grant in the same year
  • Must submit FAFSA or CADAA and an additional Chafee Grant Application